Single Parents

well...need advice...

When I found out I was pregnant I was 12 weeks along.  I had to call my ex and tell him.  He was excited about the pregnancy.  He was happy to get the title of "Dad".  Unfortunately, the title was all he could handle.  Throughout my pregnancy, he would offer to help financially and never come through.  He would say he was coming over (no, we did not live together), and fail to arrive.  When I was about 7 1/2 months I got fed up and asked him to stay away.  I told him that he needed to forget about me and my baby.  I told him that I'd had enough.  I was exhausted from the pregnancy and from working full time.  (I'm a caregiver for individuals with developmental disabilities) I was (and still am) paying the bills for everything alone.  He yelled, I yelled, it was terrible.  I had our son prematurely.  He was born one month early, two weeks premature.  My BB spent the first week of his life in the NICU.  It was enough to break what was left of my heart.  Now my son is 15wks old.  He's perfect to me.  The best part about my life.  And his father called.  And he came over.  And he met our son.  And the smile on my sons face was amazing.  It was like he knew the man holding him is his father.  Since then, he has come over repeatedly.  My son loves him, I can tell.  The ex has even helped buy formula and diapers.  He says he wants us to really try for the sake of our son, that he thinks we can really be happy together. 

The other day he was holding my BB in his arms and feeding him.  My baby grabs one of his fingers in his little hand and one of my fingers in his other little hand and just looks at each of us expectantly.  His father looked down at him and said "I know son, I keep asking your mom but she keeps saying no."  I actually started thinking that I should give him a chance. 

But I keep replaying my BB's first week in the hospital.  The day he was born was the scariest, longest and best day of my life.  They took him from me to wrap him in tubes and wires and needles.  I got to visit him every single day in a closed ward,  And I did it alone.  When he was two months old he contracted a viral infection.  It began with a fever that would not break no matter what I did.  I ended up taking him to the ER for peds at the main hospital where we live.  We spent hours there while the doctors poked and prodded my son.  Their diagnosis was that he either had a bronchial virus or meningitis.  They began to pump him full of antivirals and we watched and waited to see what would happen.  Again I got to visit my son in a closed ward while they waited for him to recover.  Again I did it alone. 

I was scared alone.  I was terrified alone.  He was not there.  He was never there.  And now he says he wants to be there but I don't know if I should believe him. I don't want to have him here and be hurt again.  It's not just me getting hurt its also my son.  It's one thing when the ex promises me something and doesn't come through.  It would be completely more horrible if he were to promise something to my son and then not come through.  I don't really know what to do.  If I should believe him or move on. I don't know how to move on but I also don't know how to forgive him for leaving us alone on the scariest days of my life so far.     

Re: well...need advice...

  • Don't believe him. Take it from someone who has been pulled in by a guys 'promises' of change over and over. I took him back after DD was born and as soon as he lied, I told him to get out. He had the option to stay close to DD, but he walked out of her life and I have yet to hear from him other than a text once a week saying "So how is she doing?" that I only answer with "Good."

    You seem to have done well so far, if he really wants to be involved in your DS's life, he can prove it without being in YOUR life. GL

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  • From my personal experience, men have a hard time understanding hospitals and what to do in a hospital like setting.  Women, for the most part, are nurturing and caring.  Men like to fix things and usually immediately.  DD#1 was in the hospital for 3 months straight and stbx didn't get it emotionally, if that makes any sense to you.  I know you are upset about being left alone at such a fragile and emotional time of your life but I wouldn't BF out of the running yet.  Have you thought maybe individual counseling for yourself may be beneficial for you to get over the hurt and, what I can assume a feeling of abandonment?  Have you expressed your feelings to BF?  Would you consider attending counseling together?  Feel free to ask me any more questions.  While I am personally not with stbx anymore, I understand what you're feeling and I have also had a lot of time to think about what transpired in my situation and why.  While "being a man" isn't an excuse for not being present in both your and your LO's time of need, the fact is he is now.  So I also take it you two weren't together when LO was born.  This too, can have a huge impact on how a man might react in a very emotionally draining and downright scary situation.  
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  • It sounds like he is making a decent effort to be there for your son. I think it would be worth the time to go to couples counseling/family counseling and talk out your problems. Did you ever let him know how sick your LO was and that he were hospitalized those times? (Maybe I missed that when I read, but I don't think you mentioned it.) I have to say, though, that if you don't still have feelings for him and the kind of chemistry to make a relationship work then you'll all be better off just co-parenting. Just because he's flaky doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to be part of your son's life and be a parent. I feel like the only time BD shouldn't be allowed is when they have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or domestic abuse.
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  • I'm going to respond without reading previous replies so I may repeat something.

