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Need advice please

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Need advice please

Postby mistermister » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:43 pm

Hi! This is my first time here and I was wondering if I could get some insight into a situation affecting our family. I didn’t know who to turn to and this site seemed appropriate and any help is appreciated. Here’s the story, sorry to be long winded.
Basically I speak on behalf of many family members who are very concerned that the new addition, a 3 week old little girl cute as can be could be in danger in the hands of the mother who is married to one of our relatives. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when the mother told us that she herself choked when trying to swallow her dinner, blacked out for 45 seconds and then fell to the ground. As a result, she dropped the baby which she had on her lap onto the tile floor. The husband heard a thump from the next room, went in and found his wife gaining consciousness. He helped her and then realized that the baby was faced down not moving or crying on the floor. They then took the mother and baby to a walk-in clinic and then pediatrician. The baby got xrays, the mother got an mri. According to the mother the doctor says that it is possible that she has a condition in which the esophagus does not function correctly. They both say the baby was fine, however. The mother now has a second c-section hematoma and infection and is on morphine.
This story is pretty horrible but it is only the latest in a long string of events. The baby was just released from the NICU where she was for two weeks after the mother claimed that the baby would stop breathing and would turn blue. The mother was suffering for extreme pain for those two weeks due to the c-section scar. The father was never at the hospital when these events happened. He claims that she would insist that he stay home because the nurses and she were taking care of the baby. This is his first child.
While the baby was in-utero the mother would inject herself with blood thinners because she said she had a family history of blood clots. Prior to that she suffered vomiting for months, however at no point did the husband actually see the vomit. In the past she has had epilepsy, back injury, pulmonary embolism, asthma, anorexia, and many more ailments, allergies, addition to painkillers, and more, none of which could be substantiated.
For years our family has ‘put up’ and rolled our eyes at what we have always considered desperate attempts for attention on her part, and just basically felt sorry for the husband, our relative for having to live with someone who does not work and who is always going from emergency room to emergency room. There are some physicians in our family and at holiday gatherings they just chalked her interest in talking about anatomy and disease to her lack of education and insecurity.
In the past she put up a child from another man for adoption, but the circumstances are unknown to us. She is still in a relationship with this man. We have tried in the past to get our relative to acknowledge that there is something wrong with her and their relationship, but it only makes him turn away from us. He is a nice, religious and professional guy who makes a lot of money and has good health insurance. Unfortunately his social skills are rather poor and she is the only person he had ever dated before they married.
Now we don’t really care about that and the past, just want to make sure that the little girl will be ok. She has only been alive 3 weeks and has already been through too much and we are scared that something else worse could happen. The husband is going to go back to work in a week and she will be alone with the baby. Any ideas or similar experiences would be appreciated before we move forward with this.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby CrackedGirl » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:34 pm

Hi

I am going to move this to the munchausen's by proxy subforum

One thing I do think is that if you are concerned about the safety of the baby then I think things need to be acted upon sooner rather than later to make sure that the baby is safe. Can those of you with concerns meet and discuss a plan of action on making sure that the baby is safe?

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Re: Need advice please

Postby jilkens » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:20 am

Hi mistermister,

I'm a mother myself and a survivor of MSBP. I'm in no way professionally qualified to give an opinion as to whether or not she is a muncher. What I can say with absolute certainty is that if I had been choking for 45 seconds, I would have set my baby down as soon as I realized that I was choking. That's a natural instinct mothers have. My own mother didn't have that instinct and I ended up in a lot of dangerous situations. Not only because she wanted me in hospitals around doctors, but because she had no bond with me whatsoever.

I'm really, really worried that this child has parents who are unable to act in her best interest. No matter the people in this situation think or believe, that baby girl has NO voice to advocate for herself. Someone else has to do that, and if it takes your family pulling together and offering to be around while the mother recovers or whatever, do it. Do it until there's either enough evidence to make a case, or until it becomes obvious that the baby is safe. Even if all of this doesn't pan out, the mother is on morphine and recovering from her new injury and she'll need help. The baby needs to be safe, that's all there is to it, and writing here is a really good start. Thank you for reaching out on her behalf.

mistermister wrote:The baby was just released from the NICU where she was for two weeks after the mother claimed that the baby would stop breathing and would turn blue. The mother was suffering for extreme pain for those two weeks due to the c-section scar.

