Author Topic: Sad grandmother  (Read 6034 times)

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Jana

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Sad grandmother
« on: March 28, 2011, 08:12:47 PM »
Here is my story! I need some help, please!!!!!
My daughter was married two years ago and last year she got pregnant with my first grandchild. I am 72 years old, she is the only child I have. All went along well, until before Christmas, when she got pre eclampsia, that took over her life. She worried all the time, had bouts of depression. She was ordered bed rest, but not total, but she did not want to do anything, just surf on the net for health related problems. I came over every day to cheer her up and she wanted me to be there, also in the hospital. She was in the hospital last two weeks of her pregnancy and it was decided to induce labor month in advance, which was the best alternative for both, mom and the baby. Through the labor, of which she asked me to be present, she had some problems and doctors decided to perform Cesarean section. Her husband is a sweetheart and very supportive in every which way. We get along very well. The baby was born slightly under weight, but not needing steroids for lungs or an incubator.
He stayed in the hospital for few days and she was discharged little earlier. While visiting in the hospital I asked her if I could hold him and she said "no" we have to go, we don't have the time. I did not say anything. Baby came home and is two weeks old and I have not seen him or held him, yet. My husband and I have received one E mail in which we were asked that they would like to lay low for few days, not to visit. In a week we have received another E mail with pretty much the same message, no pictures of the baby. I reply that since we can't see the baby, could we at least have some pictures, we got picture later that day.  I can understand that they need time for themselves, but would half an hour visit from us be too much to ask for? He comes from very large family and has lots of siblings and we think that that could be part of the problem, it would be too overwhelming for my daughter to have so many people. I don't want to call my daughter, when she doesn't call me, yet I am so worried that there is something wrong, she said she felt robbed by having Cesarean. I don't know what to do and I torture myself with all the worries! What if she is depressed, she said her husband gets up and feeds the baby at night. What should I do? Please help!!!!

cadagi101

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 09:17:34 PM »
Here is my story! I need some help, please!!!!!
My daughter was married two years ago and last year she got pregnant with my first grandchild. I am 72 years old, she is the only child I have. All went along well, until before Christmas, when she got pre eclampsia, that took over her life. She worried all the time, had bouts of depression. She was ordered bed rest, but not total, but she did not want to do anything, just surf on the net for health related problems. I came over every day to cheer her up and she wanted me to be there, also in the hospital. She was in the hospital last two weeks of her pregnancy and it was decided to induce labor month in advance, which was the best alternative for both, mom and the baby. Through the labor, of which she asked me to be present, she had some problems and doctors decided to perform Cesarean section. Her husband is a sweetheart and very supportive in every which way. We get along very well. The baby was born slightly under weight, but not needing steroids for lungs or an incubator.
He stayed in the hospital for few days and she was discharged little earlier. While visiting in the hospital I asked her if I could hold him and she said "no" we have to go, we don't have the time. I did not say anything. Baby came home and is two weeks old and I have not seen him or held him, yet. My husband and I have received one E mail in which we were asked that they would like to lay low for few days, not to visit. In a week we have received another E mail with pretty much the same message, no pictures of the baby. I reply that since we can't see the baby, could we at least have some pictures, we got picture later that day.  I can understand that they need time for themselves, but would half an hour visit from us be too much to ask for? He comes from very large family and has lots of siblings and we think that that could be part of the problem, it would be too overwhelming for my daughter to have so many people. I don't want to call my daughter, when she doesn't call me, yet I am so worried that there is something wrong, she said she felt robbed by having Cesarean. I don't know what to do and I torture myself with all the worries! What if she is depressed, she said her husband gets up and feeds the baby at night. What should I do? Please help!!!!

