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My Patented Formula: Post a Half-Assed Tantrum Then Frantically Backpedal When I Get Called on the Half-Assed Tantrum

And the Village Burned to the Ground

I talked to my mom yesterday. My dad is not doing well. He's unsteady, dizzy, forgetful. A heart monitor found an arrhythmia. Everything keeps getting worse instead of better. The doctors think his symptoms are the results of his fall this past June and not the reason for his fall. They don't actually have any real clue why he fell but the fact remains that he might very well fall again. My mom stands helplessly by, knowing that she can't leave him, even though she can't catch him, either.

My head spun off in a million directions -- a million questions for the doctors, potential solutions to their living situation that would grant them the luxury of being able to leave the house, lamenting the lack of family near them, rehashing the conversation Jason and I had over the weekend wondering whether we should confront the inevitable and move back to Pennsylvania because clearly no one else will -- even though I could really only stammer my sympathies and a suggestion that Peapod might be have cheaper delivery fees for groceries than Acme. Mostly I just tried to dismissively wave off the real reason my mom had called.

I understand.

Well, obviously.

Of course he can't travel.

Of course you can't leave him.

Of course.

I understand.

I'm fine! I'll be fine. We'll figure something out. Totally fiiiiine.


And then today it really hit me. Like the snooze button kicked in, 12 hours later.

I'm having a baby and my mom won't be there. My dad won't be there. They won't be there at the hospital. They won't be there at my house, making the coffee or folding the laundry or picking Noah up from school or reminding me to shower.

I'm suddenly very scared. Very alone. Very heartbroken for all of us, and this loss of time and firsts that you never get back. I know they're heartbroken too -- I heard it in my mother's voice, how much this hurts her, and I'm still debating whether to publish this when I'm done because I'm afraid it will upset her -- and yet I just want to slam doors and stomp my feet and dramatically throw myself down on the furniture because I'm having a baby and my mom won't be there and I need her and it's not fair.



I think that even though I'm not having a baby, I can sympathize slightly with my mom being hours and hours away from me while I'm in college and missing a lot of time I wish she was here. We can't be blamed for it, we just need our mothers! It's part of who we are as women.


Call me crazy...but what you're going through makes me want to pack my bags, fly out there, and make you coffee.
You aren't alone've just hit a small road bump. Hang in there!!


Oh, you're right, it's SO not fair!! I'm so sorry that is happening to you. I really do understand how much you want your parents there.

So sorry....


that sucks. that's really the only thing i can say.

you could probably get the whole entire internet to come over and help you, but that's nothing when there's only one person that you really want.

bethany actually

You're right, it's not fair. I am sure your mom knows that too, and she'll understand you are just sorrowing at the loss of their presence and the uncertainty of what comes next.

I'll keep you all in my prayers!


Oh... (virtual hug)... I'm so sorry. I can't IMAGINE going through that with my mama! Don't forget, your friends are your family too. They'll be there for you.


I am on the same page as you. It just hit me today that my mom won't be here for the birth of my son. I mean, I guess I knew it before, but today it's in my face like a dam mosquito.

It sucks and I too want to cry and throw things, for you and for me.


Aw, this makes me so sad for you!I can't imagine how this must feel, but I know if I were you I would hate it. I hope your Dad gets better soon, and that everything somehow works out for the best.


I'm so terribly sorry to hear about your dad and so, so sorry that your parents won't be able to come down for the birth. If any a time that a girl needs her mama, that is it.


Oh, Amy. I would be all of those things too. Hugs.

My mom was not there either, when my son was born. None of the people I had wanted ahead of time could be there (except my husband). Instead it just happened how it happened and in the end, it seemed more perfect than anything I could have planned.

I have to believe that you'll get that too, that Babalah's #2 birth story is going to be magical and amazing, even if your mom is not there, because it's too unfair to not just have it work out somehow, in the end.

So totally not fair.


I'm so sorry, Amy. You have the right to be upset, as I know your parents are upset about this. Let me know if you need anything.


Hon, that definitely sucks. The one person I wanted during my delivery was my mommy. I hope either a minor miracle happens and your dad is back to rights immediately or at least on some very good drugs to keep the wrongs at bay so they can come on down and see you bring Tivo out of his box. Um, not like I know or anything, but don't you have family in NY? Surely a guilt trip would have someone be able to drive your parents down if they can't drive down themselves so they can be there? Just throwing ideas into the ring. Didn't say they were good ones..


