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Pregnancy announcement- I don’t think aibu.

(42 Posts)
KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 08:36:41

This might be long and mixed up so sorry.

We lost our second daughter in 2015 to Trisomy 18 at 22 weeks. We went through a horrid testing process and in the end had a termination for medical reasons. Leaving her in hospital is still the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

2 years ago today I found out I was pregnant again. I was scared but convinced it would be ok, horrific things like loosing a baby don’t happen twice right, way too unfair. We went through harmony testing etc and all clear. We were given a 1:2million chance of things going wrong. At 16 weeks we found out he had died. Just over a year after loosing our second daughter we lost our son. No reasons were found for him dying.

I have endometriosis and so conceiving is virtually impossible, I’m also high risk for trisomies and for another loss so we have decided to settle with us being a family of 3. My dd is heartbroken understandably and is having play therapy.

Unsurprisingly my dh and I find pregnancy announcements hard, really hard. It takes a while for us to process, we are happy for the couple, obvs, but it is so complicated. I also hate face to face announcements, they are like being punched in the stomach.

Christmas is a really tough time, I hate it. This Christmas my dB and dsil decided to use the day to announce their second pregnancy. It really upset me and dh, I managed a cheer and congrats etc although muted. We opened presents and then I couldn’t hold it together anymore. I excused myself and had a bit of a cry. Came back down and tried getting on with the day. There was an obvious atmosphere but I had no idea what to do or say.

I was cleaning the carpet slightly later and my ddad came up to tell me I need to be happy for them, separate it from my losses etc. I had another cry and decided the only way to cope was to have a fair bit to drink. I wasn’t hammered and didn’t do anything awful or say anything out of turn.

Anyway. Now my dB and dsil are livid. Apparently we ruined their special day, we should have just put our feelings aside for just one day to be happy for them, no one reacted in a cheery enough way and this may be the rift that breaks the family (very dramatic) My dmum is beside herself and my parents are going over there today to discuss it all and try to ‘solve the problem’ but atm dB and sil don’t want to speak to us again.

Tbh I was pretty angry they chose Christmas Day to do it without thinking about how tough it would be on usbut that’s life, I could have got over that. I am so, so angry that they are now angry at us for not making a huge sing and dance about it. You can make announcements whenever you want but you can’t police other people’s reactions. I’m so upset atm. And now I’m spending the day knowing there is a family conference about my unreasonable reaction.

Just to not drip feed I am also in therapy dealing with lots of things but one of the main ones is my odd family dynamics where my emotional well-being is always put last, I’ve learnt to do this and apply it to every part of my life. This year I’ve started pushing back a bit and it’s created ripples.

Sorry it’s a long one but I am not bu am I?

OP’s posts: |
StealthPolarBear Sun 31-Dec-17 08:40:31

Yanbu. So sorry for your loss

StealthPolarBear Sun 31-Dec-17 08:40:48

Losses that should have said sad

Purpledrainpipe Sun 31-Dec-17 08:42:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItsChristmoose Sun 31-Dec-17 08:46:03

There seems to be a lot of things going on here. Their choice to announce in front of you on a big family day was not the best but somewhat understandable. Your dad and others aporoaching you to tell you how you should be feeling was completely unacceptable and simply escalated everything.

Of course YANBU to find it very upsetting when others announce pregnancies. And you did try to hide your upset and make the right noises.

I think it can be hard from the other side to understand how painful this is for you as for them, their news is nothing to do with your experiences. And I'm sure they were excited and wanting to simply celebrate. So I have a little sympathy for them. But niggling at you later in the day and now 'cutting contact' is overly dramatic, cruel and unnecessary. I'd be pretty angry too.

hlr1987 Sun 31-Dec-17 08:48:44

No, you aren't being unreasonable, you've had an impossibility tough time and no one can be expected to just snap out of that and turn their feelings off.
In my experience people who make announcements in a big way are dramatic people anyway so the response is in keeping. They chose to make a song and dance about it, not you.

KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 08:53:12

Thank you. They are definitely not horrid people, I think they are a bit self centred and emotionally immature.

It’s tough because they told us about their first pregnancy in the phone, it’s much easier to fake cheer then and after 10mins or so you hang up and cry. So on the face of it we seemed fine about their first. We weren’t and it’s actually been really hard. I guess they thought it would just be the same.

Somehow a second is even harder, it’s the thing we tried so hard for and so desperately wanted. My dd often says she feels lonely and wants a little brother or sister (I know she has rose tinted view and it’s not actually how it would be but it’s so hard to hear)

Luckily it went over dds head as she was busy with presents. She needs pregnancy announcements to be really gentle and clear, it always ends in a big discussion about our babies, how they died, how she misses them and wants them back and how it’s not fair. Then we have to go over how our babies were broken (that’s her way of understanding it without using the term ill or poorly) and that this other baby will probably be fine etc.

My other sil (on my dh side) is also pregnant but she did a very quiet announcement with us, saying I know it is hard to hear etc and made sure she told us when dd wasn’t around. She also didn’t expect any reaction. Told us then got on with the day without mentioning it again. It was much easier to manage.

