Can I ever Trust Him?

mom2_1sm2_1June 8, 2009

It has been a while since I spoke of my sons BD's lack of parenting, but now I am so frusterated and I need to vent....sorry this may be long.

A little catch up...... DS, now 2, was born 13 weeks early, has GERD, Failure to Thrive (he only weighs 20#,)Chronic Lung Disease, Dysphagia, and Gut Dysmotility. I have had problem almost from the begining with his dad's lack of parenting.

So over Memorial Day Weekend DS was at his dad's. The Thusday before he went he was weighed at the doctor's office before his intensive feeding therapy evaluation. The following Tuesday he was in the same office (it is a multi-disciplinary office)for his developmental appoiontment that he has every three months, there he was weighed again and he lost weight.

The doctor said that if Jordon doesn't gain enough weight within the next two weeks that he would be hopsitalized until he is at a health weight. I have always had suspisions that Jordon is not being taken care of properly while in his dad's care so I took him back in last Wednesday and Friday to be weighed so they can get a good idea how much he gains in two days. He gained about 2 ounces a day while in my care.

I took him back this morning to be weighed and he ended losing 6 ounces while at his dad's. Not only did he not lose, but he did not gain the 2 ounces per day either, so that is like a 10 ounce loss that he had just from a couple of days at his dad's.

Tomorrow is DS two week followup from before the holiday and I will find out if he has to be admitted again. I have documentation showing that he lost weight two weekend visits in a row and I also have documentation from his feeding therapy that he takes steps back after the weekend in his dad's custody. Would I be going too far if I went for having his parenting time limited or taken away? I feel my son has a right to know and see his father, but if he is not receiving the care there he should be than it is neglectful on my part to allow him to go. I just don't know what to do at this time.

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Please understand that I ask/say this NOT with condemnation, but with concern,
and also with some small understanding of what you are going through having a child with special needs myself.

What is it exactly that you want Mom2?
Please be brutally honest with yourself when you answer this question.
No sugar-coating. No waffling.
No "I only want what's best for my son" evasions, because that answer is simply too general and allows an awful lot of distortions and rationalizations.

Do you want his father to truly understand what is involved with your son's care so he:
- can successfully feed and care for your son independently during his visitations?
- will understand what you are going through and be more supportive and sympathetic?
- will 'step up' and grow up and become more involved with you both as a family?
- All of the above?

Do you want to document that your son's father is failing so you can:
- reduce his custody times ONLY to stop the weight loss?
- get rid of him?
- punish him?
- threaten to get rid of him to make him improve?
- All of the above?

I'm going to suggest that FIRST you figure out what's best for YOU.
Not that this is the most important question. What's best for your son clearly needs to be the most important question. It's just that's what is best for us personally is often easier to understand and articulate. Also, what's best for US has a nasty way of butting into the 'What's best for baby?' equation if we don't give it it's due first.

Then, once you're clear on what's best for YOU, put that aside and try to articulate what's best for BABY. Do a 'best case' scenario, then a 'second best' and 'third best' because it's not all within your power to make it happen. Your son's father has to do his part, so 'best case' simply may not be possible -- but you may get second or third best, and that may be good enough -- or better than what you've got now.

One other question -- not to derail the above, which is much more important.
How much information about your son's care and feeding has come directly to Dad from a medical professional?
Because if it's all come from you, he may be discounting it's medical importance using a 'hysterical woman' mindset. If he has not himself heard the doctor say it, DRAG him into the doctor's office to hear what the doctor has to say about the Long Term Developmental Consequences for young children who do not absorb adequate nutrition in their early years. They can be sobering.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 1:47PM
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ditto Sweeby.

That said, I'm horrified for your son. This must be awful regardless of your intentions, realized or not. I'm so very sorry.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 2:01PM
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I suspect it may easier said than done to "drag" Dad to doctors office. Would this just be evidence of another crazy BM, when veiwed by a second wife. OK, I digress. Mom, I am sorry for you for all this. I would do this. Call Dad and back up with email the seriousness of this. Tell him to call dr. or visit. Tell him if he does not do so you will call CPS, or take whatever steps necessary. You can not literally drag X anywhere. Do not let anyone guilt you into thinking if you were better you could grovel and compromise to get him there. Just matter of factly tell him unless he calls or visits dr and gets with the program, you will do what is necessary.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 3:05PM
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I agree with all the above.