I feel terribly for you.

I haven't spoken to my mother since I was 18 -- 12 years now. She has a mental illness and chooses not to receive treatment. I can't have her as an unstable force in my life.

But when I gave birth this April, I did miss her. My MIL offered to be at my side and while she is lovely, it isn't the same.

I cried some and tried to get through. I recommend lots of friends around if that helps or unapologetic cloistering if that helps. Whatever it takes.

Jill (CDJ)

Aw. That totally sucks. For you and your mom. I'm sure she wants to be there as much as you want her to be there. Sending lots of hugs your way and hoping that someone else in your family maybe steps up and offers to help take care of your dad so your mom can get away for a few days!


I am so sorry Amy. That really sucks and I understand not wanting your mom to be upset by this post. I can only imagine how lost you are feeling now. Hehehe...would it help if we promise to post here and remind you to shower?



No shit that's not fair. I know. My mom wasn't there for me when I had my baby either. She died 21 years earlier.


When I had my son my parents were living 3 hours away. I knew that my mom couldn't be there because she was in the last stages of a terminal illness. My dad told me that he couldn't be there because he couldn't leave my mom for that long and I was a little disappointed, but brushed it off. On the day I had Henry he surprised us and left my mom in the care of her nurse, drove three hours and spent 45 minutes with us right when my son was born. He brought along a present that he and my mom had picked out together (they discussed the possibilities and he went out and purchased what she instructed), and then turned right around and drove back to be with my mom. It was really a beautiful surprise, but I think I didn't understand which part was important -- the WANTING to be there, not the actual being there.

Two years later when I had my daughter, my dad drove that same three hours with his girlfriend. He had called the day before to ask me to do some research on museum exhibits he could take her to ('cause I sure wasn't busy with anything else!), showed up with her in the recovery room moments after my daughter was born (without asking whether that would be ok or whether it would make my mom's absence more painful), and left after about 45 minutes to go see the sights and go home.

It doesn't make the absence any easier, I know. I still want to stomp and throw things too. But your mom and dad want to be there, and that's part of what you'll look back on when you're remembering it. You guys are so on top of taking pictures and getting the memories down in writing that you've got a great outlet here to share as much of the experience as you can with them.


I'm so sorry.
Prayers for you and your family.


Oh, Amy, I'm so sorry.


You can totally do this. I'm sorry your facing this with your dad, NOW of all times. It sucks. Massive sympathetic pregnant woman prayers driven your way.


So sorry to hear about your dad. Hang in there. I'm sure it kills your mom even more than it's killing you. I'm sure she wants nothing more than to be there for you. My heart breaks for both of you!


I'm sorry. For all of you, I know it must be horribly disappointing.

I can send my mom, if that will help a little.


I only started reading your blog about a month ago but I really feel for you. I'm sure everything your going through can be a huge challenge.
I help run an "assisted living in the home" facility. We provide licensed caregivers to come into the home and care for those who need it. We run background checks on the caregivers and have detailed training and interviewing. I don't know what area of the country your parents are in but this may be of help to them. There are several agencies that provide the same sort of care - please feel free to contact me if you need any info. My thoughts are with you.


I'm so sorry about your father. My family is going through something similar with my grandparents and I know how much that on its own hurts.

I really feel for you wanting your mother to be there- there's nothing like being taken care of by mom. But something wonderful may come out of all of this- seeing how many other people really care about you and will come over and make you coffee, pick up Noah and do your laundry. It won't be the same kind of wonderful that comes from being taken care of by your mom, but it will still be special.

And I'm sure everyone on the internet can help remind you to take a shower.


I have tears running down my face. My mom was not able to be there when my son was born. As my dad had *just* been diagnosed with cancer and was going radiation treatments. Dad was pissed that Mom and I agreed that she not come. But really that was the right thing to do. Of course, then I promptly had some complications and was admitted to the hospital 5 days after delivery. Dad essentially forced Mom onto the plane to come stay with me for a week.

It is so not fair! I completely feel for you. Everything *will* be fine but the circumstances SUCK! I am so sorry that you are going through this.


Oh, I'm sorry. I'll be thinking good thoughts for all of you.


