What do you do about visitation when DSC is sick? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-23-2008, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For some background, I am having a c-section on Friday. DH is working on the opposite coast right now and is flying home today (DSS Birthday and weekly visitation day is also today.) DSS mom wants to celebrate with DSS first so we have to pick him up later this evening.

DH calls this morning to tell me DSS is sick (throwing up and diariah sp?). DSS thinks it's food poisening ( I seriously doubt it is food poisening, I am sure it is a virus.) I tell DH I am sorry but I don't think it is a good idea for me or DD to be exposed to a virus with my upcoming c-section and he agrees. However he is still going to see DSS. I tell him I am worried about him bringing the virus home to us. He says he had a touch of it last week so he will be fine. I didn't know there was only 1 virus that went around the country.

I totally understand that DH wants to see his son on his birthday but I am scared of catching a virus right before my c-section. Should I be worried or am I overreacting?
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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Illness never gets in the way of visitation here. If your dd was ill, you wouldn't send her to an aunt's to stay. I don't get it.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:18 AM
 
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Part of being a parent is dealing with your kid's illnesses. If your daughter was sick you probably wouldn't send her away, you would just deal with it. Part of marrying a man who already has children is accepting that he is just as much their parent as you are your children's parent. I completely understand you not going to see him (and being exposed) but I wouldn't dream of keeping him away from his child on his child's birthday.

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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I agree with pps.

My dss has asthma and is chronically ill all winter. Seriously, he has green mucus for a good 4 months out of the year, hacking cough, etc. We pick him up on Friday and his mother picks him up on Sunday no matter what. The only way that wouldn't happen is if he was literally too ill to be moved. Of course I'm not thrilled that ds might catch something but, they're brothers. It happens.

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Old 01-23-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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If one of the DSS's is really sick, he typically will stay home with his mom rather than come over. If it's just a cold or something less serious, they typically come over and I give extra zinc and vit C to everyone and hope for the best (as I would do if anyone was sick in our house). For some reason, they seem to get sick more frequently than my DS, so we always have an abundance of supplements at our house.

I can understand your concern though, with an upcoming C-section you want to be as healthy as possible, whether you are catching a germ from DD/DSC or even DH! .

Hopefully, all parties are being understanding of this.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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This question seems to come up a lot. In general, we would see the kids if they were sick or not. However, with you being about to have a C-section, your concern makes perfect sense. I'm sorry your husband is not understanding your concern. I, too, would probably ask him to wait, given the circumstance, but I also understand wanting to be with DSS on his birthday. Just do what you can, take care to rest and maybe supplement you and your husband with some Airborne or something to boost you. Best of luck!

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Old 01-23-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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Try this scenerio.

Your child lives with their dad and you have regular visitation. It's their birthday and you want to see them- at least for a few hours. They want to see you, too (I think it's only food poisoning, Mom, so don't worry that you'll get sick). You are very pregnant and have a scheduled section next week as well as a toddler at home.

I'd see my child on their birthday, no question about it. What do you do?
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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I've turned it around in my brain all ways - what if it were me pg - what if it were their step-mom pg - what if it were my future step-children's mom ...

I would see my kids on their birthday no matter how sick they were.

My point is that I can't believe that it's suggested to a parent not to see his kids or bring them over because of illness.

You talk about setting the kids up for resenting the new baby. That new baby isn't born yet and it's keeping the dad away from his bio kids.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:25 PM
 
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No one seems to have a problem with HER not going but it is her not wanting HIM to go either that people find distasteful.
I think she came here to ask if it was unreasonable of her to be scared of her DH visiting the kids while sick because of this particular situation.

Being apprehensive about it is totally normal. I would be scared to catch it too. Have you ever had to throw up after someone cut your stomach open? I have and it is not fun at all.

But of course he should still see his child on his child's b-day. If it wasn't a b-day, I would say ask him to to go and reschedule for the following weekend if possible. Birthdays are a big deal. You can't miss one.

Ask your DH to be sure to take all precautions while visiting (wash hands frequently, etc.). When he gets home, wait a few days before you have physical contact.

You could also wear a mask when he comes home whenever you are in the room together. My MIL does that because she takes chemo right now so any sniffle could turn into something really serious. So far so good with the hand washing and mask
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:37 PM
 
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Being apprehensive about it is totally normal. I would be scared to catch it too. Have you ever had to throw up after someone cut your stomach open? I have and it is not fun at all.
Throwing up is very often a side effect of the anesthesia they use during a section. Happens all of the time.

