this story makes me so sad and there isn't anything I can do.....just a rant.... - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > this story makes me so sad and there isn't anything I can do.....just a rant....
waiting2bemommy's Avatar waiting2bemommy 03:49 AM 01-26-2010
A friend of my mom's gave me a ride today and she had her granddaughter in the back seat, asleep when I got in. The baby is still rearfacing and I commented on it (in a positive way!) because although I haven't really hung out with them in a while, I was pretty sure she was around a year, and people around here like to turn their kids early. So I thought that was great.

Until....she proceeds to tell me that the baby is still in her INFANT carseat at 16 months, because she is so tiny that she hasn't outgrown it yet. She is still in 6-9 and 9-12 mo clothes and just started walking about a month ago. So I asked her if they had ruled out any issues that might be slowing down her growth.

She said the doctor just put her on pediasure last week because she doesn't eat, which I took to mean that she is picky, only likes milk or gerber puffs or soemthing....no. Her mom doesn't FEED her. At all. She only gives her bottles (of what I don't know since she said she's not on formula) and bread.

A few weeks ago the grandma went out of town and took the baby with her to give her dd a break for a couple weeks, and while the baby was with her she learned to eat. She had not eaten anything on a regular basis up to that point and the grandma had to start her on stage 1 jar food because that's all she could handle. Over the course of the trip she progressed up through the stage 3 and on to some real foods, and gained 4 pounds.

I couldn't believe it and I was like "well, doesn't she cry when she's hungry?" her grandma said she hardly cries at all even if she gets hurt and will sleep for hours and hours day and night. Her bladder is so small that when she drinks something it runs right through her and comes out immediately like one of those "real-life" dolls that kids play with. The doctor said her liver had high levels of bilirubin because she was so dehydrated at her last visit, but I guess maybe the mom made it seem like she wasn't interested in food, so that's why he prescribed pediasure rather than attributing it to neglect.

What breaks my heart is that I really, really like her dd. She is a little younger than me but she always loved babies as a preteen and young teen and I saw her being an excellent mother because of that. When her baby was born she was only 18 and not in the greatest point of life and I wanted to be encouraging to her so I filled this big diaper bag with all kinds of nursing goodies like lansinoh and the breastfeeding book by dr sears. I encouraged her to stick it out with nursing and at first she was. I commiserated with her about the discomfort at first and encouraged her to cosleep and let the baby be attached to her since she was going to be a solo parent, like me at the time. She seemed to be doing great when I last really talked with her when her dd was about 6 months. I moved and had issues of my own and lost touch with her, and have only seen her a few times since then. She always looks so nice and put together that I thought she must really be doing great at the mommy thing.

I'm so heartbroken for this baby. Her grandma doesn't always get to see her as much as she'd like but she brings jar food over to the dd's place because that is the only thing she will feed her. For whatever reason she won't feed her anything else except bread and bottles. She refuses to lsiten to her mom or anyone else about anything related to caring for the baby. I just don't get it. I totally get selfish moments and wanting to toss the baby out the window at 2 AM and all those awful things you think and say when your child is testing and frsutrating you, but I just can't imagine not feeding my dc. I would rather starve before letting my child go hungry. I just.don't.understand.

There is nothing I can do about this. I just had to rant because by the time I got out the car I just wanted to break down crying. That poor poor baby. I don't want anyone to take her from her mama...I KNOW she is a good person and probably means well. But I wish she would take some advice and help so she could get back to being a great mother. I just can't fathom what she's thinking to do this to her baby.

TulsiLeaf's Avatar TulsiLeaf 04:07 AM 01-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
A friend of my mom's gave me a ride today and she had her granddaughter in the back seat, asleep when I got in. The baby is still rearfacing and I commented on it (in a positive way!) because although I haven't really hung out with them in a while, I was pretty sure she was around a year, and people around here like to turn their kids early. So I thought that was great.

Until....she proceeds to tell me that the baby is still in her INFANT carseat at 16 months, because she is so tiny that she hasn't outgrown it yet. She is still in 6-9 and 9-12 mo clothes and just started walking about a month ago. So I asked her if they had ruled out any issues that might be slowing down her growth.

