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to feel jealous of sister-in-law's IVF success when I have my own dd's?

(145 Posts)
pheobepp Sat 10-Nov-12 21:30:20

I have two dd's. Both were conceived quickly and although pregnancy was hard, all is now good. Second dd is 5 weeks. Since before I became pregnant with first dd, my sister and her husband have been trying to become pregnant. Their first three rounds of IVF conicided with my pregnancies. They failed. I have just heard that their fourth attempt has been successful and sister is pregnant.

What I can't understand is my reaction. When I heard the news, I felt jealous and sad, even though I know that they will make wonderful parents and I have two beautiful dd's myself. The topic of their infertility has dominated all conversations for the past couple of years. My own Mum especially has talked about their struggle constantly. My sister hi-jacks conversations, unintentially, that I have with my parents and the topic of conversation always comes back to her - "when I have a child I will..." I admire her positive outlook because it has been a hard and gruelling couple of years but I feel that my own wonderful children have been overlooked because the focus has been on the negatives of their problems, rather than the positives of my experience. My Mum, even when she came to see my second dd for the first time, could only talk about sister's current round of IVF and did not stay for a long time as had to take sister to a medical appointment.

I am ashamed of my resonse. It is childish and petulant but I can not help feeling resentful. I feel that my own wonderful children have been overlooked and that sister's baby will be the "golden child." My parents funded their fourth round of IVF while my husband and I are struggling with decreased wages and high child care costs. I know that if the roles had been reversed, my mum would have done the same for me but I am dreading the next nine months as all I will ever, ever hear are pregnancy tales about my sister. I have heard it for years when I am with my Mum by herself, when we are all together as a family, and the only time I get respite from it is when I speak to my Dad because he is a typical man and doesn't pay attention to anything concerned with reproduction!!

Do you think I could still be suffering from baby blues from second dd's birth that is making me extra sensitive? I can't bear the thought of my sister's high maintenance pregnancy, but know she is just ecstatic to be pregnant. I am so, so pleased for her but when I think about the imediate future I feel sad and then I feel mad at myself for not truly sharing in their joy.

sudaname Sun 11-Nov-12 20:58:44

YY to bottleofbeer. l could have written your post ! When my above mentioned toxic sister found out our older brother was getting a huge payout from his work she was round straight away with her 'problems'. Emotionally blackmailed him for money for a deposit on a bigger house, then later work on it, etc etc. just kept going back. My dear kindhearted soft as muck brother just couldnt say no to her nor could he ever bring himself to ask for repayment, she would just pull the 'l'll do something stupid' card. She of course knew he would never ask for it back but instead it ate away at him and he would tell us how much he despaired of ever getting what was a huge chunk of his retirement money back.

When he sadly died a few years ago with only a few thousand pounds left to his name, he had left everything equally between all us siblings in his will written many years earlier when he had gotten this lump sum.

My siblings and l tried everything, appealing to her good nature (she's not got one) seeing solicitors, the lot, but because all the monies were lent to her in an informal manner, there was no proof whether they had been written off, repaid etc. She basically just lied and said she had paid a large sum back (she absolutely had not - we all knew that from our brothers distress right up to the end and also from his bank accounts etc of which l was executor). So we couldnt prove that or make her pay back money owed to the estate before it was divided.
She even put her hand out for her quarter of what my brother had left even though she'd already milked him dry.

Nightmare , spoiled by always being Golden Child you see or maybe just a selfish ruthless streak in some people.

bottleofbeer Sun 11-Nov-12 19:30:34

Different situation but I really do empathise with the whole 'one sister has problems, you're ok so you get on with it'

My sister has got MH problems, alcoholism and heavy SS involvement with her kids. She regularly kicks off and causes murder with my parents for as little as them not being able to lend (read: give as it never gets paid back) yet more money - they as good as totally financially support her anyway.

They walk on eggshells with her and I cut her out months ago because I refuse to do the same. Her issues are sad but there is literally no more I can do for her and I was sick of being physically threatened if I refused her money or yet more babysitting.

My point being MY problems (which are not as bad but are still real and relevent to me) are ignored, and I feel I can't go to them and tell them anything because they've got enough on their plate. Or even worse, if word gets back to them that XYZ is going on for me my dad acts like I've committed murder. I'm the normal one, I shouldn't pile more problems upon them (despite the fact I NEVER go to them with any) where she gets away with literally anything.

It can be utterly crap when a sibling's problems are seen as so much worse that yours don't count because they're not as bad.

swanthingafteranother Sun 11-Nov-12 19:13:52

YANBU. Having had IVF, and three lovely babies, all first time round mind you, but lots of bad feelings along the way, I still empathise with how you feel.

At 5 weeks post partum, with everyone telling me how lucky I was, I was completely in need of support and love, and it sounds as if all the attention you need and deserve is being diverted to your sister.

However, there is still a long way to go before she has a healthy baby in her arms, so I think you should keep your feelings secret, but make it clear to you mum how much you need her support at this time TOO.

nokidshere Sun 11-Nov-12 19:13:02

missymoomoomee that is awful sad

I used to think that I was "lucky" that I couldn't get pregnant compared to people who could but then lost their babies.

