AIBU to think my SIL and BIL have been insensitive?

(359 Posts)
IviSable Thu 25-Nov-21 20:04:52

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to get some perspective from kind strangers.

Before I get into, here's a bit of context about my situation. My DH and I have had a hellish couple of years trying to start a family. We got pregnant naturally last year but this tragically ended in me having a termination for medical reasons quite far along into the second trimester. We have since undergone IVF, which very sadly ended in a chemical pregnancy. We're now looking to go into a second round of IVF asap.

Last year when we lost our baby, my SIL and BIL, who didn't at that time have any children, were supportive and appeared to understand how devastating this event was for us. After we lost the baby, DH and I put the wheels into motion to do IVF. We had a long 6 month wait before we could start our treatment. Early on into that 6 month period, I discover that my SIL and BIL are also going to do IVF, but as this is not something we discussed I didn't know the timescales for their IVF treatment.

At this point I started to worry about how my SIL and BIL would handle things if my SIL got pregnant before me, so I decided to contact SIL (who I wasn't on bad terms with but am not that close with either) to explain that should we find ourselves in that situation we'd need the matter to be dealt with sensitively and that I may need space from them. DH also had a similar discussion with his DB. Both my SIL and BIL said they understood and would be sensitive to us.

Fast forward a couple of months and I accidentally find out that my SIL is pregnant. This was completely unintended, but without going into too much detail (it's a bit long winded and I wouldn't want to give away too many of the details for fear of being identified) I found this out due to the carelessness of SIL and BIL. I was angry that they'd been so careless with our feelings despite knowing all we'd been through, so I cut contact with them both, only messaging on birthdays and to congratulate them when they finally publicly announced they were having a baby. DH didn't want me to tell them that we'd found out she was pregnant before they announced it, so we said nothing and I made my excuses and avoided them. This may seem extreme, but leading up to this I'd already started to strongly suspect that my SIL may be pregnant because of unusual behaviour by them - for example, SIL took a call on speaker phone from her family when we were all out together one day and immediately said to them that she was out with DH and I. It was apparent to me that she didn't want them saying something in front of us.

Fast forward another couple of months and SIL and BIL announce they're pregnant. Not long after this I get wind that SIL has been complaining that she feels no one on DH's side of the family is that excited for them. I found this out because my BIL told DH. This made DH feel guilty and so he approached me to say he was going to buy SIL a present for the baby. Now, I have no issue with DH doing this, but what I do take issue with is my BIL saying this to DH given the heartbreaking loss we had last year. SIL and BIL were aware at this point that we were going through IVF and that we'd already been through a lot. It was a massive kick in the teeth to hear that SIL was complaining about people not being excited for her pregnancy that was going well, and when she knew we were still going through IVF and all the anxiety that brings with it.

The final nail in the coffin was that they threw a baby shower with the whole family (not just women, which I thought was the norm but everyone) but me, given they know I wouldn't go. This to me was extremely poor taste under the circumstances. I have no issues with normal baby showers (SIL of course has every right to be excitement and celebrate), but to have a family party with both men and women was IMHO OTT and extremely insensitive.

SIL also never messaged me to say she understands why this may be difficult for us given all the loss we've had over the past couple of years. Had she acknowledged this just once to me, it would have gone a very long way, but there was nothing.

AIBU to feel they've been insensitive in light of our situation?

Thanks very much for any responses!

OP’s posts: |
StylishMummy Thu 25-Nov-21 20:08:55


While you've experienced a devastating loss, and I'm sorry for you both, you cannot dictate how other people share news of their pregnancy, celebrate their pregnancy or get excited about their pregnancy.

It sounds like they tried to respect your feelings by not telling you, you said you found out accidentally. This is your DH's sibling, I'd be devastated if my brother acted like you and your DH.

While your loss is heartbreaking - it doesn't mean you can act like a dick about their pregnancy.

FionnulaTheCooler Thu 25-Nov-21 20:10:30

The only thing I can see that's insensitive is the comment about nobody being excited enough about their baby. I think you are being a bit over sensitive about the baby shower and you accidentally finding out about the pregnancy before it was announced, which is understandable given your circumstances.

Cocolapew Thu 25-Nov-21 20:12:43

Yabu, sil is allowed to be excited and to share her pregnancy with family. It doesn't sound like they are rubbing it in your face.

ANameChangeAgain Thu 25-Nov-21 20:13:33

At this point I started to worry about how my SIL and BIL would handle things if my SIL got pregnant before me, so I decided to contact SIL (who I wasn't on bad terms with but am not that close with either) to explain that should we find ourselves in that situation we'd need the matter to be dealt with sensitively and that I may need space from them. I'm so sorry for you loss, but you said what??

elizabethdraper Thu 25-Nov-21 20:13:56

I can't see how they are being insensitive at all

They have done everything you asked of them

They are having an IVF baby, they have every right to be excited

chocolatepudandchocolatesauce Thu 25-Nov-21 20:14:00

But why did they need IVF? Have you taken their feelings into consideration about what they may have been through? Most people don't just decide to try IvF without years of trying to conceive first or suffering something else significant to mean they cant conceive without help. Perhaps they aren't ready to tell you all about that.


WireyGirl Thu 25-Nov-21 20:14:16

Yabvu you are making her pregnancy all about you and your loss. Some sensitivity from your SIL is ok to ask for I guess, but you seem to be expecting her to make her decisions based on what you feel.

Mostlylurkingiam Thu 25-Nov-21 20:14:25

I think they have been as sensitive as they could have been and it is unfortunate you found out about the pregnancy before they were going to tell you But I think you are seeing insensitivity in everything because you are, understandably, devastated and going through something really difficult.
Modern "baby showers" aren't just for women and would be fairly normal to have family celebrate a new baby, it is unfortunate that they didn't directly contact you but to be honest you have made it very very clear to them that you don't want to talk to them, or be involved in any way so it is not surprising.
Are you getting some counselling as that would help with you being able to find a way to be happy for them, none of this is their fault.

