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Baby in SCBU, mother not interested,

(54 Posts)
clareg Tue 24-Aug-10 00:50:40


My brother (27) and his wife (19) seperated 1 month after they got married, after she told him that she only married him to use him as a sperm donor and get pregnant. She got pregnant and found out she was expecting twins. They live at the opposite end of the country to us and I don't really speak to my brother (long story) although he speaks to my mum. He was told he that she didnt want him to have access or see the children at all. He isntructed a solicitor and knows his rights.

The twins were born last week. She called him yesterday to tell him they had been born and said that one of the baby's is sick in special care as she has a birth defect.

As soon as my brother found out, he went to the hospital and will be going back there every day. She has not been to see the baby in SCBU until today, and only because she knew that my brother wuld be going and didnt want him there with the baby alone. Apparently she has shown no interest in the babies whereas he has been taking responsibile actions and is staying at the hospital- she didnt even want to stay at the hospital where the sick baby is with the other twin.

The sick baby is having a major operation on Thursday and the mother has said she will not be there and she doesnt know when she will be going back to the hospital. It is as if she only wants to take care of the "perfect" baby who is at home. I have 2 girls and my eldest one was in special care for a week and we barely left her side, so I am having a really hard time trying to understand why this girl does not want to see the baby. All I can think of is that poor sick baby lying in an incubator devoid of human touch and love, wondering where the person who she has lived inside for 9 months is.

I called the hospital and left my number for the girl to call me. When she called me, she screamed down the phone at me and basically gave me abuse when I asked how the babies were and said that our family could not see them and she wanted nothing to do with them. My Mum desperately wants to be a grandma to them and I pointed out how hard the girl is going to find it with twins and one who has to have a colostomy bag changed 10 times a day. I am really worried about these children as she is clearly not interested in the baby in SCBU and I feel so helpless. She made it clear she only got pregnant to get the house and benefits, and I hate to think what sort of life she is going to give these kids.

Sorry, just wanted to vent as I can't believe some people are allowed to have children. I have been so upset, I had to give my girls an extra big hug when I saw them after I got in from work tonight. I can't believe this girl is just concerned about herself and causing drama and hurt, and not these poor defenceless babies who didn't ask to be born :-(

I am so worried about what will happen to them, as I'm sure its going to end up with social services involved. I havent been able to ascertain whether they are involved already. Its sad when a family has no rights when the mother is so horrible :-(

MmeLindt Tue 24-Aug-10 00:54:21

So sorry for you and your family, it sounds like a horrible situation. I hope that your brother's baby recovers well from the operation.

Has your brother spoken to a solicitor about his legal rights?

ladysybil Tue 24-Aug-10 00:56:30

has she been seen by someone? does she have pnd? there is more to this story than you know, or have told us here. the birth adn the last week are only a snapshot.

hope teh baby has a succesful op, and something really good works out for their future.

FallingWithStyle Tue 24-Aug-10 01:11:50

You sound spectacularly unsympathetic.
Could it not be that she has pnd? Is frightened of bonding with a baby she may lose?
Your brother is visiting the baby, this is good. But I dont see what you can do. Hopefully she will be getting some help and advice from the health professionals involved.
You clearly dont like her, perhaps none of your family do? So I doubt your interferance would be welcome.
You paint her as a rather unpleasant person who is happy to discard one baby cos she has another 'better' one at home - how realistic do you honestly think that is? I imagine she would have a very, very different version of events.
For the time being, unless you can hide your disdain for her, I doubt your involvement will be a positive thing.

TerritorialMosquito Tue 24-Aug-10 01:35:13

she sounds terrified.

hopefully she has someone around who is giving her a lot of support - she is very young to be dealing with this alone. sad

it's very difficult to cope with a very sick baby in scbu without another newborn to look after - she must be in pieces.

your brother needs to offer her help, and speak to his solicitor if he is concerned about either of his babies' welfare.

you need to butt right out. you have made up your mind about this woman and i suspect it will not be possible to change it.

EgyptVanGogh Tue 24-Aug-10 01:47:05

It's very common for mothers of babies in SCBU to feel this way.

Read up.

Have some compassion.