Something about this situation doesn't sound right, but I can't put my finger on it. Were they able to room together because of her extreme pain? I had a c-section as well and didn't find it was extremely painful to deal with. The first 5 days were managed with small doses of acetaminophen with codeine in it. Is she prone to exaggeration?

mistermister wrote:While the baby was in-utero the mother would inject herself with blood thinners because she said she had a family history of blood clots. Prior to that she suffered vomiting for months, however at no point did the husband actually see the vomit. In the past she has had epilepsy, back injury, pulmonary embolism, asthma, anorexia, and many more ailments, allergies, addition to painkillers, and more, none of which could be substantiated.

This is all very suspect, especially since none of it could be substantiated. Now her new condition - the one with the esophagus - combined with the baby supposedly turning blue, it's getting dangerous.

My own mother purposely made herself ill during her pregnancy as well. She chain smoked, refused to get enough rest, and barely ate. She claimed that eating made her sick but my father never actually saw her get sick. I was talking to someone else on this forum before, and her mother started all of this while she was in-utero as well.

My father was avoidant as well and had very little social skills. He apologized to me a few years ago for never saying anything. Hopefully this situation turns out to be nothing but a genuinely ill mother having a hard time, but if it isn't, I really hope your relative doesn't end up in the same spot my dad was in. Apologies don't quite make up for the suffering.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby mistermister » Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:21 pm

Ladyswan,
Thank you for responding to my post. I didn't know this 'condition' (if you want to call it that) existed until I encountered this situation. It seems unbelievable that anyone would want to purposely harm their own child and perhaps take pleasure in this? I am so sorry that you had to endure this with your own parent. I can only imagine the wounds.

The couple and the baby live in a different state so it's hard to monitor the situation. We have two relatives from my area visiting at the moment for one week, just until the day before the father goes to work. According to my relatives so far the mother has only complained about the c-section wound and the infection she's got there, but they seem to believe that she is exaggerating the pain. They confronted the father about her exaggerations and he reacted defensively and very protective. If anything, he praises her for being up every night with the baby and giving it her all and seems convinced that her ailments (and eventual cures) are all legitimate. It's so hard to believe that he is so blind to what is so clear even to a stranger. I think that he can be very narcissistic sometimes and competitive and perhaps doesn't like anyone putting chinks in his armor, for lack of a better term. That'e the only explanation I can come up with. While the relatives are visiting they have not mentioned the incident of when she dropped the baby yet or brought up her new esophagus condition, or the xrays on the baby. One of the visiting relatives knows of the incident because we told them, the other does not. So far the relatives say the visit has been relatively 'normal'. It is so dificult and delicate a situation since we feel we need to keep the lines of communication open otherwise we are shut out. Plus we don't have much proof.

When they were in the hospital she and the baby roomed together for the first 4 days but then the baby was moved to NICU. The mother remained in a private room for 2 weeks while the baby was in NICU because her wound pain level was an 8 and the scar kept getting infected (it still is). Occasionally they would move the baby back in with her but then when she would report the breathing problem they would move her back to NICU. Of course during those 2 weeks we were so worried about the baby, but the parents didn't really seemed to be. The would just say that she's a little premature and that thay is why she was there. That did not make sense because she was a term baby. Again, this is all par the course with them. It's just never a normal situation.

At one point we were so concerned about the baby that we called a hospital social worker. I told her our concerns and that we were from out of state. Unfortunately they said that they could not confirm or deny whether the baby or mother were staying there because it is confidential information. I thought that was strange but told her my concerns nevertheless. I'm not sure what came of that.

I have put some thought into what you said about the maternal instinct and putting the baby down when she thought she was choking. That makes perfect sense. But then I kept thinking that maybe she never dropped the baby. Maybe she placed the baby sleeping face down on the tile and then pretended to choke for the husband's sympathy. Either way the situtation is unacceptable and cruel and I am not sure that the purpose of such actions would be or what to do.