    My exH was a pretty good dad when it was just our son.  Things got rocky when our daughter was born. Anyway...different story for a different day.

    My son broke his leg (exH was carrying him down the stairs....exH slipped and fell on top of DS).  DS was 13 months old.  The guilt that exH felt was so strong that he refused to stay with us in the hospital.  We were (happily) married at that point so there was no issue.

    What I'm saying.  Men are afraid of hospitals.  They don't like them, they associate hospitals only with bad things no matter what good things are going on.  A woman, though painful, will stick by her child even if he's attached to tubes, wires, etc.  A man's coping mechanism is to run.  Out of all the surgeries and stuff I've had, my dad was only there for one of them.

    Don't fault him for not being there then.  He probably felt he would be a burden, you didn't want him there, or that he was simply scared out of his mind.  He's there now...seemingly all the time.

     On the other hand, listen to both your heart and your brain and your gut.  Your heart may say one thing but your brain is in charge.  Your gut is rarely wrong.

     No matter what you decide, good luck and I hope everything works out for the best. 

  • I would take it day by day, there is no need to rush things, or label yourself. I would give him a chance, but you need to make sure you are 100% in it. If you hold back due to fear of being hurt its not going to work. I don't know about you, but I would rather try and fail then not try at all and live with regrets and " what ifs". Good luck!
  • image inbetween:
    I would take it day by day, there is no need to rush things, or label yourself. I would give him a chance, but you need to make sure you are 100% in it. If you hold back due to fear of being hurt its not going to work. I don't know about you, but I would rather try and fail then not try at all and live with regrets and " what ifs". Good luck!

     

    This.  I am not clear why you need to make ANY sort of decision now.  Just take it slowly and see how things go and where your feelings lie.  You just had a baby, and a preemie at that not very long ago.  You've had a lot on your plate.  Don't put any added pressure on yourself to figure this out just yet.  If he has truly changed he won't pressure you to make a decision.

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  • DD was born one month premature and spent her first week in the NICU too.  I know how hard can it be to be there on your own!!

    BD didnt want her at first but he came around. He was there with her as much as he could, he helped me through labor and even spent the night at the NICU with her when I was too tired.

    He is a very good dad to Valeria, he loves her unconditionally BUT it doesnt mean that he is the person I want to be with. It doesnt mean that by being a good dad he will erase from my memory all the things that went wrong in the relationship.

    My point is, even if he is a good dad you dont HAVE to go back with him. A person can be different as a parent than as a mate. Take things slowly. If in addition to be there for LO  he changes the way he treats YOU then I would consider it.


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  • image tifanico:

    DD was born one month premature and spent her first week in the NICU too.  I know how hard can it be to be there on your own!!

    BD didnt want her at first but he came around. He was there with her as much as he could, he helped me through labor and even spent the night at the NICU with her when I was too tired.

    He is a very good dad to Valeria, he loves her unconditionally BUT it doesnt mean that he is the person I want to be with. It doesnt mean that by being a good dad he will erase from my memory all the things that went wrong in the relationship.

    My point is, even if he is a good dad you dont HAVE to go back with him. A person can be different as a parent than as a mate. Take things slowly. If in addition to be there for LO  he changes the way he treats YOU then I would consider it.

    This. I went back to my STBXH twice, thinking that I had to try to make it work for our son's sake. And he kind of sucked me back in by being such a good father, doing all the right things, helping out more than I expected, etc. But, at the end of the day, our relationship was so damaged, it just couldn't work. 

    So he can be a good dad and be involved in your LO's life without the two of you being together.

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