Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dodging a Bullet

So I mentioned this briefly on a post at Womb for Improvement, but I thought that I'd elaborate.

My Brother married a wonderful woman this past September.   They made no secret of the fact that they were going to start trying right away, and tried to recruit us into it as well, "So that our kids could grow up together."    Part of me was PETRIFIED that they would get pregnant right away (she's already 35), and leave us with another slap to the face.

There are two reasons that this dynamic is continuing to make me a little uncomfortable around my family even though I'm pregnant now. First off, we are planning on telling my brother, SIL, sister and BIL at an extended family get together next weekend (I'll be 10 weeks along).    I'm trying to figure out a nice way to tell my brother and SIL.   I do NOT want to be responsible for causing them hurt.   I can just imagine the "frozen faced smile" that I've given to so many people upon hearing their own good news.    I'm left to wonder if I should call them before-hand?   Wait until we're alone?   Do it in a big group so that they don't feel the need to celebrate with us?    I don't know, but it's a subject of some anxiety on my part.

Secondly, my mother will not shut up about them trying.   Apparently my sister in law is worried about autism because of her age, and because her sister has a severely autistic son.    She made the mistake of telling my mom about it, and now that's the only thing my mom will talk about.    Everything from just telling people around her that SIL is worried, to contemplating whether or not SIL and brother should go straight to IVF, and chose female embies because girls have a lower risk of autism.   I mean, seriously, who does that?

It literally makes me want to scream at her.   As it is, I try to shut down her conversations in other ways so I don't have to listen to it (if I stick my head in the sand, then no one can see me, right?), but that really doesn't stop her.  

This situation makes me incredibly happy about two things:  
1.  That I've been distancing myself from my mother, thus lowering the chance that I have to talk to her about anything, let alone this.

2.  That we didn't tell her about our own IF.   I would be contemplating murder/suicide right now if I was the one that she was talking about.    I can only hope that SIL doesn't realize that this is happening.


I'm headed to a funeral this weekend, and thus will be MIA for the next few days.   I'll catch up when I make it back!


  1. Ugh sounds like a dilemma. I know all IFers respond to announcements differently, but when we made ours to our one IF family member we took the approach we would have preferred (since we didn't know what they would prefer and how do you ask that?). I'd personally call so they can grieve and adjust before they have to see you and spend time with you. But you decide what you think is best :) Good luck with you mom, yikes!

  2. Definitely let them know before hand.

    I much prefer email because it gives me time to compose myself and summon up the correct response. But explain why you are emailing, nit because you want to be impersonal but because you too have had to cope with infertility and know how difficult it can be to deal with announcements. Also give her a get about clause, tell her you won't be offended if she doesn't feel up to attending your baby shower or whatever, (and mean it!).

    And when you do tell your extended family, if they are banging on about your pregnancy too much, and nudging your sister in law telling her to get a move on, have plenty of different conversations up your sleeve so that you can change topic.

    I wrote a post about this:

  3. I would let them know beforehand. I always appreciated that from people, because it gives me a chance to cope in private before having to handle myself in public in front of other people.

    Good luck with sharing the news! I'm sure everyone will be thrilled.

  4. We haven't picked a name for the little dude yet :)

  5. Ugh that is really awful about your mom. My mom is a super open person and through all my IF treatments all her co-workers knew everything about it. I would find out because she'd offer advice from one of them, and I'd be like, how do they even KNOW about this?! Luckily, I live in another state so I never see these people or it would really be annoying.

    Even though your SIL said she was going to start trying, maybe they have only been kind of trying? Like if they haven't watched every single sign while TTC she might not be as upset about it as someone who has been diagnosed with IF (they've only been married about 5 mths right?). I don't know, of course, so definitely tell her as gently as you can and without a lot of other people around so she doesn't have to put a fake smile on in front of tons of family.

    It's a hard place to be in, for sure.