I agree with the rest of Dawn1221's post. Wash hands often. But I'm sure that will be happening post surgery anyway.

As for the intent of the OP, I can't say for certain but I noticed she said
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I tell DH I am sorry but I don't think it is a good idea for me or DD to be exposed to a virus with my upcoming c-section and he agrees. However he is still going to see DSS. I tell him I am worried about him bringing the virus home to us. He says he had a touch of it last week so he will be fine. I didn't know there was only 1 virus that went around the country
That seems to imply that she didn't want her husband exposed so she would not be exposed. Pretty much says the same thing as "don't see SS so I won't get exposed." No?
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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I've turned it around in my brain all ways - what if it were me pg - what if it were their step-mom pg - what if it were my future step-children's mom ...

I would see my kids on their birthday no matter how sick they were.

My point is that I can't believe that it's suggested to a parent not to see his kids or bring them over because of illness.

You talk about setting the kids up for resenting the new baby. That new baby isn't born yet and it's keeping the dad away from his bio kids.

Here is the issue I have with your statement. While I agree he should see his child on the child's b-day, I think there can be reasons why a parent would put off a visitation because of illness.

For example, my MIL (DSS's grandmother) is living with us. She is taking chemo. NO ONE WHO IS SICK IS ALLOWED TO COME OVER. PERIOD. BECAUSE SHE COULD DIE.

So her grandchildren visit us when they are healthy. We reschedule visitation because we will not put her at risk. I think the same goes for this situation.

She is about to have major surgery. And give birth to another child. Who will be susceptible to illness. I wouldn't bring the kids around until they were better. It is reasonable.

For all of those who compare visitation to living with the child...

If they don't live in the household, then you do have options about visiting when sick. Unlike if the child lived with you. I see nothing wrong with exercising the options if any are available. Sometimes circumstances override visitation.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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That seems to imply that she didn't want her husband exposed so she would not be exposed. Pretty much says the same thing as "don't see SS so I won't get exposed." No?

Yes, I believe it does. And if not for the fact that it is the child's b-day, I would say he shouldn't visit.

Imagine you are having a c-section. Wouldn't you be terrified of all the what-if's? I know I would be. So I can see myself saying this exact thing to my DH. But it is the child's b-day, so he should visit and take precautions.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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Here is the issue I have with your statement. While I agree he should see his child on the child's b-day, I think there can be reasons why a parent would put off a visitation because of illness.

For example, my MIL (DSS's grandmother) is living with us. She is taking chemo. NO ONE WHO IS SICK IS ALLOWED TO COME OVER. PERIOD. BECAUSE SHE COULD DIE.

So her grandchildren visit us when they are healthy. We reschedule visitation because we will not put her at risk. I think the same goes for this situation.
I don't think surgery and chemotherapy can be compared like that. Apples and oranges. The drugs for chemo destroy the existing immune system, leaving that person defenseless. Of course you need a "clean" home!! A otherwise healthy adult and a newborn who will receive the benefits of mama's immune system are not in the same risk catagory. Not even close.

Of course their immunity will be down a bit in the next few weeks. But barring the chance that the baby will be born sick, it really should not be a huge issue if Dad sees SS outside of the home when SS is sick. My own DD was born very ill and immunocomprimised. I still allowed her healthy father to come see her- even when his step children and wife were sick at home. It was the right thing because her father wanted to see her. We can't protect our children from their parents (in the illness respect) other than typical preventions that we'd take in the normal course of the year.
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Yes, I believe it does. And if not for the fact that it is the child's b-day, I would say he shouldn't visit.
I agree that if it wasn't important to the father and son, it would be best postponed.
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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Um, sorry. I'd still err on the side of caution, especially with a major surgery coming up.

If I'm really sick (or my DS is) with say, a bad bad cold or a flu, I've called the DSS's mom to see if she still wants them (the DSS's) to come over--I think it's called consideration to all those involved.

It has zero to do with whether or not stepmom/mom/stepdad/dad want to see the kids. This is spiraling down that ugly road and I don't believe it is jiving with the original context of the OP's message/question.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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Um, sorry. I'd still err on the side of caution, especially with a major surgery coming up.