OP’s posts: |
KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 09:00:35

@itschristmoose yes I absolutely understand. I’m aware that actually it kind of sucks for them to not get their big announcement. I do feel sympathy for them that they have to consider us rather than just being able to do a big thing and not have to think about anything else. I think that’s why I think I could have got over my anger about that bit, I know that being angry about that is slightly unreasonable on my part (although nothing I can do about it, it’s just my reaction)

I was initially just going to take some time to calm down, process it and then get on with it all. However, this reaction from them has upset me so much. The decision to make an Christmas Day announcement was a little insensitive and shows a lack of thought (or a lack of caring about how we’d feel, I’m not sure which tbh) but that’s life. It’s the being angry at us because we couldn’t make a huge over the top celebration of it that upsets me. That and knowing that the day today will be spent discussing how unreasonable and unstable I am (I have a personality disorder which they don’t really ‘belive’ in)

OP’s posts: |
cakeymccakington Sun 31-Dec-17 09:01:03

Yadnbu

I think it was an incredibly tactless and insensitive thing for them to do, knowing your history.

Yes they have every right to announce their pregnancy and to be excited and to hope others will be happy for them.

But a little compassion here would have gone a long way.
Perhaps a phone call or text before the big day just to let you know in advance.
Or, you know, some understanding that you'd feel upset.

I'm so so sorry for your losses, I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel.
and I hope that this doesn't set you further back in terms of your therapy and being able to move forward.

KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 09:03:12

Cakey I have mentioned more than once (in relation to other people’s announcements) how hard face to face announcements are and how a text, although it seems crass, is actually easier.

I feel a bit that if we’d been given a bit of a heads up then we could have made Christmas Day a celebration of their news (once we’d had time to process it all)

OP’s posts: |
MrsPringles Sun 31-Dec-17 09:08:13

YANBU

They know your history and it would have been kinder to tell you separately before they announced it and surprised you. Given you a chance to process it privately.

I’m so very sorry for your losses x

WonderfullySunny Sun 31-Dec-17 09:32:02

OP I'm so sorry for your losses truly, I can't imagine how they expected a big over the top reaction to their news considering the context and then to have the audacity to be angry at your reaction, very self centred individuals sadly.

Would it be worth a text/email whilst they're at this family conference to say something like...'of course we're both very happy for you and wish you every joy in your pregnancy. We're sorry to hear you were upset by our reaction it's bears no reflection upon your wonderful news more a bearing on our own personal losses which of course we know you appreciate'

The last bit is obviously not accurate on their part but it might actually make them realise what knobs they've been!!!

KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 10:04:02

Wonderfully that’s actually what my dh wants to do but I just know it’ll be met with an angry response that I will in turn rise to. I really don’t want to make things any worse tbh and I’m still to upset to be able to talk about it relationally atm without getting angry and saying something I’ll regret and not be able to take back

(Everything in me is screaming ‘I hope you never have to understand how upsetting this is for us’ and ‘you might not have had the best surprise announcement but at least you get a baby at the end of it, we’re still left with nothing’ but I know that is unreasonable and unhelpful at best)

OP’s posts: |
Purpledrainpipe Sun 31-Dec-17 11:26:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Quietergreener Sun 31-Dec-17 12:03:57

I am so sorry Kitty. I remember both your pregnancies and how devastated you were. When I opened the thread and saw your name, I did for a minute think you had good news to share and I felt so happy for you. I am actually feeling bad now that I was too hasty in my thoughts, please forgive me and people are so shit esp coming from your own brother and sister in law. I have thought of you often. I just wanted you to know that.

ClareB83 Sun 31-Dec-17 12:22:07

YANBU. You're family are being total jerks.

We are pregnant at the moment but have several friends who have been struggling to conceive/keep babies. We discussed in advance how and when to tell them - choosing to tell them when they were at home over text/FaceTime so they could process at home on their own. We did not expect them to be overjoyed for us and since we have given them space to adjust - texting to chat about non-baby things to show we are there for them and it's not all about us. I think this is reasonable and the minimum you should expect from family.

KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 12:57:10

Quieter thank you. I got a huge amount of support from here after both our babies, for that I am forever grateful.

Clare you sounds lovely and really sensitive. I’m sure your friends really appreciate your understanding and kindness. They may not be able to say it but I’ll bet they are feeling it.

It’s such a strange situation to be in with a huge amount of complex emotions. Where most people would feel simply happiness and joy we feel that, and jealousy, sadness at what we’ve lost, anger at how unfair our situation is, fear of how well react to seeing the pregnancy develop and meeting a new baby, anxiety knowing all that could go wrong and that huge wave of grief that comes again and again.