Oh, sucky suck suck. I am sorry for you and for your family. But you know what? You'll see them before you know it and that little guy will be in their arms, enjoying his grandparents. I was in England when I gave birth and though my mom came two weeks later, my dad and my husband's parents didn't see the baby for two more months. It was OK--at the time it was hard but I don't think anybody missed much. As for you, get some help when the baby arrives! Doula maybe?


Oh, man. This is so totally unfair. And of course, like all the other commenters have said/will say: You will totally get through it. And also: wishing you and your family nothing but good thoughts and lots of getting-well-soons.


Oh, Amy. If I could fly out there and give you a hug right now, I would. I'm so sorry they won't be able to be there when Baby TiVo is born. I understand that urge to throw a temper tantrum very, very well. My parents also live far away and don't travel well.

I wish there was a fix, but all I can offer is internet hugs. :(


Oh, I'm so sorry, Amy. For you, your mom, and your dad. Everyone must be so disappointed.


I know how hard this is! I dont have a village at all. My husband and I live 2500 miles from our family and having a baby alone is so very sad.
But you have Jason, you are not alone! You can do this!
I hope an answer for your Dad's problem is found soon, I know this is hard for you, too.


My dad passed away & will never know my future husband, never meet any of his grandkids & he was so fantastic with children. Such a loving man. Very frustrating and heart-breaking to never ever have the possibility.
Your parents have got to be going bonkers to not be able to be there for you, but their thoughts will be with you! And you can call them anytime you want!


This breaks my heart. I'm praying for you!


I feel for you, Amalah. I am thinking about you -- and your mom -- and I'm sure you will both get through it. Take care! ((HUGS))


I'm sorry. And you better be sorry, because you made me cry. sniff.

My mom didn't want to be here when my second kid was born. She decided to go to Europe with my sister instead. I guess it still stings.

At least your mom wishes she could be there.

Nothing But Bonfires

Oh, this makes me so sad. I can imagine the only thing you'll want is your mummy there (that's how I'd be, anyway) and it sucks that she can't be.

Have you thought about Skype and webcams and all the rest of it? I know it's not the same, but it's getting there. My sister and I video chat every Friday night (me from San Francisco, she from Singapore) and it helps a lot with people not being where you wish they could be.

I'll be thinking of your dad and crossing my fingers for good things.


i don't know what to say that hasn't been said yet. just wanted to add my sad, teary virtual hug to everyone else's. hang in there.

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk

It doesn't matter what age we are or where we are in our lives, it always comes back to mum and dad. I think it's lovely that you still have a relationship with your parents that makes you crave them - many many people do not have that, for one reason or another.


I'm sorry. Hugs.


Aww, I'd be scared too. I'm fairly local if there's anything I can do to help even if it is folding laundry, bringing something to eat, or holding a baby or playing with a toddler so you can sleep and/or shower.


I'm so sorry. The whole situation just sucks.

I immediately thought, "Maybe one of her sisters can come and either be with her or be with her dad." Fingers crossed that something will work out for everybody in your family.


I read your blog every day, and I HAD to delurk to tell you that it's totally fine to stomp your feet and be pissy because you can't have your way and because your heart is breaking. Absolutely. Positively. Fine.

Hang in there, it will be an adventure. Even if it's not the way you want it to be.

Change sucks. (Sometimes.)

Hugs to you. Many, many hugs.


::hugs:: I'm sorry.. for both of you. Sorry for whatever is going on with your dad that is keeping him and your mom from your side. I'm sorry that you'll have your precious little one and your parents won't be able to be there. ::hugs:: Hang in there though... it will all work itself out. You'll see... it'll be okay.


That isn't fair. It isn't fair and it totally sucks and I am so very very sorry. For all of you.


Oh Amy. I hear you. I've been reading for a long time. But had to delurk today.

I have a son Noah's age and just had my daughter in May. My parents live 3 hours away, but couldn't come down for the birth because my grandfather was in the final stages of his battle with cancer. He passed away 7 hours after Gwen was born. My parents met her on our way to his funeral the day after I was discharged from the hospital.

It was heartbreaking for all of us... wanting my Mom to be in 2 places at once, knowing she had to stay with her Dad. My in-laws helped of course, and came to stay with us in case I went into labor early. It's not the same though and it was hard.