If I'm really sick (or my DS is) with say, a bad bad cold or a flu, I've called the DSS's mom to see if she still wants them (the DSS's) to come over--I think it's called consideration to all those involved.

It has zero to do with whether or not stepmom/mom/stepdad/dad want to see the kids. This is spiraling down that ugly road and I don't believe it is jiving with the original context of the OP's message/question.
I do this too. Unfortunately, DSS's mom does not reciprocate. In fact, DD was 3 weeks old when she sent the kids for a visit while they had scabies. That was fun. Considering the fact that we could not treat DD because the chemicals were not okay for an under 6 month old.

We had to eventually roll the dice on the meds when DD was 2 months because we couldn't get rid of it. EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO VISITED DD ENDED UP WITH SCABIES. All because she decided it wasn't important to tell us their whole family was infested with it.

There are circumstances when visitation should be postponed. I could go on and on listing scenarios in which kids not living in the home really shouldn't come over.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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I do this too. Unfortunately, DSS's mom does not reciprocate. In fact, DD was 3 weeks old when she sent the kids for a visit while they had scabies. That was fun. Considering the fact that we could not treat DD because the chemicals were not okay for an under 6 month old.

We had to eventually roll the dice on the meds when DD was 2 months because we couldn't get rid of it. EVERY SINGLE PERSON WHO VISITED DD ENDED UP WITH SCABIES. All because she decided it wasn't important to tell us their whole family was infested with it.

There are circumstances when visitation should be postponed. I could go on and on listing scenarios in which kids not living in the home really shouldn't come over.

That is just so wrong on so many levels : ...your poor 3 week old!!!
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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That is just so wrong on so many levels : ...your poor 3 week old!!!

I am over it now. But I must say that visitation and illness is sort of a sore subject for me because of how inconsiderate DH's ex has been in the past.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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I really think this situation has more to do with individuals' risk tolerances than anything relating to DSS. Some perfectly reasonable, loving parents would decide to go see the child on his birthday no matter what pathogens he was harboring, and other perfectly reasonable, loving parents would feel that the risk to the newborn and mother would be too much. I don't think there is a definite right or wrong answer here. Also, the age of the kid may be a factor -- I don't remember seeing how old DSS is. Anyway, I think most people on here are sincere in their views, and I just think it's a complex situation.

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Old 01-23-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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Well I guess we are the only terrible people here in that whever ds is when he gets sick, he stays there until he is better. We just think that 1) hes comfy where he is and doesnt feel like travelling and 2) why get 2 families sick when we could just get 1 family sick(the family that is already exposed). If it was his birthday, and he was at his dads, I would probably go and see him. I would freak the whole time tho because I am emetophobic and dont do throw ups that good, but I would go see him.

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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But of course he should still see his child on his child's b-day. If it wasn't a b-day, I would say ask him to to go and reschedule for the following weekend if possible. Birthdays are a big deal. You can't miss one.
I agree. The original poster should take as many precautions as possible, and I can completely understand her not going to see her stepchild, but her Husband needs to see his child on his child's birthday.

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For all of those who compare visitation to living with the child...

If they don't live in the household, then you do have options about visiting when sick. Unlike if the child lived with you. I see nothing wrong with exercising the options if any are available. Sometimes circumstances override visitation.
I don't know about the other Stepmothers here, but my stepdaughter is part of my family, whether she's healthy or sick. Unless she's too ill be be moved, she comes to our house when it's "visitation day" and unless she's too ill to be moved, she goes back to her Mother's house when it's time. Another thing, she is my Husband's CHILD, not an appointment or a lunch date (which is why I hate the term "visitation"). We put the same effort into seeing her and spending time with my stepdaughter, who's with us 30% of thee time, as we put in seeing and spending time with my son, who lives with us 100% of the time. We don't consider not seeing her an "option", especially if it was a birthday.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you mamas for all of you responses. It is good to see things from others perspectives. I am just terrified of getting sick before my surgery. I also had to have a c-section with DD and did not throw up. I have also had 2other surgerys and did not throw up, so for me, throwing up isn't a common side effect.

I did infact have a doctors appointment today and discussed the risks with my doctor. She said that DD and I should not go, but she wasn't concerned about DH bringing a virus home. He just needed to be sure to practice good hand washing. She also said that DSS should not come to the hospital until he was symptom free for 24 hours.

