Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | June 29, 2009

stealing thunder

This post is probably not going to be very nice. I may even password protect it or remove it shortly. I really need to vent about it though. Feel free to tell me that I am a selfish asshole. Perhaps that will shake me back into line.

I need to give a little background first. S has a stepbrother. They do not really get along. I’ve only met him once, briefly, at a family function, for like a minute. He lives several hours away and is not very involved in his mom’s (S’s stepmom’s) life. I’ve heard that he does not even send her M-day or birthday cards or even call on those days. Nobody talks about this though.

When S and I got engaged, a month or so later, the stepbrother and his girlfriend got engaged. We had already set our dates. They picked a day just about a month after ours. At the time, I was somewhat irritated, because it was awfully close to ours, but whatever. I understand there are limited dates in the summer to pick from. We had a bigger out of state actual wedding and then a local celebration for those in S’s family who couldn’t travel to our wedding. The stepbrother and fiance did not attend our wedding or local party because they had so much to do before their wedding. Again, whatever. Still, it felt like the excitement of our wedding was diluted a bit by having another family wedding so soon. It’s stupid and petty to care about that, but I’ll admit, I was a little annoyed at the time.

It has been my worst fear that they would announce a pregnancy while we were in the midst of fertility treatments. I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it well. It was a relief to hear nothing for many months. Once we finally got this positive and things were going well, I was able to relax a bit and not get so upset about pregnancy announcements in general. Then, at 13 weeks, once we got the good nuchal translucency results, we told S’s parents that they could start sharing the news that we are pregnant.

They looked at us kind of sheepishly and told us that in the week we had been gone for S’s work trip, they had found out that the stepbrother and his wife were also pregnant. They waited until 12 weeks to tell too. So, they were going to get two grandbabies at almost the exact same time, isn’t that wonderful!! Now they get to call everyone again and tell them that we are pregnant too!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful that we are at least finally pregnant, and that we didn’t have to go through the pain of seeing them have the first grandchild while we were stuck in infertility treatment hell. But really, Universe, did you really arrange it so that we’d have due dates within a few days of each other?!? Talk about stealing our thunder!

It has been pointed out to me that perhaps this will be a blessing. Perhaps it will mean that there will be less MIL involvement since she’ll have another baby to fawn over. But I can also see it being so annoying. They will always be compared. “X is walking already, why isn’t Y?” The pregnancies will be compared. “Gosh, you are huge! X has barely gained any weight – she’s all baby! You should see her, she looks like she strapped a basketball to her belly!” There will always be favorites. There will apparently be birthday party conflicts in the future. My poor kid is going to have his or her birthday overshadowed by Christmas already. The baby joy will be diluted! Our baby won’t be as special and cherished because there will be two, in different places, at the same time. It wouldn’t be as bad if there were a few months in between, but we are apparently due within a few days of each other! And because we were being so cautious about waiting to tell, they got to tell people first.

I know it doesn’t work that way. Of course there will be enough love to go around. But there is the selfish part of me that keeps thinking – again? Really? Wasn’t the wedding at the same time enough? Why do we have to share this special time too?

Who knows, maybe the grandkids will bring the family back together. Maybe our kids will be good friends in the future. Mabye it will turn out to be a wonderful coincidence. Perhaps this is another lesson meant to teach me to stop being a control freak and to stop comparing myself to others. But be honest, would this bother you? Am I a totally selfish bitch to even be having these thoughts?

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Responses

  1. I’m sorry that this has happened… it stinks! And you shouldn’t feel bad about feeling this way. My SIL scheduled her wedding for about 2 months after ours even though we’d been planning ours for 1.5 years. They moved to right after ours because they had a coupon for their honeymoon that expired that month… it made everything so rushed and all of our out-of-town family had to choose between our wedding or theirs. Everything turned out okay, but it was kinda annoying when they didn’t even use the stupid coupon that. Oh, well. I hope you’re right and this brings the family closer. And if people start comparing X to Y, tell them to shut up. πŸ˜‰

  2. It’s normal to feel that way. However your baby is so special. Fortunately these people are on the fringes of your life. While the baby thing may be a coincidence, the wedding was not. I would feel comfortable saying this woman will likely be a slight thorn in your side whenever possible.

    Don’t fret pet, you can choose not to see these people. Maybe the kids will get along. And maybe their child will be freakin Veruca Salt.

    But your baby is and will be precious. Try not to let it bug you too much.