After dd2 I was diagnosed with complex ptsd. This has really upped my anxiety (the family situation rather than the baby news) I was up all last night with flash backs of scans, tests, termination, birth etc. I’m an utter zombie today. Thankfully my dd1 is having a sleepover at Mum and dads so I can get up to the crematorium. It feels my only solution for now

OP’s posts: |
ThunderboltsLightning Sun 31-Dec-17 13:23:49

They have handled this very poorly and were quite selfish to proritise their 'moment' more than your grief. It would have been much better to tell you in advance over text and then inform you that they were planning on surprising your parents with the news, and while you would be very welcome, they understand that you might not want to be there. It should not have been on Christmas Day; a day which can hard for many people for many reasons.

They need to understand that you are very happy for them and wish them every happiness, but that pregancy announcements bring all your feelings of grief and yearning to the surface and it's difficult to control or hide. It's not that you are not happy for them; it is because you are sad for yourself and for the babies you lost.

Chaosofcalm Sun 31-Dec-17 13:29:14

You are definitely not being unreasonable. When I was ready to announce my pregnancy I text people who I knew had has lost their babies before I made a public announcement. I know from experience how much public announcement can throw people.

Your relatives were insensitive to announce their pregnancy on Christmas Day without forwarding but they were unreasonable to question that you needed time to deal with the news.

I am a bit confused about why your parents need to speak to DH parents about this though? Maybe I just misunderstood this bit.

KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 15:05:41

Thunderbolts you have put it perfectly. I may use this when the dust has settled to explain my feelings

Thank you chaos. There may well be a typo in there, sorry. Our parents haven’t spoken about it, it’s my parents and my dB and sil that are involved. My pil are very understanding and supportive.

OP’s posts: |
Purpleprickles Sun 31-Dec-17 15:22:36

Kitty I'm so sorry for your losses. I agree yanbu at all, what an insensitive time and way to make that announcement.

Sadly I think many people can't understand losing a baby and also the desperation in wanting to be able to have another child unless they have been through it. I would include myself in this, I cringe thinking back to how I used to feel a friend who was struggling to conceive a second child should be grateful for her first dc. Having been through that now myself I understand it isn't about being grateful and that the longing you feel to have another child isn't made any less because you have a dc already. Also when I did finally get pregnant and then loose the baby with a mmc quickly realised some people just really didn't get how devastating it was.

I can really resonate with your comments about dd telling you she feels lonely too. I had those conversations with my ds and they broke my heart every time. Mainly I want to send you a huge unmumsnet hug and lots of strength and luck for the future thanks

KittyandTeal Sun 31-Dec-17 16:13:10

Thank you purple. Yes I think I was similar before we lost dd2. I think it’s the anger at our reaction not being ‘right’ that’s upset me most now

OP’s posts: |
ZipItZebedee Sun 31-Dec-17 17:08:49

It’s tough because they told us about their first pregnancy in the phone, it’s much easier to fake cheer then and after 10mins or so you hang up and cry. So on the face of it we seemed fine about their first. We weren’t and it’s actually been really hard. I guess they thought it would just be the same.

This does explain why they might have thought a big announcement would be ok. If you were fine with it last time (from what they knew) they wouldn't have thought it would upset you so much this time especially as the first birth announcement must have been a year or so ago. It doesn't make it right but it does explain it a little.

Please don't think I'm sticking up for them, I'm not, just trying to explore how they might be seeing it.

I think Wonderful's text is a good idea. I would also suggest that once the dust has settled that you let everyone know that you would appreciate it if people let you know about birth announcement in whichever way would be the least painful. Unless they were truest horrible people I'm sure they wouldn't have made the birth announcement at Xmas if they had had a clue it would upset you so much.

1sttimeunicorn Sun 31-Dec-17 17:21:59

Hi @KittyandTeal
Just to say YADNBU.
I have been there with 3 losses and it hurts like hell.
My SIL also announced her first pg shortly after our second loss and we lost a third shortly before my DN arrived.
The whole thing, from the way she chose to announce it, to the preparations and the birth was so hard. Honestly it was the darkest time in my life.
Eventually I fell pg with my DS and during that she announced another pg.
I felt an awful lot of resentment which made me feel so guilty. Now I watch her struggle with two under 2... it’s a bit less resentment more a general ‘eye roll’ to be honest.
Anyway I just wanted to tell you I am so sorry for your losses. And so sorry that others can’t have a bit more morality. The xmas day thing would annoy me so much I would have reacted the exact same way. Xmas is a special time for everyone and they hijacked it and made it about them. That’s awful and I’d struggle to get my head around it too.
You sound so strong and lovely and I just wanted to reassure you that there are many people out there who understand.
Feel like I’m babbling now, sorry.
Happy new year to you and may it bring you peaceful and warm times with those you love x

Itscurtainsforyou Sun 31-Dec-17 17:34:39

OP you are so not being unreasonable. They really should have given some thought to you and your situation before being so insensitive.

I know, having lost several pregnancies and babies that I'd never wish if on anyone but I'd really like some people to understand just how devastating it is.

My friends were very sensitive to us when they announced pregnancies - most telling me in advance of others so I could deal with it and prepare myself before seeing them face to face. It doesn't take much to do that, which then enables you to be happy for them (while still being sad for yourself). Your brother/sister in law is just so self-centred in the approach they've taken.

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