Just writing about this is frustrating and sad.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby jilkens » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:40 pm

Hey there,

Yeah I can say that it's frustrating and saddening when something is obviously amiss and a child can be harmed, but there's nothing that can be done. Unfortunately I don't think much can be done in your situation as it stands. Calling the hospital social worker means there would have been a file opened (I think) even though they couldn't talk to you about her or the baby. That's to do with patient confidentiality. The relatives who are physicians - what do they have to say about it? Do they have any suggestions? I imagine they'd know better than anyone else what the process is about making sure the child isn't being harmed. I say that hesitantly because doctors will sometimes act against their better judgment for fear of being complained against or reprimanded. MSBP is still very controversial and difficult to prove. Accusing a mother of deliberately making their child ill is a serious charge and not to be giving lightly. As an aside to this, our society tends to view mothers, especially new mothers, in this saintly light of doing whatever it takes to have a healthy child. I know for a fact that there are mothers who have no empathy or consideration for the child, but they're sure good at putting on an act.

mistermister wrote:When they were in the hospital she and the baby roomed together for the first 4 days but then the baby was moved to NICU. The mother remained in a private room for 2 weeks while the baby was in NICU because her wound pain level was an 8 and the scar kept getting infected (it still is). Occasionally they would move the baby back in with her but then when she would report the breathing problem they would move her back to NICU. Of course during those 2 weeks we were so worried about the baby, but the parents didn't really seemed to be. The would just say that she's a little premature and that thay is why she was there. That did not make sense because she was a term baby. Again, this is all par the course with them. It's just never a normal situation.

There are just so many red flags about the entire situation and this one screams out at me. There's a chance that all of this legitimately happened and the mother was being honest. On the other hand, the baby taking ill in the hospital only when the mother around is usually a sign of abuse. Did the hospital staff not notice the baby was full term? Or that the baby was moved to NICU because of a breathing problem? Everyone involved seems so disconnected from what the baby's actual needs are!

mistermister wrote:They confronted the father about her exaggerations and he reacted defensively and very protective. If anything, he praises her for being up every night with the baby and giving it her all and seems convinced that her ailments (and eventual cures) are all legitimate. It's so hard to believe that he is so blind to what is so clear even to a stranger. I think that he can be very narcissistic sometimes and competitive and perhaps doesn't like anyone putting chinks in his armor, for lack of a better term. That'e the only explanation I can come up with.

I think the proper term for this is ego injury. Diagnosed narcissists have fragile egos. Whether or not that's the case here I don't know, but it might be worth researching and thinking about. There might be a better way to communicate with him that won't raise his defences.

I hope you and your family can keep working on this. It sounds so serious and sad.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby layla34 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:01 pm

