Well that was unexpected.

Wow, so much to talk about. This weekend with the inlaws was quite eventful, and pretty much the opposite of what I expected.

The weekend started out rough, they arrived around dinner and were exhausted from the drive. I had a long day too; work then yoga then the grocery store, and then they were waiting for me when I got home. We were all a little crabby, and it took some maneuvering to figure out what we were going to do for dinner, and the result (just like usual) was me and my opinion were the odd man out. The next day went just about the same. They’re all happy to do their thing together, and I just don’t fit in 100%, so unless I push my way in, I’m usually a bit on the edge. Normally this doesn’t bother me that much, but I was finding myself so crabby and angry over our last visit, I just couldn’t seem to muster the energy. I just didn’t have it in me to make all the stupid small talk, and pretend everything was peachy. The result wasn’t pretty, and I was feeling alternately pissed off over some tiny thing MIL said, and then guilty for overreacting. I also managed to totally take it out on G, and scream his ear off a few times. In my defense, he does handle things pretty badly sometimes, but my expectations may have been a tad unrealistic :).

Then this morning rolls around, and suddenly the miraculous happens. MIL actually asked me how I’m doing, you know….’with the whole pregnancies thing’. Not exactly the epitome of sensitivity, but hey, I’m working on keeping my expectations realistic here. I was so not expecting it, and my reaction was just about as awkward as her question. “Well, we’re still trying, but, uh, it’s not going that well, and uh, we’re assuming it won’t work out even when it does, uh, happen’. What followed was totally uncomfortable, I did a lot of staring at my empty breakfast plate, but I tried to remind myself that this is what I asked for. I wanted her to show she cared even a tiny bit by asking how I am. So, I tried to just answer her questions and not get angry, defensive, or close off.

It was a weird conversation in a lot of ways, and part of me isn’t really sure what to make of it. I want to just be happy that she asked at all, and take it slowly, but there are things that grate on me as well. So here are a few of the highlights and low points:

  • She demonstrated that this has been on her mind. She brought me a book that she read on the drive down here, meaning she went so far as to look for a book about recurrent miscarriage. I never would have expected that.
  • But, when she gave me the book she told me she ‘skipped all the parts about the feelings and stuff’, because she was mostly concerned with figuring out how the woman in the book solved her problem. I think this perfectly represents how she’s thinking about our situation. To the point that she’s concerned, she’s concerned with fixing the problem, not with how this might be affecting us emotionally.
  • She said she knows it must be hard for us.
  • But, she followed that up by saying “Everybody has hard things to deal with”. This statement came up many many times, and eventually I couldn’t hold back from saying, ‘yeah, but honestly I think this is harder than most people’s hard things’. I don’t mean to diminish other people’s problems, and I did say that there are definitely worse things that could happen to us, but to compare infertility to not getting a job promotion or having financial problems is just not fair. It came across like she was telling us we shouldn’t complain because if it wasn’t this it’d be something else.
  • She made it very clear that she’d be happy if we adopted. This is something I’ve actually worried about. Given how she treats people in general, I could see her making a comment like ‘well, my real grandkids don’t misbehave like that’, or something along those lines. I suppose her saying that she’d be happy if we adopted doesn’t protect from that happening, but it’s a start.
  • She tried to tell us that, really, not that many people are having babies, its just that we’re paying too much attention.
  • Oh, and she tried to tell me I should get my cervix sewn shut and go on bedrest. So yeah.

Ultimately, I think it’s good that we’ve made it clear that the lines of communication are open now. I know a lot of people don’t want to talk about their infertility, and I TOTALLY get that. I think the only reason I wanted to in this case is that she already knew the details and had seen how much it was affecting me. There were no secrets left. To not talk about it at that point felt like she was judging me for how I was feeling, or like I should be ashamed of it. As uncomfortable and sometimes grating as the conversation was, I feel like it will be better going forward.

After we talked this morning, I found myself suddenly able to interact with everyone the way I normally do. I wasn’t feeling the extreme resentment I described in my last post, so I could make small talk and listen to MIL’s stories without hiding my face to roll my eyes. When they left this evening, I was able to stand outside and wave goodbye without thinking, ‘thank god they’re gone!.