She said the doctor just put her on pediasure last week because she doesn't eat, which I took to mean that she is picky, only likes milk or gerber puffs or soemthing....no. Her mom doesn't FEED her. At all. She only gives her bottles (of what I don't know since she said she's not on formula) and bread.

A few weeks ago the grandma went out of town and took the baby with her to give her dd a break for a couple weeks, and while the baby was with her she learned to eat. She had not eaten anything on a regular basis up to that point and the grandma had to start her on stage 1 jar food because that's all she could handle. Over the course of the trip she progressed up through the stage 3 and on to some real foods, and gained 4 pounds.

I couldn't believe it and I was like "well, doesn't she cry when she's hungry?" her grandma said she hardly cries at all even if she gets hurt and will sleep for hours and hours day and night. Her bladder is so small that when she drinks something it runs right through her and comes out immediately like one of those "real-life" dolls that kids play with. The doctor said her liver had high levels of bilirubin because she was so dehydrated at her last visit, but I guess maybe the mom made it seem like she wasn't interested in food, so that's why he prescribed pediasure rather than attributing it to neglect.

What breaks my heart is that I really, really like her dd. She is a little younger than me but she always loved babies as a preteen and young teen and I saw her being an excellent mother because of that. When her baby was born she was only 18 and not in the greatest point of life and I wanted to be encouraging to her so I filled this big diaper bag with all kinds of nursing goodies like lansinoh and the breastfeeding book by dr sears. I encouraged her to stick it out with nursing and at first she was. I commiserated with her about the discomfort at first and encouraged her to cosleep and let the baby be attached to her since she was going to be a solo parent, like me at the time. She seemed to be doing great when I last really talked with her when her dd was about 6 months. I moved and had issues of my own and lost touch with her, and have only seen her a few times since then. She always looks so nice and put together that I thought she must really be doing great at the mommy thing.

I'm so heartbroken for this baby. Her grandma doesn't always get to see her as much as she'd like but she brings jar food over to the dd's place because that is the only thing she will feed her. For whatever reason she won't feed her anything else except bread and bottles. She refuses to lsiten to her mom or anyone else about anything related to caring for the baby. I just don't get it. I totally get selfish moments and wanting to toss the baby out the window at 2 AM and all those awful things you think and say when your child is testing and frsutrating you, but I just can't imagine not feeding my dc. I would rather starve before letting my child go hungry. I just.don't.understand.

There is nothing I can do about this. I just had to rant because by the time I got out the car I just wanted to break down crying. That poor poor baby. I don't want anyone to take her from her mama...I KNOW she is a good person and probably means well. But I wish she would take some advice and help so she could get back to being a great mother. I just can't fathom what she's thinking to do this to her baby.

Why isn't grandma talking to her pediatrician or the authorities? That is neglect, not just a difference of parenting. If I were you, I would just call the pediatricians and not give my name but tell them what you know. By law they are required to investigate.
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 04:16 AM 01-26-2010
hmm you think there's a bit of babywise scheduling going on here?

I had a fb friend related a similar story. (Not IRL friend, don't even know where she is located let alone her friend).

She was asking me for links to show that feeding throughout the day is important b/c her friend gives her 9 month old a bottle in the morning and a bottle at night. Nothing else.

I almost died a little when I read it.


If you know this person I think you could try to do something about it. Mamas following babywise often hide it from the pediatrician. Other intervention could help this baby.
waiting2bemommy's Avatar waiting2bemommy 04:31 AM 01-26-2010
what is babywise? Do I want to know? Who in their right mind thinks babies only need to eat twice a day?

No, I think she is wrapped up in doing her own thing and for whatever reason (emotional, the living situation, a bad boyfriend, I really don't know) has become disconnected enough from her baby to ignore her cries to the point that baby has given up on crying, and not feed her even when she herself is eating.