B1ueberryMuffin Sun 11-Nov-12 19:05:28

good grief missymoomoomee. I'd say in the case of a child it is definitely worse to have held the baby in your arms and then lost her. She was real.

You couldn't make this up, but on a forum I visit in Ireland a bunfight broke out on the IVF board because somebody said 'be grateful you don't have cancer'. Then people were coming over to the cancer board from the ivf board to defend one of their own. Wow. Just wow. Sad really. Are some people really only capable of empathising with pain they've experienced?

midseasonsale Sun 11-Nov-12 19:00:06

wine

midseasonsale Sun 11-Nov-12 18:59:41

You have easily conceived 2 healthy children. Just fantastic! But you need to get a grip. How can you begrudge your sister the parental IVF funding? Infertility is utterly heart breaking. It is utterly soul destroying and takes over every inch of your mind. It feels like constant berievment with no respite from the intensity of feelings.

missymoomoomee Sun 11-Nov-12 16:44:55

A few weeks after my daughter died a woman at DHs work came to offer her sympathies. This involved her telling me that I should count myself lucky to have had my daughter because the 2 weeks of being her mum was 2 weeks more than she had ever had because she was infertile and that it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. I was stunned that she would even compare the situations and it really upset me.

Just because someone is going through a tough situation it doesnt negate the fact that others have it tough in different ways.

Yanbu to feel the way you do, ywbvu to say anything about it, but you know that.

diddl Sun 11-Nov-12 16:38:41

I don´t think that there was anything wrong with the mother going to the appointment as planned-seems odd to spend time seeing new GD talking about sister´s infertility, though.

Depending on how close everyone is, sister might be hoping her mum butts out!

OP-much as you feel that your mum hasn´t been interested enough-your sister might need some help fending your mum off!

In general, have you felt that your sister is favoured over you?

thecatsminion Sun 11-Nov-12 16:27:38

I actually felt much, much worse after my egg collection and my egg transfer than I did after I'd given birth (and I had an induction, an epidural that fell out and had to be redone, and ended up with an emergency section!). IVF really isn't as easy as all that. As well as the physical element there's all the uncertainty, and your mental state isn't helped by being pumped full of hormones.

You actually need someone with you after one of the appointments for egg collection because of having a local anaesthetic for having a giant needle stuck up your fanjo and into your ovaries (which is still painful even with the drugs btw). You can't drive either, and the hospital won't let you go if you don't have anyone to look after you for the rest of the day. It's not like just wanting someone there with you for the sake of it.

I think the OP's mum could have focused more on the new baby. But I don't blame her for going to the appointment either.

ZombiesAreClammyDodgers Sun 11-Nov-12 16:23:43

couthy that's very silly. Medical treatments don't happen at the whim of the patient and on their schedule. Plus to a person dealing with infertility four more weeks is a lifetime away- especially one with yet another baby in the family.
Very insensitive to think she should have waited.
Agree that OP's mother could have reprioritised.

sudaname Sun 11-Nov-12 16:18:02

I totally understand your emotions, l really do. It's almost as if your DCs are not such a 'big deal' as your DSs will be. Then it may still not be over. She may want another child and this all consuming situation may start again for your whole family, detracting again from your DCs early years and all emotional energy directed to your sister once again.
I dont know the answer really, maybe a word with your mum (but maybe wait till your Dsis has given birth safely) - just explain to her how you feel about the imbalance of attention to your children. She may be horrified and reassure you she loves your DCs just as much or she may be defensive and think you are being unkind. It depends how you broach it l guess.
My own sis had problems conceiving and then had difficult births - got that blood pressure thing (sorry mind gone blank) that is very dangerous and was unconscious for hours apparently and very lucky they both survived with her first and second to a lesser degree. Whereas with me it was like 'shelling peas' more or less - two born within 3 years of trying , normal healthy births etc. So l do know how you feel , l sometimes used to feel like standing up and screaming at family do's *'HELLO,OVER HERE. THESE TWO ARE ALSO YOUR DGCs/NEICE/NEPHEW (whatever) blush
My sister is actually a very toxic person which didnt help and l have now cut all ties with her. She even stood up and made a speech supposedly on behalf of the family at our DBro's funeral and completely omitted my DCs and their DCs from the list of his loved ones,even omitting the fact he was a godfather to my two DCs and a great-uncle to my DGC. She mentioned everyone else and his relationship to them 'much loved son and brother and uncle and godfather to my DCs' etc etc.
I felt like standing up and saying he was also a godfather to mine (first actually) and also an uncle to them and a great uncle to their DCs but bottled it remained dignified. On the way out (behind her as she had to be in front pew of course with parents) the priest even asked me who l was and what relation to the deceased angry.

l have a theory that my sister became like she was partly from years of always being the centre of everyones universe 'poor little dsis'sname this, poor little dsis'sname that' so in a way my parents,mum in particular helped create the 'monster'.