And when I say that the lines of communication have been opened up, I’m not exaggerating. Not three hours after they left, I got an email from MIL entitled “Natural Ways to Prevent Miscarriage”. She must have been googling in the car, since they shouldn’t even be close to home yet. I opened the link, and immediately started to wonder if I’ve created a monster. It’s My Aunt Jane Knows More Than My RE all over again. This website is the type that drives me completely bonkers, with all kinds of crazy ‘natural’ remedies. It’s not that I don’t think that natural remedies can be good, I mean, I got on board with yoga and meditation. But, there is so much out there that is passed off as ‘medicine’ without a shred of evidence, and it’s exactly the opposite of what she needs to be reading. Case in point, it promotes bed rest as a way to prevent miscarriage. That’s sort of besides the point though, because by sending me something like that it sends the message that either I’m too dumb or lazy to have bothered with a google search myself sometime in the last three years, and/or that there’s something I should have been doing (laying in bed the moment I got a BFP???) that I haven’t been doing, which makes my miscarriages my own fault.

I’m trying not to overreact over the email. I screamed a little at first, then calmed down some. She’s trying to help. She doesn’t realize how it comes across. I’m not sure how to handle it though. Should I ignore it? Respond with some attempt at maturity, and tell her I appreciate the thought, but I’ve read lots of these articles already?

Now, there’s one more aspect of this that’s bothering me, and I’m not sure if I’m being paranoid. In some sort of fit of insanity, the lovable G decided to mention that I have this blog. It was mostly in passing, but I’m pretty sure she got the message. She later asked me how one would find a blog online, because, um, her friend has one. I tried to throw her off and say that you’d really need to have the name of the blog, and lots of people write anonymously, but I can’t be certain she won’t try to find me here. That would be completely and totally awful, given what I’ve written before. As much as I mean everything I’ve said, I only have the nerve to say any of it knowing that no one I know in real life will ever read it. If I haven’t said it before, I’m completely and totally terrified of conflict. So, the question is, am I being paranoid that she could find me? My blog doesn’t exactly pop up in the first set of results on google, but I’m sure if she looked hard enough she could find it eventually. Am I being paranoid here, or should I take down the posts I’ve written about her? Anyone have thoughts??




23 thoughts on “Well that was unexpected.

  1. My heart goes out to you. You have every right to feel the way you do. Unfortunately all people deal with their feelings differently. I hope your relationship with your MIL will come to a place of understanding in the future. No matter how passive aggressive and insensitive she may seem, she’s still your SO’s mom and just wants him to be happy which means you as well. Since you’ve mentioned she’s been through it before, did you ask her about it?maybe she dealt with it differently and doesn’t understand. You might think its common sense for someone to reach out and be sensitive but they always say common sense is not so common. I’m just trying to offer a different perspective that might help improve your problems with the MIL and I hope it doesn’t piss you off.

  2. I worry about people finding me and I’ve only told 3 people I have a blog (husband, mother-in-law, and best friend). I don’t think she could find you unless she actually go on WordPress. Before I started blogging, I searched and searched for RPL blogs and I didn’t find yours, it wasn’t until I started blogging. I don’t think that’s too much of a concern, although I know why you’re worried. I think she is trying to help the only way she knows how.. To solve your problem. Maybe send her an email back that says, “I appreciate you sending me that website, I’ve actually been on there several times before and am trying most of the prevention suggestions. I also wanted to say thank you for asking how I was doing. It meant a lot to us.” I don’t know, but shouldn’t you reinforce the good behavior? I do think she’s trying but just doesn’t know how.

  3. I agree with A Calm Persistence about how to respond to MIL’s e-mail. I do think it’s nice that she’s trying, and showing she cares, even if her suggestions are annoying. I think it’s good to educate her & let her know it’s not as easy as taking some herbs and meditating. Or staying in bed for 9 months.
    I’ve been worrying about someone finding my blog too, and am considering password protecting some of the posts where I talk/complain about specific people. I’d do that if I were you, just in case. I tried Googling my own blog just to see what would lead people to it, and it’s not hard to find if someone is looking.

    • Thanks, you guys are right, thats good way to handle it. I’ll def look in to password protecting. I wonder if there’s a way to only have followers be able to see. Then it wouldn’t be totally private but i’d see if she got an account and started following me.