You can do this, but I'm so sorry your Dad is not feeling well.


Supertiff nailed it.

I hope it helps to know that there are so many of us who are sad and frustrated on your behalf and there is a small army who would pitch in if they could.

Sending positive and loving thoughts from upstate New York.


That does suck.
On another tip, my mom had me in Germany, with just my dad around to help. She said there was something surprisingly nice about it, that it was "just the two of them", in it together 100%. Not that you don't deserve to be sad about it but it could be a real bonding experience. I hope it is.



That really sucks.

Thrift Store Mama

I'm really, really sad for you. Any chance someone else could stay with your Dad just for 2 days so at least your Mom could be here for the birth? Also, hire a post-partum doula/babysitter/whatever the heck else they call it. I totally DO NOT think that other people should take care of the baby (like a baby nurse) but if you can hire people to take care of all the other stuff they maybe it won't feel quite so overwhelming. Really sad for all of you.


No words of wisdom for you, just wanted you to know that I'm in a similar situation -- baby #2 on the way, my mom is 3 hours away in chemotherapy for cancer and unlikely to be able to help -- and it sucks and I am having a similar reaction. And I know it sucks for her, too.


Oh, Amy, bless your heart! I am sorry to hear about what's going on but my thoughts are with you and your family. Hang in there!

Dr. Maureen

Yup. Sucks. Does it help to know that there are so many people on the internet who would make coffee and pick up Noah for you in a heartbeat? Because most of us would. I would.


Really tough situation for everyone involved. I'm sorry. I'm sure your mom wishes she had HER mom (or an equivalent) right now, too. It's so scary to be without the person you've always felt you can count on. Adulthood: it blows.

Jessica (from It's my life...)

When my baby was born my mother was on the other side of the world battling breast cancer. It sucked all around. I couldn't help her, she couldn't help me. We both felt helpless so I know exactly how you feel.

I'm so sorry about your dad. Any chance that it's just a Vitamin D deficiency and that it could be easily fixed?

Sending good vibes to all of you.


I'm so sorry. More internet hugs. Things always work themselves out.


I'm sorry. My beautiful and brilliant mother is dying from Alzheimer's in a nursing home. That sucks too. Life sucks.


Life is complicated and sucks a lot of the time. But then there are things that make up for it like new babies to welcome into the world (even if everyone can't say Hi straight away). Hugs.

your pal

Amalah, you're going to be fine. All will be well. Don't lose faith. I'm tempted to write here something about remember how lucky you are to have parents who love and support you -- parents who you *want* to have around. Not all of us have them. But I'll spare you my story. Who cares about my story, anyway. The important thing is that you are blessed. Blessings -- you has them. Count them.


Hi Amy, I can totally understand that you're pissed off and upset, but really, "going it alone" is perfectly possible... I'm British but live in the south of France, and when my elder daughter was born in 12/2001, my mother was suffering from early-onset dementia and not able to travel, and my father didn't want to leave her (they lived in Scotland). My MIL (in Paris) offered to come, but I would rather have died than have her around (we REALLY don't get on), so DH and I were on our own, with our fragile, skinny, no-weight-gain preemie. My mother was dead by the time my younger daughter arrived (04/2004), another preemie. Again, my MIL offered but got the same brush-off as before (you must think I'm a monster, but really, this woman is poison) and my father was very understanding when I asked him if he could wait till Lydie was a month or so before he came. DH and I did the whole thing on our own, still do! No family to help out, no "weekends on our own", the girls are only just starting to do sleepovers, but they're rare.
I would love to have a close-knit, close-to-hand family to help me, but I've learned to be strong, independent. I'm sure you'll cope marvellously!
But sure, you have every right to want your mother around (I just can't relate to it: even before she was ill and didn't know who I was any more, I wasn't close to my mother, something I'll always regret, but I don't feel guilty as I know I'm not really the one to blame. There were ISSUES, apparently, but hey, communication is not one of my dysfunctional family's strong points so I'll be damned if I know what they were)
Hang in there, and know that your mom'll be with you in your heart, and that's what really counts!


I can commiserate, amalah. I had my first baby just over 2 months ago, and my mother broke her leg 3 months before that - surgery, pins in the leg, physio, etc. My husband and I are staying with her, so hubby was caring for a gimped mom-in-law and a preggo wife. yay. really, yay.

