Monday, March 7, 2011

Sadness Triggered

I knew it was just a matter of time. I've been feeling peaceful and happy with our lives, knowing that this state is extremely precious and temporary.

Last night, my brother- and sister-in-law announced to us that they are expecting.

I was fine... at first. And not just fine but - happy. I told them that I've been enjoying being an aunt and that I can't wait to be again.

But they had us on speaker phone with B's parents too. And after awhile, I knew I was moving into danger zone. I was no longer peaceful. I was sad. And the tears started and then I couldn't control myself. B got us off the phone relatively soon. And I lost it to the point of hyperventilating. It was really, really bad. That pain is just so deep and so dark...

I'm not sure what triggered it. It could have been anything, right? That news alone can be difficult enough for us no matter how peaceful we're feeling.

My mother-in-law at one point said something about how excited she was that they brought ultrasound pictures over with 'nana' and 'poppa' written on them. She also said that she was excited to have gone to our family friend's baby shower Saturday and wondered when she'd be able to get excited about being a grandmother.

Yes - that was it. I thought 'what?????'. Did she really just say that? What does she think we've been trying to do??? And can she not think for a second how hurtful that might be for us.

The only way I could equate it (which is still far off I realize) is: I've just reached my goal weight and am very happy and proud of this... but I would never tell my friend who struggles so hard with her weight. It can be like telling someone you're promoted when they are unemployed. You just don't do it. Or you do it gently.

Yeah, I should be a bigger person and be able to be truly happy for them without bringing my own issues into this. But, isn't that nearly impossible for us? And isn't it not too much to ask for a little compassion?

There was no acknowledgement of 'we know this news might be difficult for you to take...'. And for all they know, I'm still depressed like I was at Thanksgiving.

The grace in all of this: Our brother and sister in law each wrote us last night and mentioned that it probably wasn't the best idea to call with his parents... and that they wished his mother hadn't said insensitive things.

Ok, good. At least I wasn't going completely crazy in thinking these things. And at least they really do care and thought out how to best tell us the news, and then realized that they probably should have done it differently.

And I hope that I can be truly happy for them as this news processes through me. I want to be the happy aunt. I really do.


  1. I totally get your pain. You aren't alone although I'm sure it feels like it.

  2. Your reaction is totally understandable. I'm sorry they broke the news that way - I think they could have told you in a much gentler way. And what a thing for your MIL to say! I'm so sorry. It would have broken my heart to hear that. xx

  3. Don't ever feel guilty for not being 100% happy for other peoples pregnancy news. Call me a pessimist, but there is only so much happiness I can spare of my own for others. It has nothing to do with you being evil or ungrateful. Struggling to conceive can be overwhelming and I think you have every right to cry because (in)fertility is emotionally draining. My struggle has suprised me at times - I am embarassed of some of the thoughts I have about pregnant acquaintances. My struggle has brought out the very worst in me...just remember you are entitled to own your sadness. I feel for you and share your sadness

  4. I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how someone couldn't know how hurtful that would be....

  5. ugh, other people's pregnancies are the worst. I was a mess during my SIL's pregnancy and live in fear of the anouncement of baby #2. In my case, my family was able to recognize how hard this on me, except for my brother and SIL who were angry at me b/c I left the room after congratulating them following a public pregnancy announcement at a birthday party for my father.
    Is it possible for your husband to talk to your MIL? I realize that she should be happy about this, rightfully so, but at the same time I do not want you to have to sit through many more months of insensitive comments.
    We are here for you, I hope you can use this space to vent as much as you need to!!
    Sending love your way....

  6. ohhhh, I am so so sorry. The very same thing happened to me about a year ago - my husband's brother and wife announced their pregnancy, and my in-laws were all, finally we get to be grandparents. I was devestated. I'm completely in love with their little girl, of course, but that pain is still so real. Thinking of you.

  7. So sorry that you had to go through that situation, you are not alone. Be kind to yourself and feel what you need to feel. I am so glad that they called and at least recognized the painful situation they put you in. Hope the days get brighter!

  8. I'm so sorry and completely understand your pain with this. Infertility leaves a deep scar and even now that I'm pregnant I still feel like the wind is completely knocked out of me when I hear a pregnancy announcement. It's just so easy for others and it makes it incredibly difficult to be happy for them. I'm sorry your MIL was so insensitive too, that definitely adds to the pain.
    Sending lots of love and hope your way ((hugs))

  9. I wonder if I am the only guy responding to a post full of daisies? Your thoughts are completely natural. My wife and I are going through the challenges of infertility as well. We discovered that IVF was our only option and that it would take significant sums of money per attempt. I recently left the Marines and am in school so money like that isn't just sitting around. We gave it a try, but unfortunately we weren't successful. I endured difficult training and a tour to Iraq but I have never cried like I have over infertility. I have always felt that I would give anything to see my brothers happy but as I watch them have children I can't celebrate for them. I am happy they are happy but every child born is another "funeral" I have to live through. Our families make the same dimwitted comments yours does or the "I'm sure it will happen on its own" statements. I know they don't understand how painful infertility can be and how hard the years of trying can be. I shouldn't expect anything every month but I do. I hope that maybe something went just right but it never does. Instead I we live with the idea that we currently can't afford to buy the chance to have children. We have to feel like we are dealing with this issue alone as our families watch, never acknowledging the invisible loss we face. I also feel like we are just sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else develop a family while we just have to sit alone, just watching and never being a part of the "game". I have a lot of bad thoughts that go through my head when I am thinking of all this. I find that when I come to places like these on the internet that my thoughts are shared by others. Thoughts that I assumed were unique to me and a sign of selfishness seem to be universal. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who lives in fear of hearing about a another persons pregnancy, birth, or being asked about our own family plans. It makes me feel much better actually and so I thought I would share my thoughts with those who could actually understand them.

  10. We've all been exactly where you are. I know you are happy for them, but it's still hard to show that happiness. No one really understand unless they've been through IF. ((Hugs))

  11. I feel the same way at every pregnancy, shower, or birth announcement. My happiness for them is easily overshadowed by my sadness for myself.

    I am glad to hear that they called back and acknowledged that it wasn't the best way to share the news.