Lack of support/help - How to prepare to do it alone?

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AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033
Lack of support/help - How to prepare to do it alone?

I am starting to think that I am in over my head here. I should start by saying that a part of me knows that things will work out one way or another, they have to. However, HOW they work out is so way up in there air right now as our future is so completely uncertain at this point. So, in preparation for 'worst case scenario', how do I do this alone?

DH is currently unemployed. He recently applied for "the" job. If he gets "the" job, and there is a good chance he will, there is the likelyhood that he will be 6 hours away at a multi-week training when Kole is due to make his arrival. I have nobody else to be with me at the birth who could/would support during the birth to keep me strong. Not to mention that it is so unbelievably important to me to have DH there with me to welcome our son into the world. If I get my much desired VBAC, I feel that this moment is vital for us.

There are no doulas available in my area and wouldn't matter if there were, we can't afford ANYTHING right now. I don't even have anyone I trust to take care of my DD while I go to the hospital to birth DS. Needless to say, this is causing me some stress too. So I need to figure out who will take care of DD and then I need to figure out how to go it alone in my desire for an unmedicated hospital VBAC.

ourfirstblessing's picture
Joined: 01/07/07
Posts: 1094

First, i am so sorry for all the stress. I am glad you still have some time to work things out. Like you said, the most important thing is for you to find someone you trust for your dd. The next thing i would do would be to go tour your hosp. and talk to someone about being able to have a nurse that is supportive of natural birth. Are you positive there are NO doulas? I know you can't afford anything but you might be able to find a doula in training that would maybe be able to offer her services for experience. I would also recommend getting your hands on every natural child birth book from your library and do lots of research and work on visualizing your ideal labor experience.

I wish i had more advice and I really hope the right resources fall into place quickly so you can stop stressing about it {{{big hugs}}}

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

Where are you in Texas? You can PM me if you don't want to put it on the board publicly. We lived down there for several years, and then we have an Anchorage doula who just moved down there. BUT I know Texas is a huge state lol.

Support will be critical to having a hospital VBAC in my opinion (especially since TX has one of the higher c/s rates in the country last I checked). And like Kristen said, I am glad you still have some time to figure it out.

My DH was deployed to Afghanistan when I went for an HBAC with DS. Ultimately we transferred for another c/s, and I think the lack of support played a huge role.

I like the going and talking to the hospital idea. There are normally resources available that may not be advertised. Have you talked about any of this with your provider?

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

Do you have any family members/friends from out of town (since it sounds like you don't have anyone closeby) who would be willing to come stay with you? Do you have a midwife or an OB? If a midwife, I would explain it to her and hopefully she can make sure to be with you and supporting you perhaps a bit more than she would with someone with a support person. And I second talking to the hospital first and finding out if they can try to give you a NCB friendly nurse, and at least they will know your situation. I had a woman in my birth class with DS who was totally alone, had just moved to the area and had no friends yet, she didn't even have a DF there to support her at all, and no family around. She had to drive herself to the hospital in labor and do it all on her own, and I think she did (and I know she was planning an NCB). The nurse running the class reassured her and said she wasn't the first woman in that position and that they would make sure a nurse was always with her and they would make sure she felt supported. I think any decent person would feel compassion for a woman on her own in labor and do everything they could to make it easier for her. Also, the hospital will know if there are any doulas around, maybe you just can't find them easily. I'd at least ask. And I bet a doula will take a payment plan. Honestly, we are flat broke too, but if my DH were going to be gone for the birth we would hire one and just set up a payment plan with her. It's worth it for you to have the peace of mind and not have to worry. But I bet it will all work out and your DH will be able to be there! With DS, my DH made it home 3 hours before the birth! These things have a way of working out somehow.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

I have checked into doulas here. There are two that service this area, but they are sisters with decades of experience. Not only that, there is no way that I could ever convince DH this was a necessary expense especially since we've had no income for the last 3 months at all. It's just not an option. I also toured the hospital when I was pg with DD and I used to work there so I am very familiar with the hospital. It's not impressive as far as being super supportive of NCB. Depending on the hospital for support will be futile and I will most likely have to fight every step of the way to minimize interventions. I am fully prepared to have to fight for what I want there

My OB is great, and very supportive of my VBAC, but there is no guarantee that he will be on call when I deliver, so while his support is great while I'm pg, I can only hope that he will be there for the birth too. I do plan to talk to him more extensively about my NCB plans at my next appointment on Thursday. With the nurses it'll be the luck luck of the draw, so hopefully I will get some good ones.

Again, it may end up working out perfectly. But I am trying to prepare myself for all possible events. My family lives 6 hours away, and my sister and her family is living with my parents now and it's a very precarious situation right now, so my mom may not be able to come to help me at all this time. Especially since she is providing the childcare for my sister now. DH's parents and one sister live close by, but DH's parents are old and have many health problems. There is no possible way they are capable of watching DD for any extended period of time, especially overnight. DH's sister is certifiable, literally. I would have to be dead before she'd be allowed to babysit my kids. I won't bore you with the details about all that.