My mom wasn't able to be helpful at all in the weeks after baby was born, but I think it broke her heart even more than it broke mine, because she wanted to help so badly. And now that I'm a mom, I understand that much better.

Hang in there, dear. If you can, hire someone to come in and clean your house once a week or so for the first couple months - it made a world of difference to my sanity, let me tell you!!!


Well, I can't really say anything that hasn't been said by all the other 60-odd commenters, but my thoughts are with you and all your family. xx


I totally feel your pain, and am in a similar situation. I try really hard not to think about it, and drown my sorrows in ice cream and the thought of the special intimate moment created when it is just my husband and I there to welcome our beautiful child to our family (okay, and the nurses and the doctor too).


My heart breaks for you and your family. It sucks when life gets in the way of my plans! I wish there was something I could say to ease the hurt a little bit, but alas I know no words will help!


I was in much the same situation a year ago. Four days before my daughter was born my parents were in a motorcycle accident. (They both survived.) The accident was due, partially, to my father's stupidity. So, my mother was unable to be there for the birth of my first child.

I still remember the feelings of panic, sorrow and anger. And I admit, I am still dealing with it. I'm so sorry to hear that you are dealing with the same emotions. It is a rough situation all around.


i remember wanting my mommy too (and yes, that was EXACTLY how i worded it to my then husband) when we went in to have the monkey. the only difference was that i was lucky enough for her to come the day after i got home from the hospital (four day stay for a c-section?) and she stayed for two weeks. i'm sorry. tantrums are completely allowed in pregnant ladies. really. stomp away!


Oh Amy. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that you and Tivo and the rest of your family have to go through this.

Amy in StL

I can totally sympathize with the concern about your dad falling. My dad had a couple really bad falls - he broke his back in one. He's now recovered and likes to say he's learned how to fall. Really though, he's learning how to not step backward anymore. He's also learned to always have one hand free. Always. He's such an independant guy that being in his 80s and fall-prone has hit him hard. But once he realized that falling meant calling the EMT - because mom can't get him up - he he put his mind to figuring out why he was falling. Turns out that most times it was an involuntary step backwards or a quick turn.

I'm really sorry that they can't be there for you when you need them. I guess I just wanted you to know that falling - even when they can't find a reason - isn't as scary as it seems. ((HUGS))

Oh and if you can convince him to carry it, getting your dad a cellphone gives your mom a couple hours of freedom. My mom has gotten a cordless phone with a belt clip for my dad. She hands it to him and watches him clip it onto his waist before she leaves.

Robin @ Party of Five

So sorry to read about your father. I know exactly how you feel. I just got back from taking care of my dad for the last 2 weeks. Very stressful and extremely worrisome.
Life can be so unfair. Prayers to all of your family and you.


It's not fair. I'm sorry. If there's any time a girl needs her mama, this is it. Give yourself the leeway to process the loss however you need to.


When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, I wanted nothing more than to bury my head in my mom's lap and just cry it away. Alone is as good as any other word to use. But she couldn't be there for me, much like you, my dad's health kept her stuck at home.

I learned to ask for help from the friends that were nearby, and they wanted to help, wanted to be there for me. Don't be too proud or afraid to ask for help. I hope that you find you're not as alone as you feel.

the ambitious mrs

I can barely imagine not having my Mom here when Baby #2 comes so I can TOTALLY sympathize. So. Not. Fair. You're right, so right!


You know if you need help after the baby is born, I'm here.

Anonymous New York

I'm so sorry, Amy. I totally agree with pp. Everyone here would gladly help, but it's not the one person you really want.

I hope that a good living solution is found for your dad and that you have all the help and support you need to shower, among other things, after the baby is born.


Oh, that sucks. I only had my mother in law when my second son was born (firstborn, we were alone), but it helped so much having somebody to keep my oldest occupied.

I have two words for you: DOULA. And POSTPARTUM DOULA. Seriously. A doula at the hospital will enable Jason to either a) go home and check on Noah-with-a-sitter or b) care for Noah. Do not think you don't need a doula because you're having a c-section. A doula helps run interference with the staff, helps get you things you need (the nurses are often very busy), and can ask questions for you that you may not have thought of.

