Help re. threats from my sister-in-law - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-08-2008, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Our baby daughter was born at home, unassisted, March 19. She hasn't seen a doctor. She has not been and will not be vaccinated. I noticed after she was born a gurgling, cooing sound that comes from her larynx when she breathes. I had my friend, a licensed midwife, examine her, and the midwife said it's probably a small congenital abnormality that a doctor wouldn't be able to fix without invasive actions and that it is obviously causing our daughter no difficulty (she was born pink and has never struggled to breathe, cries loudly, and her chest does not cave). So on the advice of my midwife, I didn't go to the doctor. I had another friend, an rn also, check her, and she said "No problem, babies often make little sounds until their tracheas mature." Her husband, an ND, briefly checked our daughter, too, and agreed that there was no cause for medical treatment. Since then, the sounds have decreased in frequency of occurrence, though they still happen.

My husband's sis is an rn, and on our recent trip to Houston, where she lives, she let me know that she strongly disapproves of our decision not to vaccinate and not to seek medical care for what she thinks is laryngeal malasia. My son mentioned last night to my husband that he overheard her talking about reporting us to Child Protective Services. My husband asked her if this is true, and she said that she had considered it but had decided to take no action.

Today I have been googling "parents' right to refuse medical care" and I'm coming up with some extreme cases, that aren't relevant to our situation.

Any guidance??
Thank you!
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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any guidance i have for you would advocate violence and are thus against the UA. i'm really sorry she's being such a about it.

the only thing i can think of to tell you is to have your dp deal with her, rather than doing it yourself. sometimes these things have a lot to do with you being an in-law, an "outsider", and their position as a medical professional makes them think they have some sort of power or authority over you. she would likely not try that power trip on her own brother. but regardless, it would likely not escalate to the level of spite/hurt feelings if you let him have the dealings with her.

also, since you've already had her examined by several medical professionals, i don't really see her point. she's not being logical, she's threatened by the decisions you're making for your family and trying to push her values on you in the name of safety or responsibility. you've already been safe and responsible by having the issue checked out by a couple of professionals, and her concern for the matter should end there.

i thought i inferred from your post that you and she live in different states, or at the least, different counties. in that regard, she wouldn't get very far trying to call CPS on you - her county's authorities have no jurisdiction over you.

and sorry you have to deal with this.

in the future, perhaps you should adopt the mindset that it isn't any of your inlaws' business whether or not you vaccinate your children or bring them to a pediatrician.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:23 PM
 
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Not sure if you're in Texas too, but this is interesting:

Quote:
§ 531.0335. PROHIBITION ON PUNITIVE ACTION FOR FAILURE
TO IMMUNIZE. (a) In this section:
(1) "Person responsible for a child's care, custody,
or welfare" has the meaning assigned by Section 261.001, Family
Code.
(2) "Punitive action" includes the initiation of an
investigation of a person responsible for a child's care, custody,
or welfare for alleged or suspected abuse or neglect of a child.
(b) The commissioner by rule shall prohibit a health and
human services agency from taking a punitive action against a
person responsible for a child's care, custody, or welfare for
failure of the person to ensure that the child receives the
immunization series prescribed by Section 161.004, Health and
Safety Code.
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes...tm#531.0335.00

Quote:
"Neglect" includes:
(B) the following acts or omissions by a person:
(ii) failing to seek, obtain, or follow
through with medical care for a child, with the failure resulting in
or presenting a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or bodily
injury or with the failure resulting in an observable and material
impairment to the growth, development, or functioning of the child;
http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes...htm#261.001.00

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes...htm#261.107.00
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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i agree its none of her biz. and since an RN MW and your ND hubby checked her out and say everythings cool then she is just being annoying.
How many people check their kids out by three diffrent types of medical persons?

Personly i wouldn't talk to her, or at least not about what i was doing with my kids. if she asks i would just say their doctor says they are fine. and leave it at that. she doesn't need to know any info.

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Old 07-09-2008, 01:59 AM
 
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I am sorry your going though this and it can be very worrying.
I know because I have been in a similar situation with family in reguard to my sons vaccination status.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:44 PM
 
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You haven't actually refused medical care because you have had her seen by the MW and ND. I would argue that is care. I wouldn't think you would have anything to worry about even if she DID call CPS (other than the headache of course).

But I wouldn't argue, or even discuss anything to do with your babe's health with SIL...ever again. Very meddlesome, very knowitall by the sounds of things. I would try to engage her as little as poss...

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Old 07-09-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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If it was my SIL that would be the last time she ever had anything to do with my family. Threats like that are deal breakers for me.

I'm sorry she is adding this kind of unnecessary stress in your life.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:17 PM
 
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I would avoid her at all costs. It's none of her business. That's just plain rude.