Sorry for hijack and not suggesting your dsis is toxic obviously but just to say l do understand you

Mrsjay Sun 11-Nov-12 15:45:18

This sounds like sibling jealous in overdrive you have your own new baby yet jealous of your sisters IVF probably thinking she is raining on your new baby parade
you have been very honest though and shocked at your feelings so you re not a monster maybe a little hormonal still after your baby I hopeyou can work through your feelings and let them go smile

ladygoldenlion Sun 11-Nov-12 15:35:36

OP - don't feel jealous, just try and concentrate on your own DCs and your soon to be DNephew / DNiece. Your parents will be just as delighted for your DSis as they were for you.

Congratulations on soon to be becoming an aunty btw xxx

diddl Sun 11-Nov-12 15:34:12

But the fact that she had her children easily also doesn´t make them less than the ones conceived with difficulty.

"Two easy wins with two babies doesn't really make up for years of infertility."

But the two things aren´t connected.

If the op had never had children, her sister still wouldn´t have conceived easily!

FriendofDorothy Sun 11-Nov-12 15:28:08

I think the OP is a bit of a cow to be honest. Two easy wins with two babies doesn't really make up for years of infertility.

diddl Sun 11-Nov-12 15:12:04

i don´t think that OP is asking for empathy/sympathy-just saying how she feels.

Maybe she is jealous-in that for years the focus has been on her sister, even though OP has had 2 children-& the focus is still on the sister & will perhaps be passed onto her child therefore ignoring OPs children.

Prarieflower Sun 11-Nov-12 15:05:12

It certainly wouldn't help if you were given meaningless platitudes.Sometimes in life you need to be told something how it is.

I've given empathy and support countless times on MN over the years but sorry in this instance a virtual ticking off is all I'm giving.Imvho op is being childish and selfish.

I'm not getting the trauma that she has suffered.Her mother stayed an hour or two left on one day out of her dd's entire life,her mother helped her child with money when faced with massive bills(1 blood test can be over £100)or childlessness.Her sister is now pregnant(after a massive struggle).Not seeing much pain or suffering from the op that warrants my empathy to be frank.

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 11-Nov-12 14:57:28

But did anyone ever actually put their feelings to bed through been told that they're just wrong? I know I haven't. I may have hid them deeper, but they're still there.

Further down the line and with the benefit of hindsight I can usually see what people were saying, it doesn't help when I'm in the moment though.

Prarieflower Sun 11-Nov-12 14:43:28

Nobody is saying that at all but simply in this instance she has no justification for behaving like a child or not focusing on what she has got-two healthy children.

crashdoll Sun 11-Nov-12 14:39:11

Why exactly does the op need empathy,she has 2 healthy children?

That's really unfair. Just because the OP has children does not mean the rest of her life is a bunch of friggin' roses!

MysteriousNameChange Sun 11-Nov-12 14:39:06

I find it totally bizarre that anyone is judging the mum for helping the sister to an appointment - we have NO IDEA why the partner couldn't go, and for some appointments you do need someone there or they won't let you go home.

It sounds to me that the mum has somewhat hurt feelings by going on about the sister a little too much, but maybe she just needs a little word.

The sister has done nothing wrong from what I can see apart from try to join in conversations that must've been painful for her.

Despite all that I can see why the OP might be feeling a bit odd but overall she is being unreasonable, probably knows that and can work to get over it.

No if you're infertile you don't have the monopoly on being upset but unless you've actually been there you don't know what it's like. You might know all about the pain of something else, even something worse, but trust me if you have children you do not know what it is to undergo fertility treatment after fertility treatment unless you've actually been through it yourself. It's bloody awful.

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 11-Nov-12 14:32:21

Prairieflower, I'm very conscious of the fact the sister might not go to term, I get the impression the op would beat herself up with how she's feeling now if that happened.

I don't want to excuse her feelings, I want her to understand them and put them into context. I can't imagine not going all out if I manage to ever get pregnant and feel sorry that pheobepp has felt she had to keep quiet about been left on the sidelines to avoid upsetting her sister. It's a very small piece of common ground I think I can identify with.

On the other hand if anyone ever accused me of putting a dampner on their pregnancies/newborns because of my situation I think I'd tear them a new one, I haven't asked anyone for anything and have saved the heartache for behind closed doors - at least I think I have.......

It is so hard, but just like my dp gets my tears after another person yet again has their baby, I think op needs to seek support from her dh, it keeps more hurt and awkwardness out of the relationship with her mother and sister for now.

diddl Sun 11-Nov-12 14:20:24

Well it sounds as if someone needs to tell your mum when to shut up tbh.

It must have been horrible for your sister & I hope that all goes well for her.

But I can´t imagine having to listen endlessly to my sister´s problems when I had managed to conceive and possibly be made to feel bad about it.

Prarieflower Sun 11-Nov-12 14:15:16

Her children haven't been shunted aside grandma visited but also had feelings for sister who would have been at her lowest.Grandma split herself in two and should be commended for it not resented.As I said IVF touches many people.Op lost a couple of hours on one day,she'll have many more.

My mil didn't even visit the very day my dc were born(after nearly dying in the process of attempting to give her gc).To be honest I was in such agony it was not a big thing,she came a week later.<shrugs>

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