Hello… Mom? Dad? Are you there?

There’s been something on my mind lately.

My parents don’t seem to really embrace their role as grandparents.

Or maybe it’s that they don’t act like typical grandparents?

Or maybe I need to adjust my expectations of them as grandparents?

Either way, it’s weird.

My parents live in Ontario. We live in Saskatchewan.  I recently asked both my parents if we could do video calls. They have iPhones. My sister has an iPhone. My brother, his wife, my husband and I have Android phones. The best options would be Skype or Google Hangouts since my brother and I can’t Facetime. It’s really not difficult to set one or the other up especially since everyone already has Gmail accounts.

My Mom has yet to respond to any of the messages I’ve sent in regards to video calling (and I’ve sent multiple). My Dad initially told me to just upload videos and email them. Then, he told me if I want to video chat I’ll need to get an iPhone.

It hurts to know that they won’t take 5 minutes to download an app and set it up so that they could actually see their Grandson on a regular basis.

It’s not a matter of being tech savvy. They both know how to use their phones and the laptop very well. I could blame it on my Dad being lazy or my Mom being too busy, but really are those valid excuses?

Just to drive it in a little deeper, my Mom does Facetime with my sister. Of course she would. 

My brother and I talked a lot about it when he visited last week. He only lives 3.5 hours away from my parents, but they haven’t seen them in 8 months (that’s a whole other can of worms though).

They just seem really disengaged as Grandparents and with today’s technology, I don’t really think that location is a limitation.

I’m not really sure what to do about it. It hurts each time they don’t respond to or refute my request. And we all know there’s no logic in repeating something and expecting a different response each time.

I’m not sure opening up about my feelings will get me anywhere. I’ve opened up multiple times on our infertility/pregnancy loss journey and it just seems to push they away further.

I used to joke that my relationship with my Mother-in-law was solely based on what she saw on my social media accounts, but I’m beginning to feel the same way about my own Mother. My Mom commented on my Instagram that she can’t wait to see Wyatt when we visit in June… yes, I said on my Instagram. I haven’t spoken to her on the phone in weeks and I’ve tried to call multiple times.

I’m feeling like I’m holding a tin can with a burnt up string and no one on the other end.

Is this a wake up call? What lesson do I need to learn here?

Hey Universe, I’m ready for the answer. 

 

 

 

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When it’s time to let it go

I’m getting better at handling insensitive/inappropriate comments about infertility.

In July, an IVF friend of mine had her beautiful baby girl a month early. A few weeks ago, she turned one month old and I told my Mom I couldn’t believe she was already a month when she was only just supposed to arrive into the world.

My mom’s reaction was, “Oh your friend must have had her dates wrong!“.

My response, “No Mom. You don’t ever get your dates wrong with IVF. You know exactly the age of the embryo upon transfer“.

I tried to explain a bit more. When she didn’t seem interested, I nonchalantly ended the phone call.

On Saturday, my husband and I stopped by for a visit with his Aunt and Uncle.  At one point, she asked if we would have to do IVF again to have another child. I explained that we don’t know, but that based on our previously unexplained status, the success of ISCI versus natural fertilization, and the fact that I’m now down to 1 Fallopian tube, our odds of natural conception are very low; although, not completely gone.

Her response was, “Well I think it will be easier for you now that the stress of having your first child is over.“. She turned to my husband and said, “You let her heal up good, then you get in there and get it done!“.

I looked at him and his face sunk. He ignored her comment and kept watching the football game on TV.

I told her that we really don’t like it when people ask us about having a second child. We don’t know what path we will take and we’d prefer to enjoy our moments with this baby as he deserves to be the focus right now.

Then, she said, “Well you could always adopt!”. 

*sigh* 

I initially wondered HOW so many people still DO NOT GET IT after everything I’ve explained to them about the IVF process, but then I reminded myself that if someone doesn’t care to get it, they never will no matter how many times you reiterate the facts.

We know the facts because we’ve lived them. It’s hard for someone else to understand your position when they’ve never been in your shoes. As much as you hope your family will be compassionate, I need to accept that not everyone can be or wants to be – especially all the time. Instead of getting angry at their comments, I will let them go.

I don’t always hold back, but right now, it’s much better for me (and for baby) to move on.

Facing Mother’s Day

I had a mini meltdown last night. I tend to have a few bad days each week (i.e. more puking) and yesterday was one of them. I also am feeling drained due to the major project I’m working on at my job. Plus, it’s Mother’s Day this weekend.

I’m having a hard time with Mother’s Day. This is my first official Mother’s Day as a mother to one Angel in Heaven and another baby in my womb. As much as I should be grateful, I’m still conquering grief and fear.

Plus,  I don’t feel like my Mother and Mother-in-law have really been there for us this past year.

