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Mom of Twins Confesses She Loves The 'Perfect' One More Than the Disfigured One??

Posted by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM
  • 67 Replies

Mom of Twins Confesses She Loves The 'Perfect' One More Than the Disfigured One

Posted by Jeanne Sager on February 23, 2013 

loveI don't know where to begin with this story, so I'm just going to dive in. Seven years ago, a mom gave birth to a set of twin boys. One was perfectly healthy. The other was born with a rare disfigurement that has essentially given him only half a face. And now Henry and Oliver Machin's mom is sharing their photo with the world so she can talk about something pretty dark and disturbing.

For years, Charlene Machin said she did not love one of her sons. In fact, when she talks about her child, her little boy born with a left eye, ear, and nostril that never developed, she uses words like "waves of terror" and "grief."

Powerful? Absolutely. Machin's confession is an important one for parents of kids with special needs who feel like something is wrong with them as they struggle to balance that dream of a perfect child with their reality.

But I can't help thinking of the awful cost for that confession. Machin's two sons' names and photographs are now being paired with articles across the web about this subject. I myself debated long and hard before deciding to include their names, reasoning, sadly, that the worst harm had already been done.

Charlotte Machin already told the world that at one point, she could not bring herself to love her son. She has already laid that burden on both of her sons' shoulders. One has to deal with the reality of being "unloved" at one point, the other with the sibling rivalry inherent in families with a favored child.

My heart breaks for those poor kids.

I need to make an important distinction here: I am not criticizing her natural feelings. This struggle is more common than parents like to admit and it's not just with parents of special needs kids. Moms dealing with post partum depression, moms who give birth to a child of a gender other than the one they thought they wanted ... the list goes on.

Typically when a mother comes out with one of these types of confessions, it serves as a touchstone for those who are struggling. There's a need for moms (and dads) to talk about this truth.

But there's a right way to do it and a wrong way.

Would it have been less impactful if Charlene Machin had remained anonymous? If she'd opted not to share personal photos? If she'd written a pseudonymous blog post, perhaps? Or done one of those TV interviews where the subject's face is blurred, the voice altered?

Maybe it wouldn't have hit home in quite the way it has, but I'd have taken that risk for the greater gain: to allow a child to grow up without the knowledge that his mother felt "waves of terror" when she looked at him, to give a child a sense that he has always had the unconditional love of the person who is supposed to love him first and foremost in this world.

Would you be willing to let your child know you didn't love them at one point in their life? What do you think of this mom's confession?

by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM
1 mom liked this
I am sure fear overcomes love in situations like that if anything she was scared to love him but I bet she did if she really looked at it.
Sassy762
by CAFE SASSY HBIC on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:26 PM
6 moms liked this

  

littlesippycup
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Dating Naked is hilarious!!
Today at 1:12 AM
by Ruby Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM
1 mom liked this

How sad and horrible for all of them. 

sweetsouthrnMom
by Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM
6 moms liked this

I only could read half of the article...I started to tear up. I don't understand how a parent, a mother, could not love both of her children. In response to the question, I don't think I could ever NOT love one of my children, and if I ever did battle those feelings, there is no way in hell I would ever let them know. Never, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, would I tell my child their mother didn't love them at one point.

peanutsmommy1
by Ruby Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM
5 moms liked this
I think until or unless you have walked in her shoes it is easy to judge
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JDmommyJD
by the sauce is boss on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM
7 moms liked this
I read the news article. She loves her son very much. The fear, and difference, was when he was first born.
This article is going to give off the wrong impression. I suggest everyone click the link.

http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=18550383&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fm.cafemom.com%2Fgroups%2Fread_topic.php%3Fgroup_id%3D115189%26topic_id%3D18124298%26last%3D1
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piratehooker
by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Today, her bond with Harry is loving and strong. But Machin's initial response, then her adjustment, illustrate the ways in which parents deal with the surprise of having a child who is disfigured. Advocates say that honest stories like theirs help others to accept the disabled.


Quoting Sassy762:


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piratehooker
by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM
"Today, her bond with Harry is loving and strong. But Machin's initial response, then her adjustment, illustrate the ways in which parents deal with the surprise of having a child who is disfigured. Advocates say that honest stories like theirs help others to accept the disabled."

She just felt that way for the first two years.
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piratehooker
by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:35 PM
"Today, her bond with Harry is loving and strong. But Machin's initial response, then her adjustment, illustrate the ways in which parents deal with the surprise of having a child who is disfigured. Advocates say that honest stories like theirs help others to accept the disabled."

The initial reaction only lasted the first two years.


Quoting sweetsouthrnMom:

I only could read half of the article...I started to tear up. I don't understand how a parent, a mother, could not love both of her children. In response to the question, I don't think I could ever NOT love one of my children, and if I ever did battle those feelings, there is no way in hell I would ever let them know. Never, without a shadow of a doubt in my mind, would I tell my child their mother didn't love them at one point.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
piratehooker
by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM
quit trying to start drama. Why not post the linked article and then ask your question?!?


Quoting Cafe Steph:


Mom of Twins Confesses She Loves The 'Perfect' One More Than the Disfigured One




Posted by Jeanne Sager on February 23, 2013 




loveI don't know where to begin with this story, so I'm just going to dive in. Seven years ago, a mom gave birth to a set of twin boys. One was perfectly healthy. The other was born with a rare disfigurement that has essentially given him only half a face.
And now Henry and Oliver Machin's mom is sharing their photo with the
world so she can talk about something pretty dark and disturbing.


For years, Charlene Machin said she did not love one of her sons.
In fact, when she talks about her child, her little boy born with a
left eye, ear, and nostril that never developed, she uses words like
"waves of terror" and "grief."

Powerful? Absolutely. Machin's confession is an important one for parents of kids with special needs who feel like something is wrong with them as they struggle to balance that dream of a perfect child with their reality.


But I can't help thinking of the awful cost for that confession.
Machin's two sons' names and photographs are now being paired with
articles across the web about this subject. I myself debated long and
hard before deciding to include their names, reasoning, sadly, that the
worst harm had already been done.


Charlotte Machin already told the world that at one point, she could not bring herself to love her son.
She has already laid that burden on both of her sons' shoulders. One
has to deal with the reality of being "unloved" at one point, the other
with the sibling rivalry inherent in families with a favored child.


My heart breaks for those poor kids.


I need to make an important distinction here: I am not criticizing
her natural feelings. This struggle is more common than parents like to
admit and it's not just with parents of special needs kids. Moms dealing
with post partum depression, moms who give birth to a child of a gender other than the one they thought they wanted ... the list goes on.


Typically when a mother comes out with one of these types of
confessions, it serves as a touchstone for those who are struggling.
There's a need for moms (and dads) to talk about this truth.


But there's a right way to do it and a wrong way.


Would it have been less impactful if Charlene Machin had remained anonymous?
If she'd opted not to share personal photos? If she'd written a
pseudonymous blog post, perhaps? Or done one of those TV interviews
where the subject's face is blurred, the voice altered?


Maybe it wouldn't have hit home in quite the way it has, but I'd have
taken that risk for the greater gain: to allow a child to grow up
without the knowledge that his mother felt "waves of terror" when she
looked at him, to give a child a sense that he has always had the
unconditional love of the person who is supposed to love him first and
foremost in this world.


Would you be willing to let your child know you didn't love
them at one point in their life? What do you think of this mom's
confession?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
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You must be a member to reply to this post.
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