I have been trying to find a way to get rid of all of the stress in my life and after an argument with my fiancee last night I have decided to just write it out and stop thinking about it. This past year has been both the worst and best year of my life. It was the best because we welcomed a little baby girl into our lives and the worst because my mother-in-law exists. Harsh right? I don't know if there is a limit on how much I can write because I could go on for a year about all of the things that she has done.

My daughter was prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome and a Complete Atrioventricular Septal defect (heart defect) that would require open-heart surgery. We battled with her dramatic weight loss at 3 months old because she couldn't breathe well enough to eat. She was eating around 6fl oz a day. We spoke with specialists that told us she would need a strictly formula diet. No cereal, no baby food, just formula enriched to provide more calories to help with weight gain. My MIL's reaction to this was to interject her opinion about how we should go against the doctors and give her cereal because that's what she gave her kids. I couldn't count how many times we explained to her that cereal was empty calories and our baby needed the nutrients that only formula could provide. So her reaction was to tell everyone that we were bad parents, and when I say everyone I mean 'we live in a small town and gossip spreads like wild fire'. She said that we were letting our baby starve to death.

To any parent out there that has had a very sick child from birth you know how precious every second is. You want to feed your child, bathe them, change them, and hold them as much as you possibly can. Explaining to her that we feared our baby would be lost on the operating table didn't phase her. She wanted to be the primary caregiver. She wanted to rob us of the experience of caring for our child. 

When our daughter finally went in for surgery she nearly died before pre-op. She went into respiratory arrest and we watched as a swarm of doctors saved her life. At one point we looked up from the chaos and saw a priest in the room. We thought we said our goodbyes without even knowing it. Thankfully she pulled thorugh and we were told that she was showing symptoms of progressive heart failure. She had a fever of 104+ and was placed on life support and kept sedated for 3 days. Finally they prepped her for surgery and we made the heart-wrenching walk to the designated family waiting room. For 6 hours we waited and were finally met with good news: She did great and they were moving her to the NICU. Now up until this point I had forgiven everything that happened (trust me it's WAY more than I wrote), but this next thing I know I can NEVER forgive. We had already discussed with the entire family that no one could go back to visit with her until she was fully released by her surgeon. I know it seems extreme but they had been exposed to staph infection after a spinal surgery. We all made it clear that if she were to be exposed to staph infection that it could very likely kill her. That didn't stop my MIL from marching straight back to the NICU and touching her. I was livid, and still am if I'm being totally honest. How could she expose her to something so deadly right after she just won the first round fight for her life? She survived the surgery and then had this thrown on her plate. Obviously I called her out on it and she had to make out like the victim claiming that we never discussed the 'no visitors' policy. The ENTIRE family was there during the discussion! At least 10 witnesses!

That's probably the worst thing she ever did but it certainly wasn't the last. She tried to take away our home (that's on her property) because we asked to have our TV back for a few hours. Yes you read that right. We let them borrow it for 3 months and when we needed it back to try some software out that required 2 screens to use they promptly threatened to not let us live on their property anymore. That happened twice.

She threatened to 'report me' for getting a dog once even though we have been buying the food for their 2 dogs for a year or longer and they just got a new puppy like a week ago.

During a recent argument when I FINALLY stood up for myself after 6 years of NEVER saying anything to her she called me a bully to my fiancee (and wished him luck having to live with me), a whore (although he's the second guy I've ever been with) and a bad mother for using the computer or phone while the baby is awake. I mean WTF?!? I was literally building a website to benefit parents of babies with Down Syndrome. I guess that DOES make me a bad parent after all.

That argument that prompted this free-for-all post was about her trying to bully us into coming to her thanksgiving dinner after we explained that this is our first thanksgiving in our own home and we have a baby so we want to have our own dinner this year. It wouldn't have been such a big deal if she hadn't told us how she refused to let her own mother come to her dinner becuase she was annoying. She's dying. She claimed that she raised my fiancee to on family traditions yet ousted her own mother only to gripe at us for making (you guessed it) our own family tradition. Trust me, there's more to come and I have no idea how to stop it. She has stepped over every boundary that I have ever set and she is destroying our relaionship. sfter dealing with the stress of the surgery and the worries about my daughter's future after her Down Syndrome diagnosis I am tired of fighting for this relationship. I am tired of constantly defending that I should have the basic right to peace. I shouldn't have to visit her house every week or go running to her the second our baby does something new. I have explained so many times that I am tired of being a doormat. This is the first time I have ever stood up for myself and I am getting nowhere fast.
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