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Not letting grandparents see ill child.

(99 Posts)
MultipleMama Thu 24-Apr-14 14:31:48

I'd like some prospective on this and whether or not I'm being unreasonable.

DS (20w adj) is pretty ill in ICU with Encephalitis caused by measles and so far only DH & I have visited per our request. My PiL for the first week offered to look after our other DC, which I am so grateful for.

Now, they're asking if they can come and see him, and I've been making every excuse possible of why they can't and I think they're starting to catch on. Our relationship has only just got back on track after some strain between DH & his parents. They feel I'm pushing them out again.

I just... I just don't want them to visit, I don't want anyone to visit. I don't want the sympathy, the pity looks, the tears (I'm barely holding it together myself), I don't want their bullshits beliefs (Catholic & traditional) God is not going to help him. I'm angry and emotional and I feel like I may snap at them. Plus we've been holding back how ill he really is.

I don't want to lie anymore but I cannot deal with another fall out by being honest. I haven't the energy for it. DH is still on rocky ground with his parents and wants to avoid conflict. We're stuck.

Am I being selfish? Unreasonable? If you were a parent/grandparent how would you deal/feel? I need advice, please.

TheBogQueen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:36:39


I think you should let them see him even for a few minutes. He is their grandchild. Why not let your DH take them? You could get a cup of tea. Tell them it can only be for 10 minutes.

I'm really sorry this is happening to you and your family.

TheBogQueen Thu 24-Apr-14 14:37:34

IS there anyone else you can talk to? A friend?

SweepTheHalls Thu 24-Apr-14 14:41:32

I really think you should let them we him, they love their GC too. I understand about not being able to deal with the emotions of others, and DH in with them and have a cup of tea by yourself or with a fiend for 10 minutes. I hope DS recovers soon.

MrsD0nnaLyman Thu 24-Apr-14 14:41:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spatchcock Thu 24-Apr-14 14:42:47

Oh you poor thing. Sending you hugs and get well vibes to your boy. DD2 is also 20 weeks and they are still so heartbreakingly small.

I imagine they are worried about him too. Could you do as BogQueen suggested and let them see him for a very short time? You could stay out of the room (if you're comfortable with that) so you don't have to listen to any God stuff.

onetiredfromthesugarhighmummy Thu 24-Apr-14 14:46:41

I'm so sorry about your DS sad

I think you need to compromise on this one tbh, they are his grandparents & their request is not unreasonable. However I also understand the need to avoid their reaction to it & their platitudes however well meaning they are. Get your DH to deal with them when they visit & just take yourself out of the arrangements altogether.

I hope things improve.

Thurlow Thu 24-Apr-14 14:49:14

I'm so sorry, thinking positive thoughts here for your poor DS and your family.

I get where you are coming from. You barely trust them again after a difficult time.

However I do think, in the nicest possible way, that you need to remember that they are your DS's grandparents and their relationship with him, as grandparents and grandchild, deserves that they should be able to visit him.

Not wanting the tears and sympathy is completely understandable, but unless there is something terrible in your relationship with them (which I'm assuming there isn't, if you are happy for them to look after your other DC) they deserve their chance to feel those emotions and to see your DS.

Not wanting the god stuff I also get. Can your DH go with them so you don't have to be there and hear their prayers, if that's what they will do?

But I do think that at the end of the day, your IL's deserve to see their grandson - and your DS deserves to see them too, even though he is so tiny.

flowers for all of you x

CrazyOldCatLady Thu 24-Apr-14 14:52:14

They're probably desperately worried to and it would probably mean a huge amount to them.When DS was in the NICU, there was a rule that there could only be 2 visitors at a time and one of them had to be a parent; maybe your hospital could conveniently have a similar rule so DH could bring them while you popped out for a few minutes? That way you wouldn't have to deal with them.

On the other hand, you need to do whatever it takes to get yourself and your family through this - that's your first priority. If the PILs need to take a step back for that to happen, then they'll have to accept that.

