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Was I overeacting

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Was I overeacting

Postby nora » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:37 am

by nora (257 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:37 am


My son was born at 26 weeks due to severe pe. He has multiple disabilites because of prematurity. He is four years old. He does not talk, sit up independently, crawl or walk. I am working very hard every day with him and he is getting better slowly. We have tried so many therapies with him. It's hard emotionally and financially. Because of my son's situation I try to avoid small children and pregnant women at all cost. It breaks my heart every time I see a toddler in the store walking or talking. I don't know if my son will ever do that. So many times I had dreams that he talked to me or held my hand and walked across the livingroom. It tears me apart every minute of the day to see him struggling to just sit up.

My mother and father in law were suppoed to visit us on thanksgiving. I was looking forward to have them over. She called over the week end saying that her other daughter in-law is coming too with her two children my son's age. I told her I really was not planning on having them over. I tried to explain to her how I feel about small children because of my son's situation. I don't think I can handle it right now. She asked me when will I be able to handle it. I told her I really don't know , May be when my son gets a little better and he is getting better. He is taking steps with support right now. That meant nothing to her. She told me that my son may be like that for a life time and if her other daughter in law can't visit she won't visit either. Now my husband stopped talking to me. I refuse to approach him because I did not do or say anything wrong.

I don't understand her logic. I tried to be open with her about my feelings but she thought I was pshyco.

I think I vented enough. Thank you for listening.

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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby arj » Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:54 am

by arj (1251 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 10:54 am

Hi Nora,
First of all, did this other daughter-in-law call you personally to ask if it was ok if she and her family come over YOUR house for a Thanksgiving meal that YOU will provide? Hmmm, maybe I missed that part in your message. Seems to me that is the proper and courteous thing to do.
Second, how could anyone even imagine what you are going through? What you must feel when you see other children your son's age? Seems to me that anyone, ESPECIALLY family, should be sensitive to your feelings. But you know, how often times is it family that's the worst about it? Kind of ironic...
I'm sorry, Nora. I don't think that you overreacted. I think that this situation is very difficult, and when you throw family and the holidays in with it, it becomes just plain AWFUL.
But I do hate to see that it's drawn a rift between you and your husband, who really needs to be your biggest ally. Have you guys tried any counseling? Sometimes it's great to have a "neutral" party there to sort out feelings and be a buffer when you're dealing with major issues and strong emotions. Best of luck with everything. Don't let the "outlaws" ruin your holidays.

Allison (29)
DS-Evan, 7/19/2003. Mild PE at 40 weeks
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby nora » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:13 am

by nora (257 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:13 am


No, The other daughter in law never called me. We actually have not talked for almost three years. I like that name: "outlaws"


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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby arj » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:21 am

by arj (1251 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:21 am

I can't take the credit for "outlaws." T (Angelkat) started it!!! :)
You know... From the sound of it, looks like your would have a better Thanksgiving with just your son and husband anyway...

Allison (29)
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby annegarrett » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:44 am

by annegarrett (2525 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:44 am


I am so sorry about your current family situation--clearly you are under enough stress with a disabled child without that. I used to be a special education teacher and I know that special needs kids require so much. There are several issues here--so forgive me for playing junior counselor...

first of all--Allison is right. Regardless of the day(holiday or whatever), people are not allowed to come to your home without your inviting them. Did your husband invite her (I had a husband like that)? If so--then your issue is with him. If your m-i-l invited her without you--perhaps she is trying to "force you" to face what she sees as the reality of the situation...which leads me to
#2--it is possible that your child will be special needs for the rest of his life--and eventually you and your child will need to spend time with "normal" (trust me--they will have their own challenges!!) kids. It is not just "good" for you--it is good for your child--and good for those other kids. It will teach them empathy and it will teach them to be kinder and believe it or not--it will truly help your child progress. There is nothing more motivating for any child (special needs, or otherwise) than wanting to be with the other kids. I have seen seven year old special needs kids who were kept away from kids suddenly learn to walk because "everyone else was" while I really feel for how tough this is for you--try to remember that it is not necessarily as emotionally tough for your child--they are very resilient and need social interaction in order to reach their full potential. And they are also very sensitive to family stress--so try to remember that while it is hard for you--that is "your" issue and not your child's. It is very natural as a parent of a special needs child to be overprotective--but it isn't in their best interest--they will thrive with other people and learn faster than you could ever believe.

which leads me to #3
No--you are not psycho. You are overwhelmed. A special needs child is essentially an infant 24/7 and you need respite care. Do you get any? Does your husband help out so you can get a break? Do you take breaks? My brother tells me this all the time (cause I struggle with this too...) when you are in the plane--they tell you to put your own mask on first--you have to take care of yourself or you will be no good to anyone. Your fatigue, your stress, is probably magnifying your response to this situation.

Finally (#4)

Counseling would be good for both you and your husband--you cannot live in tomorrow when or if your child is "normal"--you have only today--and today you both need to be a team so your child feels the loving energy of parents who are there, united.