I had a doula for my third labor and delivery, and it was the best money we ever spent. It was the best delivery experience. My husband had to run to work briefly and he felt he could do that and I was in good hands.

A Post-partum doula will come to your home, do your laundry, help see to your recovery, do housework, get you to take a shower, all that stuff. No, it's not the same as having your mom there. Nothing will replace that. But it will help tremendously.

((HUGS)) I am praying for your dad and your family.

Jessica K

I don't have any great words besides, you're right, it's not fair and I'm so sorry you're going through this. Maybe some other family members can step up and come help out? But I know it's not the same as having your mommy there.


I haven't commented in a while but I just wanted to delurk and give you a great big hug and an I am sorry.


That really sucks.


I just teared up for both you and your Mama. I imagine she's doing her own version of 'its not fair' even as, like you, she knows its the right decision.


Big hugs to you, Amy. It is totally understandable and incredibly unfair.

I also understand your question about moving back to PA. After seeing what my mother has had to deal with with the recent death of my great grandmother and my grandmother's illnesses, I know that someday soon we need to live closer. Even worse, DH is an only child and his parents are older than mine, so we may end up having 2 sets of parents we need to live close to...and the 2 sets don't live anywhere near each other. Sigh...

I hope the doctors come up with some answers to your questions about your dad and that they are able to help him so that your parents can get back to living their life as they had before.

Hang in there!


Hi Amalah,

Nice blog as it always is. I would like to invite you to take part in the poll in my blog. That would be great if you could share your thoughts and experinces with me, espically that you are from a different culture.

Thank you,


I'm really sorry. It's an unfair situation for all of you and I'm sorry there aren't really any viable solutions in the next 6 weeks. And I'm so sorry about your Dad's health.


I can totally relate. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in January and this has caused fits of panic when I think that my parents won't be around forever. I don't have children yet, but it makes me incredibly sad that he won't be here and my children won't know the wonderful man he is.

Growing up and parents growing old sucks.


Am I the only nonpregnant woman crying? I'm really close with my mom and want her there for all the milestones. I'm so sorry for you. I'm sure you have lots of friends willing to jump in and help but its not the same as your mommy. As a mom, I can't imagine her heartbreak or frustration either. I'm sorry for you all.


Hey Amy - I know it's no substitute for a mom, but you could enlist the help of a postpartum doula for the first couple of weeks after the new baby is born. Check out the DONA web site if you want to find somebody in your area. We are quiet angels, who help with siblings, laundry, meal prep, light cleaning, helping mom get naps, and making sure she's getting everything she needs to nourish herself and her family.


I feel like packing my bags and driving from Pennsylvania to help you. I spent my summer helping the woman I babysat for when she had her son in June. I only helped her 4 hours a week before that with her 2 year old. Her mom was going to help her when the baby came but with work and life she was unable to. I ended up spending lots of days and nights cleaning, cooking, shopping, taking care of the newborn and the two year old. I ended up working 20 hours a week for them sometimes more.

I am so sorry I know it just sucks and you have every right to be upset.


Okay, I can totally appreciate wanting your mom to be there, and I don't want to come across as harsh, but as someone whose mother suffered a long illness and died when I was still in college, perhaps there are worse things that could be happening? Perhaps you could be thankful that your father is still, indeed, alive. And that both of your parents will actually know both your children. I haven't had kids yet and I don't even want to think about how extremely painful it will be to go through that without my Mom (but I can probably gauge it against other things I've experienced the last 13 years without her). And I hate hate HATE looking at my sweet little nephews knowing they never got to meet the most amazing grandmother ever! So, while I feel your pain, maybe you can offset a little of the pregnancy hormone pity party with an exercise in counting your blessings.

Kristen of the Mama Manifesto

I am so sorry. How heartbreaking for all of you.

Amanda B

I so understand. It makes me cry to even think about it. My Dad broke his hip three days before my daughter was born. My Mom came two weeks later - he saw her when she was four weeks old. Get the new Babalah there as soon as you can.


I think I have a pretty good deal of understanding of what you are feeling.

No one other than my husband was at the hospital with me, AT ALL, while I was there having/after having Grey.

My parents BARELY managed to make it to our apartment 3 hours after we got home with him... and that was only because, once again, my dad traveled AMA. For his only grandson. (He actually FORCED them to check him out of the hospital the NIGHT before my wedding, and had to run an IV at my reception.)