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Old 07-09-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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No, she can not do anything to harm your parenting decision since the baby is not in a life or death situation.

Don't trust her from now on. She is no good.
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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You know, I don't much care for lying but this is exactly what I've been doing. Even then, it's a stretch. I tell my family we are "delaying" vaccines. I just haven't mentioned that we're delaying them INDEFINITELY.

And for what it's worth, parents ARE allowed to change their minds so, if you DO decide to vaccinate down the road, don't feel obligated to announce it (or keep it hush-hush, for that matter).

Sorry about her rudeness. We went through a period where we thought my father was going to report us to CPS but his wonderful wife (a nurse, btw) has convinced him to let my husband and myself raise our children in the best way we see fit.
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meccamama View Post
Our baby daughter was born at home, unassisted, March 19. She hasn't seen a doctor. She has not been and will not be vaccinated. I noticed after she was born a gurgling, cooing sound that comes from her larynx when she breathes. I had my friend, a licensed midwife, examine her, and the midwife said it's probably a small congenital abnormality that a doctor wouldn't be able to fix without invasive actions and that it is obviously causing our daughter no difficulty (she was born pink and has never struggled to breathe, cries loudly, and her chest does not cave). So on the advice of my midwife, I didn't go to the doctor. I had another friend, an rn also, check her, and she said "No problem, babies often make little sounds until their tracheas mature." Her husband, an ND, briefly checked our daughter, too, and agreed that there was no cause for medical treatment. Since then, the sounds have decreased in frequency of occurrence, though they still happen.

My husband's sis is an rn, and on our recent trip to Houston, where she lives, she let me know that she strongly disapproves of our decision not to vaccinate and not to seek medical care for what she thinks is laryngeal malasia. My son mentioned last night to my husband that he overheard her talking about reporting us to Child Protective Services. My husband asked her if this is true, and she said that she had considered it but had decided to take no action.

Today I have been googling "parents' right to refuse medical care" and I'm coming up with some extreme cases, that aren't relevant to our situation.

Any guidance??
Thank you!
Gently: Why not just take your little one for a thorough newborn exam? I personally find it is a great thing to have a relationship with a pediatrician for those times when you want to call in the middle of the night about something. Also, aside from Hep B, there are no newborn vaccines. So you won't even need to refuse any aside from Hep B, and I don't know... I have never had an issue with refusing that one. (Or any, honestly.) I know there are a lot of horror stories about pediatricians around here, but there are also lots and lots of wonderful doctors out there. A good exam could give you peace of mind regarding whatever your child's condition may be, plus arm you against any possible intrusion by CPS.

FWIW I am a S&D vaxer and I have never had an issue with refusing or delaying a vaccine. My pediatrician has been great about working with me and listening to my concerns about everything.

I'm sorry, I just don't see how it could hurt just to go for an exam.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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If you were to follow the advice of someone like prettypixels then I'd suggest skipping the pediatrician altoghther - the AAP hasn't exactly been very good at inspiring confidence, especially if you'd like to skip some of their ridiculous advice (the recent discussions on statins and children for instance). If you were going to take you lo in then I would suggest picking an FP first.

That being said if you decide not to then definitely familiarize yourself with your state's definition of medical neglect. Based upon what I've read of Laryngomalacia there doesn't appear to be anything that would classify as "life threatening" - especially since it appears that the only treatment necessary is time in 99% of cases.

From the link I gave above:
Quote:
If the baby has normal cry, normal weight gain, normal development, and purely inspiratory noise that developed within the first 2 months of life, then no further workup may be necessary. Parents may be told that laryngomalacia is the most likely diagnosis, and they can be assured of its natural history.
I'd make your SIL aware (through your dh may be best as pps have mentioned) of your knowledge of things like those mentioned above. Then, please make things easier on you and limit the kinds of information that you SIL has access to. The less she knows the easier it will likely be for your family. And, like another pp has mentioned, threats like the one your SIL is making are deal breakers for us as well and would only further limit any contact my family had with her - most definitely any unsupervised contact with my children.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pampered_mom View Post
That being said if you decide not to then definitely familiarize yourself with your state's definition of medical neglect. Based upon what I've read of Laryngomalacia there doesn't appear to be anything that would classify as "life threatening" - especially since it appears that the only treatment necessary is time in 99% of cases.
The only problem with this, is that the rules of what is truly medical neglect get ignored and sometimes the powers take over. What I mean, is that when my ds1 was 3 I spilled some hot tea on him...he had first degree burns, I treated at home and were healing well, no infection. I knew what to watch for and did not feel it was necessary to take him in for this.

