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insensitive in-laws (a bit ranty, sorry)

(12 Posts)
Stargazing Tue 26-Jun-07 21:45:26

I am SO fed up with my MiL and 2 SiLs. A brief history: I terminated a pregnancy at 20 weeks 2 years ago due to a fatal chromosomal rearrangement and was completely devastated. I'm not from this country so didn;t have the support of my own family and close friends around me. The in-laws offered no support at all & did that infuriating thing of being all jolly around me, refusing to acknowledge what had happened, as if they could "buck me up" and "make me get over it" I know that it's good to help people move on, but I am a believer in going through the processes to get there, and in leting people talk their way through it, not going "oh well never mind, let's change the subject." I got pregnant again within a few months and now have a healthy and wonderful dd. I can't help but be bugged by the fact that they refer to her as my 'first' child and that they all want a piece of her (quite forceful about it too, I have nicknamed MiL Grandma Gollum because she is like that creature from Lord of the Rings - "mine, mine, my precious, give it to me, miiiiiiiiiine") Part of me respects the fact that it's normal family involvement, the other part of me resents it, as I think, you can't have the good, if you didn't want the bad!
So, now I am pg again and had a scary nuchal where I was given a 1 in 6 risk assessment. Had a CVS and after a 3 week wait, have got the results and it's all fine but it did really shake me up. Have had no understanding or, I don't know, sympathy, from the in laws, they wouldn't even let me explain what had happened, just tried to get me to 'skip to the end' by saying "yes, but it's all fine isn't it so what are you worried about?" My SiL acused me of 'wallowing' in my past experience, she doesn't seem to understand that although I have 'moved on' from 2005, I can never 'get over it' and that it is not something that can just be left in the past, it comes up over and over again every time I have another baby - the fear, the anxiety, the extra scans, the tests, the explaining to the doctors about exactly which chromosomes were involved etc etc - we have to relive it every time we have another baby. I said to my MiL the other day that this most recent experience made me wonder if I could bear to have another baby after this one - just a momentary thing, but it did cross my mind "god, I can't go through this again!" Her response? "Well next time just don't go to the appointments, you don't need to have all those scans, just do your midwife appointments." Um, yes, and that would help HOW??? I'd be worried the whole 40 weeks instead of just for the first trimester or so! I just hate their dismissive attitude towards the whole thing, you;d think that with two of them being mothers they'd be at least able to TRY and understand or show a little more empathy???

beansprout Tue 26-Jun-07 21:48:13

I'm sorry to hear about your experiences and the loss of your first child.
As far as your in-laws are concerned, could you lower your expectations around them? If they are just going to be unsupportive, there is not a lot you can do. Instead, turn to people who do care about you and who understand how you feel for the support you need.

I expect very little from my in-laws and that way, I'm not disappointed!!

PrettyCandles Tue 26-Jun-07 21:55:31

How rough to go through all of that, let alone then have such insensitive responses from your dh's family - who are, after all, the only family you've got nearby right now. I do think that, as Beansprout says, you'll just have to lower your expectations of them. Not share your feelings with them but find someone else to talk to. I don't think you're going to get any satisfaction out of talking to them, and will only feel worse for unloading to them. I don't think you should try to change them. This is the way they are, and it's too bad but you didn't marry them.

I understand how you feel about it. We told my ILs about my miscarriage (it happened before we were going to tell them that I was pg) and they couldn't understand why we were telling them. It didn't seem to occur to them that dh might be grieving as well, and need comfort.

Some people are just like that, sadly.

jetgirl Tue 26-Jun-07 22:03:45

So sorry to hear of the loss of your first child; and having such insensitive in-laws must be so difficult.

I do sometimes wonder if the older generation are like that because they were used to not having access to the kind of screening we are fortunate to have, and so they just had to get on with pregnancy in a way that seems quite alien to us. To even discuss such matters was probably taboo to so many people and so they don't know how to behave or even empathise when faced with such news.

I'm not trying to excuse their attitudes, just perhaps try to understand where their attitudes have come from.

