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Sister and IVF

(25 Posts)
Afjfd Sun 31-Mar-19 13:10:40

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My sister has fertility issues and has been going through IVF for the past 3 years which hasnt worked yet. I am heartbroken for her that it hadnt worked yet and have been as understanding as i can but as i have 2 children i cant possibly know what she’s going through (her words) and i know thats true but i do try to be supportive.

She is very angry and resentful with her situation (her words) which i understand but its beginning to have a huge effect on our family, it seems that my sister cant bear being around my kids who are preteens anymore, she doesnt see them and when she does she doesnt communicate with them anymore ... no asking about their school/ sports etc. Which Theyre confused about though i have explained to them that she still loves them shes just going through a sad time at the moment.

I can understand this but My mum seems to have taken this attitude too, i feel like i am almost being punished because i have kids, she has asked me not to rub my sisters nose in it so not to be going on about my kids and what they’re doing, or sharing photos of them on family chat group like i would have before. Family events where my kids might be around are now avoided to spare my sisters feelings.

I guess im just wondering if this is normal for a family going through IVF, i really want to be as understanding and supportive but i’m feeling the stance against my kids is a little too much..would appreciate your opinions/ experiences..


MzHz Sun 31-Mar-19 13:25:24

Go it alone!

Your sister and mum - regardless of what issues they are going through- NEVER get to use this as an excuse to HURT your children’s feelings!

If I were you, I’d leave them to it, stop asking after them, stop presents/cards/invitations etc and tell them that until they treat your children with kindness and love that you won’t be spending any time with them or any effort on them.

Blessingsdragon1 Sun 31-Mar-19 13:26:40

As above X

Bremusa Sun 31-Mar-19 13:27:43

Have you copied and pasted this from somewhere else?

BottleOfJameson Sun 31-Mar-19 13:29:24

It sounds awful for your sister but her reaction towards your children isn't normal. I'm assuming they had a relationship with her before so must feel very rejected to suddenly never see her.

When you say fsmily events are avoided do you mean by your sister? Or you're expected to avoid them? The former would be her choice, fair enough the latter would be extremely unfair.

Lahlahfizzyfizzydoda Sun 31-Mar-19 13:39:49

As someone who has been throughout IVF numerous times (with many failures) and had multiple friends and siblings be pregnant/upload pics etc of DC in this time; they are being UR.

Yes, I felt sad (who wouldn’t, when facing infertility). But, I did not want my close friends and siblings to feel uncomfortable, as l wanted to share these with them.

Lahlahfizzyfizzydoda Sun 31-Mar-19 13:40:10

Through not throughout!

SoupDragon Sun 31-Mar-19 13:41:08

Where did you copy and paste this from?

Drum2018 Sun 31-Mar-19 13:45:26

If you can't even mention your children in a FAMILY chat group I'd just leave the group. Your mother is being ridiculous. MzHz reply is spot on.

Afjfd Sun 31-Mar-19 15:06:53

Thank all its just so heartbreaking for her but it is having a huge impact on everyone, i feel like im on eggshells all the time. We used to all get together for birthday tea in my mams but thats all stopped now.

@soupdragon @bremusa i posted on a more local mums forum but deleted it there as i know people on it irl.

Talkingfrog Sun 31-Mar-19 22:34:15

It sounds like you have done what you can to be supportive so it is not fair for your family to be pushed out.
We were very lucky that when we finally had our first cycle it was successful. 3 later cycles failed though.
When we were trying, either before our first treatment or during our tries for a sibling, I loved seeing other peoples babies. May have made me sad later, but loved seeing them.
Everyone deals with their emotions in different ways though, and it sounds like she struggles seeing other families, but she can't avoid other people's children for ever.
Do you know if she has had counselling. I think all clinics have to include a session in the cost of a cycle. I found it harder when we called it a day. It took me a while to ask for it, but had a telephone counselling session. It helped me focus on more positive things and move on. I am not saying it helps everyone, and some may need more sessions but might be worth her doing if she hasn't already. Not sure how you would suggest it though.

Ihatehashtags Mon 01-Apr-19 08:51:02

Yeah you don’t get it. And you never will unless you can’t have a child when you desperately want one.

FinallytheneedforaNC Mon 01-Apr-19 08:59:18

I’d suggest you talk to your mother. It’s worth calmly explaining that your children are now aware of the awkwardness and interpret being sidelined as a consequence of their actions,which isn’t the case or fair on them. Explain that you don’t want to hurt your sister, but this cannot be at the expense of hurting your kids. If your mother fails to understand this then you’d have to extract yourself and family from her and your sister.

PrayingandHoping Mon 01-Apr-19 09:08:12

As someone with fertility issues for years and going through ivf no it's not the standard reaction! I adore my nieces and nephews, spend as much time as I can with them as I'm not local, and take a real interest in their lives

It is painful when anyone I know announces they are pregnant and the baby arrives. But u learn to put a brave face on. U have to.