Well, one of the teacher's at his preschool thought they looked terrible and "suspicious" and called CPS and the police. My kids were not again in my posession for 5 months. Even with 2 attorney's we were told that CPS had all the power. The judge didn't even bother to look at the medical records which said "First degree burns, need no treatment". So I was charged with abuse (for spilling the tea), neglect for having a cup of tea anywhere near him, and medical neglect for not taking him to the doctor. To this day I am still bitter, angry, and paranoid. A first degree burn in no way constitutes permanent disfigurement, impairment or life threatening.

I know my situation is not the norm, and even our attorneys and all the other people working with us said we "slipped through the cracks of the system." BUT part of their problem with us was that we were young, had a lot of kids (was pg with #3), didn't have much money and were "different" from other parents...they actually said all that in court. So my concern in your situation is that you are "different", you gave birth with no help, and don't plan on seeking "real" medical care for your child. They can take that and run with it.

If it were me and I were being threatened, I would take her to be seen. Just be sure! Just to get her off my back...because believe me, the other side is much scarier.

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Old 07-16-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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Seems to me your lo has had at least 3 exams by medical people already if I am remembering right so why isnt that good enough? I mean just because it wasnt I am assuming in a office dosnt mean that the exams were any less accurate IMO.

I am curious to why you havnt taken your lo to a ped for a exam as well (though I dont see a single thing wrong with not doing it) If I had known I could I would have skipped the exam as well.

 
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LavenderMae View Post
If it was my SIL that would be the last time she ever had anything to do with my family. Threats like that are deal breakers for me.

I'm sorry she is adding this kind of unnecessary stress in your life.
ita

absolutely

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Old 07-17-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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What about establishing a relationship with a ND? Some specialize in kids. Then if she did call CPS, you would have medical records to dispute her report. In most states, they can't make an issue out of you not vaccinating.

While I would not be too worried, she can in fact call the CPS in your state/county and make a report from out of the area. And in some states, the workers are overzealous. If a report is made generally it is investigated, and you don't want to run the risk of getting the investigator that thinks no doctor = medical neglect.

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Old 07-17-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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i will NEVER take my kids to a pediatrician. around here, they arent very accomodating to non vaxing parents. Family practitioners or NDs are however.

i understand not wanting to CYA but you have a SIL that thinks she knows better. i would establish a r/s w/ a ND or a FP ASAP. and then i would inform my dh that if he wants to visit his sis again, he can do it ALONE.

what you have experienced is a THREAT. take it easy this time...get your dd into a FP or NP and then issue a cease and desist order for SIL...of any contact.

this will only get worse over time.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:11 AM
 
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I am sorry that you are dealing with a personality like that! I have a couple of those on my husbands side... I have learned not to share any type of personal info. with any of his family because of it, and he doesn't either. If I were to have a baby at home, only those I know would accept it would even know about where. I vaccinated my son, and I had prob. he is fine but I stopped the vacc. of course everyone is alright with it, because he went into seizures, so its alright in that case... (Yeahhh... I had my eyes opened!!!) I will no longer subject any child to have those. I think they cause all types of prob. down the road. So good decision...

As far as her stepping on your toes.... or wait... that is her stepping way over the line and onto your toes!!!!

Anyway... I personally feel like those people who feel so much passion for a belief they have... well I admire that, as long as it doesn't take the freedom and passion from someone else. Perhaps you could explain that you both are passionate in different ways, you both have different beliefs, and that is ok. But in all honesty... I would stay clear of the sis in law.

Have you ever seen The business of being born?" Perhaps you could suggest she watch it...?


T
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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Honestly, I would be kind of worried too if I was her. What does it hurt to have a good doctor check it out?

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Old 07-22-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prettypixels View Post
Gently: Why not just take your little one for a thorough newborn exam? I personally find it is a great thing to have a relationship with a pediatrician for those times when you want to call in the middle of the night about something. Also, aside from Hep B, there are no newborn vaccines. <snip> I know there are a lot of horror stories about pediatricians around here, but there are also lots and lots of wonderful doctors out there. A good exam could give you peace of mind regarding whatever your child's condition may be, plus arm you against any possible intrusion by CPS.

I'm sorry, I just don't see how it could hurt just to go for an exam.

I agree completely with this.

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Old 07-22-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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My son was diagnosed with laryngeal malacia by an MD who basically shrugged and said "no reflux, no problem!" and that he would grow out of it.

Some babies are just loud breathers. I have two of them. I think you've covered your bases just fine.

P.S. He grew out of it.

P.P.S. Examinations by a licensed midwife and a naturopathic physician could hardly be characterized as medical neglect.

P.P.P.S. Congratulations on a happy and healthy birth! Enjoy your beautiful child.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:26 AM
 
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Honestly, I would be kind of worried too if I was her. What does it hurt to have a good doctor check it out?
Seriously... What is wrong with the medical attention that this baby has already received? I trust an ND just as much as I do and MD... In fact a good friend of mine is an MD ND, and according to her, the ND was just as hard, and had just as much quality. They have both gone through medical school, passed exams, and work with patients!!!

