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DSIL just lost her baby - how do we tell the family about ours?

(29 Posts)
ImpYCelyn Tue 20-Sep-11 21:00:48

I have no idea how we're going to do this without upsetting people.

Some friends of ours lost a baby not long ago, so we decided from that start that we would tell no one until 12 weeks. When I was 6 weeks pregnant DBIL told us that DSIL was 5 weeks pregnant. We still decided that we would wait though, as I'm really terrified of bad news at the 12 week scan.

The scan is in 2 weeks time, but we've just heard that DSIL has lost her baby. So now we're really unsure what to do. We're going to wait until we've had the scan but we're essentially going to have to tell them that we're having a baby due exactly at the same time as theirs would have been.

Has anyone got any advice on how to approach this please? Especially for DBIL and DSIL, but I think it's going to be hard for the whole family as PIL are devastated too.

I'm really worried that it seems cruel that we've waited until we knew for sure, and like it's somehow rubbing their faces in it sad

excitedLJ Tue 20-Sep-11 21:09:10

the fact that you're thinking this much about it shows that you're lovely and thoughtful and as such are highly unlikely to come across as rubbing anyones face in it. You're family will be pleased, as will your DBIL and DSIL - albeit that will take more time. All you can do is be honest about why you held back, not coz you're preachy about it, but coz you were genuinely concerned about th scan, no-one will be mad at you for that.

Not really any advice as such but just wanted to try and reassure.

ImpYCelyn Tue 20-Sep-11 21:16:13

Thanks LJ.

We just feel so sad for them, and so guilty about it. We don't expect them to be ok with it as soon as we tell them, we just want to avoid hurting them more than we have to. It's going to be especially difficult as DBIL is coming to stay with us in 5 weeks time, so there'll be no avoiding it.

Thanks again.

themightyskim Tue 20-Sep-11 23:02:22

I think that maybe telling them first in private might be a bit kinder so they know that the news is coming, no one could take offence at that, and your explanation is simple you really werent confident about telling people yet

Good Luck x

CointreauVersial Tue 20-Sep-11 23:08:43

Wait a while, there's no need to tell anyone for a few more weeks, which will give them a bit more time to come to terms with their loss.

Then I agree, tell them separately and in private before you tell anyone else. If they care about you they will be pleased for you.

notlettingthefearshow Tue 20-Sep-11 23:37:47

Yes, agree: wait a few weeks if possible, then tell them in private. You do not need to explain why you waited - 12 weeks is generally how long people wait, unless they really cannot hide it for some reason.

It will be sad for your DBIL but overall your whole family will be delighted to have something positive to celebrate.

It goes without saying but as the pregnancy goes on, the baby is born etc, try to continue to be sensitive and have plenty of time to talk non-baby subjects with them. You don't have to hide your happiness, but equally don't complain too much.

I'm 26 weeks pg and have 2 friends who had miscarriages and would have been due around the same time as me, so this is what I'm trying to do.

I have actually been on the other side of this - DP's brother and his partner announced their pregnancy two weeks to the day I had my last MC. DP's brother told him over the phone - we were in Sainsbo's when DP got the call, he told me, and I ran to the toilets in tears. Was v happy for them, btw, just still grieving.

Take your DBIL and DSIL aside and tell them in person. If they are not overly congratulatory, it does not mean that they do not love/support/care about you, just that they are hurting. They will still be so happy for you, but, it will still be very difficult for them.

I know you will be so very excited about your pregnancy - and rightly so, what an exciting time - but do try not to talk about it too much in front of your DSIL/DBIL. And please remember - the pain does not lessen with time - DP's brother's daughter's 1st birthday is soon - I still want to cry thinking of the wee cousin that their DD would have, and the child DP and I are missing.

Sorry, that was very morose. Congratulations, OP. Am thrilled for you, really. And the fact that you posted this demonstrates that you are a very caring friend.

Sorry, OP, a very caring SIL

spiderslegs Wed 21-Sep-11 01:58:56

My DS's baby is due three days before the baby I lost earlier this year - I was heartbroken at first, but, life does go on. Be gentle with them - they will be pleased, but bruised. We were going to have our DC3s together - now I probably won't have another.

You're not 'rubbing their faces in it', you're pregnant, she's not but she may not want to hear about the details of your pregnancy for a while - DS has been very discreet with hers to me & I thank her for that - I'm not pretending it's not happening & will welcome my DN - just not always ready to hear all the details.

