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Sister/post partum issues. Should I just chill?? (long)


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first of all, i truly love my sister to death.

 

when dd and I went to be at the birth of my niece, things got difficult. it was difficult for me as i was recovering from not feeling well. same for dd. when we left, we had only a very small amount of money to get there and back(10 hrs round trip). i left ds and dh with no car, an empty fridge, loads of laundry and a stressful goodbye.

 

i did that as i am the only one my sister can trust with my 3yo niece. she doesn't really have anyone else to help her other than me. my dd lives for my niece-adores her to the moon and so do i. we both wanted to be there to help in any way that we could. dd had looked forward to this huge event for months. sis asked me to be at her birth and act as doula, while dd was with niece outside in the waiting room.

 

we got there and plans changed. no problem. she no longer wanted anyone to be at the birth-she was at the hospital the day before with dn, and dn freaked out. sis didn't think it would be a good idea to have dn there and wanted both dd and i to stay at the house with dn. that is 45 mins from the hospital. no problem. dn adores us both.

 

my stepdad is also there. no problem. he's a nice enough guy and quite good to both dn and dd.

 

i cooked, cleaned and took extremely good care of dn. i did whatever sis wanted me to. new dn is born in the middle of the night. it's the first time dn has ever slept away from sis and both dd and i slept with her. she was so excited when she woke up and found out she was (finally!) a big sister.

 

my sis calls to say it's okay to bring dn to hospital. we do that and all is well. both sis and bil are beyond exhausted-going on no sleep for well past 24 hours. sis had a mandatory 48 stay, which i was already aware of, so we stayed a good deal of the afternoon and then took dn back home.

 

at bedtime, dn gets very upset. she is crying for her mommy and daddy. she is near hysterics. my dd is very upset as she hates to see dn so upset. i called sis(because she told me too beforehand if this happened) so she could talk to dn. both sis and bil talk to her. she gets off the phone and starts crying again. my heart is breaking for hers. i know i can't call my sis again-they are trying to get sleep as much as possible. finally, 2 hrs later, dn falls asleep.

 

sis and i talked about this scenario many times. i suggested many options. bil is insisting on staying at hospital. i am now thinking that he needs to come home as it was waaay too much for dn-she is a highly sensitive dc.

 

i say so to both bil and sis-as gently as i can. sis doesn't sound good. neither of them got any sleep. sis tells me to bring dn to hospital and to dress her in a certain outfit. they will take the day as it comes. meaning, they will see if dn naps, how she does at the hospital and whether or not bil will come home or (as i originally suggested) to sleep with dn.

 

we walk into sis's room and she doesn't look at me or dd. she says something to her dad, but doesn't even acknowledge us. except-she asks if we bathed dn and why wasn't dn wearing the shoes sis wanted her to wear.

 

yes, i bathed her. even though she didn't like it one bit. she wouldn't eat w/o daddy or mommy. needing to pick my battles, i let dn wear the shoes she wanted to, as she REALLY wanted to wear them and not the ones sis wanted. w/i 15 mins of hospital, dn decides her hunger strike is over and begs for mcdonalds. she eats her happy meal and is getting excited to see her family.

 

so, when sis asked me those questions, i replied yep she's shiny clean(sis says her face is messy) and due to circumstances, i chose the battles and decided that shoes were not worth tears. sis responds with a huge sigh.

 

i let it roll off as she just had a baby. no biggie, let's move on.

 

errands need to be run, so bil takes dn and they are gone for a few hours. i try to help as much as i can, but at one point sis says to me in a very sarcastic voice that she doesn't want anyone taking care of her-she's not used to it and doesn't want to start now. she won't let dd hold the baby yet is afraid she'll fall asleep and not hear her. i promise we can hold her and will wake her if she cries. nope.

 

when it is time to go home, she says that they'll keep dn there and see how it goes and call to let us know. i tell her i love her and for her to let me know if she needs anything at all. we leave and she still isn't having eye contact. dd is now hurt.

 

dn ends up staying the night at the hospital, but sis never calls us to let us know. no problem. i call the next morning to ask what meals she would like me to make and freeze. i make 2 dinners and some snacks for dn.