I wish I could really, truly help her. I know what it is to be so overwhelmed and to made poor decisions out of a variety of motivations, and I've definitely made some mistakes. But looking at my ds is what makes me stop, think, and start over again when I'm screwing up. It reminds me that it's not all about me. But if there were no connection there I guess it would be a lot easier to just go on about my life, dragging him through it with me and never looking back. Somehow I think she's lost that with her baby.

The grandma seems to feel that if she says anything she won't get to see the baby at all because her dd will make sure she doesn't see her, out of anger. I don't know if there's a back story between her and her dd that makes her feel like calling the ped or social services would make things worse. But she seems like an outstanding mother (and she has raised a lot of kids, all grown now), so I sort of trust her judgement if she says this is all that can be done right now. It's jsut very, very sad. I might call her dd up though and just ask if she wants to hang out. Maybe in casual hanging out we might be able to talk and I could encourage her towards feeding the baby, interacting with her etc. esp if she sees me and my ds together maybe that will strike something in her.
claddaghmom's Avatar claddaghmom 04:36 AM 01-26-2010
Here's a link that talks about babywise...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...0977563&ref=mf


I don't know, if we're talking about decreased organ capacity and function from dehydration then we're talking about a need for an immediate intervention to protect the health and wellbeing of the child. The grandmother might be focused on her relationship but that should not be to the exclusion of the health of the child.
Bokonon's Avatar Bokonon 04:36 AM 01-26-2010
She needs to be reported to CPS. End of story. That is child abuse, child endangerment, neglect, etc., and the longer this goes on, the less likely it becomes that the child will ever have a chance at a healthy, normal life.

The grandmother is probably too close to the situation to see it rationally. She would rather see her granddaughter starve than not see her at all?
Jackies Ladybug's Avatar Jackies Ladybug 04:41 AM 01-26-2010
this seems to be a pretty urgent situation, i would call the ped if you know the contact info. this is NEGLECT. it doesnt matter what the excuse is, babies can DIE of dehydration and starvation. DIE.
and its not that she is just a little skinny, she ISNT GROWING. i know its tough mama, but you should make the call, i dont think this is something you can just hang out and wait on.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 04:44 AM 01-26-2010
I am absolutely not someone who supports butting in to other peoples' family lives - almost always, here on MDC, I roll my eyes at threads where someone is soliciting support for being nosy about other peoples' food habits/car seat habits/discipline habits.

So I hope it sounds sufficiently serious when I say that I think this sounds like the little one is basically being starved.

I think you need to really meditate on calling family services in your area and hopefully getting this poor baby - and her mama - some help.

I'm sorry. That must have been distressing to hear about. But I really hope you feel able to take some action to get them some help.
waiting2bemommy's Avatar waiting2bemommy 04:46 AM 01-26-2010
the thing is, this girl does not even live in my city. I have not been to her house...I think she lives about 20 minutes away, judging from what the grandma said, but I really am not sure where she lives exactly. I don't know her doctor's name or anything else. I don't even know the dd's last name. I'm going to talk to my mom about it tomorrow because she is friends with the grandma. I didn't have a chance to bring it up today. I was as horrified as you all are. But I don't have a single piece of information beyond a first name to even make the call.
~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 05:30 AM 01-26-2010
i just want to give you another person supporting you figuring out how to get help to both this mom and her innocent child. this could very well be life threatening neglect, even if its not better to get someone in there to check it out and hopefully also to offer the young mom some much needed counseling.
waiting2bemommy's Avatar waiting2bemommy 05:33 AM 01-26-2010
I will try and post an update tomorrow; I'm now going to go attempt sleep....but I will def. talk to my mom tomorrow. She might have more of the story than I could get on a 15 minutes car ride.
TinkerBelle's Avatar TinkerBelle 10:10 AM 01-26-2010
I am the last person to say "call cps". However, in this case, I would do it now. If I had the correct information.
HollyBearsMom's Avatar HollyBearsMom 10:30 AM 01-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
the thing is, this girl does not even live in my city. I have not been to her house...I think she lives about 20 minutes away, judging from what the grandma said, but I really am not sure where she lives exactly. I don't know her doctor's name or anything else. I don't even know the dd's last name. I'm going to talk to my mom about it tomorrow because she is friends with the grandma. I didn't have a chance to bring it up today. I was as horrified as you all are. But I don't have a single piece of information beyond a first name to even make the call.
I am so suprised you know so little about her considering this?

