AIBU to think my sister is being unreasonable by having a baby?(29 Posts)
My sister is pregnant and instead of being really happy, I am really worried...
Some background: My sister has long term, chronic mental health problems that have affected her since childhood. She is not able to work. She also has other illnesses that make her life difficult as well as problems with alcohol and eating. When she drinks she is abusive but she does go long periods when she is dry. She has an on/off relationship with a guy who also has mental health issues and who can only work intermittently. She is probably having the best period in her life now and has been quite well for the last six months but even now she still has many days when she can't leave the house. A year ago she was suicidal.
She is delighted about the pregnancy. I can see why she is happy but I feel that she hasn't considered how she will cope. I worry about how the post natal depression will affect her and I think this child will be a carer and that's not fair. I think she has only considered what she wants and not what life would be like for her child. I can't see how she would care for it on a daily basis. Most days she can't get up until midday and takes Valium that knocks her out each night. Who is going to feed and care for the baby? I am really worried. AIBU?
YANBU to be worried, but don't really know what you can actually physical do about it, other than be there for her and the baby, offer support without judgement
I can understand why you're worried. But I think the only thing you can do is offer as much support as possible and keep a close eye on the situation. There's no guarantee she will get PND, it's even possible that the situation will be the making of her and help her turn a corner in her life with a new sense of purpose.
Let her enjoy the pregnancy, then see how things pan out when the baby arrives.
It's her choice. Just support her however you can.
I can see why you're concerned but people don't have babies to be reasonable or for rational, defensible reasons. The urge to have a child is deep-seated and powerful.
If it's happening now, support, strategies and planning will be important to let it all go smoothly and be the joyful experience that a baby should be.
Has she got a specialist MH MW referral yet?
I'd be worried too OP, really worried.
I'd be really worried, too.
If it goes the way you think it's going to go, you're going to need to bring in help (social services) and be there for the child if you can. You HAVE to put a child's needs above an adult's issues.
I can see why you are worried, yes. Did she plan this? I'm just wondering because if she planned it thinking of it as a solution to various things, it could be even worse when reality hits.
I know a child whose mother has tried to commit suicide nine times. Meanwhile his father won't have him, no other possibilities, I feel so sorry for him and he exists in a permanent rage at the state of his life.
Sorry to tell you that, but it is important that you think through possible implications. If you won't take the child if needed - and I would not blame you one bit - then I would tell her up front. Some people make assumptions especially where family are involved.
Gosh I would be worried too. Surely the HCP will be involved at this level?
Try not to fret. Unless she is not accessing antinatal care she will have had a booking in appointment and she will have been refered to partnership plus HV services (or what ever your area calls it) and it's unlikely that she won't have significant support at some stage
YANBU and yes I agree SIBU to have even tried to have a baby (I'm assuming it's not an accident)
I would be worried for all the reasons you are giving. I would also be worried that she would rely on you a lot after the birth and you end up being a carer for her and the baby.
However, now that she is pg, there isn't a lot you can do about it bar keeping an eye on her and check she is as OK as possible.
She will almost certainly be referred to SS who will do their own comprehensive assessment and it is highly likely that there will be a Child Protection conference. They will want to know how much support she has. Presumably, MH services are involved and they would be asked to attend a CP conference. I totally get your concerns but she won't (hopefully) just be left to get on with it.
at her being unreasonable to have a baby.
Those of us with mental health problems should obviously be denied that joy then?....
If she is known by mental health teams, she will hopefully be referred to a specialist through the pregnancy. She might cope amazingly well, she might struggle. As long as the right support is in place, there is nothing that should stop her from being a great mum. Be supportive of her, encourage her to go to appointments and offer to accompany her if she's willing and you are able.
until you described her partner, this could have almost been made about me. Try not to question her or bring up her MH history too much as it could have a damaging effect. Good luck to her.
Those of us with mental health problems should obviously be denied that joy then?....
Well someone with MH issues so sever that they are frequently suicidal, can not work, plus the added complication that there is not a stable partner on the scene, really isn't the best person to be having a baby, no.
If she was living with a supportive partner in a stable relationship, then things would be a bit better. But they aren't.
Also a baby should be seen as a way to give joy to the parents. The parent should think 'can I give a baby a good start in life?'