Whether or not your sister-in-law comes over on Thanksgiving, or your MIL ever speak to you again is their problem--you are right to set boundaries and you are right to feel the pain you do. But the pain is something that needs attending to--because your MIL is right--you cannot live in a bubble and maybe--you will find--if you let them in--they will be a big support. Someone has to be the bigger person right now--and by basically saying you couldn't deal with them--you were rejecting them. Take time for you, see a counselor, get respite care, take your husband to a movie, "be" normal. You will be a better mom and I bet you and your husband can find a way to get through this. I have great faith that you will. And, speaking from personal experience, I have a 14 year old who I was told when he was 4 would be "mentally disabled his whole life"...and he is now in 8th grade Honors English. Don't tell his brothers but he is the nicest one I have. He wasn't talking at 4. Miracles happen--but do let others help you carry the load.

Take care and big hugs,

Anne Garrett
Executive Director
Preeclampsia Foundation
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby angelkat » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:51 am

by angelkat (3423 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:51 am

Oh Nora,

Life is so hard sometimes, even when we have the best of the world in our hands. I don't know any outlaws that understand how we feel and what we go thru and at times our DH can't even think of what we deal with on a day to day basis...

I offen think to myself what life would have been like if Katlyne would have lived passed the three months that she did. I'm sure we would be in the same boat. I can't even start to think of how busy your life is with dealing with everything you have to deal with.
Believe me, it's wonderful to vent and vent loud as we know what it's like.

On the outlaw front... It was so way out of line of MIL to invite SIL to YOUR house without asking YOU first. I think I would just have to kick her LOL!!...

Sending you HUGE HUGS....

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Ky (12)PE 34 wks
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby mel h. » Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:53 am

by mel h. (288 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 11:53 am

Nora, I don't think you were overreacting either. It's too bad your in-laws aren't more sensitive ... I've found that a lot of people, most of my in-laws included, are completely incapable of putting themselves in someone else's shoes and expect things to continue on as though nothing happened after something like this. I'm sorry that it's causing problems between you and your husband. Don't let pride prevent you from communicating with him, though. What I mean is, don't apologize to him for what you said to your mother-in-law, but it wouldn't hurt to tell your husband that you understand the situation puts him in an awkward position, which is not your intention, but that you think both his mom and sister-in-law could be a lot more sensitive to you and your family during this rough time. Maybe then, you two can come up with a solution together and he might be more willing to stand up for you to his family. I've found that you often really have to take the high road with people when they are insensitive or not understanding ... that is if you care about maintaining peace with them, which you obviously do. I know the holidays are really going to suck for us this year too, so you're in good company!

Mom of Ashley Ann, born at 25 weeks on April 17 due to severe preeclampsia.
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby for faith » Thu Sep 09, 2004 01:55 pm

by for faith (1749 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 01:55 pm

Nora ~ I am so sorry for this difficult time too, I don't think you were overreacting at all. With the death of my daughter I have realized that people just don't understand [:(]. I think what everyone has said is great and feel free to "talk" here anytime. I hope that you and DH work together on this, that is the most important.

Just wanted to add, I understand the feeling of not wanting to be around babies, pregnant women, etc. For me this was after the loss of my daughter.I have a nephew who was due on the same day as my daughter and seeing him is very difficult. Being with family & friends was very difficult, I always felt awkward, thinking everyone always had pity on us. I have tried hard to put that aside and focus on them caring about us, it is still hard though. I definitely don't think it is right about your MIL inviting anyone over, but maybe you could slowly get involved (a short get together at maybe a park) with you SIL and her kids (or someone else with child your son's age) to help with this. For me taking baby steps has really helped, don't push yourself. In the beginning I could even go to a get-togther without being almost physically ill, then slowly I could stay more each time. Lastly, definitely only surround yourself with positive influences or you and your family though.

Really hoping the best for you, take care.

mommy to:
Tyler - 4 (36 wks, PIH (just told by peri it was mild PE))
Angel baby - 1/20/03 (11 wks)
Faith Kristine - 1/5/04-1/30/04 (30 weeks due to severe PE, passed due to NEC & Sepsis(preemie complications))

trying for #2 to share our lives with since 9/02
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby nora » Thu Sep 09, 2004 02:22 pm

by nora (257 Posts), Thu Sep 09, 2004 02:22 pm

Thank you all for your responses. I need all the support I can get right now. You guys are helping go through a very rough period right now. BTW, no my husband did not invite my SIL.


I really wish I read your message before I gave my MIL an answer. You are right, sometimes I do feel like I am too overprotective of my son because of his disabilities. He does enjoy other kids. Every time we take him to Wall Mart or the Mall he gets so excited and he starts to make new sounds and kick with his legs.

I guess the reason why I don't want to have any kids around is because it's a reminder of what my son is not doing. Now I feel selfish for depriving my him from the stimulation and interaction he can get from other kids. At the same time I was trying to protect myself from a nervous breakdown and a lot of pain,

If you don't mind can you share with me "privately" what helped your son's speech and what was his diagnosis. I am so glad he he progressed the way he did. You must have worked hard with him.

Here's my email:
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Re : Was I overeacting

Postby heatherbbb » Fri Sep 10, 2004 07:07 am

by heatherbbb (603 Posts), Fri Sep 10, 2004 07:07 am

I am so sorry for your situation. I ditto everything everyone said! I wish you the best.


Mother of Seth Russell, delivered 26 weeks due to PE/HELLP 9/3/03-2/13/04
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