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Now, the inlaw stories! And you just KNOW I've got some (cause we always do in this board, don't we?? )
I'm pleased to report that for the most part the ILs were not worse than usual. I am trying my best to find the good in situations that involve them (heaven knows it's a struggle, but I'm working on it.) My biggest complaint was that I don't think they realized how incredibly difficult it was for DH and I to leave the NICU every night and not bring our son home with us... it is like leaving a body part behind, all I could think about when I wasn't there was how soon I would be back there and back with my baby. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever been through -- there were more than a few times that I found myself sitting in a hospital bathroom sobbing, big, deep, gut wrenching, snotty wet sobbing. And unfortunately the ILs just couldn't seem to wrap their heads around it.
The NICU is a pretty delicate place -- there's a lot of babies there, and more than a few have serious complications. Preemies are tough, but are still vulnerable to stuff that doesn't affect full term babes. Too much stimulation and handling can be really detrimental to a preemie -- their goals are to get bigger and gain weight, and an overload of touching and talking and in-and-out of their isolettes can actually cause some babies to lose weight. That's why it was such a huge problem for me when the grandparents kept on showing up at the hospital -- they'd want to hold him, and talk to him, and play with him, not realizing that all those wires and cords were attached for a reason! Jack's goal was to get bigger and come home, not provide Sunday afternoon entertainment!
It was a problem for me, especially when BIL and SIL started PHONE STALKING DH and I asking when they could come to the hospital (you can't use your cell in the NICU cause it messes up life support equipment.) So every time we left we'd have another message. Finally we called back and left them a message telling them it wasn't a good day and that we'd let them know when they could come by. They left us another message after that telling us "Well, we couldn't get a hold of you so we're just going to head over to the hospital and see if they'll let us meet Jack without you."
Of course the NICU nurses tossed them out on their butts, but can you imagine? Who would have the nerve to prance in there? And how dare THEY decide when they're going to meet MY son?!?! I was livid!
Then one day MIL turns up with her best friend. Our own friends hadn't met him, one of DH's brothers hadn't even met him, but somehow this old bat gets pushed to the front of the line. Jack had a really bad day that day as well -- he was regurging all his feeds, his tummy was in rough shape -- and even the nurse's broad hints about how this wasn't a good day weren't working. I had to bottle Jack and he kept turning to see who was talking ("Look, honey, it's two ugly old women!") They kept leaning over while he was eating and talking to him and distracting him -- finally I had to turn my back to them and say out loud "Okay, Jack, don't get distracted anymore, stop paying attention to them and focus on your bottle." I was just so annoyed -- once again, Jack's condition came second to their entertainment and gratification.
It got so people would just assume they could come see Jack whenever they wanted to -- not thinking that maybe mom and dad needed some time, or that Jack was having a procedure that day, or anything else. They'd just call us and announce "we're going to come to the hospital tonight." I was so sick of it. I was under ridiculous amounts of stress, fear, and worry, and all the ILs could think of was themselves. Nobody ever asked us how we were handling having a baby in NICU, or how I was recovering from my c-section, or if there was anything they could do for us. It was just all ILs, all the time. Two days before he was discharged Jack had his emergency hernia surgery. Not one of the ILs called to see how he was recovering - not ONE. I couldn't believe it. Finally his grandmother (MIL) called about 2 hours after the surgery to see how he'd recovered. Good thing DH talked to her, not me.
It's been the same since Jack came home. It was like Christmas on the day he came home, we were so freakin' happy. DH and I just sat and stared at our little boy, who looked so healthy and was safe with us where he belonged. We'd been home all of two hours when... you guessed it... MIL and SIL turn up. No phone call, no moment to say "Wow, you know, they just brought their son home from the NICU, maybe they'd like some time with him..." Nope, just whatever they want, whenever they want it.
So my imagined first moments at home with my son were taken away when I found myself standing with SIL's camera taking photos of HER holding MY BABY. How meaningful. I was ready to throw the frickin' camera at her. Two days after he came home the ILs were back, this time manhandling the poor kid and getting him completely overheated (because do you think they'd let me within two feet of him to take off a couple layers? Heck no.) I went into our bedroom to feed him and quiet him down and MIL just comes marching in! Into our BEDROOM! Piss off, you crazy old bat, can't you give me five seconds?! He's sobbing because YOU got him too hot! LEAVE!
MIL promised DH she wasn't going to drink around the baby. Obviously that's not working - she still wanted her rye whisky and water when she was here on Friday and still expected to hold the baby. I was just disgusted that she'd even THINK of it.
It's Wed. today and thankfully I haven't seen them since Fri. It's been wonderful - me, my baby, my house, just the way it should have been from the start. I just reread my post and realized I didn't do very well at looking for the good in the situation... LOL! It must be very tiny and hidden very well, cause I don't see it!