For the record, it's the alcohol issues that are most worrying to me. Sorry I should have specified that.
I would be very worried too... it doesn't sound great circumstances. Have you spoke to her about your concerns? Do you know if her mental health issues are on record and whether she's been honest with the midwife? In theory MH issues should trigger extra support and this support is kind of like an assessment too.
I'm bipolar with extreme anxiety and psychosis. I have had 4 dc who were all planned and are well cared for and there has never been an issue with me providing everything they need. However, I live with my DH who is incredibly hands on in my care let alone the dc and during each pregnancy we had a care worker come to the house every week to check on how I was doing as pregnancy is a known time for MH to worsen, rapidly. For each birth after the first there was a place reserved at a mother and baby house in case I developed post natal depression and psychosis again. I didn't, luckily, so never used the place but seeing the psychiatrist was part of my booking out procedure on the ward after the baby was born.
There's a lot of support out there but she needs to access it and she may need nudging in the right direction.
Not all MH problems are the same though.
Being depressed or anxious but able to cope with work and getting out of bed is one thing.
Needing Valium to sleep and been knocked out for the night is another. How is she going to know that her baby is crying if she is knocked out by the medications? There won't be a supportive partner there to help her and get up instead.
A good point imo is that she is doing well atm. I am assuming that, as she is pg, her medications has been changed and the fact she is coping with not as strong stuff is a good point.
But I have to say, I would have thought hard in that situation. And I'm saying that as someone who also has some health issues that means I can't always look after my dcs the way I should (by that I mean, I have a DH who is picking up the slack because I would struggle to look after myself and the dcs on my own some times)
I do worry about them ending up doing stuff they shouldn't be doing.
I do worry about limiting what they can do because of me.
So yes if I had known I would be so bad when I had them, I would have thought twice about being pg.
Oh, they (they being midwives, HVs, care workers, obviously SS but I wasn't under them) will be VERY interested in what support she has. If you are willing to step in and offer your sister that support then you need to be attending appointments with her. If you aren't they will be asking how she plans to cope with a baby and her medication. My medication knocks me out for 10 hours at a time too. I remember having a meds review for my last baby with a care worker who couldn't understand that once I had finished breast feeding I would be going back on my meds and DH would be taking care of the nights... apparently blokes don't do that especially when they work full time... funnily enough he managed perfectly well with the first 3!
Great positive story BabyDubsEverywhere showing how it can work out super well if there right support (of which if sounds like a supportive hands on DH is crucial).
Six months is a very short time to be reasonably okay. I would be worried too.
Have you spoken to your sister about how worried you are. You can't stop her having a child but it does sound like she will need a lot of support.
whois, he is crucial, and I really think EVERYONE parents better with support of others, your sister will need support OP.
I know the general advice is not to stick your beak in, but in this instance I would say your sister needs to know how precarious her situation is, (that she will be able to cope, and more importantly, will be allowed to keep the baby long term). She will need to access the services available and she will need to completely change her medications if she doesn't have live-in support.
TBH pregnancy is a great time for accessing extra support, the therapy I had been waiting for since my teens was suddenly available in pregnancy and shortly after. This is the time her life could really turn around. Before I had DC DH and I were party crazed animals - we drank ourselves into a stupor most weekends... as in we were wrecked from Friday to Sunday! I didn't know what was wrong with me then so I pretty much self medicated with alcohol and class A's! Somehow we managed to hold down decent jobs but i have no idea how.
But then we moved away from our home town and stopped going out for a few months and I fell pregnant with out first. We've never touched a drug since, I had a shot of caramel liquor in a hot chocolate at Xmas and I can't remember the last time I drank before then. I am addicted to my Vape though :D
I know the horror stories are more usual, but they aren't the only stories out there... I have no doubt quite a few who knew DH and me pre dc expected us to fall flat on our arse, but instead we got married brought a house and I had my last two DC whilst attending a full time degree at a RG Uni (we know how important RG is on here :D )
You need to talk to her. Help her. This could be the making of your sister and either way that baby will be your niece or nephew and they will need your help too.
YANB at all unreasonable and I'm not surprised you a concerned, it sounds very worrying indeded. Sadly there is very little you can do about it.
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