Hi Mistermister--

I just wanted to say I believe you are right to be very concerned about this situation. Everything you wrote beginning with her injecting herself with blood thinners during the pregnancy up to and including the episodes of "breathing problems" in the baby has raised red flags with me.
My own mother also began lying for attention during her last 2 pregnancies claiming she had been ordered to complete bedrest for 4 months before the due date of each baby during both of the last 2 pregnancies because the day after she read about "silent contractions" in Family Circle magazine which are "contractions you can't feel" she began feeling them and was ordered to complete bed rest. That meant 4 mos of me doing all the work in the house and her calling people all day long to tell them about her pregnancy drama. What you are talking about, however, with injecting blood thinners is more disturbing.
The thing that has me very concerned about your post is that it seems like this mother is now using "choking" in herself and "breathing problems" (which she could be causing) in the baby as her MO. This is very concerning because while this may be getting her lots of attention, it is potentially lethal behavior if she is, in fact, causing the breathing problems in the baby.
I also agree with Ladyswan that, even if she herself were choking, maternal instinct would kick in and the baby would not end up face down on the floor. This shows you that she doesn't really care about the baby and sees her as more as a doll or an object (after all it doesn't matter if a doll is placed face down on the floor). And I can't stress that enough that that is how some of these munchers view their babies or kids--no more than a doll, only some of them do enjoy inflicting pain which a doll can't feel pain.
Another red flag is that you wrote that this mother previously gave a baby up for adoption. Maybe she did in fact give the baby up for adoption, but in light of what you are saying about her potentially lying about or God forbid causing breathing problems in the baby she has now, I wonder if it is possible that her other baby was taken away by Child Protective Services or if there is a possibility that this baby died of "SIDS" which she may have caused by cutting off breathing in the baby.
I would suggest that you err on the side of caution and if your gut is telling you the baby is in danger, she probably is. Some of these munchers are sociopaths, which means that you or your relatives will not get much useful info from talking to them (but definitely keep the lines of communication open for the baby's sake). If you continue feeling this mother may be in any way causing breathing problems in the baby, you should report it to child protective services, for the simple fact that the next time she does it it could be lethal.
Also, with her husband, don't count on him "seeing the light" and admitting his wife is doing bad things to the baby. Even if he suspects, somehow these munchers seem to find men who just don't step up to the plate to protect their children.
You are right to be concerned, and I feel if you hear about one more episode of "breathing problems" in the baby, you may seriously want to consider anonymously reporting it to Child Protective Services. I've just seem what can happen, I myself have severe chronic headaches from a head injury caused by my mother. Permanent damage is always a possibility with these munchers and also the possibility they could end up killing their baby.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby layla34 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:39 pm

Oh, also, one more thing I wanted to add: A lot of what has been written about MSBP seems to focus on the "getting attention" factor which definitely is an important factor. However, just from personal experience of having a sadistic mother with MSBP, I can tell you that I have realized that what they call "duping delight" is an equally important factor in many cases. "Duping delight" is something which is related to sociopathy where the individual gets a thrill and a feeling of power just from fooling others. Fooling doctors (who our society looks upon as very intelligent people worthy of lots of respect), fooling friends, fooling spouses. From looking at my own situation growing up with my mother, I can see that she "delighted" also in fooling my father and of simultaneously instilling terror in him (that nagging feeling in the back of his mind that she was harming his kids). My father is narcissistic also and as far as family, I can see he did not want to ever admit to himself that he had formed anything but the perfect family--he was not capable or willing to bear that type of burden of admitting what he would have considered such a serious "error in judgement".
The baby you have written about, therefore, probably has noone but outsiders to intervene to help her. I know it is hard to pick up the phone and tell on someone and not something anyone wants to do. But like I said, keep your ears open for anymore "breathing problems" in the baby, and I would say, if you hear about them, tell CPS you feel that she may be harming the baby. If it turns out your suspiscions were wrong, well then they will find no wrongdoing and close the case. However, if she is harming the baby, they can look for if she is doing this, and at the very least, she will know that someone is watching. Because, if she thinks that noone is watching, I can tell you, the behavior will escalate.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby Terry E. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:12 am

Dear Mistermister ... Welcome to our world, I hope all turns out okay, but special thanks for looking out for a child so young. Thank you.

Yep munchers are real, for many years "Experts" debated their existence, much like Bigfoot, but now they are accepted.

You have given much info, and it is very much in the "could be" might not be" for mine, so will give you some thoughts.

When your relatives visited "While the relatives are visiting they have not mentioned the incident of when she dropped the baby yet or brought up her new esophagus condition, or the xrays on the baby. One of the visiting relatives knows of the incident because we told them, the other does not." .. I find that strange. I can only go from my own experience and the very little written about us, but if that event had occurred in my family, my mother would have maxed it out to the hilt. There is no way they would not have known.

Also she does appear to have an infection. Don't know the US system, but if your infection is not real and it is usually pretty visible then you would be soon uncovered. So yeah, her pain threshold may be real low, and she may be a drama queen, but a infection does not a "muncher make".

Re: her not having normal mothering instincts, .. well normal is a pretty big range, she may be down at one end but not off the scale.