Jana I wish I could offer you more and I am sure someone else will.   My immediate thoughts are...she may have a bit of post natel depression, maybe you could read up on that.       She may feel a failure not haveing had a natural birth, there is so much pressure on mother's to and she said dh feeds baby in the night (which is great)   Dad's are so much more "hands on these days"  not like years ago,  it doesn't wave red flags.   Again the pressure to breastfeed is there as well and it isn't always an option.  I wonder if you breastfed?  Does she see you as having been a mother that took her baby  in her stride, I know I thought my mum was great with her babies and she managed everything else brilliantly plus kept a spotless house......(reality sheck)    If i asked my mother I'm, sure she would tell me a few home truths.      That didn't stop me thinking she was "mother of the year"   

I know i felt like i couldn't live up to mum's standards (imagined)  when I had my baby.

That aside she and dh might just need time to themselves.  You said in your post he is a sweetheart so feel happy that she has his support.  Having a baby is such a huge adjustment dh probably just wants to lay low as well and rightfully so if dd isn't feeling up to visitor's then he should abide by her wishes.   As for sending photo's that can be timeconsuming which is something they do not have.     She sent you an emailing stating her wishes to ligh low so you need to respect her wishes.      If she does need help, she has dh and if she needs you she will ask for you.   

   My dsister  had trouble breastfeeding, and would cry about it, the health nurse would also weigh baby everyday and expressed her concern bub wasn't putting on weight.     I on the other hand told ds not to worry a bit, just offer  now and then when baby wants it she'll feed it'll be Ok.    Mum on the other hand told me with tears in her eyes I feel useless, I can't help her, I think I should go home.   Mum and I travelled 7 hours to see her.   

Can you see the confusion??  In the end we left her and her dh to themselves,  all was well everyone is happy it just took a bit of readjustment on all our parts.     Babies 2 and 3 were a breeze she got into the swing of things, first bub can be a trying time.       Can I also suggest kindly that when you do visit, only if she  asks you to don't clean the house.    You may of course offer, hard as it might be to understand that small gesture shouts out loud and clear to some new mums, oh no my mum doesn't  think I'm coping..chances are she may be feeling like that if baby is demanding and might not sleep well for a few more weeks or months...

I hope this helps a bit, please just try not to worry that something must be terribly wrong with dm or baby.      Chances are everything is fine.     

Offline Scoop

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 05:34:05 AM »
Jana - please don't take your daughter's actions personally.  It's not meant as a slight against you.

She could have died at any time in the past few weeks / months.  Her baby could have died.  Of course she's hoarding her time with him, she almost lost him.  You know how sometimes, an emergency happens and you keep it together and you get things done, and then when it's over, you're shaking and crying?  It sounds like she kept it together for months, and now she's having the reaction.

Also, some Moms have a VERY strong reaction when they don't get the birth of their dreams.  They often call it birth-trauma or even birth-rape.  Some of these women end up with PTSD over it.   And you can't compare similar births, saying "well I had a c-section and it didn't trouble me" (not that I think you're saying that, but it's something *I* could say), because it's entirely dependent on the woman and how strong her expectations were for her ideal birth.

One more thing, it's still flu season here.  Premature babies are more susceptible to illness.  She might be afraid of 'germs'.  She already almost lost him and she may not be taking any more chances.

Give her time.  Time will heal her.  As she sees him getting stronger and she sees that she's taking good care of him, she'll come around.  Keep sending her messages of support.  Send over a gift certificate for a take out meal.  Ask her if you can do anything for her.  Tell her that you won't be calling her, for fear of waking her or the baby up, but you welcome her calls at anytime, day or night.

overwhelmed123

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 06:43:15 AM »
Jana,

I agree with Scoop.  There's no sense in feeling slighted by your daughter's actions because they really don't have anything to do with you.  Just make sure she knows you support her and will be there for her if she needs help with anything and give her some time to adjust.  Sounds like she's got a great H who will know if she needs "help."  If you have a good enough relationship with him, you could talk to him directly just to check up on her, meaning ask him how she's feeling and if she's doing okay, and let him know he can call you day or night if he needs anything.