I understand how you feel, the endless questions and sympathy and god stuff used to get to me too. And the 'ah sure, there's not a bother on that child, I don't know what she's talking about' when the paediatrician wouldn't declare him to be definitely free of brain damage and said that it would take years to be sure. Sometimes the most well meaning comments can hit a nerve.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Thu 24-Apr-14 14:56:52

Either do what is suggested above.


'I'm sorry, but we (WE, not you) just aren't up to having visitors in with him at the moment. It's generally just parents in ICU and we're happier with that at the moment.'

Your DH says this, not you.

You have a very sick child: if they are people worth being back on good terms with, they will understand. Or they should. And you should not feel at all guilty for not wanting to accommodate their wishes above yours.

And if they are the sort to then parrot away about God's will and oooh how ill he looks and all the rest of it even after you've stayed away from the visit itself, and if you're likely to snap at that, then allowing a visit might do more harm than good to an already fragile relationship.

Hope your little boy is better soon.

Lweji Thu 24-Apr-14 15:21:13

I don't think I'd let anyone go and see such a poor child, regardless.

You can tell them that the doctors won't let anyone but the parents visit.

The last thing he needs is exposure to more germs.

And such a young baby won't even know them, so there's no benefit for the child from GPs visits.

I hope he gets better soon. thanks

YellowTulips Thu 24-Apr-14 15:36:09

So sorry to hear about your child. It's an awful situation. No wonder you feel at the end of your emotional tether. thanks

However I think you need to revisit your stance here.

Preventing your PIL's from a visit is a very harsh position and one your relationship with them might not recover from.

They have helped out with your other children and have thus in this dreadful situation been supportive.

However if you feel unable to allow a short visit then I think you should tell them straight. "We don't want anyone to visit right now because quite frankly we are struggling to hold it together. We can't bear trying to be supportive to anyone else's upset as all our focus is on our son. We really appreciate all the support you have given so far and would ask for some more in the form of your understanding that we need to get through the next few days and week (insert appropriate time frame) before we feel able to have visitors. We will keep you in touch with any developments and promise we will let you visit as soon as we can."


shakinstevenslovechild Thu 24-Apr-14 15:47:02

I am so sorry, what a difficult time for you thanks

I felt exactly as you did when my baby was very ill in NICU, I really put my foot down and said no visitors, I didn't want, and wouldn't have coped with people crying and being upset and seeking comfort from me, nor would I have liked sympathy and head tilts and 'are you coping alright's from anyone either.

Personally I think you are doing the right thing. You don't need any additional stress at the moment, and you don't need to be pushed into making a choice you aren't comfortable with for anyone else's benefit.

thanks thanks thanks for you all. I hope your little boy has a speedy recovery xx

MultipleMama Thu 24-Apr-14 15:50:44

Thank you. We moved to a new country and the beginning of the year, and the school year hasn't started yet, so not had the chance to make friends, but we are surrounded by DH's family.

DH has already voiced that he doesn't mind being there for the visit but told me point blank that refuses to let them prayer in his room or be there longer than 15 minutes. He's not happy about it - he doesn't want them visiting at all (he's become more detached than me) but he'll do it if I ask.

They are great grandparents, and love the DC very much, and I know most of problem is because of the relationship between us and wanting to avoid confrontation (without a doubt I'd let my dad and brother visit) which I know is totally unfair and selfish.

I feel like if they visit, the control I have over the situation is gone and I'm prepared for them to ask when can they visit next - which they will do.

I think I'd rather tell them together, I don't want to shove everything on DH.

MultipleMama Thu 24-Apr-14 15:58:53

I'm still conflict. On one hand he's our child, and what we say goes, and I'd rather them not see him like that, and I don't want them there, I don't, but on the other hand, they are worried and concerned and love him.

TwelveLeggedWalk Thu 24-Apr-14 16:08:31

What reasons have you been giving for them not going? Can you just keep saying the doctors don't want any additional visitors just yet? OR do they know other people have been to see him?