Quote:
What breaks my heart is that I really, really like her dd. She is a little younger than me but she always loved babies as a preteen and young teen and I saw her being an excellent mother because of that. When her baby was born she was only 18 and not in the greatest point of life and I wanted to be encouraging to her so I filled this big diaper bag with all kinds of nursing goodies like lansinoh and the breastfeeding book by dr sears. I encouraged her to stick it out with nursing and at first she was. I commiserated with her about the discomfort at first and encouraged her to cosleep and let the baby be attached to her since she was going to be a solo parent, like me at the time. She seemed to be doing great when I last really talked with her when her dd was about 6 months. I moved and had issues of my own and lost touch with her, and have only seen her a few times since then. She always looks so nice and put together that I thought she must really be doing great at the mommy thing.
Can't you ask her mom since you know her enought to get rides together?? This is abuse.
waiting2bemommy's Avatar waiting2bemommy 12:26 PM 01-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post
I am so suprised you know so little about her considering this?



Can't you ask her mom since you know her enought to get rides together?? This is abuse.
At that time she was living with her mom. I know her because her mother and mine attend the same religious congregation (which at the time she and I also were attending, and we would see each other in the nursing room frequently since we were both nursing at the time.) That time when her baby was born is the only time I've ever been to her house. I made a special point to go because I knew for the most part people would be sort of looking down on her situation and I felt like she deserved to have soomeone come over and ooh and ahh and make a fuss about the baby, you know?

I can't freakin' FIND my mom this morning.....she's not home and I don't know where she disappeared to. Ironically ds woke up at like 4 AM demanding breakfast and I was so tired I let him eat a banana in bed w/me and after that I kept thinking about her poor baby not getting anything to eat day after day.....

I do wonder though how it could be that the ped didn't suspect some kind of neglect if what the grandma says is true. Now mind you I've never even seen this child awake since she was about 6 months old, but if she still fits ina bucket seat, there has GOT to be something wrong...and according to the grandma they were worried enough about her at the doctor's office to do all kinds of blood tests to figure out why she is so small, yet it never occurred to them that the mom might not be feeding her? It's just weird to me. That's the first thing they ask about at all of ds' checkups.
flapjack's Avatar flapjack 12:39 PM 01-26-2010
Erm, my son still fits in his bucket by weight and height and he's 2 on Sunday. Not starved either. (It's a maxi-cosi, the weight limit is 13kg.) I wouldn't use that as your yardstick for FTT, or the fact that she can still wear 6-12 month clothes either.

I'd try and manipulate some way of checking in with her mom. It sounds like there's maybe some exaggeration going on (I can see a grandma interpreting baby-led weaning as "refuses to feed him"), maybe some PPD, maybe an awful lot of things. He has his grandma watching out for his wellbeing and his mom is taking him to the ped, I don't honestly know if I think CPS are going to make anything better- and generally, I'm a big believer in supporting parents to make the changes needed, rather than going around them. KWIM?
betsyj's Avatar betsyj 12:45 PM 01-26-2010
Quote:
but if she still fits in a bucket seat, there has GOT to be something wrong
Nope not necessarily. My son is 20.5 mos old, 21 lbs and is still wearing his 6-9 mo winter jacket. He outgrew his infant seat by height when he was 18 mos old. We are struggling to get him to gain some weight (he has fallen off the charts completely) and we are trying EVERYTHING.

So I am all for you following up and making sure this babe is ok. But, sometimes relatives misinterpret things, and don't really understand what is really going on.
momtoS's Avatar momtoS 12:46 PM 01-26-2010
Ask your mom for her name (first and last), since she is friends with the grandmother. Or, if she is a single mom, would her last name be the same as the grandmother? Could you search her name on the internet and see if it comes up in the area you suspect?

This baby has stunted growth, bladder issues and is failing to thrive. This baby is being STARVED. The little baby may DIE.....