Go gently - you'll be fine - I'm looking forward to meeting DN soo much.

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Wed 21-Sep-11 02:39:49

It's is a horrible feeling. And I can see why you feel guilty.

Could you maybe tell them a few days before you tell everyone else, give them time to get used tobthe idea before you make it public knowledge?

LoveBeingAMummyAgain Wed 21-Sep-11 02:40:17

Ps congrats

EttiKetti Wed 21-Sep-11 05:57:34

Agree with the others, wait a little longer and tell them.separately.

I've been in your SIL position after mc6. I was genuinely thrilled for them and as a happy ending became pregnant myself weeks later and due to early/late births, our DC are just 5 weeks apart in age smilesmile

Congratulations, hope you have a healthy pregnancy smile

LoveInAColdClimate Wed 21-Sep-11 07:12:24

I think some great advice here - my only other suggestion would be not to moan to her about sickness (although you're hopefully coming to the end of that now)/tiredness/backache etc, as that really got on my nerves when I was struggling to conceive as all I wanted was to be pregnant. You sound like a lovely person and am sure will handle it sensitively, though.

melliebobs Wed 21-Sep-11 07:22:54

I'm 18 weeks now but when I was 9 weeks my cousin who I'm close with discovered complications at her 20 week scan and had to have a termination a week or so later. Only a week or so after that we had our scan n all ok and it was how we break the news. We ended up telling my mum before the scan just because what had happened. But once we knew everything was ok DH offered to go and speak to my auntie (cousins mum) face to face to tell her the news. That way she could decide how to tell my cousin in a controlled manner. Then when we told friends etc we asked them not to post anything on Facebook etc until we'd put something on there as we wanted to give my aunt time to tell my cousin the news.

It's not easy and they will be grieving but you shouldn't feel bad for being excited about your exciting news smile

ImpYCelyn Wed 21-Sep-11 08:44:48

Thanks so much for all your advice.

But one of the problems we have, and I should have mentioned sooner, is that we live in a different country to them. We can only really tell them over the phone, or give DBIL a big shock when he comes to stay, which I think will be worse.

We don't normally speak to them unless we see them, a few times a year. So they won't hear anything at all about it, unless PIL pass news on to them, which I doubt they'll do unless they're asked under the circumstances.

I think what we might do is wait a bit longer after the scan, an extra couple of weeks perhaps, and then DH can phone DBIL and at least tell him directly, rather than the PIL passing on the news. And then we'll tell everyone else once they already know.

Or perhaps we should tell PIL and let them pass the news on when they think it will be best.

We had our DC1s only a couple of months apart, so even if we weren't passing info directly it got passed by MIL "how are you finding this? DSIL had this problem and did this. How did you deal with that? Oh I'll tell DSIL" etc. I thought it would be the same this time.

It's just so strange and so difficult.

Thank you so much everyone.

ImpYCelyn Wed 21-Sep-11 08:47:43

And thank you for the congratulations, we've been feeling quite negative about it since we heard, we need to stop that smile

Crumbletopping Wed 21-Sep-11 08:57:15

You do sound lovely and thoughtful. I'm sure you'll handle the announcement sensitively - definitely needs to be private. It may be best to do it on the phone or by email, so they can have a little cry if they want to before they face you. As long as your deliver the news in a sympathetic rather than celebratory way, it will soften the blow. Fingers crossed they'll have some good news too before long.

yummymango Wed 21-Sep-11 09:37:44

I had a miscarriage last year and as I phoned to tell one of my best friends, I didn't know that she was pregnant. She told me about a week later (over the phone as long distance as well) and I was genuinely happy for them. I guess it depends on how your SIL is dealing with her loss, but they may not react as you expect - for me it was completely separate and I could be happy for them without it making me feel more upset.
Congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck.

kiki22 Wed 21-Sep-11 13:11:36

My little sister was preg weeks after i MC and i can honestly say the best thing to do is get someone else to tell her... my gran told me and it was the best as i burst out crying and there was a lot of it's not fair why her not me until the shock wore off a bit i would have been 10 times harder if my sister told me as i would have had to try n be ok with it but with my gran i could do the upset them once i felt better talk to sister.