  4. Oh dear. Ok well she’s trying in her own way I guess which is good. I hate that dreaded email with “tips” to “prevent” miscarriage. Um yeah, we know. Been there, done it all, but thanks. I think ACP’s advice is good, a nice but direct email back might work. As for the possibility that she might be looking for your blog that would scare the crap out of me. You can definitely password protect past posts so maybe for the steaming ones you can try doing that. I personally wouldn’t take any chances, but that’s just me. Glad to see you guys are making progress. More than I can say about my MIL. She keeps asking why there’s no baby in there and we just keep saying she’ll be the first to know. Yeah right. The first to know when/if one actually ever pops out of me! xx

  5. I’d think that if she barely knows how to find blogs, there’s a very small chance she’d find yours. Her googling skills don’t even sound that good, haha. I’m glad the visit went well. I had a similar experience with my MIL this summer. She’s been kind of witchy on our family vacay, and then she cornered me to ask about “how things are going” and while it was awkward, I kind of just spewed out all this stuff. Because honestly she has NO idea about any of this. I cried too, which was double awkward, but I think it made her realize how huge this is for us. How even though I’m going about my day like normal, just beneath the surface is a lot of grief. After this convo, it was like a switch flipped and she was the most pleasant I’ve ever seen her. It was a miracle. So, obviously you don’t want to share more than you’re comfortable with, but sometimes letting people see a glimpse of how hard this is for you, can result in some much needed empathy. While my MIL is a hard person to deal with, I know she cares a great deal. She just has a weird way of showing it…

    • I so totally agree. I think she finally got a glimpse of just how much this is bothering me (directly from me that is), and I really think it’s going to make a big difference. It’s worth the awkward to eventually move forward. And you’re right, her googling skills are def sub par :). She didn’t even know what a blog was really, thought it was just facebook with more words.

  6. Ahh! I live in fear that my MIL will find my blog. I had an anonymous blog before, and she found it, memorized it, and started offering me advice related to my posts before admitting what was already obvious, that she was onto me. I believe she found it before because my sister knew about it and linked to something from it on FB and my MIL connected the dots. This time around, pretty much only my husband and my therapist know I’m blogging. I have actually lied to my MIL’s face and told her that I am not blogging now (in my mind, I tried to justify it inasmuch as I was not, at that particular moment, blogging). I have felt that the only sure bet would be for her never to know that it exists. But in reality, there are so many anonymous infertility blogs that unless you’re using a lot of proper nouns she could search for, I truly do think the odds are very slim of her finding it. And even if she does, it might be good for her to know the truth (easy for me to say ;). I think the worst part for me is feeling like I need to edit/censor myself as I write – not even so much that my MIL would read what I’ve written in the past. So sorry about all that you’re going through with her. My MIL is actually lovely, just has some boundary issues. My mom is the completely emotionally stunted one in my family. So much of what you said in this post resonated with me. Sorry that you don’t have better support on this lonely road. And despite what is probably an unhelpful anecdote on my part, I do think you’re probably fine on the blog front. Maybe you could start a dummy blog as a foil…where you link to all these super helpful websites that your MIL sends you 😉

    • Wow, I can’t beleive your MIL found you and starting commenting! I don’t blame you for lying about not blogging now, I just don’t think there would a point to blogging at all if I felt like I needed to censor myself because she (or someone else really) was reading it. The only person I’d really be comfortable reading it is my husband. I think the idea of a dummy blog is hilarious, something to keep in mind :).

  7. I must chime in with the everyone else although I dont think you should password anything. If she finds you she finds you. She might not be able to deal with your feelings but the truth of it is important IF she’s seeking it out. I wouldnt direct her to it but as much as she is trying you can only meet her where she is at. Most folks dont want to go down the rabbit hole of infertility and feelings with any inlaws. I know if my huzz’s folks and family found my blog there would be lots of hurt feelings but I am not writing it for them. Not sharing things in case it happens…

    You may just need to find a good way to redirect her when all of the advice starts coming up. I like to throw out how hard marriage is and unfair that same sex couples can’t legally marry in all states. The MIL’s look at me like I am crazy and then join on with the topic change. Works like a champ every time even if I am scoring mad asshole points.

    • thanks :). Haha, I like the idea of changing the subject to gay marriage. It wouldn’t work so much with my MIL (she has a married gay niece who ironically is the exact couple who just had a baby in my last story), so its kind of old news. It would totally work with other extended family members though.

      I think I’ve decided in the end not to password protect. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’m fairly certain she won’t find me at all, and if she did it would take so long the posts I’ve written about her will be sort of buried. It seems like such a small chance she’d ever read these exact posts. Hopefully I don’t eventually regret it!

  8. I nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Through this posts and others related to this topic, you helped me find the strength to set my own boundaries with my in-laws. I felt guilty before but now I know it’s healthy. Thank you 🙂 And I agree with some comments that it’s important to reinforce good behavior even though it fell short.

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