Because I OBVIOUSLY requested and earnt/deserved a premature baby (yes it's a MIL one)

(69 Posts)
MiaowTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 15:32:51

So frustrated I could explode at the moment (and no hope of support from DH on this one either). Just had the weekly horror of the "grandchild expected to be sat on Skype so I can sit in splendour, do naff all actually WITH her and chat AT her about how nasty her mummy and daddy are making her sit here and be bored" call with her. I was always a relative defender of MILs - knowing and admitting mine was, at times, very annoying - but she became increasingly ridiculous last pregnancy - and my tolerance dropped a helluva lot. She was a great help - but still her behaviour just made a really tough time (DD1 was the best part of 2 months prem, I had a horrific hospital stay with her, horrible case of birth trauma and just generally a very very dark time in my life - to the extent I regard our "family" life as beginning when we drove out of the hospital carpark together)... from the absolutely awful hystrionics when she first saw DD1 (who was an exceptionally cute looking baby, utterly perfectly formed - just on the dinky side), to shoving me aside so I didn't get to participate in the first bath (I had asked some of the ward staff to help me get my head around the logistics of bathing a baby that came in XXsmall!) and spent it shoved into a corner feeling like utter crap. I had her quizzing me with my expressed breast milk yields like some kind of fucking dairy cow - just total scrutiny all the time.

Since then I've had ridiculous amounts of pressure piled on regarding weaning and comments about how she MUST eat the couple of things I dislike or it'll be some kind of picky-eater armageddon - EVERY SINGLE FUCKING WEEKLY CALL. Hubby made the mistake of mentioning that DD wasn't too keen on her first taste of salmon - that became some massive source of inquisition for weeks on end (hell - this is probably the least-picky eater child I know out of any in my social circle)... and teeth - because obviously we're purposely withholding teeth out of spite (and it ain't for lack of drool/cheeks you could roast marshmallows over they're so hot and red), crawling - everything like that she basically goes into utter denial shutdown talk-over-you mode if you dare mention that she might do these things slightly later than the "norm" (or indeed the perfect other grandchild) because of the prematurity thing. She doesn't have a single photo on-show of DD in her house prior to her feeding tube being removed - it's ridiculous, and it makes me quite cross because I REFUSE to have DD feel stigmatised or any degree of shame over the fact that she came early and had to go in a special box to keep her warm and safe like in mummy's tummy for a little while till she was big and strong. Yet if we visit her - it's like this black hole in time where she simply didn't exist till she was aesthetically pleasing enough to be shown in public. We won't even add in the endless comments about how DD is being pretty much expected to be pulling the dogs' tails - both sides of that equation are kept very very well segregated and being taught from the outset how to get along and act acceptably toward each other - I refuse to allow a toddler aggravating a family pet to be viewed as inevitable or acceptable behaviour. We've said this time and time again it gets ignored.

Anyway - I'm pregnant again, absolutely racked with SPD and in horrific pain, struggling to physically cope because of this - my mum's running up and down the country trying to balance helping me out along with her own committments... I'm almost at the point where labour started last time - so understandably I'm bricking it about that... so on our weekly Skype today, as well as the endless jibes about how unfair and boring we are to make DD sit on there (when SHE bloody well demands it), we had loads of comments basically digging away that I must have done something to cause the prematurity last time - that I need to rest because that'll stop it this time (I was knackered last time, had packed in work and was doing nowt BUT rest - that didn't help then lol - and this time I have a 10 month old to deal with), then loads of "oh I hope we don't see you for at least another month" (note the assumption I want her down here when this baby's born - I really don't want the stress, the judgement, scrutiny and the undermining of confidence that she's been up to ever since DD1 was born)... just dig dig dig dig about the fact that I dared (and of course it's my fault - I feel like saying "just for once blame your son it might have been him delivering wonky sperm") to go prematurely last time.

Hubby refuses to back me on this - so I'm on my own and will get no choice in her coming down at all - she'll steamroller in, grab the babies (out of my arms if needs be) and shove me bodily out of the way (I've literally had to change a shitty nappy before with her head 2 cm away from DD1's face and me trying to change it down the business end - she didn't take the polite hint of "can you just be careful there, I don't want to get any of this on you" at all and just continued).

Last fucking thing I need to deal with right now - and I can't be assertive with her - because a) it just gets ignored anyway and b) they've given us so much help we're kind of indebted to them.

YouTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 15:40:50

You do have a choice. You say 'no'. Tell your dh that you need time after the baby comes (whether it is early or not) to recover and bond. And if the mil doesn't like that it is tough.

Can you get your dh to read your op?

