Just had a baby and at my wits end!(23 Posts)
Hello there, I have a three week old baby after a long tense pregnancy, he was born by C - section on 22 October. I spent over three weeks in hospital, due to a heart condition, and it was too risky to give birth in my local hospital, therefore I had to travel over 200 miles to a specialist heart hospital which was combined with a maternity hospital to have my DS.
This has been a huge strain on my partner and I, both emotionally and financially, although we both love our DS to pieces so in that respect it has been worth it. However during my hospital stay we were prone to a few arguments, and some of them got quite heated due to the nature of what me and my partner had been through, with being so far away from home and the pressures of my heart condition. One such argument got really heated during my stay at the hospital and I was quite upset with my partner and staff had overheard my partner being quite argumentative with me. To cut a long story short, after one heated dispute, social services were called and I spent several days with them integrating me about my relationship with my partner and this has resulted in threats from social services that if I was to go back with my partner, then my son will be under the child protection register and potentially be taken away from us.
I am currently staying with my parents and my partner is back home, which is a good hour and half away from where my parents live. A social worker in the local area came to see me last Monday and has basically said the same as the social workers in hospital, that if i go back with my partner, with my son, then he is at risk of being taken away from us until they are happy with the results of an investigation that they are currently undertaking with regards to us living together as a family.
My partner is not denying that he was in the wrong with the disagreement, but we have spoken and resolved the issue and are desperate to get back together as a family. However I feel very bullied by Social services and I am scared to go down to him in case my DS does get taken away. I would like to know if Social services do have any powers to take my baby away on the fact that we were arguing and heated words were said. They feel that my partner has a temper and could potentially harm our baby. Something which has been blown completely out of proportion and my partner would not harm a hair on his DS.
I am at my wits end, so sorry if this post doesn't make a lot of sense. I would just like some support and advice on what to do in this situation as well as what powers social services actually have on this matter. When both the social worker at the hospital and the social worker at my parents started on about DS being taken away if we didn't co-operate with them, there was nothing in writing, it was just a verbal threat. Therefore without anything in writing, if I was to go down to my partner's with my son, do they have any rights to take him away on a verbal threat? I just don't know what to do and the fact that this is my first child, I have just had major surgery with the C - section and my DS and I are far away from my partner is just causing more stress and heartache.
What did he say?
Tbh I think they are right to be concerned. He has shown that he can't control his temper under stress, and having a small baby is stressful especially combined with the lack of sleep.
What do your parents think?
What an awful time for you. What was he thinking though shouting at you in hospital.
Congrats on your new baby. So sorry it's not under more blissful circs.
I think you have to work with SS on this - it's good they're so proactive about your baby's welfare.
I am somewhat concerned that you are focusing more on defending your partner and checking whether SS have the authority to remove your child - often a glib line but in this case I think it's true: if he does nothing wrong, he'll have nothing to fear.
I hope you're not the only one stressing and researching and trying to make everything alright; you have just given birth and are looking after a baby - other people should be taking care of everything else for you.
I don't think its uncommon for first time parents to argue due to the stress, let alone with the extra stress you two have had to cope with.
From your OP it does sound quite heavy handed. Is there any more to it at all? Are they happy that you can provide all the care for your DS or do they feel you need extra support that your parents are providing and ex could not (due to medical reasons for example?)
Being put on the register is not ideal, but it doesn't mean your children are going to be taken into care.
Have they left you with anything in writing at all?
Presumably, if you went to your home with DP that would be in another area and SS from that area would need to come out and see you and take over the investigation?
If SS want to remove a child from its parents, they can not do it off their own back. They would need to either call police to come and remove the child (police would then make a decision as to whether there was an immediate concern for the child's welfare, i.e, state of home, food in cupboards, state of parents etc) or go to court and obtain permission from them (they would have to provide evidence to obtain this)
SS do remove children from a parent who continues to return to an abusive partner, as they are deemed as unable to protect the child from harm. However, I've never heard of this happening especially quickly, and I did think usually there was something formal in place, multi-agency meetings you would be present at and a kind of 'contract' you would sign.
Just going by your OP it doesn't sound like you are getting the support you need and it does sound like you are being a bit bullied.
Is SS in communication with your DP too? (Because they should be!)
What do your parents think?
I would hope that SS has the power to take a child on the basis of a verbal threat, especially if made in public, whilst you were sick in hosp needing his support...eg. if he said he was going to hurt you or baby (I'll punch your lights out if you xyz, I'll track you down and kill you both if you xxy) I would want them checking on the family and potentially removing the child.
I think the hospital realises that if these threats are made , then worse can happen in private. Have they suggested anger management classes/counselling for him?