 

sis then calls and asks to only talk to her dad. he informs me that she doesn't want dd and me to be there when she arrives home as she is beyond exhausted and overly stimulated. she says she wants to come home to a clean home like she left it. (she has ocd and it shows the most in appearances-everything has to look perfect.) i call her and say that we were planning on staying for two more days. she replies her dad is lower maintenance and he can cook and clean. i'm hurt, but let it roll off.

 

dd is upset as she wants to get more pics of both dns and wants to say goodbye to dn. i tell her to try hard not to take it personal, post -partum can be ugly,etc.

 

we get busy cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, and more cleaning.

 

we are still there when they arrive home-which is earlier than we were told.

 

sis walks in, says nothing about the house, doesn't look at us-doesn't do or say anything. our bags were already in the car, so all we had to do was get in the car and leave.

 

i kissed both dns goodbye, hugged my bil and stepdad and we left.

 

i don't hear from her for a week. she calls to ask where food was that i said i was making. i reminded her that she didn't want me to do anymore cooking and what was there was all i had time to do. i ask her how everything is going, how the girls are doing, if theyve been able to get any sleep, etc.. i let her know she can call me if she needs to talk and that i love her.

 

i've called twice and she doesn't answer.

 

now, if i was reading this, i would think i am leaving something out-something that i must have done or said to piss her off. i cant think of a thing.

 

it's almost been a month, and i'm feeling uneasy. i keep pushing the feelings down, but the truth is, i feel hurt, used and unappreciated. i am trying to not feel like i expect something,but i do. a sincere thank you? a sorry? i don't know.

 

thx for listening and bless you if you read to the end.:tongue_smilie:

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Read the whole thing.

 

Terribly self-and-child centered. Too much drama. Has she been so.....bi-polar her whole life, or is this new?

 

You can't manage or anticipate your way into someone else feeling gracious and grateful. If this is new behavior, I'd be worried and suggest to her DH she be evaluated for post partum issues. If it is not new, and it's simply an situation in which her behavior is exacerbated, I'd remind myself that she's got issues, and I'd find ways to not make myself crazy by expecting her to react in a normal, kind, fashion.

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Oh wow. I don't get it at all. Sounds like your sister and her husband had some sort of spat that she took out on you (I'm inferring this because of her attitude when you brought your niece to the hospital in the "wrong" shoes).

 

I don't know what to tell you to do. I wish I had advice. :grouphug:

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Sounds like you've been used.

 

I don't understand, if her Dad was there, why she needed you to make such a trip. The idea that her Grandfather is not trusted w/his granddd is bizarre to me, when he's already staying there.

 

Having recently had a baby, with other kids at home, I think it's honest bizarre to have Dad stay at the hospital o/n once the baby's born. And Baby Boo was over 24 hrs of labour. No reason Dad couldn't have been home with his dd.

 

Whole thing sounds weird, imo.

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Oh my gosh. You are the sweetest sister in the world. I sure hope this can be a problem due to hormones and lack of sleep. You are doing the right thing. Keep the lines of communication open. I would send a note or a card to the older dn to let her know you love her and think of her often. Family can be difficult.

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There's probably no way of telling, other than asking her dh and/or her dad and seeing if she vented to one of them about the presumed slight. It seems to be about her (I'm guessing that everything is about her -- dh has a sister like this, I know it can be exhausting). But yeah, sometimes with people like this (speaking from experience with s-i-l), all you can do is sit back and chill and wait until whatever has worked it way up their ... passes and they approach you again.

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Read the whole thing.

 

Terribly self-and-child centered. Too much drama. Has she been so.....bi-polar her whole life, or is this new?

 

You can't manage or anticipate your way into someone else feeling gracious and grateful. If this is new behavior, I'd be worried and suggest to her DH she be evaluated for post partum issues. If it is not new, and it's simply an situation in which her behavior is exacerbated, I'd remind myself that she's got issues, and I'd find ways to not make myself crazy by expecting her to react in a normal, kind, fashion.

 

well, i don't know if this is new-to this extent i mean. she does have issues. she's maybe bi-polar, but she isn't one to get help.

 

i haven't lived this close to her for several years, but the rest of the family feels that she has issues. but that's also coming from very dysfunctional people.

 

Oh wow. I don't get it at all. Sounds like your sister and her husband had some sort of spat that she took out on you (I'm inferring this because of her attitude when you brought your niece to the hospital in the "wrong" shoes).