And for what it's with it doesn't sound like they've given you 'so much help we're indebted to then'. It sounds like they lord it over you on their terms when it suits them but aren't interested in actual help - you know where you do things to make life easier for the other person rather than what you want.

Gigondas Sun 24-Feb-13 15:45:14

That is a hugely long post (and some more paragraphs might have helped).

The thing that struck me was dh attitude - he needs to back you about how you want things to be with dc2. Have you got a firm idea of how you would like it to be (when visitors attend, how to get help etc ). If you have discuss it - if not write it down and try to formulate what is key.

It does sound like your mil is very full on but your post is very dense and also It seems that you are having dc2 quite soon after dc1 which is naturally quite stressful even if you haven't had a horrendous time . Of course dc1 wasn't prem by design but I do wonder if mil is a focus for projecting a lot of trauma and anxiety about birth of dc1 etc.

Also have you been offered any counselling about your previous birth trauma. That may help diffuse some of your naturAl anxiety. Speak to your MW about it.

MiaowTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 15:45:32

Sadly, YellowDinosaur - it would make no difference - it's all stuff I've said to him before, even been in tears sobbing about before - and it's just been dismissed as me being irrational and stuff (yes, I have mental health issues stemming from the birth trauma with the last birth and some of it IS probably me feeling just shoved aside and being oversensitive - but the prematurity digs really really stung me today).

Gigondas Sun 24-Feb-13 15:46:31

And yes agree that no is available here- there is no need for you to be so grateful that you send yourself into
Decline.

aldiwhore Sun 24-Feb-13 15:47:43

YABU to put up with this.

You don't have to be at the other end of weekly skype calls either. Be out.

Let your DH deal with HIS parents. Be pro-active, don't put up with it. Don't co-operate.

Be unreasonable. For a while.

Once you've done that and been that, be reasonable once more.

YouTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 15:49:51

Say no and keep repeating it ad nauseam until it sinks in.

She can come when YOU are ready.

aldiwhore Sun 24-Feb-13 15:51:20

I don't agree that it's for your DH to sort out... he's in the middle of two women he loves and is a bit scared of.

You have to play hard ball with HER. Your DH may be forced into action then, or he'll remain in the middle. This is your battle with her, and hers with you.

Being in the middle is not a nice place to be in all honesty, because I am sure sometimes your rants to your DH aren't always reasonable, and in all probability neither are your MILs... if there's something he 'should' be doing by all means point it out, but you need to be pro-active here.

You're articulate and annoyed... aim that at your MIL, play her at her own game, and if your DH gets the flack for it, point out that it's HIS battle to sort, not yours smile

fluckered Sun 24-Feb-13 15:51:23

uninstall skype and say laptop on the blink! problem solved. yanbu. no contact with this woman til you are ready. let your dh handle her. you have enough on your plate. good luck with birth x

diddl Sun 24-Feb-13 15:53:52

When mine PFB was born pre 30weeks my MIL made it all about her.

Was worried about coming to see the baby because she didn´t know what it would look like!

Silly cow!

Walked in and grabbed my husband's hand for support-er didn´t she think that he might have needed some?

And couldn´t work the soap dispenser thing so thought it would be OK to use just water.

As she was Gran & obviously didn´t mean him any harm!

Right, so, any help they have given you should have been unconditional.

You don´t owe them anything.

Why do you get no choice in her coming down?

If she won´t be any help-why have her there?

Can´t your husband have time off to help if needed initially?-or even if not needed?

My second was born 4wks before DD!

mrsbunnylove Sun 24-Feb-13 15:54:58

you've got a lot on. but while you're caring for dd1 and coping with your current pregnancy, could i politely, gently and caringly suggest that you also 'grow a pair'?

refuse to skype, and keep the dd away too. when mil can be polite, then try it. if she speaks out of turn, switch off. but not before you tell her she can't come to stay until she's invited.

she's in the habit of bullying you. but you've outgrown it. time to move on.

MiaowTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 15:56:12

Apart from the prematurity digs which have just surfaced today (obviously she's had issues about it for a while - exemplified by things like the selective photographs thing), it's just the constant assumption and presenting me with fait accomplis - I usually just get told "oh mum's coming down X day - I'll be at work so she's just coming straight to the house" anyway, but there's been no questioning or asking me about what WE want to happen this time when the baby comes - just the assumption she'll be hopping into the car and getting here - which I'd probably have wanted if it wasn't for her behaviour last time and since DD1 arrived - having seen the way she went on, I don't want her here until we've got things on an even keel.