NOTHING you feel or want is unreasonable in this situation. I do understand a tiny bit how you feel though - mine were not critical for very long but I still get inexplicably cross when MIL talks about the DTs in NICU, because it just feels like hitchhiking on someone else's trauma. Yes, I know she did worry, and she loves them dearly now, but in those days it was basically Fuck All to do with anyone else. It wasn't even about us, it was about the little people in the incubators, and I find it irrationally riling when anyone else talks about that time being 'difficult'.

I also had absolutely no idea how to respond when people said they were praying for them because it felt like a cop-out from doing something useful.

DocDaneeka Thu 24-Apr-14 16:12:43

I think most NICU will only let parents in, as infection control. I'd spin some line about limiting exposure to additional germs if you can't face letting them in.

MultipleMama Thu 24-Apr-14 17:03:15

We've been using the excuses that only 2 visitors allowed and a parent must be present - which is true but they waver that for 30 minutes for prearranged visits. Mainly tell them that I have no time to take them as we have no babysitter and DH is tired after work and other crap excuses. No one else has visited besides myself and DH.

The ward has strict visiting rules anyway but they overhead DH say he was gunna go to the hospital after work again.

We've told them already that ds is pretty ill and would rather wait before bringing in visitors and then reply with comments like "if he's that ill then of course we must visit", or "we'd like to give him kisses, just so he remembers us" I know what they mean by the comments but on a frayed mind they sound depressing...

keely79 Thu 24-Apr-14 17:12:08

First of all, I am so, so sorry. DS was in the ICU (thankfully only for a few days) when he was six weeks old and I remember what a difficult time it was. thanks thanks

However, and I know this will be difficult to hear, I really think you should let them visit - if only for 10 minutes or so. They love him and that is a very precious thing.

I would say to them something along the lines of:

"we understand why you would like to visit, and that you love him very much, and would like to make that possible, but as we're all under a lot of strain would like to lay ground rules so that we can all be there for [child] without any external issues getting in the way. So, while we respect your beliefs, butplease can you refrain from praying in the room itself, and please can you limit your visit to 15 minutes to avoid tiring out [child] or exposing him to too many outside germs, etc."

kentishgirl Thu 24-Apr-14 17:15:49

Well, to be honest, they are thinking of what you are finding difficult to think about.

But they would like to see him because not every baby will come home from ICU, and it's important to them to have been able to have even 5 minutes with him should the worst happen. Sorry, I know that's depressing, and everyone is hoping otherwise (that's all praying is, too), but I think it would be very harsh to deny them one visit. It can be on your terms, and spelled out it's a one-off.

They love your little boy and have been supporting you. Sometimes you have to put things behind you - in the bigger scale of things is the reason you fell out so important now?

kentishgirl Thu 24-Apr-14 17:17:23

And it would be very reasonable to have a no touching rule for the visit. It might help you feel more comfortable with the visit, and it makes sense from a medical stance (germs). Definitely no kisses!

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 24-Apr-14 17:35:23

I'm so sorry his ill.

Having been on the sidelines of similar recently, I do absolutely believe that what you and your DH and the health care team want is absolutely the most important thing, don't doubt yourself in that.

However, I also think family support can be really vital, and it might be worth setting out some rules, dh going with them and seeing how it goes.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 24-Apr-14 17:36:43

Oh, gah. I meant to write that I'm sorry your son is so ill. It's really tough flowers.

cjelh Thu 24-Apr-14 17:48:48

We had dgson born prem and we stepped back, looked after other dgcs etc and just said you know we love to meet him but will wait until your ready.

If I were you I'd blame it on ICU and say its parents only .

Sunnydaysablazeinhope Thu 24-Apr-14 17:55:32

I'm so sorry.

Is this final? I mean oh help is he in recovery or um not? I'm not sure truthfully I could share the precious moments left. If it's the second...?

My thoughts is no, not unless significant improvement.... I just couldn't bear my dh and I to lose one moment left. I say keep the bubble intact. Ultimately baby wants parents, and truthfully, hurt fully, probably mummy.

I am so so sorry. Hugs. Just hugs.

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