 

I don't know what to tell you to do. I wish I had advice. :grouphug:

 

i don't think so. sis is VERY particular about how dn dresses, how she does her hair, etc..she even uses the straitening iron on her hair. everyday, too. same with her house-when you walk in you can't tell a toddler lives there except photos. all toys are put away the minute they aren't being used.

 

 

Is she normally this high-mantainance or is this behavior unusual?

 

i don't know. she was in her past, but a lot of that was filtered through my narcissistic mom. everything has to be perfect all the time. i've just thought that was part of her untreated OCD.

Sounds like you've been used.

 

I don't understand, if her Dad was there, why she needed you to make such a trip. The idea that her Grandfather is not trusted w/his granddd is bizarre to me, when he's already staying there.

 

Having recently had a baby, with other kids at home, I think it's honest bizarre to have Dad stay at the hospital o/n once the baby's born. And Baby Boo was over 24 hrs of labour. No reason Dad couldn't have been home with his dd.

 

Whole thing sounds weird, imo.

 

i guess i am feeling used. that makes me want to curl up and bawl. my therapist would not be happy.

 

both of us were molested during childhood, and neither of us leave our dc with anyone when they are(were) young.

 

does it sound like i am making excuses for her?

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You do deserve a very sincere thank you. You really are an amazing sister, and went on being kind and generous and giving her the benefit of the doubt longer than most people would!

 

I agree with the others that say you should talk to your BIL if this behaviour is unusual. If it's not unusual, I think you should have a heart to heart with your sister. She really didn't treat you or your dd right.

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You do deserve a very sincere thank you. You really are an amazing sister, and went on being kind and generous and giving her the benefit of the doubt longer than most people would!

 

I agree with the others that say you should talk to your BIL if this behaviour is unusual. If it's not unusual, I think you should have a heart to heart with your sister. She really didn't treat you or your dd right.

 

but don't you think it would be selfish of me to confront her-or my bil-while they are adjusting to a new baby?

 

i don't know.:confused:

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Having recently had a baby, with other kids at home, I think it's honest bizarre to have Dad stay at the hospital o/n once the baby's born. And Baby Boo was over 24 hrs of labour. No reason Dad couldn't have been home with his dd.

 

Whole thing sounds weird, imo.

 

Eh, I would have loved to have my husband in the hospital with me after my second two were born. You get fussed at for getting out of bed to pick up the baby, as if you can patiently wait for an aide to come in and hand the baby to you while he's crying. I was nearly hysterical after my second was born because I was told I could have a 24 hour discharge, then the staff backtracked and lied (!!!) to me about jaundice numbers. People come in and pester you every half hour. I can see wanting someone with you, although I would have changed plans if my older child was upset. We were lucky to cobble together childcare for the birth itself.

 

It may have been something that happened at the hospital that has nothing to do with you. It sounds like you were helpful and accommodating. For comparison, my sister drove down a week after one of my births, and complained when she got home that she had expected to have a fun vacation. :w00t: I think you helping cook and clean was incredibly sweet and kind.

 

I hope you two can resolve everything! :grouphug:

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I read it all. You are an absolute sweetheart. Your sister is lucky to have you! Don't be weary in doing good.

 

I'm sorry you're feeling hurt and unappreciated. Most in your predicament would. Just realize your sister apparently DOES have issues and move on. Don't let it get to you. Also, carefully evaluate if and when you reach out to her again.

 

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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It was different, but my mother and I got into a tiff after the babies were born. I was upset about the way the birth went (over it now) but she just didn't get it and kept saying weird things. She called the doctor who I felt like had screwed me over and messed up my body just to demo a procedure to a student "like a god." Ugh. She had been *so* sweet and so wonderful and helpful. She had taken tons of time off to help dh and I with the babies and had mostly been 100% supportive. But oy, I said nasty words to her about it. And then she stopped speaking to me for two whole days. Totally horrible. Anyway... all I'm saying is... it does seem like really rude behavior, but hormones run so high after birth. Unless this is a pattern with her and your relationship, I'd try to ask around quietly and try to understand, but mostly just try to let it simmer and then come back around and drop it.

 

ETA: Oops, second post that clarified things... yeah, if it's a pattern and there's ongoing issues, that's maybe a little different...