I wouldn't tell DH not to go see his son, but if there was a big risk of him bringing the virus home to me, I probably would have packed DD's and my bags and stayed with my dad until my surgery. Sorry if I am a terrible person but I don't want to get sick before major surgery.
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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Just to weigh in on the sickness issue, DSD is with whichever parent she is supposed to be, sick or not. But we have a 50/50 schedule, so it isn't really visitation.

As far as things like this go, I try to compare it to how I would react if it were DS (lives here 100% of the time).

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Old 01-24-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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JL's mom - I'm on your side about this one. Good luck. I'm just thinking about all the excitement when a new baby arrives it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy ! When you recover or are in the mood let us know how you are doing with your new one !
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
I don't know about the other Stepmothers here, but my stepdaughter is part of my family, whether she's healthy or sick. Unless she's too ill be be moved, she comes to our house when it's "visitation day" and unless she's too ill to be moved, she goes back to her Mother's house when it's time.
Sorry the term visitation bothered you. I don't think of it as an appointment or lunch date. I only used that term for lack of a better word. It isn't how I think of it really.

What word would you use for it in this context? Just curious because I am having a hard time coming up with a better one.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Sorry the term visitation bothered you. I don't think of it as an appointment or lunch date. I only used that term for lack of a better word. It isn't how I think of it really.

What word would you use for it in this context? Just curious because I am having a hard time coming up with a better one.
I didn't mean YOU using that word in your post bothering me, I meant anyone using that word in reference to seeing their child or spouses child. I with I knew a better word. It just sounds so much like a scheduled playdate or a scheduled appointment or something, as opposed to spending time with your child. Maybe that's why it's sometimes thought of so flippantly?

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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I didn't mean YOU using that word in your post bothering me, I meant anyone using that word in reference to seeing their child or spouses child. I with I knew a better word. It just sounds so much like a scheduled playdate or a scheduled appointment or something, as opposed to spending time with your child. Maybe that's why it's sometimes thought of so flippantly?
My DH hates that term too (visitation), as do I. However, as Dawn pointed out, it's for lack of a better term. It makes it seem so transitional--yk?
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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I hate to poke my nose in to a forum I don't belong in but the thread caught my eye from the main page. Nosiness won out.

Not to point out the blaringly obvious but isn't the c-section being performed in a hospital? Home of some of the hardiest and most dangerous pathogens on the planet? I cannot imagine that whatever your step-son has could touch the germs and viruses that both you and your newborn are about to be exposed to.

Hopefully the birthday visit went well and you guys are washing hands and all that fun stuff for the next few weeks! Blessings for you and your new little one!

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Old 01-24-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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I didn't mean YOU using that word in your post bothering me, I meant anyone using that word in reference to seeing their child or spouses child. I with I knew a better word. It just sounds so much like a scheduled playdate or a scheduled appointment or something, as opposed to spending time with your child. Maybe that's why it's sometimes thought of so flippantly?
I agree. It does seem to demean the parent/child relationship to always think of it as just visitation.

Not sure I have a better word, but I think that "visitation" kind of implies a paradigm of a real parent and person you visit. Of course, sometimes the courts set it up more like a visit -- just 2 hours here or there and no overnights, and there it probably feels like the right word. In our case we always have them overnight when they are with us, and it's usually for several days or weeks at a time.

And "visitation" sounds more optional than parenting, so if it's set up that way (with a primary/parenting home and short, infrequent visits) then it seems more likely you would cancel if something came up, where with more of a two families paradigm, you don't just cancel your parenting.

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Old 01-24-2008, 11:51 PM
 
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Hi, several posts have been removed from this thread, things were starting to develop into an argument which is OT in regards to the OP. If anyone has any questions, or would like to edit their posts, please contact me, Some of the posts were removed for content, others were removed because they quoted a deleted post.

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Old 01-25-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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I agree.
Not sure I have a better word, but I think that "visitation" kind of implies a paradigm of a real parent and person you visit.
It's called "parenting time" or "periods of physical placement" here, no matter how much it is. Not that you'd tell your kids, "it's time for your period of physical placement with your father" or anything.

Best wishes with your C-section tomorrow, JL'smom!

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