And then, when Grey was barely 6 months old, he fell, crushing 3 vertebrae in his neck, and he has now been a quadriplegic since June 2006.

At the beginning of this year, we chose to move here... back to my "home" - so that he and my son could see each other, without a 90 minute drive one way each time... or hundreds in hotel bills each month.

Dad is a trach patient, has had at least one minor stroke, and has had at least one seizure, as well. And he will only be turning 61 in February.

So, when it comes to Dad-health-OMG-kids-whatdowedo... I think I got ya on where you're coming from. Because my Mom's only sanity-saver is me and my little family. Because she still has to work. She's not of retirement age. So she goes from one job back home to the DAD job...

If you want to talk about it, or ask any questions, or... whatever, email me. Honest. I'll be here if you need me.


You and your Mom will find a way to be there for each other. It may not be in the way you want but something will work out. It's going to be great and I am so excited for you. I know exactly what you're talking about.

Amanda B

I meant get the Baby to see him asap not have the baby asap. Oh, for anybody who doesn't get it (AJMick et al) she's expressing her pain - not having a pity party. It's painful and frightening to confront parents when they are frail and the possibilities that lie in the unknown. This has nothing to do with hormones.


Amy, I'm really sorry your dad isn't doing so well. My dad's been having a lot of medical/health problems, too, and every time my mom has wanted to come out for a family milestone (college or high school graduation, wedding, etc.), she's been worried about his health interfering with her plans. And when she does come, it's always a really short visit, because she doesn't dare leave him for long. :(

I'm really surprised, though, that so many of your readers want their mom around for their babies' births (or maybe the ones like me, who didn't, are all too chicken to admit that).

I definitely didn't want my mom or mother-in-law around during labor or those early days postpartum; it would have been too stressful for us. My husband was the one to take care of me during and after all three births. And with the second and third kids, we had close friends who kept an eye on the boys (who went to the hospital with us).

Don't get me wrong. I love my mom. She wanted to be there, but we insisted she wait at least a week, so we could have time to ourselves. To bond. Do do things OUR way (I know my mom would make a mess of the kitchen, she'd *think* she was helping, but would just be making more work for us). To get used to being a family, finding our own rhythm.

Obviously you have a lot of friends who would generously jump in and help in whatever way you're willing to let them. You're an adult. You can do this. And your mom will be just a phone call away. :)


I rarely comment here even though I check in daily ...but there were enough count your blessing comments I just had to weigh in and say WHATONEARTH???

I hear you saying you are just sad about your situation not that you think anyone else's is worse/better/less awful or even comparable. Good Heavens.

I am really sorry you can't have your family there with you. It shows how much you value family and how precious that is to you and how very blessed you feel. Thank you for celebrating that. It's beautiful that it matters that much to you. And it is heartbreaking at so many levels.



Oh sweetheart. I want my mama here, too, when it's my time. I wish I could make yours be there.


So sorry to hear that. If it makes you feel any better, nobody from my family OR my husband's family will be in the hospital when I give birth, either. My mom can't travel from Germany, my mother-in-law can't leave father-in-law alone in Illinois, and stepdaughter, well, won't come to a town where there's no club anywhere in sight.

I'm going to hire a post-natal doula to help with the worst stuff during the first two weeks.


I mean 'make' as in by magic, not by force. Sorry Nanalah! I didn't mean to try to make you feel guilty!



I'm so sorry - and you have every right to be angry and disappointed and stomping and what not. But, remember that your village has not burned down...they're simply temporarily detained. They want to be there, and will definitely be a part of your special day.

Not to make you feel bad (although I did see several similar comments, and my heart goes out to them too), I'm not pregnant, but I often feel the anger you're feeling right now. My mom passed away four years ago. I think I've handled her loss in strides, but the one thing that gets me every time is remembering that she won't be here for my wedding or the birth of my children or my graduation from graduate school, etc...

I'm sorry, and I hope that your dad gets better real soon. Noah will definitely want to share Baby Tivo with his grandparents!

Kelly M.

I am so sorry! Trying times, I really feel for all of you.

Be Strong.


I don't have a mother. I had my son without any family present whatsoever. I spent the first year of his life without any family being present except his father.

While this is a set back and is have a mother and you are a lucky woman.


You have every right to be upset.

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