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both of us were molested during childhood, and neither of us leave our dc with anyone when they are(were) young.

 

does it sound like i am making excuses for her?

 

Often childbirth can bring back flashbacks/feelings from a previous molestation. Having people you don't know touch you in private places...it can be hard for some women. I wonder if that triggered the issues?

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I would write a short, soft note stating that you know having a baby is stressful, but that you and your daughter did the very best you could, and that since you stepped out of your way to be helpful, you don't feel you deserve a cold shoulder. Then state you would like to put this all behind the both of you and resume the relationship you had before. Tell her you love her, and you are not angry, but don't feel this hurt is necessary, and that you will respect her space to think about it and contact you when she feels like it.

 

I wouldn't go into the fact you feel like crying, nor the details of all you did for her and left behind for her. I'm normally a non-confronter, but she needs some loving guidance. It is TOO much for her to think is acceptable.

 

I feel sorry for her kids. Wait until they aren't perfect enough.

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Here is my psychanalysis...things are not peachy in your sister's marriage...there are some big issues either with her alone or the both of them, a dn who is that ultra sensitive is mirroring her environment. You will never get a reasonable thank you from someone like that, love them through it, expect nothing in return but use it as a teaching opportunity that it is better to give thn to receive.

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Sounds like you've been used.

 

I don't understand, if her Dad was there, why she needed you to make such a trip. The idea that her Grandfather is not trusted w/his granddd is bizarre to me, when he's already staying there.

 

Having recently had a baby, with other kids at home, I think it's honest bizarre to have Dad stay at the hospital o/n once the baby's born. And Baby Boo was over 24 hrs of labour. No reason Dad couldn't have been home with his dd.

 

Whole thing sounds weird, imo.

 

:iagree: I feel terrible for you and your dd.:grouphug:

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:grouphug: You are a wonderful sister. Hormones are very high after childbirth and her behavior may have been about a bad birth experience, problems with her husband, post-partum depression, or any number of things. You did a wonderful thing for her, regardless of why she treated you badly afterwards.

 

Often childbirth can bring back flashbacks/feelings from a previous molestation. Having people you don't know touch you in private places...it can be hard for some women. I wonder if that triggered the issues?

 

This is what jumped out at me. Your sister was molested and by your account struggles with OCD-type issues, among other things. I bet even a good hospital birth experience was a difficult experience for her. If this is the situation then it was wrong for her to take it out on you, but what's done is done. Knowing the history, I don't think you should confront her or triangulate step-father or bil into the situation by asking them why she's angry (which she would probably regard as gossiping). Take the hint when she doesn't answer the phone or return messages. Give her some space to work through whatever is troubling her. I think compassion and time may be the best thing for this situation.

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You mention that she is OCD. Did she have to go off of her meds during the preganancy? And if she is breastfeeding, is she still off of them? Not being on her meds could be an explanation.

 

she's never been on meds. dxed, yes. just never meds. she doesn't like to talk about it and just says everyone has something to deal with.

 

it's hard. i don't want to isolate her and she doesn't like anyone to pry into her business.

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Sounds like you've been used.

 

I don't understand, if her Dad was there, why she needed you to make such a trip. The idea that her Grandfather is not trusted w/his granddd is bizarre to me, when he's already staying there.

 

Having recently had a baby, with other kids at home, I think it's honest bizarre to have Dad stay at the hospital o/n once the baby's born. And Baby Boo was over 24 hrs of labour. No reason Dad couldn't have been home with his dd.

 

Whole thing sounds weird, imo.

 

Why is it bizarre for the dh to stay overnight if there is a trusted person taking care of the dc? :confused:

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Read the whole thing.

 

Terribly self-and-child centered. Too much drama. Has she been so.....bi-polar her whole life, or is this new?

 

You can't manage or anticipate your way into someone else feeling gracious and grateful. If this is new behavior, I'd be worried and suggest to her DH she be evaluated for post partum issues. If it is not new, and it's simply an situation in which her behavior is exacerbated, I'd remind myself that she's got issues, and I'd find ways to not make myself crazy by expecting her to react in a normal, kind, fashion.

 

Agreed.