Freddiefox Thu 25-Nov-21 20:15:12

I’m sorry for your loss and what you have been through but I think yabu, I feel quite sorry for your sil. She clearly doesn’t know what to do, and how to approach it. I also don’t think you know what you want from her. If she had invited you to the baby shower I think you would have said that was insensitive too.

Why is it OTT to invite males to a baby shower and really she can invite who she likes.

If I was your sil I’d be keeping low contact with you.

It’s not really her fault you found out by accident.

The conversation on speaker phone when she said she was with you was her trying to protect you.

I’m sorry you’re having a really hard time but it’s not your sil fault.

Flamingolingo Thu 25-Nov-21 20:15:21

You’ve made it really impossible for them because you’ve made it all about you. Of course what you have been through is very upsetting but that doesn’t mean that other people have to put their lives on hold or shouldn’t be excited by their own life events. It’s fine that you want to be distant but you can’t dictate what they can and can’t do.

Are you getting help? A friend of mine had great success with EMDR following baby loss.

CampagVelocet Thu 25-Nov-21 20:15:27

As PP have said - it's very sad that you've had to deal with what you have, but none of that is your BIL or SIL's fault. You don't get to dictate how they approach their pregnancy. If they had to have IVF they presumably haven't had an easy ride either, it isn't something you go through for fun.

TheUnexpectedPickle Thu 25-Nov-21 20:16:02

Awww I'm sorry to hear the pain in your words.

But. YABU. They've been through fertility problems, just like you. She's had the hormones and the pain and the fear just like you. Its not like they deliberately set out to hurt you and it sounds like they were planning to break it to you gently.

Baby shower wise, there isn't a "norm", its an American concept that we don't really do. There is nothing wrong with getting the whole family together to celebrate- and they have been sensitive in not expecting you to come.

Try to remember, as much as you've been through, they must also have been through a lot. You don't just get IVF on a whim, they will have been through the process of discovering they need it. They probably don't have the mental space to think of you in every single decision or action. I mean this as kindly as possible, but her pregnancy isn't about you.

I really hope you get the baby you want so badly and deserve 💕

MrsSkylerWhite Thu 25-Nov-21 20:16:10

In very sorry for your loss and the very painful time you’ve had.

You can’t expect others to hide their own happiness because of it, though. YABU.

TheNewSchmoo Thu 25-Nov-21 20:17:06

Yes, you really are. She can't do right. You asked her be sensitive, and then you found out by accident.

Whilst you have every right feel hurt, even envious, she has every right to want to celebrate her news, and not hide away.

OnceuponaRainbow18 Thu 25-Nov-21 20:17:38

I am truly sorry for your loss but I do think this is clouding your judgement and you are being very unreasonable and potentially alienating your OH from his brother

Kitkatchunkyplease Thu 25-Nov-21 20:17:50

I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby op.

I think the difficulty here is that you asked them to keep distance if they got pregnant. I think this is probably, clumsily, what they've done. I'm sorry that this is hard for you.

Toottooot Thu 25-Nov-21 20:18:09

Sounds like you would find fault with her regardless of what she does. Please remember she too has gone through IVF - doubt it’s all been a barrel of laughs for them.

Lasair Thu 25-Nov-21 20:18:14

I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s heartbreaking. I lost a baby this year late into my second tri and I had to give birth so I know first hand the pain. I don’t punish other people for it, any one who is pregnant now as much as it’s hurts me (and it does) I smile and congratulate them, I don’t make it about me and my grief.

I’m sorry for your pain and loss but it isn’t their fault and it sounds like they have just tried to do what you asked, give you space.

Maybe seek counselling.

CampagVelocet Thu 25-Nov-21 20:18:14

By the way, I do take issue with you saying that their 'carelessness' allowed you to find out about the pregnancy and that this was 'insensitive'. That isn't a nice way to view things; it isn't about you.

Amberflames Thu 25-Nov-21 20:18:37

Honestly, you’re being ridiculous.

Have you even stopped to think about why they needed IVF?

I’m sorry about your loss but you sound me, me, me.

HoseMeDownWithHolyWater Thu 25-Nov-21 20:18:38

I'm really sorry for your loss.

But, they've clearly had struggles themselves and yet you're making it all about you and your struggles, as if you somehow trump them. You're being extremely unfair.

StepAwayFromGoogling Thu 25-Nov-21 20:18:52

I'm really sorry, OP, but yes, YABU. It sounds like SIL and BIL have tried to do everything they can to protect your feelings.

Jayaywhynot Thu 25-Nov-21 20:19:33

Your situation is very sad, your journey in trying to have a baby touched me.
That said, although your situation is sad the world doesn't stop because of your struggles.
You SIL and BIL are entitled to move forward with their life, get pregnant & give birth, they owe you nothing.
In this situation there is nothing they could do to lesson the hurt for you apart from not get pregnant until you have had your longed for baby.
Their life doesn't stop because of you, that's very selfish of you.
You want and have asked for space, I wouldn't personally ever speak to you again, you sound very selfish.
Couldn't you put a game face on, congratulate them and be kind?

ChicCroissant Thu 25-Nov-21 20:19:53

I'm not sure if this is a reverse, but what stood out to me was the lack of recognition that the in-laws may have had similar reasons to the OP for using IVF and may even have been slightly further along the process than the OP at the time. But there was no empathy for them, just a set of instructions for them to follow - which they did. And yet they are still in the wrong according to the OP.

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