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<p>My friend is pregnant in the hospital on bedrest and won't give me a clear answer about whether or not she wants my help for labor support. She keeps saying she'll let me know. She might be having the baby tomorrow, I've got kids and no family in town to take them if DH is at work/school but I may be able to line up something if I knew I needed to. Her DH may or may not be available depending on when this baby is actually born, either way I'd be glad to help but I think maybe she only really wants me there if he can't be? Just wish she'd actually tell me under what circumstances and when she'd want me to come help out so I know if I realistically should line up childcare, or if she doesn't need me then say so. Kinda mentioned that already gently a couple times but she just said she'd let me know. I don't want to be pushy but I want to be there if it would help. Frustrating. I know things are still too up in the air for her with her DH being available and with possibly having her baby preterm (doctors say she almost definitly will, she still holds hope for making it past 34 weeks, but the cerclage is coming out early). I don't know, when I have too many possibilities I make plans for all of them. Wish everyone worked like that. Any communication tips for me?</p>
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<p>Anybody have pre-term labor stories to share? How does it go differently from full term birth? Is it faster? How is pushing stage different? How about positioning and mobility and the fetal monitoring that's probably required?</p>
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<p>Anyway send good wishes and prayers for her and her baby, they're at almost 30 weeks I believe.</p>
 

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<p>She's probably more worried about her baby's life than anything else right now, including who attends her birth.  I think the best thing a doula can do in this case is try to make yourself as available as possible, but *not* press her to make any decisions.  It is true that it could happen that you are not able to find childcare, and that's ok.  Attending a birth is always an incredibly challenging child care mess, and things happen (pre-term, emergencies, someone going into labor right as your child gets sick, etc.) that stretch even the best laid childcare plans.</p>
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<p>I would personally not push her to tell you anything in particular, I think the best friend you can be is for *you* to make all of the "what-if" arrangements (such as, will I be there?  will I not be?  does she need food delivery at home by friends if baby is stuck in NICU? what can I do to help her husband be there for her?) and let her focus 100% on bringing her baby into the world safely. </p>
 

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<p>Should have added about the birth differences-- it may be faster, and they may not give her as much time/leeway as a full term birth.  There will be more monitoring in most cases.  She may end up not caring as much about her original birth plan, or she may want to still feel like she is calling those shots, so that is different for everyone.  Certainly any aspect of her birth plan that is perceived as less safe (not monitoring 100% of the time, having no liquids/food in case of c-section) will probably be changed.  Getting access to the baby afterwards, while respecting the baby's need to be treated quickly, can be tricky.  She will probably need access to a hospital grade pump and will need to pump every few hours. </p>
 

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<p>They've been aiming for 30 weeks for a long time now so no sudden change of plans to deal with, though her feeling has been she'll go much longer. The doc says any moment now though with the stitch out now. Actually she hasn't made plans just figures when labor comes she hang on and go with it. Not my style but with support from those around her and acceptance of whatever comes it might be a good outlook. She seems very suggestible about all this, I hope the suggestions she gets (nurses around her and all) are very supportive ones. My approach would be to ask a mom to assert her own wishes about things she cares about. They're moving and he has to leave town so in the interim she's staying with and me if the house is already packed up when she leave the hospital it'll be immediately postpartum, I'm really happy I can be there to help her I can't imagine recovering all alone.</p>
 
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