Good luck x

divamumplusbump Tue 26-Jun-07 22:11:30

Im so sorry to hear the loss of your first child. Im also not from this country and i dont have many friends and close people. My in laws are lovely but they are too intruding at times. DH thinks his parents are OTT, they can be so dominative, since i had dd they gone mad, and they dont like my family to visit me. I try to deal with them my own way, and ignore most of the things they tell me, but it does annoy me when they think they can control me over. Im expecting now, and sometimes i wonder what will happen to them, as its going to be the only grandson. I can understand your feelings, you probably expect more support from them as you live away of your own parents. If you want someone to talk please let me know.
sorry not much help really

kyala Tue 26-Jun-07 22:24:59

Do you think it may help to link them to this page at all? Or even someone who you know will pass the link on to them?
They sound like the sort of people who happily live in a bubble, believing that nothing bad will ever happen to them!! They need to realise that, no matter how many children you have, the chance is ALWAYS going to be there!

I'm no expert but it's a well known fact that bottling things up can only make you feel worse, they obviously have friedns that they talk to and have forgotten that you don't have that support! They are being selfish and someone needs to remind them, but it shouldn't be you as this would only distance you from them even more! Ask your DH? Would he do it?
Hope this gets sorted out, it's horrible feeling like you have no support!

morocco Tue 26-Jun-07 22:33:05

I'm really sorry you've had these sad experiences and not been able to share them with those around you who should care more about you and your dh. I'm afraid I agree with other posters on here that it will be difficult and unworthwhile to try and change them or get them to show any empathy. some people just seem to be very 'hard' about other people's pain and can't cope with displays of emotion. I hope you have some good friends you can talk to instead, if not, mumsnet is always here. or you could print out this thread and then hit them over the head with it if it makes you feel better

cornsilk Tue 26-Jun-07 22:42:55

Sorry for your loss stargazing.Try not to let your in laws upset you. Let it all wash over you. Hopefully you'll meet other mums through being pregnant and having a baby who will be more supportive.

Stargazing Tue 26-Jun-07 23:10:46

aw, thanks guys. I do feel better just having had a rant, really. Luckily, I do have good friends who are very supportive, plus a fantastic mum who is just a phone call away, despite living on the other side of the world. I think it just upsets me more because I know that dh would love for me to get along with them, but I just can't do that fake, polite, stiff upper lip, don't mention the war thing. And all of the feelings that I went through with the loss of my dd are just feeling quite raw again now that I'm pg, partly because of the recent nuchal scare but probably also because of the hormones! You're right, their ignorance is their problem, not mine - thanks for the words of supprt and advice! xx

Tommy Tue 26-Jun-07 23:16:40

just to add my support. My ILs are on the whole nice people but they didn't mention my miscarriage at all and SIL just said "Do you think you'll try for another baby?" - I was really shocked by the attitude as I have many good friends who were fantastically supportive. I think, as the others have said, some people just don't deal with things in the same way - although, strangely, it always seems to be ILs who behave like his!

zookeeper Tue 26-Jun-07 23:38:19

My mil was exactly the same when I had a miscarriage and I really resented it. she had a sort of "no good crying over silt milk" sort of attitude that seemed terribly heartless. when my ds was born a year later I felt like snatching him off her because she hadn't recognised the existence of his sibling

Over time though, I have come to feel that she didn't mean to be unkind; she just had a very British way of doing things.

FWIW my guess is that she would probably be mortified if she knew she had upset you by her behaviour.

I wonder if you could write her a note telling her you feel?

mumsville Fri 29-Jun-07 14:47:09

Star -sorry you feel so. My MIL and SIL were both very insenstive to my miscarriage (no one suffered more that MIL and SIL was on the phone to DH asking what I did to miscarry it). During next pregancy MIL was ordering me to bed not to lose her granchild and SIL wanted a constant update on my weight! Although they live abroad they still seem to dominate everything.

No-one mentions first child but I agree with posters that they probably don't know how to handle it. I even had mates who were surprisingly dismissive of miscarriage - not because they are horrible but because they'd never been pregnant so couldn't understand.

Let it go and turn to your loved ones for your support.

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