 

If it is not self-centered behavior (which is evident in the dn behaving with anxiety also) then there are issues that may be deeper than PPD. The OP mentioned OCD. Under stress a person with OCD can relapse into major depression and obsessions/compulsions. If anything, it sounds like the OP and her ds were manipulated. She sounds like a control freak. :confused:

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Why is it bizarre for the dh to stay overnight if there is a trusted person taking care of the dc? :confused:

 

Dh always stays. He keeps in top of the meds they are giving me, helps me with the baby so I can nurse and sleep, helps me with whatever. I don't find it bizarre at all. In fact, it is generally recommended that a loved always stay with their family member to help prevent medical mistakes.

 

OP, oy. I am so sorry. Coping with dysfunctional family members can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. You were wonderful. :grouphug:

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You've given her a wonderful gift. She does seem to have mental health issues, probably exacerbated by the hormonal changes after the birth. I don't think mentioning your (justified) unease with the way she treated you will help her, though. :grouphug: I hope she seeks help.

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You've given her a wonderful gift. She does seem to have mental health issues, probably exacerbated by the hormonal changes after the birth. I don't think mentioning your (justified) unease with the way she treated you will help her, though. :grouphug: I hope she seeks help.

:iagree:

 

In addition, I'd have some concern for how the mental health issues are affecting the daughter.

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Sounds like you've been used.

 

I don't understand, if her Dad was there, why she needed you to make such a trip. The idea that her Grandfather is not trusted w/his granddd is bizarre to me, when he's already staying there.

 

Having recently had a baby, with other kids at home, I think it's honest bizarre to have Dad stay at the hospital o/n once the baby's born. And Baby Boo was over 24 hrs of labour. No reason Dad couldn't have been home with his dd.

 

Whole thing sounds weird, imo.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

You're a saint, as far as I'm concerned. Just because they just had a baby doesn't entitle your sister and BIL to behave like spoiled babies themselves. :glare:

 

They should be ashamed of themselves.

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:grouphug: You and your dd gave her a wonderful gift. You did the absolute best with what you had to work with. It is a shame that your sister was not able to fully partake of that gift because of the various issues at play. I would feel sorry for her and not so much mad at her (even though you were treated badly and deserve to be mad.) For your sake and your dd, I would not indulge angry feelings.

 

I am not sure what you could do to help her emotional state. I would maybe send a letter or email and state that when things settle you would love to hear from them and see some pictures etc. Let them know that you are there for them. Then, let them be for another month or so. :grouphug:

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Wow, that sounds awful.

 

I am so sorry you and your daughter were so ill treated. It is really unbelievable.

 

I can't imagine what you could do to repair this situation other than to keep your distance and remain civil. I would try to focus on your husband and children, and look to them for your nurturing and support.

 

Your sister isn't going to be there for you. You don't need to discuss it, make an issue of it, or ever really think about it . . . but you just need to keep your distance, grieve for the loss, and move on. In time, it is likely that you'll be able to be friendly and civil, but you'll be smart to not count on her for much.

 

Put your love and energy towards people who appreciate it and can respond . . . and let go of the painful interactions with those who can't appreciate you.

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but don't you think it would be selfish of me to confront her-or my bil-while they are adjusting to a new baby?

 

i don't know.:confused:

 

Yes, it would be. Don't make an issue of this now. Give it at least a couple months before discussing it AT ALL. She was a beast. Nonetheless, she has a new baby and her own issues to handle. If you must discuss it, wait for a while.

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thanks for the replies.:grouphug:

 

it's good to know that i'm not being too critical.

 

i dont think i'm going to bring it up to her unless she says something that opens the door-and will refrain from any confrontation for at least another month or longer.

 

(i just had my dd read this whole thread so she understands that sis's behavior is not okay. )

 

thanks again.

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In addition, I'd have some concern for how the mental health issues are affecting the daughter.

Agreeing that it definitely sounds like older dn could probably already benefit from counseling, as her mother's uncontrolled mental health issues seem to be affecting her already. Something I'd bring up with b-i-l, not sis in her current state, though. My aunt is still struggling to recover from the fallout of living for 18 years with a mother who had uncontrolled mental health issues (my mom was older and got to spend the formative preschool years with relatives making excuses to take her for a week here, a month there, which they weren't available to do for my aunt -- the difference that it made between them is amazing).

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