My Mother-in-law has barely spoken to me since we told her we were pregnant (which was immediately after we did our 1st beta). I thought opening up to her would perhaps mend some of the broken bridges and build our relationship before baby comes. She seriously has called me less than a handful of times and I’m now 17 weeks pregnant. I will admit I don’t reach out to her much either, but I can’t be myself around her and my Father-in-law. I want to talk about my fears with this pregnancy, how I’m still dealing with our loss and everything else that bothers me, but emotions – especially my emotions – are not welcome around them.  I’ve repeatedly brought it up with my husband. I keep telling him I will not let her come knocking on my door once the baby arrives if she has put zero effort in before then. He seems ok with that, but I don’t see how he can be? In some ways, he does a much better job at protecting his heart than I do.

As for my Mom, I asked her to come see me (as she lives 2 provinces away) after we lost the baby and she had every excuse in the book as to why she couldn’t come. I had a decent visit with her when I went to my sister’s for the weekend, but once again, I had to make the effort. I also can’t really discuss all of my fears and feelings with her as I feel like she just dismisses them. She’s made a commitment to go to my sister’s this Fall to babysit my nephew, but this happens to be directly during the time our baby is due to arrive. She keeps saying her babysitting won’t interfere with her plans to visit shortly after our baby’s birth, but I don’t believe her.

I wasn’t sure what to get either one of my Moms for Mother’s day. I settled on a Grandma’s memory book for them to fill out with stories about their life and give back to us one day for our children to have. I fondly recall sitting down with my Grandmas and hearing all about their childhood and life in general. I know that my children won’t get the same experience as I did – since my Mom lives so far away and my husband’s Mom chooses to distance herself.

I have a brokenness inside me that longs for a sense of family.

It makes it even harder at this time of the year when my husband is focused on farming. Our own family unit never seems as strong as it should be when he’s around his family 24/7. We’ve had a few discussions this week about how he needs to balance his duties between farming, his full-time job, our household and our personal life. I’m sick of always having to remind him though.

So as it stands, I may be alone this Mother’s day.

I offered to have supper with my in-laws, but my husband thinks he will be in the field and doesn’t want to commit to seeing them. He pushes that relationship away which I see as detrimental even though he thinks he’s doing it to protect me.

I know I need to work on healing as I have hurt, anger and frustration built up towards both sides of the family. Acceptance is key. Every time, I feel like I’ve made progress, something happens and I need to work harder to accept them again. Isn’t that a true healing journey?

So this Mother’s Day, I’ll embrace my aloneness knowing that next year my baby will be in my arms, my husband may no longer be farming, and we can be together as our family… finally. 

Enough is enough

My sensitive heart always gets the best of me. I’m quietly crying at my desk at work. Wondering why I let people affect me so much? Why do I always expect a positive reaction when I’m so used to the negative? Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result the definition of insanity? I’m not insane. I’m just too caring.

A few days ago, my sister had her baby. Initially, I was upset that the news came through my Mom, but I gave her a break. She’s a brand new mom! She deserves it! She’s probably too wrapped up in her bundle of joy to have time to message everyone.

As days past, I heard she was connecting with other friends and relatives, but my husband and I still hadn’t heard from her or her fiancé. I thought for sure once she received our gift that we would hear something.

We mailed a gift the day my nephew was born. We had it bought for months now. I slowly purchased things as I found them. My last addition was the book, “On the Night You Were Born”, by Nancy Tillman – a book I think every child should own.

I tracked the parcel. She received it yesterday. We never heard a thing.

I honestly thought pushing a human miracle out of her vagina would change her.  I thought she would magically fill with light and love as she laid her eyes on her child for the first time. I thought this love and light would extend to the rest of her family because she would want her child to be a part of their lives. I was willing to forgive everything she had said and done to me over the past year – heck, over our entire lives – if it meant that our family could be closer again.

Clearly, I was super fucking wrong.

I guess childbirth doesn’t change everyone. Some people are unable to offer compassion, understanding and love to the world. Some people are too self-absorbed to ever step outside of their manipulative, narcissist bubble.

Today, my brother’s wife told me that my sister mentioned she received our gift. She is mad that my parents gave us her address.

I’m done crying now. I’m also done trying.

My happiness is too important to let her misery continuously inflict pain onto me.  I may never know my nephew, but that choice was made by his mother.

A new addition has arrived

I have a new nephew. My sister had her baby this morning. They named him Luca.

It’s a bittersweet moment as I haven’t spoken to my sister since the night I ended up in the hospital due to our ectopic pregnancy. There’s just too much turmoil and negativity there. I can’t fuel it.

I’ve always said my husband and I shouldn’t let our relationships with our siblings get between our relationships with our niece and nephews.

I plan to mail a gift tonight. I purchased a few outfits, shoes, rattles, and a stuffie for little Luca.

I hope this subtle form of communication will perhaps been seen as extending the olive branch. Although, I will be very hesitant and protected if my sister and I venture back into communicating with each other.

She doesn’t know that we are currently pregnant. My parents say they haven’t told her.

I have decided that our news can wait for now.

My sister deserves to be the centre of attention and enjoy the birth of her son.