I can honestly say watching her was at times horrible tho the pg but once my niece came into the word she healed all the hurt and made me get on my feet again. Be ready for her to possible avoid you she will get past it tho.

LouisaJF Wed 21-Sep-11 13:30:40

I lost my first pregnancy in May, and I know someone who has the same due date as mine.

She will feel sad and jealous, but in the nicest possible way. Tell them privately and gently, and I'm sure they will be happy for you. It has been hard for me to have friends around who are pregnant, but I am so pleased for them, and I have to get used to the fact that life carries on.

crazyhead Wed 21-Sep-11 18:23:40

I needed to announce my pg at a timer when my cousin had just lost a baby at 26 weeks. I let my aunt do it gently. As long as you don't make a public display and ensure it is done by the best person in a situation where they get the chance to collect their feelings I don't think it matters. You can't make a horrible thing ok, only just be as gentle as possible c

Yorky Wed 21-Sep-11 19:16:22

You could have been me not quite 2 yrs ago. My brother rang to tell us that other brother and his wife had lost their baby - at about 10wks, my response was 'How can I tell them I'm having on?'

So we waited till after the first scan to tell them, and told them in person and they took it well - at least they'd had a few weeks to get over the initial shock. But I went on 1 of the mc threads on here to ask how to avoid putting my foot in it when we saw them next at family Christmas gathering.

But as my BF said when they were having problems ttc and we were on baby 3(!) its not as if there are a certain number of babies handed out each onth and just because you get one doesn't mean she won't - phrased that badly but hope you see what I mean. Hopefully she will be pregnant again soon and you can concentrate on having cousins close in age smile

Fresh01 Wed 21-Sep-11 22:29:17

I have been in this position with my sister. She had a miscarriage at 8 weeks pregnant with her first when I was 6 weeks pregnant with my third. Like you they weren't nearby so we couldn't tell them in person.

We chose to wait till after the 12 week scan, our mum had known before then as she lives near me but was told why we weren't telling them and she understood so left it up to us to handle. After the 12 week scan I called her when I knew she would be at home in the evening ie. not at work, and had a general phone call with her but told her at the end of the conversation that I was expecting, she was fine with it but I knew by her voice that she was understandably upset so I made an excuse to end the call there. I made sure I called her as regular as normal after that but didn't mention the pregnancy unless she asked me how I was. Then I kept it short and general and never complained about tiredness/symptoms. I would have previously emailed photos of my other 2 kids to her but I stopped doing that for a few months until she asked why she never got photos any more.

They now have a wee boy a year younger than my DS. We have discussed it since and she said that given our ages and stages in life there were a few people pregnant around that time so hard though it was she said she just had to focus on it happened for a reason and they would have a baby hopefully eventually.

ImpYCelyn Thu 22-Sep-11 08:17:19

Thanks so much for all your advice everyone! Sorry I didn't reply sooner, DS is teething so I've not had much time to use MN.

We've decided that after the scan we're going to tell just DH's mum, and ask her whether she thinks it would be better for us to tell them or whether she thinks it would be better for her to tell them. I know she had MCs when her SILs were having children so I think she'll have a fair idea of which will be preferable. We're also going to ask her how they are and how long she thinks we should wait before telling them. We we won't tell anyone else in DH's family until they do know. (I'm inclined to think MIL should tell them, DH can be a bit foot-in-mouth if he panics).

After that we'll just try to avoid talking about it when DBIL is staying. I don't think we're likely to see them until next summer, so DC2 should be a few months old by then.

Should we call them or send a card anyway, btw? I just don't know what to write/say - So very sorry to hear the news, thinking of you all - just seems a bit hollow and not good enough sad

CollieandPup Thu 22-Sep-11 09:33:28

I think what you are suggesting is the right thing. As people have said, your SIL and BIL will be very sad at your news at first, but they will also be very happy for you. I would also say just bare in mind key dates. Ie, your baby will come when she would have been due. Due dates are a very hard milestone, especially if they are still ttc then. They will of course be over the moon for you and excited about their new neice/nephew, but it will also be very hard. Remembering her due date would be a nice guesture, as most people have forgotten by then.

A card or something is not necessary, but can be nice if you want to let them know you are thinking of them. We got one off a friend and a bunch of flowers delivered off another. The flowers came a week or so after saying 'because You deserved pretty things' and I really appreciated the thought and gesture.

All the best with your pregnancy. X

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