CPS must must must must be called.

(Just before Christmas, in my small town a toddler died from being beat....apparently people knew and did nothing....please please please do something before it is too late! )
ernalala's Avatar ernalala 02:49 PM 01-26-2010
Just to inform you that perfectly healthy and thriving toddlers, just small in size and in the lowest 5th percentile, can easily fit in a baby bucket seat, rear-facing, and wear baby-size clothes (really depends on the brand, there are rather 'big size' 9m old clothes too :-) by 2y, or even slightly over 2 (my first one was, a little premature, but healthy and thriving and just 'small/not at all chubby'). Just a tiny child still fitting in smaller size clothes and equipment can't be a reason, or element in suspecting neglect.

About what was told you by the grandma, I would be careful with jumping to conclusions based just on what you've been told by one person on one occasion. I would first try and check this out by yourself asap, and if you think neglect is really a possibility after seeing the mom and her daughter, or at least have checked with other people who've seen/spoken to them lately, only then I would inform authorities/CPS.

But, based on the bilirubine story related to dehydration (?that's weird indeed?), I would be suspicious, too.
RiverTam's Avatar RiverTam 07:05 PM 01-26-2010
OP, please just call CPS and let them investigate. The dehydration is a sign of neglect. You don't need more information.

YOU shouldn't be the one doing the investigation anyway. You're not a trained child abuse investigator. The child's doctor can't talk to you about what is going on. CPS has trained child abuse investigators. The doctor can talk to them.

Just call CPS.
sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 08:02 PM 01-26-2010
Could you possibly make it like the doctor was to blame for not seeing the problem that was exactly like "what was wrong with the baby of this lady I met once, I swear it's exactly the same, you should take that baby to another doctor!"??
bebebradford's Avatar bebebradford 10:20 PM 01-26-2010
It is YOUR duty to call CPS NOW!
RooRooDog's Avatar RooRooDog 11:24 PM 01-26-2010
For what it's worth, if I was in this situation, I would call CPS.
KristyDi's Avatar KristyDi 11:33 PM 01-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post
but if she still fits ina bucket seat, there has GOT to be something wrong...and according to the grandma they were worried enough about her at the doctor's office to do all kinds of blood tests to figure out why she is so small, yet it never occurred to them that the mom might not be feeding her? It's just weird to me. That's the first thing they ask about at all of ds' checkups.

My 22 month old dd still fits by weight and height in her bucket. Now it does have a higher weight limit than average (30lbs) but she's nowhere near the limit.

She is also currently wearing a 12 month shirt and has a fair number of other articles of 12 month clothing that still fit fine.

Is it possible that the mom of this child is not doing things the way her mom (the grandma) wants and the grandma is sure that this will result in major problems. I mean how many times has some one on here posted about how their ped or MIL is freaking out because mom isn't feeding the baby the X amount of solids a day and the babe isn't at X percentile on the chart.

I'm not saying that this is the case (though I hope for the baby's sake it is) I'm just saying that based on the info you have I'm not sure you can draw a reasonable conclusion either way. I would like to think that if there were grounds to call CPS the dr's office would know.
Tofu the Geek's Avatar Tofu the Geek 11:50 PM 01-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by claddaghmom View Post
Here's a link that talks about babywise...

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...0977563&ref=mf
Do you have a different link or a Facebook search term so I can find your Facebook reference? When I click that link it just takes me to my Facebook homepage.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 12:05 AM 01-27-2010
I had never heard of Babywise until I started reading baby books, which all sternly-yet-vaguely warn you against it.

It's a parenting method espoused by Gary Ezzo, who seems to be a self-proclaimed expert in the field.

Here's a blurb from Christianity Today (my understanding is that there's a lot of Babywise stuff/classes taught to parents specifically in evangelical churches):

Quote:
A central element of Ezzo's plan in Babywise is feeding newborns on a firm schedule, controlled by parents, rather than "on-demand," whenever a newborn seems hungry. Ezzo says his parent-directed method is essential to develop respectful, obedient, and godly children. Yet many breast-feeding mothers report that they have been unable to produce an adequate milk supply when following the program according to Matthew Aney, a California pediatrician.