Also to claim that she had anorexia ( body image disorder of the mind) .. well if she imagined it, then not too bright, to claim that one, as it is a "red flag",

some light from my own experience, may not help much as my mother was very bright, (smartest loon the medium security psyche ward had in living memory seen,) and therefore was extremely careful (obviously not careful enough but that an took an accumulation of 30+ years, and a very smart emergency nurse)

she was though a complete hypochondriac, with some extreme "illness", ... what she did to us was real though, .. we suffered horrendous physical abuse, but she also made us (brother and I extremely ill)

so never hospitalised for falls etc, but methodically poisoned...

other similarity was the father, mum was his first girlfriend (WW II was partly to blame), he was well paid, very intelligent, but socially very insecure, and she really worked on that, she totally controlled relationship, so there you have parallels as well.

I am afraid from what you have said that it might be, but getting action on it apart from your own family will be near impossible .. worst case scenario is watching a slow motion train wreck, best scenario, is not too bright a mum, dad with heart in right place, not really a great place for a kid, but that is life

best I can advise is keep watching, because depending on what happens next, what you have observed may mean the difference between action and more waiting

and thanks for caring, ... wish there had been someone for us.
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Re: Need advice please

Postby Terry E. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 3:25 am

layla34 wrote:Oh, also, one more thing I wanted to add: A lot of what has been written about MSBP seems to focus on the "getting attention" factor which definitely is an important factor. However, just from personal experience of having a sadistic mother with MSBP, I can tell you that I have realized that what they call "duping delight" is an equally important factor in many cases. "Duping delight" is something which is related to sociopathy where the individual gets a thrill and a feeling of power just from fooling others. Fooling doctors (who our society looks upon as very intelligent people worthy of lots of respect), fooling friends, fooling spouses. From looking at my own situation growing up with my mother, I can see that she "delighted" also in fooling my father and of simultaneously instilling terror in him (that nagging feeling in the back of his mind that she was harming his kids).


thanks for that ...when I stop shaking, and my breathing returns to normal I may get back to work, maybe tomorrow, I had no idea that what happened "duping delight" had a name, or that it happened to anyone else..

in my childhood, our illness's made my mother almost "radiant".. but above all, was one quote she went over again and again, she was so ... proud (strange word, but that is what is was)

When she took my brother in for his third serious ear infection in his right ear (serious as requiring surgery) the specialist said "he had never seen anyone with more than two. The odds of three were incredible" ... of course when mum took him in with number 4, he should have done something, .. but that was the 60's !!

lost most of his hearing in the right ear, the left is not so good,

mum was always putting drops in his ears, because he had previous infections, as a precaution, .. now in hindsight as a adult, I know that she put something extra in those drops.

he has not seen her in 18 years, .. she panics at the mention of his name, she now believes that he will kill her next time she sees him,
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Re: Need advice please

Postby mistermister » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:52 am

Thank you everyone for all the replies and meaningful insight into this situation. My gosh, Glee and Radiance are definitely words I would use to describe how this woman acts when she talks about whatever current illness she has as well as when she described the choking incident.

So just to report, the two relatives came back from their visit yesterday. I was expecting that the mother would tell/brag of the baby dropping/choking incident but in fact she or the husband never mentioned it. In fact, according to the relatives, the mom was in perfect health, very helpful, seemed loving to the baby girl, and nice to them. All of this behavior was a pleasant surprise. Typically she is bed-ridden or on the verge of having to go to the doctor whenever our family has been in contact with her. The father was very loving and caring to the baby too. They did not see any bruises on the baby.

So all in all the relatives (or as we call them 'the elders') came back saying that the baby is currently 'safe', although they feel like something just isn't right, but they said they just couldn't put their finger on it. I guess it is Good in the sense that they saw affection and that the baby is well. But I guess it is Bad in the sense that when the couple approaches my side of the family they are willing to tell us 'with glee' the terrible truths of what is going on, so it puts us in an odd position of feeling like they are insincere and expecting us to keep a secret? I don't know the whole thing is just so confusing. In a way I feel like maybe I'm in the wrong or reading into things. But then again, the recent history doesn't lie. Regardless, our plan is to bring up the incident with the father.
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