How do I tell her????? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I wasnt sure which section to post this, so this is as good of a place as any. I am 7 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. I have stage 2 Endometriosis(diagnosed through surgery) and PCOS. I was blessed with a child 2 years ago, and now am expecting another one. My sister in law, who is 24 years old, had stage 4 endometriosis and had a complete hysterectomy this past year. When we announced we were pregnant with our first, I had just been told 2 weeks before that since my surgery, I had gotten worse and would probably never have children. She was with me through all this. When we announced our pregnancy (baby#1), she was devastated. We found out in October and she didnt come to either of my showers and didnt come to see me until months after the baby was born....never made any references to me being pregnant or our baby, whom she adores now. Well, now here we are with baby #2. I have kept it from our families in fear of her finding out before I can sit down and talk with her. I called her tonight and told her I wanted to have lunch with her tomorrow. I have no clue where or how I am going to start this conversation. I thought telling her face to face would be better than hearing it through her husband, which is my husbands brother or through another in-law like last time. What should I say or how should I tell her? I love her so much and would never want to hurt her, and even though she cant physically have a child, I know this is going to hurt her. So.....any advice please. Thanks in advance!!!!!!

And thanks for reading this novel lol
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#2 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 03:37 AM
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I'm so sorry. I will be praying for the both of you.


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#3 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 03:03 PM
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My own mother went through this. She kept her 4th pregnancy a secret for almost 4 months because of her sister, who had struggled with infertility for 10 years. It was an unplanned pregnancy with a man she was dating too, so my mom felt it was cosmically unjust and felt rather guilty. My aunt found out indirectly, and in the end, she was more upset about that than the pregnancy itself. She felt offended that my mom hadn't just told her, thinking she couldn't handle it. But I think no matter what my mom had done, my aunt would have had difficult feelings to work through.

Your SIL has been through this experience once before, and perhaps she's further along in her grief process and may be less reactive this time. Your daughter has clearly brought her joy - who knows, she may surprise you and be thrilled at the idea of having another niece or nephew. Even if not, remember it is her path and her pain, and there is no reason for your joy to be minimized because she is not dealing with it well. You have every right to bear a child and to have those that love you celebrate that with you. If her grief is impacting her relationships, then it is her responsibility to process that with the help of a professional if necessary, rather than expecting the family to walk on eggshells. Though handling it gently is a good idea, you really have little control over how she will respond. Telling her alone might give her a chance to know "ahead of time" so she can prepare herself emotionally for the joyful reactions of the grandparents, etc. but keep in mind that one-on-one might also put her on the spot.

If you decide to tell her at lunch, I would validate her painful reaction in the past (and express yours - she may need to gently hear that it hurt you when she withdrew from you), express your love and appreciation for her and your hopes for what your relationship can be this time. Express sorrow for her pain if needed, but don't apologize for being pregnant.

I would probably say something like this. "SIL, I love you so much. You are such a great sister to me and DH and loving aunt to DD. I know DD's birth caused you pain and it pained me to see our relationship grow apart because of that. I am so happy that you are a bigger part of our lives now and I hope that continues. I wanted to meet with you today, because I just found out I am expecting. I didn't want that news to cause you pain. You don't need to say anything right now. I just wanted you to know how much you mean to us, and I hope with all my heart that we can stay close. "

Good luck!

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#4 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 04:27 PM
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It is a sad situation that you are going through; I'm so sorry for both of you. I think it's good that you are concerned with her feelings and, even so, you should have a happy pregnancy. It may be easier for her to see a baby than it is for her to see you (or anyone) pregnant because she is not able to be pregnant.

If you are meeting for lunch, it may be a good option for it not to be in public. Why not tell her on the phone? It could give her some time to process it.

Honestly, I wouldn't go into some big intro. I think short and to the point would be better. I would stay away from telling her things like she doesn't have to say anything because that's telling her how to react to your news. Her surgery is pretty recent, give her some time and space.
I would image that she is truly happy for you, it's just difficult.

How to be Good Friends with an Infertile may help give perspective.
Good luck to both of you!
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#5 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 07:43 PM
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This must be so hard for you, and I personally haven't gone through this myself but am sitting here and cannot not respond.

I'd try to set the tone with your feelings. Saying for the baby you want to be positive and happy throughout the pregnancy even though you are feeling hurt for her and sensitive to her feelings.

I'd also ask her if there was anything I could say/not say surrounding the pregnancy and birth that would help her at all, and to get back to me when she has had a chance to think on it. I wouldn't imply that you'll be silent, but respectful.

Tell her how important your relationship is, and if she is feeling up to it emotionally, you'd love her to be a part of your life during this time.

Do what you can. Remember this is your pregnancy. Her feelings are hers to feel, and you must try to do what you can to support her and validate her pain without letting it effect your sense of well being and joy.

This must be so so hard for you.

Birth Attendant. Placenta Encapsulator. Reiki Practitioner. Vegan. Aspiring Midwife. Breastfeeding Educator Student. Two years of trying for our love child.
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#6 of 7 Old 01-08-2010, 07:48 PM
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As someone suffering from IF, I prefer to hear news like this in private. Not even on the phone, where I have to deal with the shock and try to act happy. I don't want the intense personal pain I'm feeling to be misconstrued as jealousy or ill-feelings towards that person.

I, too, had to severely distance myself from my sister when she was pg with #2, couldn't talk to her, couldn't hear anyone else talk about her pg, was afraid I wouldn't be able to visit after dn was born. I love that little girl to death now (and always knew I would, for that matter), and my sister understands that my personal pain/grief is my own issue and no reflection on her or her family.

Thank you for recognizing how hard this will be for your sister. Just know that if she distances herself for a while, it is most likely self-preservation and not a reflection on you.
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#7 of 7 Old 01-09-2010, 03:45 AM
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Please do not take her out to lunch to tell her. It puts her on the spot to react to your news. When she wants to cry and scream, she is supposed to sit there, in public and congratulate you. Not good!

I think it is best to e-mail the news and give her time to get back to you.

Suffering from secondary infertility and having a TON of friends announce their pregnancies, I can say that it is the pregnancy I struggle with, not the baby. It is possible that this pregnancy hurts her even more than the first one, so please give her the space to take care of herself.

Oh... and good of you to tell her first! I had a close friend that told other friends and not me. Then I was made to deal with her news in a cafe, by having the other friends mention the pregnancy. I was happy for her (though sad for me and even more so my dd who was right there), but it hurt me that she had not told me and it would have been so much easier to process the news in the safety and privacy of my home.

To me, the fact that many of my friends have been pregnant twice since out dd was born, somehow makes my pain worse. (Thus I am saying that this time may be even worse for her.) It reminds me how time has gone on and how I have "missed out." Even if we are able to have more children in the future, it reminds me of having eternally lost that "possible child," as that time will never come back.

These are strange things... It is impossible to know what it is like until you are there.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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