A major focus of Babywise is to get infants to sleep all night as soon as possible. But some pediatricians, when comparing newborns whose parents use Ezzo's guidelines to other infants, have noted a higher incidence of inadequate weight gain, dehydration, and failure to thrive. Critics also sharply question other Babywise emphases, such as introducing a form of spanking in children younger than 2
More here: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/...ly8/12.20.html

I linked to that because I thought it was the most neutral-point-of-view article on Babywise in the first page of Google results, but by googling "Babywise", or "Baby Wise" or "Gary Ezzo" you'll find lots of stuff.
PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 02:06 AM 01-27-2010
We have a very big bucket seat; it goes to 30lbs and 32". Many one yr olds fit just fine in these. I also have 90th percentile to off the charts children who wear pants that are designed for children much younger than them until they are about 4 yrs old. Up until then, they wear tiny pants because they have short legs and very long torsos. My tall, heavy 27 month old just stopped wearing 12 mo. pants last month, then skipped through 18 months and now suddenly is into 24 months, that fast.

Also, my youngest two dc didn't start eating solids until 14 and 13 months respectively, and even then, not meals. My youngest only started taking table food seriously at 18-20 months old.

My dc would never arrouse any suspicion though because they are huge and inhumanly strong, but if they had different constitutions, they could be the subject of concern. Bucket seats so late, no solids until after a year, small-sized clothing.

If you have reason to be concerned, then be concerned, but I just wanted to share along with pps that sometimes these things are just how they are and they are not unhealthy or from neglect. My friend has teeny-tiny babies and while her bf'ing relationship is very similar, she is constantly harrassed while I am not. Her babes are small, and mine are huge, and that's just how it is. It makes her paranoid though, and I feel sad about that; she is caring for her littles the way they need and it looks different than the norm, so she has an added stress from others.

Please check in at least a little before calling CPS, or don't, but tell them that you are not sure so that she has a chance to really talk and not just stand accused.
Kailey's mom's Avatar Kailey's mom 02:14 AM 01-27-2010
Sounds like a situation that CPS needs to be aware of...unless.. there is a medical reason the mother isn't feeding her dd. Sensory issues related to food; GI issues; food allergies *although I doubt that since she can have pediasure* other medical problems.. It could be medical, but problably not. Just wanted to throw that out there. I don't feed my 3 year old, but she has eosinophilic colitis so she can only have elecare kwim.
Funny Face's Avatar Funny Face 02:31 AM 01-27-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post
She needs to be reported to CPS. End of story. That is child abuse, child endangerment, neglect, etc., and the longer this goes on, the less likely it becomes that the child will ever have a chance at a healthy, normal life.
Based on what you heard and what you know you need to call. If grandma is exaggerating they can figure that out but the dehydration is a red flag.

Try finding her on facebook. If you know where she went to highschool, what city she lives in, her first name, a former last name, chances are you can weed through profiles and find her.

Give CPS the grandmother's name. However you do it you need to contact them.

My heart breaks just reading that story.
mamaofthree's Avatar mamaofthree 02:35 AM 01-27-2010
the blood test seems worrisome... but that is just what the grandma told you correct? i second trying to talk to the mom and maybe get to know her a bit. (if possible) maybe it is a difference in opinion between grandma and daughter. or maybe the mom is being neglectful... but if you get to watch her a bit you might see it.


h
chaoticzenmom's Avatar chaoticzenmom 03:20 AM 01-27-2010
My first and third children didn't eat solids until around 2yrs old. They were both breastfed exclusively, except yogurt-type things that long. They just couldn't handle solids, gagged, spit stuff out, etc.

Of course, keep an eye out and maybe find out more, but being small and not eating solids isn't a sign of abuse. I find it hard to believe she'd allow all this testing, take her child to the ped, discuss this with other people (her mom), etc. if she was completely neglectful. I'm really doubting that the dr. didn't ask about feeding, etc. with that kind of visit.

But you saw the baby. We didn't. If you think she's being starved, then you should probably call.
Lisa
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