Doesn't help that every single movement of mine gets relayed onto SIL and analysed between the pair of them (hence me removing SIL from FB in the end as everything was getting relayed and commented on) - the other reason I don't want her down for a couple of days (assuming a full-term delivery) until I get sorted out, get the new baby's personality sorted out and get DD1 into how life's changed slightly... otherwise the pair of them will be sitting picking holes in us just finding our feet. Hubby doesn't get that part either!

And sorry - I type in long paragraphs it's just what I do (and half the keys on this keyboard are usually borked)

anonymosity Sun 24-Feb-13 15:56:57

On a really basic level you and your DH are forming your own family unit and the interference of your MIL is disrupting that and unravelling you a bit in the process. Can you ask your DH to help you find coping mechanisms? He can't refuse that surely. If he doesn't back you completely he could compromise and "block" some of what is happening from you by stepping up maybe?

I dont have other practical suggestions. It sounds immensely stressful. I had to tell my MIL that we needed a "little time and a bit of space to get used to being a family" when she tried to come over EVERY single week after our DC1 was born - from the first week onwards. She was insulted and said " I don't want to be a PEST" when in fact, thats exactly what she was doing.

I think its a fraught time for a lot of people, but it will pass, all things do.

EchoBitch Sun 24-Feb-13 16:00:35

Accidentally Slap her round the face with a smelly nappy.

Say oops,sorry.

And your DH should be backing you up.

kalidanger Sun 24-Feb-13 16:02:01

What's your DH's problem? Soz, that's blunt but he should be stood there, buffering his family against the world. And if that includes his mother then so be it. Is he quite clear on what an issue this is for you?

rhondajean Sun 24-Feb-13 16:04:31

My second dd was a 32 weeker, emergency CS for a footling breech in the middle of the night. In our case, I know exactly why that was (I have a mullerian anomaly) but even so, I spent years racking myself because if I had taken it easier, done something different, maybe I could have held on just a bit longer and she wouldn't have had to go through what she did.

I would have felt hellish if anyone else suggested it was my fault too.

My own mother was a nightmare. Culminating in her appearing when dd was about two weeks old DEMANDING to know what was going on, because she just KNEW there was something wrong with our (perfect but tiny) baby and we were hiding it from her. It was remarkable how she managed to make it all about her.

I really don't know what to advise, except that if your baby is in SCBU you can give instructions on who is and isn't allowed to visit, and if you do have another preemie, I'd be giving them instructions on exactly who isn't welcome in the unit.

LittleBearPad Sun 24-Feb-13 16:06:07

I agree. Switch Skype off - its terrible when broadband goes on the blink isn't it. Tell your DH you aren't bring irrational and you need his support. You're about to have another baby and frankly his mother can sod off if she can't be helpful.

Thinking f you and feel free t come here and rant.

PessaryPam Sun 24-Feb-13 16:06:40

Just tell her to fuck off and if DH intervenes tell him to fuck off too. Just be totally irrational, give the arses something to complain about. Being nice ain't cutting it. Tell your DH to bloody man up or do one.

MiaowTheCat Sun 24-Feb-13 16:08:49

He doesn't do assertive or protecting his family naturally kalidanger - it's not his natural personality (lovely kind caring guy - just lacks that side to him) and there's this funny family dynamic where basically he just defers to his sister and is never quite taken seriously - just in an "oh it's just our funny little X" kind of role with them. That one, however annoying it is for me to see happening constantly, isn't my battle to fight so I just grit my teeth over it - if he's happy with them viewing and treating him that way then so be it.

kalidanger Sun 24-Feb-13 16:08:52

I don't think you need to 'play' irrational... Or you certainly shouldn't bloody have to shock

kalidanger Sun 24-Feb-13 16:12:37

Miaow Soz, x-posted.

If it doesn't come naturally to him can't you spell out precisely what you want to happen and he can do what you tell him, instead of what they tell him for once? wink

No unplanned visits. None. They can be arranged in advance but NO unplanned visits.

Just that for a start ^ I'll have to re-read thread :D

AmberLeaf Sun 24-Feb-13 16:16:46

I agree with PessaryPam.

kalidanger Sun 24-Feb-13 16:16:47

OK. No more fucking Skype until you're safe through this pregnancy and until you feel ready after the birth. There's no law you have to Skype. Email her a pretty pic of DD and talk in the phone. You are pregnant, not ill, but you're actually not well at the moment and you're just going to have to TELL DH you're withdrawing to relax and bake your bun in peace.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Sun 24-Feb-13 16:16:54

Just say NO, you arent coming, if you come, you will not be allowed in.

You dont have to put up with it, you wanna be bitch about it, then fuck her, be a bitch, your the mum, you hold the cards, and you can play any card you like.

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