  3. I struggle with feelings of jealousy all the time – you’re not the only one, and you’re not a bad person for feeling this way. Thank God you’ve made it into the second trimester yourself with a healthy baby, because I can only imagine how much more awful this news would have been to deal with if you weren’t well pregnant yourself.
    Of course in my case, I’ve had to watch my younger brother and SIL get pregnant with not one, but 3 babies in the time we’ve been trying. They started trying when we did. The first two are boys, the one she’s currently pregnant with is a girl, due two years to the day that my first baby should have been born. My father lives in Switzerland, and any time he comes to North America, he spends a few days visiting my brother and the grandkids. They spent a week in Switzerland with him in May, and he’s making arrangements to put in a stopover to see them in August. I haven’t seen him since last November at least. I’ve had to deal with watching the kids be showered with presents, with seeing my brother get all the visits from my parents. My mother goes down there at least once every 6 weeks to spend the weekend. It’s been a total killer – I feel like chopped liver, like second best, like DH and I don’t count because we haven’t been able to have kids yet. It’s awful.
    I’ve also had the pleasure of watching Mom give my brother and SIL a present every year for their anniversary (New Year’s Eve, so she’s usually visiting sometime near then), and my SIL presents every year for Christmas, when my DH and I are lucky to get a card for our anniversary, and he only started getting presents after we got married, despite the fact that we’d already been together for 7.5 years by that point.
    My father was upset by our two miscarriages (scattered through our 3.5 years of infertility treatments), and mentioned something after miscarriage #1 about how he and my stepmother would be happy to help out with the cost of IVF. That never happened. I’m sure he’s spent thousands on my nephews over the past 3 years though.
    Luckily, my mother is helping to keep me sane. She hasn’t always been supportive of the IF treatments, but she recently (when IVF #1 was cancelled for poor E2 response and she finally figured out how awful it was emotionally and physically and financially) gave us a significant monetary contribution to our efforts to produce a grandchild. She said it’s the one thing she can really do to show her support and help us achieve our dream. Very sweet. And although she’s obviously over the moon to now get her first granddaughter as well (I predicted that it’d be a girl from the moment I heard they were pregnant again, because God forbid I should be able to be first at something), she’s said a few times that although my brother’s kids are special, it’ll be different when it’s her baby girl who’s having a baby. That made me feel a little better.
    There – did my bitter ranting make you feel a little better too? If stepbrother has been so distant from his mother for so long, I find it hard to believe that his family or his child will have as close a relationship to your MIL as you and your family will. I’m sure she’ll treasure both grandkids, but I bet she’ll get to spend more time with your baby. Hopefully she’ll be a great MIL and not end up annoying you too much! I’m betting that your baby will be raised more thoughtfully as well, and will probably be a lot more fun to be around than his/her cousin as she/he gets older.
    Hang in there. I bet everyone reading your blog will know exactly where you’re coming from.

  4. No, you are perfectly normal and I would think all of those same thoughts too. In fact I had a lot of similar thunder stealing from my brother and his wife when they got engaged and then they accidentally got pregnant at the same time I would have if it would have worked when we started trying.

    Don’t feel bad about it. Hopefully the kids will be good friends and stepbrother will grow some understand of of proper social behavior.

  5. Okay, So. I read this blog and I am happy to tell you that…you are NOT alone in this scenario…

    Seriously, we are due with our first child a baby girl due Nov 5. Thank you to IVF and a long journey to get there.

    Just found out that my husbands brother is now due with there 3rd child in October. They are having another boy. Um, not happy. This is the woman who made infertility for us even worse and harder than it already was. She is just not a nice person and we don’t get along at all. She use to make hurtful comments around us about having kids and just unbelievably mean stuff. The last time we were around them I was in tears and just wanted to leave. We have not seen them since. They have two kids already, one boy and one girl. His parents favor them right now because they have grand children and to a point we can understand that. But, this is suppose to be our moment to shine so to speak and have our little girl be the spotlight and fun for a while. But nope she HAD to go for another one even though his brother wanted NO MORE kids during the time we were enjoying our little miracles life. I kind of feel as though this is her throwing the “How easy it is for her to have kids” card in our face yet once again. Maybe I would not feel this way if she hadn’t been so hurtful to us in the past. Maybe I am blowing it all out of proportion I don’t know. But I understand fully what you are going through and it makes perfect sense.

    All I know that gives me comfort is that little Annika is WANTED by both her parents and will be spoiled crazy rotten with all the love in the world. She is our miracle and I still plan on enjoying this pregnancy with family and friends regardless of my sister in law and her issues.