You say you don't talk to your brother. Are you quite sure he has treated her well?

clareg Tue 24-Aug-10 12:49:02

I had a baby in SCBU, so I know how she must be feeling.

I offered her my sympathy and help last night and she screamed at me down the phone and gave me abuse.

I am actually a trainee health professional and have had experience in working with teenage mothers, so I know all the problems and pitfalls which befall them and I know how some young mothers are amazing mothers, but this girl is unwilling to make an effort to see the baby. I never actuallly anticipated this coming up in my own family.

We don't dislike the girl, as we don't know her, we have offered help and held out an olive branch and said that we want to get to know her and help with the girls. I would doubt she has post natal depression as its too early to diagnose less than a week after birth, and she had planned a c section which went well by all accounts. My brother treated her well, she didnt treat him well and chucked him out.

I know its easy to always villanise the father and their family, but sometimes, fathers and their families are desperate to help and offer support and mothers only get pregnant for their own benefits. I'm sure that having twins was not even on her radar when she got pregnant, let alone having one with a defect.

My family and I are good people who just want to help the girl, and yes we have concerns that she won't be a good mother as she doesnt seem to be bothered with the babies and isnt showing typical "motherly" behaviour to the children. She hasnt fed or changed the other baby so I hear- her mother who she lives with has been doing all the work. My main concern is the 2 small babies- regardless of whether we like/get on with the girl or not, and letting the children eventually know that they have an extended family, despite what she may have told them . I am just so upset that these babies who have done nothing wrong are the victims in this whole scenario.

I know how much I love my kids and would do anything for them, so as a mother, I am having a really hard time understanding why she is exhibiting this type of behaviour and is uninterested in the children.

ComeWhineWithMe Tue 24-Aug-10 12:55:22


You come across as very harsh and nasty just the way you call her "This girl" sounds awful.

I had a baby in nicu and it was the most awful thing in the world I wanted to run away a lot in fact I think I did once for a few hours.

LostArt Tue 24-Aug-10 12:57:24

To be fair, you have only heard the story second hand. You don't really how she feels about her children, or the state of her relationship with your brother.

The only thing you can do is be supportive and offer help. It's a sad situation, but you do not know the whole story.

DuncanDisorderly Tue 24-Aug-10 13:01:45

Why do you keep calling her 'the girl'. It's incredibly annoying just reading it, so goodness knows she must pick up on how you feel about her.

Not all mothers feel the same when they have a baby in NICU. You haven't said what the problem is, but I'm not surprised she has switched off and is concentrating all her efforts on the one baby who needs her.

historygirls Tue 24-Aug-10 13:01:53

You are making a lot of assumptions about someone you don't know. She probably doesn't give a shit that a woman she doesn't know is desperate to be a grandma. I left my scbu baby's side plenty of times and I didn't have another newborn to care for. She has had a masive shock and she needs to work through that without placating strangers.

ComeWhineWithMe Tue 24-Aug-10 13:05:11

Did you and your family show an interest and get to know her throughout her PG?

clareg Tue 24-Aug-10 13:40:00

I call her a girl- because thats exactly what she is. I cant say "the woman" because she's not and I'm not going to say her name. I can't say "the mother" because she is not living up to this role, so other than that, not really sure what to call her.

We tried to get to know her during pregnancy but she told us where to go so the only way now I am sensing is through the legal channels.

I am not making assumptions about her, unfortunately, some people are not genetically designed to be mothers and it seems as if being caring and compassionate is not in her DNA.

I was stupid to come on an internet forum and expect some comprehensive advice rather than attacks.

Like I said, everyone always thinks about the mother, but what if that mother doesnt want to look after her kids- what happens then? We all read the horrow stories. These babies who at the end of the day are related to me, are going to grow up in a cycle of deprivation and poverty, with a mother who only wants to have kids so she doesnt have to work (which she has made clear to my own mother).

I guess that is why I am so upset- not whether we get to see the babies or, "play grandma" but those children will grow up in poverty, in an unhappy home with low self esteem and a whole host of other issues, unwilling to play a valid role in society- just as their mother and her mother have. the mother and daughter have no intention of ever working, and are perfectly happy for the state to keep them. (Biased generalisation I know, but its Fact) These children will grow up to be adults who have low self esteem, complex issues and rbecome a product of their own upbringing- and there is nothing my family can do about this- thats why I am upset.

