Sunday, October 12, 2008

Parent's and In-laws

I know many of you can guess the direction of this post simply from the title... 

Perhaps it's simply best to say that sometimes family can't understand. Sure they love us, and want to support us in any way that they can, but there are times especially in infertility when the concern and grief of relatives is the last thing someone suffering with IF wants. I haven't quite figured out what about IF makes us want to be separate, to hide in the shadows...

Sarah's Dad, just today, said that he and his wife had planned to come over today to share in the grief process with having had our first attempt at IVF fail. They wanted to recognise the fact that for us a life had died, and that it didn't matter that the embryo was never born, it was still a life.  I don't disagree with anything he's just said, and quite frankly no one has ever come to us and said that they understood that that's how we perceived it - so it's great that he understands that, but to be honest that thought does not fill me with a great sense of fulfillment or give me warm fuzzies...

We are about to give it a second go, I'm not saying that we are over the first failure, but it doesn't help us right now to re-live all that emotion and grief. I understand that they will most likely be grieving too at the loss of a potential grandchild - but there is a large part of me that says get off our grief bandwagon - there's only room for two here!

looking at things pragmatically, if we had managed to reach the same stage (and perhaps we have many times!) in pregnancy then no one would know - not even us. The only difference is that we know what stage the embryo was at. To be honest that is a very personal grief. Something we took almost a month to tell our families because at the time I couldn't imagine telling either set of family without dissolving in to a blubbering mess on the floor. But the time came, and we both held it together - both times... But it's amazing. at every stage when we've wanted to keep things to ourselves but really felt like we ought to tell our parents there have only been a couple of times when they have surprised us and behaved the way we hoped they would. Almost every time - the reason we've held off telling them about a stage in the path has been their exact response. Awkward silence, followed by even more awkward words. Having conversations about the ethics of IVF from those who have always made it perfectly clear which side of the fence they stand on. 

I have been thinking though... what would have been the perfect response? How would we have wanted them to respond when we've told them stuff... 

I don't know. I think that there are perhaps some issues that parents are just supposed to stay out of. I know they mean well, and want the best for us, and of course want Grandchildren! But when it comes to your own children - no one has responsibility for them but you as the parent. Sure grandparents are important and have an awesome role to play, but we aren't there yet. 

We are going to be the last ones in both sides of our families to have children. Obviously our parents desperately want grandchildren. Heck it seems that my parents have adopted Sarah's sister's kids as their own grandchildren just cause they are geographically closer to them then Sarah's parents. Actually this probably deserves special mention because it's something that I've brooded over for well over 3 years now... At the oldest grandchild's dedication I noticed on the card from my parents to Sarah's sister and her husband that my parents were calling themselves honorary grandparents! I couldn't believe my eyes! I've never made a big thing of it because obviously they don't realise the implications at our end at discovering something like that! but HELLO???!!! I guess if you are desperate enough you'll get what you want by any means necessary. Perhaps I really don't mean that... But come on... how are we supposed to take that?!

Don't get me wrong, I love my Parents and In-laws, but I guess when it comes down to it we are all guilty of the same thing (yes, even me). We very rarely see anything from anyone else's perspective, and always think that when something goes wrong it's someone else's perspective that needs to change. It's for this reason that I still love my parents and in-laws, and everyone else in the world - because I like to think that deep down there is good in us all (or at least the capacity for it), and that just because I took offense at what someone says or does, it doesn't mean that they intended it to be that way. 

Enough ranting for today??? Yeah, probably :-)

1 comment:

I Believe in Miracles said...

My aunt is like a second mom to me. I'm sure she's going to be a 4th grandmother (my husband has a mom and stepmom, plus my mom) to our children. None of her kids are married, and she really wants to be a grandparent and it doesn't appear that it's happening anytime soon.

We've chosen not to tell our parents because we don't want to deal with reactions and because we're pretty private about the whole thing. It's hard to know where to draw the line in the sand. Maybe letting them know what you do and don't want them involved in?

Per your advice, I do have a couple of IRL friends that I talk to about the IVF in person. 4 that know about the IVF in detail and 1 that just knows we're going through IF. It has been really good. One of them has gone through IVF, one went through IF (she's now pregnant with her 2nd) and two went through IF and never got pregnant.

Thanks for your encouragement about weakness. I'm glad we have such an amazing God. I hope this next IVF produces your miracle.