TapasForTwo Mon 01-Apr-19 09:10:57

Was that necessary Ihatehashtags?

The OP has bern trying to support and understand her sister. Being mean to her children is horrible.

Bluestitch Mon 01-Apr-19 09:12:14

I don't think this is fair. It would be different if they were asking you to be sensitive about a new pregnancy, but these are your existing kids who are preteens! They are part of the family and have been for years, and I would not be tiptoeing around acting like they didn't exist.

GPatz Mon 01-Apr-19 09:13:15

You don't have to get it. Your Mother is being unfair. Concentrate on your children x

Whatelsecouldibecalled Mon 01-Apr-19 09:22:42

Yeah’re both at logger heads because you’re both making it about yourself. I feel I can give a good perspective. I’ve been trying to have a baby for 3 years now. Just about to start IVF. My sister fell pregnant very quickly and had a little girl. We recently celebrated my nieces 1st birthday. I think it boils down to the relationship between you and your sister not necessarily her ivf and your kids. My sister is my best friend and when she told me she was pregnant I was absolutely over the moon. I adore my niece like she was my own and have been very much involved from the beginning of the pregnancy. My sister involves me in everything and I love it. She was very conscious of how I might be feeling but it all honesty it was never a problem.

On the one hand I can see where you’re’s not fair on your kids and it’s not their fault their Aunty is having ivf. Were they close before or has she always been a bit stand off ish.

On the other hand the classic ‘you don’t know until you’ve been through infertility’ card stands because it’s true. However it’s not (in my opinion) carte blanch to be a jerk. The ‘journey’ of infertility is absolutely dog shit and some people deal with things in very different ways and some days are worse than others. It may be that your sister needs a bit of time.

You need to both stop making it about yourself and try and see the bigger picture. You have kids and can’t change that’s. She’s having a shit time and can’t change that. Instead look for some common ground. Both need to make an effort on your relationship as siblings and the rest will come.

Seaweed42 Mon 01-Apr-19 09:27:13

Your Mum and sister are making your feel bad about your children.
This is totally wrong. You have done nothing wrong. Your children have done nothing wrong.
Your kids are being made to feel like they shouldn't exist.
You'll have to talk with your sister.
Her resentfulness and jealousy is harming you and you children.
She's punishing your children and you for what's happening to her.
She's manipulating your mother as well who's tiptoeing around so's not to upset her.

FinallytheneedforaNC Mon 01-Apr-19 09:40:05

With respect whatelse your are wrong to suggest OP is making it about herself. It’s about her kids, who are preteens and thus previously had established relationships with their aunt. This change in that relationship - attempts to erase the DCs away for the benefit of her infertility struggles - is quite frankly absurd.

Whatelsecouldibecalled Mon 01-Apr-19 09:50:17

@finally I see your point maybe I could have worded it better. What I meant was the OP had children and her sister doesn’t and neither of them can change that. I feel that the relationship can’t be great between the siblings for her sister to treat her children in that way. Presumably if the children are preteen and her sister has infertility issues for 3 years the kids were around first. I absolutely agree with posters above about it being awful to treat he kids in this way but can empathise with how hard it is for some people going through infertility to be around children. However just because it’s utterly shit doesn’t mean that she (the sister) has a right to be pious about it all.

OP could you tackle this head in with her? Or at least your mum? Don’t try to fix for her but be understanding (which sounds like you absolutely trying to be) but at same time try to make her see reason?

My mum went through a weird phase of not mentioning any children babies etc when we first started infertility investigations. It really bothered me so I sat her down and said I didn’t want her to do that and just carry on normally. I might be feeling utterly shit one day but I’ll let her know. I don’t have the monopoly on misery just because I’m infertile.

Hope you find a resolution soon OP

Ihatehashtags Mon 01-Apr-19 09:52:59

@tapasfortwo I didn’t mention her children. What are you on about

TapasForTwo Mon 01-Apr-19 11:14:30

Sorry hashtags. I was on my phone. I meant that it was horrible of her sister to take her frustrations out on the OP's children.

Afjfd Mon 01-Apr-19 13:40:11

Thanks all ia really appreciate all the advice and perspectives on this. My sister and i were always very close I will try and chat to her and my mam, im just very consious of upsetting her and adding stress when shes another cycle next month, i may wait until after that...hopefully this will be it and we wont need to have a chat at all....fingers crossed.
Thank again

TakeMe2Insanity Mon 01-Apr-19 13:56:21

It took me 10 years of infertility before we had dc. I couldn’t bare to be around children or even see them in passing BUT that was MY problem. I certainly didn’t give orders to relatives to hide their kids. If anything we spoiled them more. I do think you need to talk to your mum about doing things with the kids in her role as grandma and then other times with you and your sister where yu focus on her grief.

In terms of her next cycle maybe buy her some things to help her relax and get in the zone: nice relaxing shower gel, maybe drop off some fresh fruit/smoothies which show her you care (which you clearly do).

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