In-laws and my miscarriage

May 8, 2009

“They” [whoever ‘they’ may be] say not to tell people you’re pregnant until you are three months pregnant but there is an exception to the rule: You can tell your family. The theory I am assuming is because you’re closer to them and should things go wrong they will support you.  This is the conversation I had with my MIL hours after my miscarriage:

MIL: You okay?

Me: Yes…

MIL: How is my son? Is he okay? Is he crying a lot?

Me: He’s fine…

MIL: Are you sure? He’s not very upset is he? Does he need me?

Me: Um…

MIL: So when you got pregnant, didn’t you ask them to check your uterus and make sure everything would be fine? You got nothing checked?

Me: No, I didn’t think I had to.

MIL: You have hormone issues?

Me: *lying but how the fuck is this your business* No

MIL: Well your period, thats abnormal I’m sure, this is probably a cause

Me: No- I have to go.

I was in a daze as I recited the conversation with Jack who was furious and called his mother and told her what’s what. She then called the next day to speak to me. I did not want to talk to her but Jack insisted she would ask how I’m doing and apologize for blaming me. He put the phone on speaker phone:

MIL: So, feeling better?

Me: I guess so

MIL: What are you doing right now?

Me: Cooking

MIL: What are you cooking?

Me: Burgers

MIL: Okay, well talk to you later.

Maybe she didn’t know her “apology” and genuine interest in my well being were on speaker phone, but Jack grabbed the phone and again expressed frustration with her. She cried and said nothing she ever did was ever right, etc etc.

My SIL has been equally unsupportive. When she found out I was pregnant she was underwhelmed. My brothers, they were leaping up and down and catching their breaths, sending me cards, talking to my belly. I sincerely feel she was upset that she would no longer be the only one giving grandkids. I made mention of a baby shower perhaps, she pointed out that if you do that and then something horrible happens to your baby, then it would be a shame to have had the shower.  Since my miscarriage she e-mailed me and said “sorry to hear let me know if I can do anything”. I got more support from the receptionist at the doctor’s office.

I should not be surprised by any of this. My in-laws have never liked me. They claim to love Jack but with the way they treat him I am surprised. But, instead of supporting me, they have been salts to my wounds. Jack said to me, next time, we won’t tell them until I’m five months pregnant. It does no good to share with them.

I am so upset that they know I conceived because now they are on notice that we are “trying”, and we’ve kept this from them because we received enough hell as it was to give them grandkids without them even officially knowing we were trying to have children. Now they know. Now they will figure out my infertility issues. I can feel their judgmental gazes on me as they whisper about how Jack could have done so much better. The problem is this hurts because in some ways I do feel guilty, the part of me that doesn’t think things out, the instinctual part agrees, yeah, Jack could have done better.

He’s on the phone with them now and my blood boils. I want to scream at them. I want to rail against them and ask them WHY are you so hateful. Why can’t you just be human and reach out to a hurting person? You claim to be religious and God fearing yet you treat God’s creations with contempt. Jack points out that as a result of this experience, he’s further apart from his family. There is now a void. Should this give me satisfaction? If so, it does not.



  1. Not to be rude, but fuck them. If they can’t support both of you during this time, then don’t even bother to be concerned about their reactions. Even the most ignorant person would know that you need a balance of emotional support and space–not too much of either. If they don’t know what the “right thing” is to do for you, then they need to at least say “I’ve never dealt with this before. I feel helpless. What can I do for you?”

  2. I agree, I should not care. To this day I’ve never spoken with my SIL about m/c but she sure did call today for tips on her upcoming trip to Puerto Rico. I wish people would say “help me help you” instead many in my life have simply vanished. I guess its better to vanish then to be so hurtful though.

  3. Wow, that’s just awful. It’s so sad when family doesn’t even support you during this rough time. Instead, they only think of their selfish wants for grandchildren.
    Even though you know you shouldn’t care, it doesn’t make their behavior any easier to handle. I’m appalled, but sadly not surprised.
    It seems like you’ve made much more progress on yourself than they have, and though it may be you that is hurting right now, I think they will have to answer for their actions someday, and it will be harder for them, because they seem to have an impossible time thinking they do anything wrong.

  4. Thanks for your words of support Jeanine. I hope your hubby’s family was more supportive than mine. My MIL actually did say when Jack confronted her, “but *I’m* hurting too.” Well… yes… but, you can’t just blame me because you’re sad. Sigh.

  5. I sooooo know what you are talking about. My in-laws know what there are “problems” with us conceiving and I wish I had never let the cat out of the bag. It seems 10x more painful when they say snarky things because they KNOW we have infertility issues. If I had never said anything I’d have avoided a lot of hurt feelings I’m sure.

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