You need to ask Dad WHAT THE HELL IS UP?! Why is it he is losing weight in dad's care. Dad may, I am SURE he doesn't know the baby is losing. he isn't the one weoghing the child every day. Even if he was most guys probably think a few ounces isn't a big deal. Unless he speaks with the Doctor he may continue to think it's no biggie.

He for sure needs to here it out of the horses mouth. I wouldn't give him the option. Either he would go or, like KKNY said, I would do what ever necessary to insure my baby's health.

There is no room for uninvolvment on a parents behalf when a child has special needs. Either you are committed or your not and if your not it may not be in the childs best interest to have contact. This is screwing with one of your sons most basic primal needs. Food, Air, Shelter and Water. If dad can't even cover those.......

Your childs HEALTH is at stake.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 3:55PM
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If your child is not taken care properly while at dads and it causes hospitalizations, then visitations need to change. he might need to shorten visitations such as having several nights a week instead of long days, maybe taking him places for few hours. This needs to be addressed wiht your attorney.

unless dad is not aware of medical needs of his child he is not doing what he needs to doing and it has to stop. he should continue being a father and seeing his son but his visitations need ot be rearranged so he does not stay wiht his son for days at the time.

he needs to be warned and then you must act immdiatelly if things do not change.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 8:50PM
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I took DS to the doctor on Tuesday and found out that he gain an average of 17 grams per day, which is around 6 ounces. The doctor said to continue to do weight checks before and after his father's visits to document weight losses, and she even arranged his 2 week appoinments around his visits.
For now we are on idle on this situation because DS is making such great progress while in my care, and he will be able to stay home from the hospital, as long as I continue to do so well getting him to a healthy weight. She wants me to continue to do the checks for two reasons. One, to protect me if it comes to a point where intervention needs to be made for DS sake (since I have shown that I am doing my part.) And second, to have solid evidence that DS's father is not doing his part in the event that it gets to the point where parenting time needs to be monitered.

I had not responded to sweeby because I had to really take the time to reevaluate my thoughts about everything. It has been a couple of days and I now feel like I can respond with out being too selfish on my part:

I don't want DS to not see his father, it is important for both DS and X to have that time together. I also do not want to lose the "respit" that I recieve when he is at his father's, it is nice to have the time to catch up on some me time since it takes so much out of me emotionally and physically to take care of DS. I do feel fortunate to have that time since if we were still together I would not have the privledge.
On the other hand, I think it is important for X to know how his actions affect DS. In a tactfull way (which I have not decided yet) I would like to have a mature conversation on how important it is for DS to have the care that was reccomended by his doctors. I also talked to DS's doctor and she agrees that it would be beneficial for X to attend an appointment and be shown exactly what happens when DS does not receive all of his nutrition for the day. Our plan is to present this information to him in the hopes that he will start doing right, and to continue to moniter for the record if it does come up that he is not.

I guess my thought for this entry is to see if anyone has any suggestions for how to approach this situation w/ DS's father. Should I just get him to the appointment and have to doc do the dirty work, or should I do it myself?

Thanks to everyone for your advice!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:11AM
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I wouldnt put it so much as have doc to the dirty work, but rather direct communication between doc and dad is best -- always best to cut out middle man.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:54AM
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Lots of men discount what their wives/GFs tell them when it comes to taking care of the children because in the backs of their minds their thinking some version of:

- She's not the boss of me
- She's neurotic and over-protective
- ALL babies are delicate/fragile!
- She thinks she knows everything
- All of a sudden now she's the expert?
- She never gives me any credit
- She's trying to control me
- She's trying to get me to marry her
- She's trying to get rid of me
- She's exagerating
- There's nothing wrong with my kid! Because if there were,
-- it would be a reflection on me
-- that would be too scary to contemplate
-- those kinds of things don't happen to 'normal people' like us
-- that wouldn't be fair

KK put it well --
Cut out the middle man.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 10:24AM
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I actually think that a condition of him keeping his son overnight should be regular attendence at doctor's appointments. I think that very thought should be stated in the custody papers. It's waaaaaay too dangerous for a special needs child to be in the care of someone who doesn't have the full knowledge of the situation.

If he can't agree to that, then I agree with KKNY that custody arrangements need to be changed to accommodate feedings and nutrition.

And you do deserve a respite! Don't ever feel guilty for that. You can't help your child if you are constantly drained. But, you might have to give that up just for a little while until your son's father gets his stuff together.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 2:28PM
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Don't dilly dally with your sons health. I agree with many above posters.
Cut the middle man out for a while until your son is older. You can arrange visitation with no sleep overs....this way you sons health comes first.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 11:08AM
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