You have in no way neglected your baby!

T
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:11 AM
 
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Another option would be to have her seen by a family practioner. They're typically much more open to nonvax than pediatricians.

If this lady or some other person calls CPS on you, it would be a million times easier if you could just produce records from a doctor visit. Curbside consults from friends aren't helpful in that way, because no official record of the visit exists.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:32 AM
 
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Another option would be to have her seen by a family practioner. They're typically much more open to nonvax than pediatricians.

If this lady or some other person calls CPS on you, it would be a million times easier if you could just produce records from a doctor visit. Curbside consults from friends aren't helpful in that way, because no official record of the visit exists.
That makes sense!!!

How about actually asking around to other parents who have not vaccinated, or ask your friends that are ND's to give you a referal to a Ped. or Dr. that wont say anything about it, and or harrass, and just be someone to check out your baby.

The only prob. I see with this, is routine questioning, and by law alerting the health dept. of your dec. I do believe they are supposed to do that.

I would look into it though. You seem to want to stay away from that as long as you can.

T
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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If CPS knocks on your door and says, "May I come in?" you say, "no thanks!" Unless they have very strong evidence -- strong enough to get a court order or a warrant -- they can't come in unless you let them. If they receive a complaint about you that they feel is credible they will investigate, but they will need your permission to enter your house.

You have had your LO examined by several medical personnel. You have educated yourself about her condition. You have thoroughly educated yourselves about vaccines and decided not to give them to your LO. And if CPS knocks on your door, you can offer to talk to them on the front porch.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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Another option would be to have her seen by a family practioner. They're typically much more open to nonvax than pediatricians.

If this lady or some other person calls CPS on you, it would be a million times easier if you could just produce records from a doctor visit. Curbside consults from friends aren't helpful in that way, because no official record of the visit exists.
I too agree with this. It is much more difficult to question a "mainstream" established record of care. I was genuinely concerned about this and took dd to the ped at four days for a nb exam, prepared to shoot down any vax business. We got a little flack from a nurse (who seemed altogether grouchy as a rule) but the doctor didn't even miss a beat...just wrote "homebirth with midwife" on her chart.

I'm curious as to why you'd want to avoid allopathic medicine altogether...is it because of the UC? Vaccine registry?

This is a general question, not necessarily directed at the OP. I'm genuinely wondering as I do feel there is a time and a place for MD care...I'm not *totally* against the medical establishment.

The vaccine registry is irritating though. Our ped has zero problem with no/delayed vaxxing - in fact doesn't even bring it up, no waivers, etc. Also recommends herbal tea vs. antibiotics...I was lucky to find him. I've still been getting reminder postcards from somewhere (state or county), though, I'm assuming as a result of the birth certificate business?

It was the bc business that led the state to us regarding the PKU, too. Which I tried to get at the ped but could only have done at the hospital...where I definitely didn't want to take my nb.

If my SIL or any family member was making threats about CPS, that would be the LAST time we talked. Period. I don't need people like that anywhere near my child.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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Honestly, I would be kind of worried too if I was her. What does it hurt to have a good doctor check it out?

I was kind of wondering the same thing? Are you afraid a ped will force treatment on you?

I am an RN and have done peds but by no means am I in any way qualified to say what the "sound" is that the baby is making and I seriously doubt that any MW, RN (that isn't specialised in peds or neonates) or an ND would stand up in a room full of their peers and offer the same advice (They'd be completely out of their scope).

Why not get a qualified practitioner to check out the symptom? Then you can make a truly informed decision on what action (or not) to take.

FTR: I rarely take DS to the Dr. but sometimes it is necessary and I reserve the right to take the dr.'s advice or not.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Another option would be to have her seen by a family practioner. They're typically much more open to nonvax than pediatricians.

If this lady or some other person calls CPS on you, it would be a million times easier if you could just produce records from a doctor visit. Curbside consults from friends aren't helpful in that way, because no official record of the visit exists.
I would do this, to establish an official record of medical care. Because blessed is absolutely right. Your friends who looked at the baby may be perfectly qualified and correct in their assessment. But despite that, you still have no official record confirming that everything is fine. I would get that record. It can't possibly hurt and it might come in handy.

And then I would never speak to SIL again.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I would do this, to establish an official record of medical care. Because blessed is absolutely right. Your friends who looked at the baby may be perfectly qualified and correct in their assessment. But despite that, you still have no official record confirming that everything is fine. I would get that record. It can't possibly hurt and it might come in handy.

And then I would never speak to SIL again.
Actually just thinking of it.....

If you have already had her checked by an ND... couldn't you ask one of them for an official record, or make an apt. with one of your friends. Given the situation, they may know someone who is an MD. ND

T
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