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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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When should a blogger announce that she is pregnant...

Uploaded: May 24, 2014
Our family is very excited to share that we are expecting our second child this fall. So far, the biggest difference between my pregnancies is figuring out childcare for our son when his sibling decides to arrive. Our son was born on his due date...but I can't imagine being so lucky twice in a row.

Finding backup childcare can be a challenge even when the day and time are known in advance... doctor appointments, interviews, jury duty, date nights, etc.

But dealing with pregnancy is quite different....you just don't know how long labor will last, what day/time it will start, and when baby will actually arrive.

I'm lucky to be surrounded by many pregnant friends at the moment (at last count 17 moms in our playgroup are pregnant or recently gave birth to baby #2). Most of these women are blessed with parents who live close by or can fly in for weeks/months on end. We are in a different boat. Although we are extremely lucky to have a wonderful cousin in the area, she may be out out of town, have kids who are sick, etc.

After many emails back and forth, we think we have finally come up with a solution that we are comfortable with. As a stay-at-home mom, I never would have imagined spending this much time and energy during my pregnancy searching for childcare! But it has made me curious how my readers, especially those without parents in California, handled childcare for their second child.

When you needed emergency childcare, what did you do? Did a relative or neighbor agree to watch your child(ren) at a moments notice? Do you use a service?

Comments

Posted by Erin, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on May 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Congratulations!

I am so lucky to have family in town and I rarely have to actually hire a babysitter. My parents stayed with our older child while we were in the delivery room, but I decided to send my husband home for the night that I was in the hospital. I figured one of us should get a decent night's sleep in order to get ready to care for a newborn and a toddler.

When my neighbors were getting ready to have their second, knowing they didn't have family in town, my husband and I offered to take their 2 year old overnight. I know they appreciated the fact that he was safe and well cared for so they could bring his baby sister into the world.

I truly believe that's what being a neighbor is all about. It really does take a village and I hope our residents never forget that.


Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 24, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Erin - Thank you! And thank you so much for sharing your story. What wonderful neighbors you are. It absolutely does take a village. I can't wait to hear more about your experiences with a baby and a toddler at home. I bet your husband appreciated the extra sleep... I can only imagine the exhaustion when baby #2 arrives.


Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on May 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

This has always been an expected problem but never materialized for us. When our second and subsequent child came along, we were able to arrange for parents to fly in for several weeks to cover the expected couple of weeks that the new arrival would arrive, worked out well each time.

However, I have had a couple of emergency hospitalizations which were totally unexpected. For the first, my church took over the babysitting rota for the 8 days I was hospitalized and although we never knew quite who would turn up next, my husband was able to visit me, get to his office and be adequately fed. The second time was much shorter but my neighbor dropped everything and was able to just take my kids with hers for the several hours my husband had to be away until I could return home and take over.

It is a worry when family live far away. It is important to have a support group of friends who can take the place of family and be available at a moment's notice. Likewise, I have always found that I can do more than I thought when somebody I knew really needed help.

Having a second or subsequent child is at least a forewarning. Having an emergency appendicitis or similar, can be much more of a time of critical help need. We should all be able to do our part to help others in such a need as we never know when it might be us who are in need of the help.


Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 24, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4 - Thank you for sharing your story. Yes, it is nice to have nine months to prepare for the arrival of another child, even if the exact date and time of arrival are unknown. Childcare during unexpected hospitalizations both during and outside of pregnancy can be much more difficult to deal with. I'm so glad to hear that you have a wonderful network who could support you during times of need. And it sounds like you passed the generosity on to other families as well.


Posted by Sal, a resident of Midtown,
on May 26, 2014 at 5:09 pm

How about the husband stays home? Husbands are only in delivery room out of guilt. I told my husband to take of our other kids, at home, and I will produce the next child. It worked out well.


Posted by Jessica T, a resident of Menlo Park,
on May 26, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Congratulations, Cheryl! Our friends have come through us many times when we have had unexpected events arise. One of my fondest personal memories, was being the neighbor called on when a friend delivered her third baby. I got the call at 4 am, crossed the street, bid the parents adieu and got to greet their kids in the morning and announce their sibling was being born. It was a terrific honor!


Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Sal - Thanks for sharing your story. Did you hire a doula or have anyone else join you at the hospital for support? I think some spouses want to join their wives at the hospital (to join in the joy of baby being born, welcome the baby, offer support, be there if complications arise, etc).

Jessica T - Thank you! It's great to hear that you had a support network in place. I can imagine it was fun to hear the siblings' reaction when they heard that they could meet the baby soon.


Posted by Sal, a resident of Midtown,
on May 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Cheryl,

I didn't know what the term "doula" meant. There was always a nurse there, though, and she was important to me, for her experience. I always requested a nurse who had given birth, herself. I never wanted my husband there, because it is too messy and too painful, and I wanted our relationship to be based on pleasant thoughts, if possible. I heard too many women screaming horrible things about their husbands, when they were in labor. I didn't want my husband to hear such things, even if not from me.

My husband stayed home, and that was a gift to me. And to him.


Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 27, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Sal - It's great to hear that you felt supported by a nurse at the hospital. I'm glad that you found a solution that worked well for you and your husband. It is definitely a gift to know that your kids are in safe hands while the next one is being born.


Posted by Made me cringe, a resident of South of Midtown,
on May 30, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I share the desire for privacy and didn't want my husband around too much, but this old fashioned idea made me cringe:
>I never wanted my husband there, because it is too messy and too painful, and I wanted our relationship to be based on pleasant thoughts, if possible.


Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 30, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Made me cringe - There is so much diversity in the choices women make for their labors and deliveries. How did you juggle the desire for privacy and childbirth?


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