I really need to figure out how to be my own support system, in case that's how things work out. I am determined to give the unmedicated birth my very best effort and thanks to some very wonderful ladies I've met here, I have books and hypnobabies.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

First off, I'm so sorry that you're having to stress out over all of this. Is there absolutely NO way that your DH couldn't tell them that his wife is about to give birth that that he needs to be there that ONE day? As far as your DD goes, is there no family that could come and help out? If not, do you have any 24 hour day cares in your area? Do you attend a church? Maybe someone there could help out? As far as your birth, if DH cannot in fact be there, I agree with what Kristen said about maybe finding a doula in training. A lot of them will do it for free just for the experinece. Good luck!

waitingimpatiently614's picture
Joined: 02/17/09
Posts: 386

I'm sorry for the stressful circumstances and lack of support you are dealing with! I can relate a little since all of our family lives far away. They plan to visit after the birth but can't jump on a plane and be here when it happens. We are having to rely on friends to be "on call" to keep DS1 when i go into labor. It's not ideal, but I've talked to two different friends about it (just in case one doesn't answer the phone or happens to be unavailable for some reason, then I have another one to call). But at least I will have my DH in town when it happens. He's not very supportive and he doesn't "get" my desire to use hypnobabies or decline the epi, so I sort of feel like I will be going it alone, but he will be physically present and emotionally supportive in his own way. I really really hope your husband is able to make it back to your side for the birth! And I hope there is a friend there locally who you can trust enough to keep your DD when necessary. Or that somehow your mom will be able to break away and come. I know it's hard not being able to plan out all the logistics. I do think that maybe if you can get in a groove with the hypnobabies, you can put on your headphones and listen and ignore whatever stressful things are happening at the hospital. And definitely write out a detailed birth plan so that the nurses and staff will honor your wishes to avoid interventions and minimize unhelpful interruptions.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

Thank you Amanda! I really appreciate your words and support. My DH doesn't get the whole Hypnobabies thing either. When I was planning an unmedicated birth with DD he even told me he didn't understand why I wouldn't want to use the meds (epi) since it's available. However, he does support my decision to have my 'weirdo hippie birth' :roll: and I know if he's there he'll be there with me completely and do whatever he can to help me out. I am really hopeful it'll all work out beautifully in the end, but I am fearful that it might not work out that way. And since I can't expect to have the full support of the nurses at the hospital, I start to get pretty anxious when I start thinking about it all. Then again, my anxiety seems to get pretty high when I'm pg. I'm going to work on my mom some more to try to get her here to at least be with DD at our house when I go to the hospital.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

If you can't find anyone to watch DD while you are in labor, I would recommend talking to the social worker at the hospital. They may have resources to share with you. Another option is to start now to find someone, perhaps through a babysitting service, or local college (community college). That way you could get to know them and trust them to keep DD while you are busy.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I second reaching out to a church or other non-profit. Ours does all kinds of outreach to families who are NOT members, just as a way to serve the community. One of the things we offer is crisis babysitting and these wonderful, experienced woman come help moms and dads.

Are you a member of LLL? You may also meet some moms there who could help you.....Neighbors? I think people really want to help, especially in your situation.

((HUGS)) I hope you work something out. If not, I"ll hop on a plane and come watch dd or support you during labor--lol. I've got lots of frequent flier miles and I know kids. :wink:.....

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

I'd be on a plane in a second too if I wasn't having a LO at the same time as you!

Amanda as well as others have given you some good suggestions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that DH will end up being able to be there. I was wondering about some people from church or other mothers you know from the area that might be able to help you out with DD. Even if there is another mom friend that you know that may have had a postive birth experience as well that might come help support you during birth in the event that DH can't be there. You could always offer to trade babysitting (now) for her support with birth or DD in April. Even just putting the word out there to some local friends that you would love to find someone to help support you (with natural birth or DD) even though you can't pay for it might bring someone you never thought of out of the woodwork. You figure if some of us would totally come help you out of the friendship and kindness then maybe there is a person near you that would do the same. Just drop some hints like that to other moms you know or some of the older ladies at church. I'm thinking the older ladies at church because they may know someone that the younger moms may not consider Smile

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"CamelNoodle" wrote:

If you can't find anyone to watch DD while you are in labor, I would recommend talking to the social worker at the hospital. They may have resources to share with you. Another option is to start now to find someone, perhaps through a babysitting service, or local college (community college). That way you could get to know them and trust them to keep DD while you are busy.

Ditto this. A friend of mine teaches nursing courses at a local college & she always has a bunch of young women (and a few men) who are willing to do things like this, especially if they can get community service credit in a class. Blum 3 Many hospitals also have volunteer doulas who will come & help women in your situation.

If your DH is unable to be there in person, maybe put him on speakerphone so he can at least hear what's going on. And tell him to let his new employer know what's up, because they might just spring him loose at your first phone call with a promise to come back ASAP to finish his training. You never know.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Good advice about speakerphone-- my dh missed our last birth (crazy story!) But he did listen in on speakerphone. So not the same....but at least he didn't miss dd's first cries of the sounds of labor--kwim?

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I don't really have any more or better suggestions, but, I just wanted to add that if anyone ever asked me to do either of the things you're looking for, I would absolutely say yes, and be super honored on top of that. Even if it was someone I didn't know that well. Who knows, maybe there are more people out there who feel like me (sounds like there are a few more on this board!). It's worth trying to find out! Good luck to you, Anna. I hope you can work it all out!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Ugh, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. I think you've already gotten some great suggestions, but one completely crazy thing just occurred to me...if you have no real support where you are, and don't like the hospital where you'll be birthing anyway...what are the services like where your DH will be? If there's a great hospital or birth center there...would it be possible to go with him? Wouldn't be the first baby born away from home...I know, it's a long shot, but I thought it was worth mentioning just in case!

Good luck, whatever you decide! It CAN be done.


TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043


I was thinking the same as Leigh, is there a good hospital near where your DH might be? When do you find out if he gets the job? Will he be living somewhere that could accommodate the entire family? Is this somewhere closer to any of your family members? If he gets the dream job, will you then be able to afford a doula? If a doula helps you to have the natural birth you want you might actually wind up saving money because your DH will be able to go back to work sooner. A little bit of debt now goes a long way if it means a healthier happier mama and baby.