    Guess we both have to find a way to deal with that we can’t change huh? Ugh, but we will come through this with a better appreciation and a special kind of love for our children that some just will never understand. Stand strong and just enjoy the miracle. That’s what I am going to try and do πŸ™‚

  6. I TOTALLY feel the same way about my brother and SIL, and I feel like such a shit about it! I know it shouldn’t matter, but it DOES!!! I want to have the next baby!!!

  7. No, you are totally not being selfish. I would be quite pissed too! That’s always my biggest fear, someone else getting pregnant and having a baby while we’re still waiting… I think most infertiles do. It doesn’t go away just because we make it, unfortunately. Infertility leaves it’s scars. And to be honest? I think I would be pissed even if it wasn’t infertility making me so. I mean, how crap is that. Rant away!

    You are perfectly validated hun. We all know that you have longed for this baby, and that you aren’t ungrateful. It’s a pain that they’re following along, as it were… but try not to let them get to you.

    If you end up going password protected, which I hope you don’t, can I tag along?

  8. oh my god. i would be annoyed to no end. about the wedding, & the announcement/due date. But woot to having less MIL over (if you two aren’t close).

  9. not selfish, not an asshole, not a bitch

    if you are, then I am, too, and then we can just be selfish bitchy assholes together πŸ™‚

    I have no babies, no pregnancies, none in sight, but I can really, really, REALLY imagine feeling the way you are right now

    you fought for this, it IS special
    hopefully they’ll stay on the fringes

  10. i agree with everyone else. we’re all in the same boat. we all feel the same way.

    when b and i were engaged and planning our wedding, one of his cousins got engaged and quickly got married a few months before us. when we went, imagine how shocked i was to see that she was wearing the same dress!!! the worst part? my MIL was there when i picked it out, and she was there when the cousin did as well. …wonder if she wanted to set me off of something?

    some people just are not considerate. i was (and still am) worried about talking about the pregnancy to b’s sister. she has been trying to have kids for 10 years. she only did a total of 2 IUIs, but still….i often think about how hard this is for her. some people are blessed, i suppose, to be jerks and just think of themselves.

    your little baby will be great and loved b/c it is yours. …and maybe they will bring the family together. stranger things have happened. πŸ˜‰

  11. I completely agree with everyone else. Even though I don’t have siblings or in-laws about to have children, I would be very upset if all my big events in life were being overshadowed by one of them.

    This is your time!!! Enjoy it and love every minute of it! Maybe something good will come of it.

    Sorry for the inconsiderate people in life!

  12. I know it’s hard to see things comes easily to others which we’ve had to fight for. I’ve really struggled with that as I’ve watched friend after friend successfully have babies and I’ve had miscarriage after miscarriage.

    Just to play devil’s advocate…..the sister-in-law might be feeling the same way you are right now. They’ve been married just as long as you have–maybe they’ve had their own struggles on the way. She waited until 12 weeks to announce her pregnancy only to have you announce yours the next week. Try not to let the situation bother you too much.

    I do hope the babies bring the family closer and there isn’t too much comparisons between the two. I was with a group of friends the other day and there were so many kids there–it was wonderful but I got sad because our family won’t have any other kids even close to our kid’s age. I loved having cousins my age and my kid is going to miss that.

    Hopefully you’ll feel better about this in a few weeks.

    I hope you don’t password protect your blog. I don’t even remember how I stumbled across you, but I’ve been cheering for you for several weeks now. I’m a couple weeks behind you and hope we both make it this time.

  13. You are thinking these things because you are NORMAL and human. I would feel the exact same way in your shoes. But try not to let their announcement dampen your excitement. Try to focus on the fact that when you’re holding your baby, it won’t matter what other babies are born that day or soon after. You and your family will love that baby for what s/he is — not because s/he is or is not the only grandchild, etc. In the day to day of you, your husband and your new baby being a family, you’ll forget about this silly stepbrother (though again, I totally understand why you’re upset now).

  14. gosh, the ladies above pretty much said it all for me. Nothing to add here, other than a sigh of relief that I am not alone when I feel these things too.

    I bet this was a tricky post to write. I’m glad to did. As you can tell, you are so not alone. I hope you feel a little peace knowing that there are so many of us closing our eyes and clenching our fists and trying to breathe deeply at these moments too.

    Those stealing thunder people don’t matter. Your long awaited, much loved baby does. Counting down the days until arrival with you.

  15. […] other news, even though they weren’t due until mid-January, BIL and SIL had their baby by c section yesterday. The baby was large for being 3 weeks early (close to 9 lbs […]


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