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Grandparenting

Calculating the date

(16 Posts)
JackyB Tue 10-Sep-19 14:38:34

My DS and DiL in California are expecting their 2nd child. Due date is 13 December. After consultation with DiL and her mother, I have offered to go over for a week or two to help out.

Her mother (the maternal grandmother) will be over for a long-planned holiday in October (planned before we knew about the pregnancy), and, as a result, doesn't have any more holiday from work.

DiL said she hadn't dared ask us, but was pleased with the offer.

A flight to the States has to be booked well in advance if it is to be affordable, but, as the first child was 3 weeks premature, I can't figure out when I should book for.

I would like to be home again for Christmas, and DS will fortunately be able to take paternity leave (very unusual for the US!) once I have left and the baby is there.

What should I do?

tanith Tue 10-Sep-19 15:37:09

Not much you can do if you need to book flights soon apart from guesswork unfortunately. As you know each baby has its own agenda and will come when it’s ready. If you want to be home for Christmas then ideally book to arrive between 5th and 10th that way you’ll be there if it comes a bit early but home in time for Christmas.
I hope it works out and you get to spend time with the new arrival.

Nansnet Wed 11-Sep-19 05:16:00

We had a similar issue when our grandchild was born, not knowing when to book the flight, but needing to book it in advance. As we all know, babies tend to arrive whenever they are ready, and that can often be a couple of weeks either side of the due date! I'd suggest booking a return flight to depart around a week before the due date, with a return date to get you home just in time for Xmas. Make sure you book a flexible flight that allows you to change the dates (some of the cheaper fares don't allow changes!). And, if baby arrives earlier/later, you can change your dates accordingly. You'll have to pay a fee for any changes, of course, but it won't be as much as paying for another flight if you book a cheap ticket that doesn't allow changes.

maryhoffman37 Wed 11-Sep-19 10:39:41

My youngest daughter's first child was born in Mexico and was 3 weeks early. We booked to go out when the baby would be 3 weeks old, but of course she was 6 weeks. Her second baby and her third both went 42 weeks plus. You simply cannot bank on any date. Good luck!

4allweknow Wed 11-Sep-19 12:22:18

Think you have to book to cover all bases. Go say a week before due date but not much you can do following the 13th if you want to be home for Xmas.

Newatthis Wed 11-Sep-19 12:22:34

We have also had the same issue. Our granddaughter came just 5 days after we got there but just a little early. Maybe book a week before it's due and leave a week later if that's possible.If the baby comes early then that way at least you'll be there longer to help with the baby. I know it's vv expensive to change dates of flights - a dilemma I have experienced so I feel for you.

Patticake123 Wed 11-Sep-19 13:31:02

Our grandson was due at the beginning of December and flights were arranged to arrive during that week . In the event he arrived on the last day of August. We stuck to our previous arrangement as he was in hospital and we arrived on the day he was discharged. A very traumatic time, but we have one gorgeous, bright and healthy lit grandson. We feel very lucky.

glammagran Wed 11-Sep-19 14:02:32

Could you stay over the Christmas period if needed by the new parents by buying an open ticket? If you have a partner maybe could fly out at a date nearer Christmas.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 11-Sep-19 15:06:08

How lovely to hear for once of a daughter-in-law who is thrilled her mother-in-law is coming to visit when the expected baby arrives!

I hope you have an enjoyable visit and that the wee one doesn't inconsiderately decide to wait until you have gone home again to put in an appearance.

Best wishes for an easy birth to you all.

I think I would book to arrive four or five days prior to the due date and certainly book a ticket that can be changed.

Lots of first babies are earlier than expected. Do you know for a fact that that child was really three weeks early, or could the midwife and the mother have miscalculated? Probably not important, because many prem. babies are followed by sisters and brothers who waited the full nine months.

Hope everything goes well.

sarahellenwhitney Wed 11-Sep-19 16:03:47

Not all advance bookings give deals and as no airline wants empty seats and you are not too fussy with who you travel then shop around. Its surprising what can be found nearer the time of your intended travel.

Eva2 Wed 11-Sep-19 16:45:26

Make sure you buy a changeable ticket and dont overlap with her Mom. To be honest unless she delivers early it all looks a bit close to Christmas. If your son has pat leave how about going over after the holidays ?

JackyB Wed 11-Sep-19 18:30:58

Well, I'd mainly like to be there to take over the older son whilst the new parents are in hospital and for the first few days when they come home with the baby. If the baby is already there when I arrive, I suppose it won't be much of a problem as newborns sleep most of the time.

It depends more on how my DiL feels and if she needs much rest. If the baby is premature and has to be in an incubator (as with the first one), she may have to stay in hospital and there will be no one at home to look after big brother.

Does anyone know how long mothers normally stay in after birth in California?

JackyB Wed 11-Sep-19 18:31:27

I won't overlap with the other grandmother as she is going in October.

pinkquartz Wed 11-Sep-19 18:40:24

I would have an open ticket and also be happy to stay for Xmas.
You can always have a Xmas back in UK at another time.

agnurse Wed 11-Sep-19 19:19:10

I can't speak to California specifically, but my experience as a nurse in a few different hospitals has been that generally mothers stay in for a day or so for a vaginal birth, and 2-4 days for a C-section (standard is 3 days but some mothers elect to go home after 2, especially if it's not their first section, and others occasionally stay for 4, if there are problems). I can't see that it would be so very different, especially because people are required to pay for their care in the U.S., unless they have insurance.

Hithere Fri 13-Sep-19 12:57:28

Why don't you ask them which dates are the most convenient for them?