Offline Pen

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 07:37:56 AM »
Jana, I'm so sorry you're feeling left out of this time with GS and DD. It's especially painful when your DD wanted you around before his birth but suddenly changed her mind afterwards. I'm concerned about her mental and physical state, and I'm sure that's what's foremost on your mind too. I hope things improve when your DD becomes more confident about the health of her son and her abilities as a mom.

I'm curious about this "perfect birth" syndrome. When DH & I went to birthing classes the instructors taught us to not have expectations that might make us disappointed if the birth didn't go exactly as hoped for. They stressed that sometimes changes must be made for the health of baby and mom, and that all births are beautiful and special in their own way. Do they not cover this in birthing classes nowadays?

And what if a child is born with disabilities - do the parents resent him or her for not being perfect? Is this a trend that mirrors the entitlement many young people exhibit these days? Big, upscale homes and fancy cars from the get go? Designer bags and jewelry? Perfect birth and perfect kid? Unfortunately life dishes out other experiences that are often more rewarding in the long run.

Sorry, got off on a rant. Jana, I truly am sorry you're hurting. Take care of yourself and be ready to go to them when they indicate the time is right. You're a good GM!

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

L

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 08:30:13 AM »
Congratulations on being a grandmother.  Your daughter is probably just overwhelmed.  A cesarean is a major operation also so she may be totally exhausted.  I really think she is just stressed with it all.  I wouldn't read to much into it.  I would just let her know you love her and are proud of her and if she needs you for anything that you are there and you can't wait to see the baby!  Maybe you could offer to bring over a casserole or food?  Again, congratulations!


Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 10:25:34 AM »
Sad grandmother:

Try not to feel rejected , after the unexpected speedy birth of your GS has been a shock to your DS system .
I can't see how a phone call would hurt , put your mind at rest .as there have been no cross words between you
I can't imagine she would object to a call . If your SIL answers you could speak to him .
There is always attachment parenting which my DIL practised , if she is going down that route , I hope she
lets you know about it .
that cuddle will be all the more special when it comes ...grandma ... :)

Offline Pooh

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 12:51:58 PM »
Welcome Jana and congratulations on your GC.  It is very hard to not feel used, when you gave so much during her pregnancy and she welcomed it, and then nothing.  Totally understandable that you are confused, worried and hurt.  We are so excited to be GPs that we have expectations of getting to hold our GC and help.   It is not a purposeful intention to be intrusive, we are just excited and think that is how it works.

I agree with the other ladies here.  There could be many different things going on.  She has been so stressed mentally during this pregnancy and birth, that she probably has just crashed mentally.  And she probably had her own expectations of coming home, running around with the baby, pampering her baby, doing everything, etc., that now that she is so tired, she feels bad she can't do it all.  Give her time and like everyone said, just offer support in any way possible right now.  Don't push it, offer it once and be patient.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

holliberri

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 01:35:37 PM »
Pen is right about the pressure they place on Moms about that natural delivery. I don't think it's entitlement, but our society does give you the standards you're "supposed" to live up to and depending on the birthing class you take, there's tremendous amount of pushing you to try and give birth one ideal way. I had a nurse say to me on my way into deliver, "You'll give birth like a REAL woman...the natural way." They make it a gold standard: natural, no pain meds, skin to skin contact right away. It's all about bonding and experience and ya-di-ya-di-ya-da.

Well, I failed to jump that hurdle b/c I didn't even go into labor naturally. I was induced, and pitocin is nasty stuff. If I was a little less secure and less of a whimp, I might not have been begging for an epidural so soon, but alas, I'm a whimp, and I didn't care at that point! Then 29 hours later, I was still fighting with the doctor  and telling him that I could deliver naturally. He started laughing at me and left the room to prep for surgery, and said this baby needs out NOW, whether you or her agree with me or not.