I understand this is horrible, and you want to be home with your partner, but there is also this little baby to consider... please take some time out to recover from c/s and work with SS to make you and the baby safe. Perhaps say to your partner that you won't be discussing coming home for at least another 4 weeks, to give yourself time to focus on healing and baby.
I wonder if, in your desire to be a family, you are perhaps minimising what happened in this argument. What has your relationship been like up to now. Would you say it's been volatile, or was this row at the hospital a one-off? And was it a row, or more of a one-sided rant from him?
I think these things are relevant as to whether SS are justified in their concern. And do your parents share their concerns? They presumably know more about your partner and your relationship than SS.
I don't think we can judge the situation without knowing what was said it must have been pretty bad for SS to be called I don't imagine they would come for a few heated words.
OP there is a detailed and usually very lengthy process from Ss being involved to them potentially taking your baby away - the only reason they would do that is if they seriously believe your baby to be at immediate harm.
I think you need to work with them - sit down, talk through what their concerns are, tell them that you want to get back together with their partner and ask what exactly you and he need to do in order for them to be happy with this. Try to have witnesses at this meeting and get any requests from them in writing.
I can't imagine they would be involved unless they were seriously concerned - so please try to take a breather from your relationship and perhaps accept an enforced break from your partner might be for the best. If he seriously is sorry, then he can wait while this is resolved.
Uhmm social services don't put children on the at risk register if the father occasionally argues with the mother, otherwise all our kids would be on it! He must have really lost it in the hospital for them to say that or there is some big back story here.
I agree with monkey I would imagine there's a lot more going on that the OP has omitted from her post.
SS do have the power to remove a baby or child from a situation they have concerns about, and you would be seen as not co-operating with them and potentially not having the baby's best interests at heart if you go back to him right now. I too am concerned that he must have been really quite inappropriate and aggressive in hospital for SS to have been called. I understand he was stressed and upset at the time with all you were both going through, but really, that is no excuse. Babies can be very challenging at times and he needs to not lose it when you're both frazzled through lack of sleep / baby crying. Why don't you ring SS and ask to talk to your social worker again in person? If you genuinely believe that he is not an aggressive person and is not a danger in any way to you or your baby (shouting and screaming is not acceptable in front of a baby either), then ask the SW what you or he can do to help this process. Does he have anger issues normally? If so he could do anger management classes. Anything you and he can do which appears to be helpful and keen to aid SS will be in your favour.
I believe you. I don't think some on here do but considering I had SS called on me by the hospital for simply trying to get the hospital to note and stick to the pain-free gap I could open my SPD riddled legs when doing a spinal to forceps DD1 out... I know how some hospitals can act sometimes. In our case the SS referral was dismissed incredibly quickly by one very irked social worker at the waste of time.
Lots on here tend to assume guilt in the event of SS being called or brought in at all - but how you proceed from here - I don't know. I just know that sometimes it feels like people assume guilt and it makes it all feel shittier so I'm getting that across as badly as I am.
3 weeks on a maternity ward in hospital would strain any relationship and make everyone tense though - I did a fortnight and it drove me mildly bonkers by that point!
I spent nearly a month before having ds on the ward and then ds was in scbu for 3 weeks-the strain was incredible. If we'd argued loud enough and to
the point where I was so visibly upset the staff noticed then I wouldn't have been surprised if the ss had been called tbh.
Also it would have been incredibly disrespectful to others to inflict our arguments on other people,I can't imagine either of us doing such a thing even though we're both really fiery tempered.
I imagine the ss are concerned as if your partner failed to see how inappropriate this was then they are probably concerned as to how he'll behave at home.
Also IF my husband had argued with me like that just after I'd given birth I think I'd probably embrace ss being called and want him escorted from the hospital pretty damn quick and away from me asap. From your post OP it comes across as though you think this is normal behaviour which is worrying.
What kind of man gets nasty with the mother of his unborn child when she is in hospital with a heart condition?
Seriously I would work with SS on this one. If he can't be kind when you are at your most vulnerable then it doesn't bode well.
Why are you defending him?
Yes thats what i want to know - poor you xx
Also you say in your OP that this happened repeatedly, really this is not on at all.
Sorry, too many questions, I'll shut up now
Congratulations on the arrival of your son .
Are you in the UK?
SW cannot 'just take a baby away' and if they are talking about putting him on the protection register they are likely to have very serious concerns.
Would it help you to reread your thread from July? Your partner sounds like a liability to me and not like a loving, supportive person or father .
Stay with your parents and consider all your options very carefully.
Consider your longterm happiness and your son's.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.