My next ultrasound is tomorrow at 9:15AM PDT. I appreciate any good thoughts you’d like to pass along. I will be 8w.
In taking your advice, I have not confronted or otherwise dealt with the situation with K. Things have gotten beyond awkward but I think she is too intimidated by me to confront me. Nothing to be done about it until the issue is pushed.
And now for the more pressing matter. I have written before about my challenging relationship with and now estrangement from my mother (well, parents, actually). It is my belief that my mother has a personality disorder and at the very least suffers from narcissism with paranoia. It is likely that she has borderline personality disorder and we know she is a high conflict person. I have not spoken with her or seen her since Christmas day, 2011.
As has been the case for almost all of my life, I tend to consider how she will react to information or events almost ahead of anyone else. It is par for the course for growing up with someone who never connected with me emotionally, intellectually, or psychologically. It was always left up to me to figure out what to say/not to say, what to do/not to do, what to share/not to share. It was, quite literally, like navigating a mine field. Something that elicited benign Response A today, might get an entirely contradictory response tomorrow. It was crazy making, especially for a child but I recognize that it is how my relationship to and with her was programmed.
My mother does not know unconditional love. Perhaps that is because she never received it herself (although, neither did I and I get it). Everything has strings attached and a price to be paid. She equates love with control. Do what she wants and she behaves in her version of a loving way. Don’t and suffer the consequences (which include blame, berating, withholding of previous commitments, etc).
Given our estrangement, I am not at all sure how she will come to learn that I am pregnant when I am ready to share that information with my family and friends. She, of course, will believe she is due to be told by me, directly, and that I should be subjected to answering her myriad (read: intrusive and inappropriate) questions. She will think that she is owed being told first. As with everything, me being pregnant will be all about her.
Issue one surrounds how I will tell her, my dad, and my sister. I mean, I could simply not tell them and let the news find them via the only person in my family I do have a relationship with, my uncle. I hate to put him in that position, and I wouldn’t actually be (meaning, he could choose not to tell her, although pigs would have to be flying before he would not tell her). So, the how to tell her is Question #1. I am a respectful person and I don’t want to cause harm or duress to my aging parents. However, by the time I would be willing to tell, we will not have had contact for 7 or 8 months.
The bigger issue surrounds what to tell them. Given how unsupportive of us adopting she was, I don’t even think she thinks we are pursuing having another child. We’ve never discussed it beyond me telling her two years ago we were going to adopt. She knows we did IVF to conceive our son and she even knows that I did one donor egg cycle. Back then, she was supportive of that because “at least he will have a half genetic sibling”.
We are definitely in the ‘tell’ camp and will raise our second child with full knowledge of how s/he came to be part of our family. However, I cannot trust my mother to process that information at all much less not use it against our future child (by treating that child as ‘less than’ my son or her other, biological grandchildren). I don’t want to out and out lie to her but I simply cannot tell her the truth. Therefore, what do I tell her? I’ve imagined saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and leaving it at that (she won’t leave it at that and will likely query others to ferret out the truth, which means that we’ll have to be consistent in what we tell my family (which consists of my mother/father/sister (and my sister’s family)/two sets of uncles/aunts, and one cousin) and my husband’s family.
I’ve also considered saying that we had embryos frozen from a failed cycle that we didn’t intend to use but instead of destroy them we decided to transfer them. That way, its unclear as to whether these were from an own egg or donor egg cycle.
I’ve considered saying that we never gave up and the universe blessed us. I’ve also considered simply saying it’s a miracle of modern medicine.
But here is the thing, even if we are still estranged, my mother, who believes she has a right to information, will ask me, point blank, how this pregnancy occurred. She will say something like, “is it yours” or “did you use a donor” or “whose DNA did you use”. Yes, she will ask, in an entitled kind of way, all manner of inappropriate questions. Even though we are estranged, my mother believes she is entitled to information, entitled to be told news first, entitled to ask whatever comes to her mind, no matter how out of line. And, she will be aghast to be put off, shut down, etc. I am just trying to minimize the fall-out with her.
I do not believe that anyone has the right to know this privileged information but of course have shared the path we’ve taken with many of my in real life friends who have all been supportive. I am lucky that they get it. They only want for my and our happiness. It is a beautiful thing. My mother, father, sister will not be so unconditional. It is a shame, but it is the truth. And, I cannot predict what, if any, kind of relationship we will all have and/or how the fact that I am pregnant and having another child might affect things from their point of view. I’m not too concerned about that, but I simply don’t know. Being estranged from them and not subjecting my son to the same kind of treatment by them that I grew up under, has been quite a relief. Things will never revert to how they were (read: me trying to manage a manufactured relationship for the sake of appearances).
Which brings me to what would you do?
“It does not matter how you came into the world, what matters is that you are here.”