And that skin to skin contact immediately after birth? That's a no-go with a c-section. I was like, "My baby won't know who I am...this is the most important part of the bonding process. Where are you taking her??? Can't she stay in here??" The doctor was like, "Um...she needs her nails trimmed and excuse me, CAN YOU EVEN WIGGLE YOUR TOES?"

You know what? DD is totally fine; we're bonded, maybe a little too much AND you know what? I still call myself a real woman.

But still, this affected me for quiet a few weeks; people spent so much time telling me "how to give birth the right way" that I believed them. And, it is an experience that if you have a c-section, you don't get to say you had. It's such an event that I can see where there might even be a grieving process for some women.

I also kept my family at bay, b/c DH agreed to keep his at bay for my sake, so I could see where something like this happened. I'm very sorry Jana, but I do think you'll get to see the GB soon. It's such an upheaval, that I think everyone handles it differently. Good luck. I hope everyone settles in to a smoother rhythm soon.

Offline pam1

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 02:17:27 PM »
I think you will see your GC soon too.  Just give them a little time, these things are so hard b/c everyone is so different.

People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Jana

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 02:50:23 PM »
Thanks you all for taking the time to explain things from different views. My husband spoke to my daughter today, while I was out and was told that the baby is not gaining weight, in fact lost little bit, D is on high blood pressure prescription drug, which does pass into the maternal milk. He is so tiny about 4 pounds he can't afford to be loosing weight! Nurse did not suggest formula feeding I am worried that the milk is not the best with the medication in it. It is all so hard, when you cannot discuss it, because I am afraid to even touch the subject for fear that she would get mad at me and tell me that it's none of my business. I do think she might be depressed and that must be affecting the baby too! It is such a hopelesss feeling for me! I don't want to ask to come and see the baby, because I respect their wishes, but I fidn it all so hard. After all I want the best for that baby and for everybody involved. I always believed in communication, but my D is the opposite, she just shuts everybody out!

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 03:03:44 PM »
hi Jana
Not sure of the procedure in your country , but here the midwife visits every day till 14 days .
I'm  sure as he is tiny they will keep a watchful eye on him .Are you sure she is breastfeeding? If he doesn't put weight on , I think they will recommend  formula milk .
Once he is thriving , I'm sure she will welcome a visit . She will be so confused and worried that she is doing everything right .
Some new Moms accept help , whilst others don't .

holliberri

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 03:46:35 PM »
Jana,

That must be so hard, for you and them. I hope he starts thriving and gaining weight like he should. Make sure you keep us posted. I think you're managing as best you can.

Jana

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 04:58:42 PM »
I just phoned my D and offered help and was told the baby has an umbilical cord infection and is not gaining weight, has the same weight as born 10 days ago. I asked if they needed some help and I was told they don't need me to burden them on top of everything else (appointments, feedings and so on). The nurse sees him in community clinic and I can't understand how come they are not concerned with his weight, an umbilical cord infection can also be so serious for little baby like that! My D was telling me that she has headaches and doesn't feel well. As a mother I feel helpless and all I can do is just sit here and cry!

L

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Re: Sad grandmother
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 04:59:29 PM »
4 pounds?  I didn't even know you could bring a baby home from the hospital that small.  I thought they had to be at least almost 5 pounds.  My daughter was 5"11 at birth.  Actually, it is not uncommon for babies to lose a little right after birth in beginning before gaining, but not sure if that's the case with a baby only 4 pounds.  Breast milk is best, don't know about her medicine, but I would think she would probably discussed that with the doctor's at the hospital before she went home.

It is natural that you would be worried but try to remain calm and positive.  It will do you or DD no good if you get yourself worried sick.  Give it some time.  You have to let her be the mom.  I'm sure everything will work out.  Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and just call and ask her if she wants you to drop her off a Wendy's burger or something!  Lol!  I know I would not say no to that!  (or whatever your daughter loves to eat!)  Hang in there.  Sending prayers and good thoughts!  :)