Welcome to the world little one. ❤

To tell or not to tell: the tale of a gossiping mother-in-law

I’ve been avoiding my mother-in-law all week. Honestly, I rarely talk to her more than 2-3x a month, but I did say I would call her earlier this week.

From not taking good care of our fur-babies and our house when we were gone for IVF…

to not coming by at all until I lost the baby…

to barely calling since then…

I’ve just had enough with her lack of support. She doesn’t seem to “get” it and I don’t think I will ever get through to her.

When we got home from our IVF cycle, I discovered that she had been sharing personal details with her close friends about our cycle (i.e embryo updates, how sick I was feeling, etc). I felt like she violated my privacy and my trust by relaying this information to people I never would have told on my own. We were not secretive about the fact that we were away for IVF, but we also were not open about specific details except with our parents and on this blog (which only a handful of my non-infertility friends have access to). My husband and I both scolded her; and told her it was our story to share, not hers.

Before I left the hospital following our loss, I told her she could go ahead and let everyone know what happened.

She replied with, “No, we can keep it a secret for now“.

I told her, “There is no secret. I had surgery. We lost the baby.”

Ugh. She just doesn’t understand when things are appropriate and when they are not. 

Anyway, some extended family is getting together the weekend after Christmas to take the kids swimming and water sliding at a local hotel. My MIL mentioned it to us immediately when I got out of the hospital. We told her we weren’t sure if we would attend (as clearly we had more important things on our mind), but asked her to give us more details at a later date.

Turns out, she told the extended family that we wouldn’t be attending because of our fertility treatments. SAY WHAT?!?! 

The facts are:

  • We are NOT doing treatment in December
  • We both could go swimming if we wanted
  • We were not given any more details
  • Up until last week, she had no clue when we were going for our FET
  • She told a lie

I guess I can appreciate the fact that maybe she was trying to save us from an experience that clearly highlights our lack of children. I am upset that she chose to make that decision without actually consulting us.

So now, I’m avoiding her because I don’t know what to say. I contemplated crying my heart out to her and telling her exactly how this loss has affected me and how much fear I have for our upcoming FET. Then, I figured my personal feelings would be broadcast all over my husband’s home town. Not worth it. 

Up until the past few days, only our parents and my brother knew that we were going back in January. Since then, I’ve told a few close friends. Instead of telling my work, I’ve just booked a tentative week off.

I don’t plan on sharing much information about our FET with anyone except those who have been there for us during our loss. I know this perspective might change if I gain a more positive outlook, but I am afraid of facing another loss and being left even more alone.

How would you explain this to my mother-in-law? What would you say to that extended family if they ask any questions? 

The in-law Christmas extravaganza

My sister-in-law offered to host Christmas this year.

When she first offered, I told her we are not available on December 24. I am volunteering at a Reiki share until 8pm that night. It’s a wonderful experience where free Reiki (healing energy) is offered to people with physical or emotional pain. The intent of the session is to help those who have a hard time dealing with the holidays. It’s ironic because I now fit into that category.

Am I crazy to think that if you are hosting Christmas with family that lives locally, it will be sometime between December 24-26? And if the only brother and sister-in-law you have are not available one of those 3 days, you would try to be accommodating?

Well, I am crazy.  

Earlier this week, we found out my sister-in-law wants to host Christmas on December 21.

We have a family party for my mother-in-law’s side on December 19 and a party on my father-in-law’s side on December 20. The thought of doing 3 major get-togethers 3 days in a row (not to mention the fact they are with the in-laws) is just WAY TOO much for me this year.

I told my sister-in-law exactly how I felt.  It is too much for me to do the 3 days in a row and we have already committed to the other parties.  I felt quite vulnerable being open about my limitations with her, but I honestly don’t think she understood.

I asked her if we could switch it to sometime during December 25 to 28. She said they were not available unless we wanted to move it to this Sunday, December 14 or if we could make ourselves available for December 24.

We found out after that she is hosting Christmas Eve with my husband’s parents.

Her lack of flexibility is astonishing. They aren’t going on a trip or anything. They just have regular holiday plans with her family. And besides, it’s not like I’m just being a pain in the ass about December 24. I’m volunteering for a cause that is near and dear to me. Once again this week, I find myself defending my choices.

Christmas always used to be one of my most favourite times of the year. With my family, it was more about the traditions and time spent together than what you actually received.  Since we all live across Canada now, I haven’t spent a Christmas with my parents, my sister and my brother in 6 years.

Since I met my husband, the Christmas dynamic has changed. His family doesn’t build the joy into the season like my own family used to. It always seems forced and obligatory. Gifts are exchanged, but usually opened when you return to your own home.

It’s hard trying to fit into a family that you don’t gel with; a family with major communication issues; a family that never shows love.

It’s hard when all you want is to build your own family, start your own traditions and fill your own home with Christmas joy.

It’s hard when you are facing your first Christmas after a pregnancy loss, but no one seems to understand.

As it stands, I caved and agreed to December 21. I want to make an effort for our niece and nephew, but it’s getting to the point where enough is enough with this side of the family as well.