ComeWhineWithMe Tue 24-Aug-10 13:44:48

So she said "I am having the babies to get benefits"?"

I hope to God that once the Mum gets over her shock she runs as far away from you lot as possible because you sound bloody heartless.

Greensleeves Tue 24-Aug-10 13:46:23

your legal rights in respect of her children are nonexistent.

the poor woman must be in bits right now. I know I was after my horrific birth with my baby in SCBU

the best gift you can give that mother and her children is to do one.

GooseyLoosey Tue 24-Aug-10 13:52:11

clareg - when my son was born, I did not bond with him at all and would have been perceived as showing a lack of motherly behaviour. No one could have done anything to help except give me time and space (and some sleep). I bonded with my child but it took a long time and I don't think that this is particularly unusual, especially where there has been some trauma. I think I would give her some space and let her know that you are there for her if she needs you and that you would love to meet your nieces, but only in her time.

As for your brother, he does have rights and needs to properly assert them as part of the divorce settlement. He needs to talk to a lawyer. It may then ben your brother that you have to talk to about the children rather than their mother.

CheeseandGherkins Tue 24-Aug-10 13:55:55

Wow, just because you felt a certain way and had a baby in scbu you do realise that not everyone else feels the same way as you? I had a baby in scbu and I know that not everyone feels the same way.

Why is she a girl? How rude and patronising. She is a woman and a mother. I hope you have a lot more training to do as a "health professional" as you sound like you need it. Sorry if that sounds harsh but that's exactly how you sound towards this poor mother. She probably is absolutely terrified of losing her baby and needs support; not slagging off.

CheeseandGherkins Tue 24-Aug-10 13:57:03

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

HerBeatitude Tue 24-Aug-10 14:00:01

"I had a baby in SCBU, so I know how she must be feeling."

No, you don't know how she is feeling, you know how you felt.

WWID? I would stop making assumptions about her and I would reserve judgement about the relationship with the brother and why she had the babies. I'd also stop listening to malicious gossip about her and I'd stop demanding that she behave in a particular way that fits in with my assumptions of how a "good" mother should behave.

Then i would probably send her a congratulations card with a note saying that if there was anything I could do to help/ support her, to please let me know as I would love to help out. And I'd try to make it clear that I didn't think tht would be on my terms, but on her's.

Shaz10 Tue 24-Aug-10 14:02:35

When I was 19 I was barely capable of looking after myself. To have a baby, let alone twins and one in SCBU at that age is unimaginable to me. I would have never been able to cope and this woman needs help.

Yes it is awful when people don't want to look after their children, and some of the children I teach have suffered neglect, attachment problems etc but this is not the time to decide that this is happening.

Growing up in poverty is not a guarantee that these children will have problems, and even if they do there are people around to help (like me!)

Please don't worry too much about long in the future and concentrate on supporting your brother, this woman and her babies.

Shaz10 Tue 24-Aug-10 14:03:09

Sorry, I meant their babies, of course! blush

ValiumSingleton Tue 24-Aug-10 14:05:19

An awful situation, but if you really want to resolve the situation with goodfeeling all around you need to be aware that your story (sad even if only a third of it is true) sounds extremely one-sided and unsympathetic to the baby's mother. What would her sister's story be!?

My dc2 was born only one month early and it was terrifying. I was a lot older than her and I IGNORED those feelings in my head telling me that this tiny scrap mgiht die and I shouldn't get too attached.

clareg Tue 24-Aug-10 14:08:00

Yes- thats us- unsympathetic and heartless lol. When her kids are in care and adopted because she neglected them,I'll come back and thank you all for your support

Shaz10 Tue 24-Aug-10 14:10:23

Bit difficult to adopt them out if there's a father around, no?

CheeseandGherkins Tue 24-Aug-10 14:11:41

Lol, you've already judged her and that's quite clear to see. I just hope you're never in her situation, feeling what she is feeling, not what you think she should feel. You're ignoring everything that's been said and just going along with what you think should be happening.

Like someone else said, how did your brother treat her? How do you know what it was like?

Don't worry about our support, worry about your support for her, that's what you should be doing. Listen to what people are saying, it's quite normal to feel the way she is and help her!

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