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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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WWYD #2

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.
~Oprah Winfrey

13 comments to WWYD #2

  • Here from ICLW – first, congrats on the pregnancy! I really like the idea of just saying “we used frozen embryos” and “it’s our baby”. Of course, that may not satisfy her, and you may still have to figure out whether you’ll tell the truth, lie or tell her that’s all she gets to know. I don’t know. Good luck.

  • Lots of good advice from others. Nothing really to add other than the fact that you don’t owe her any information about how this pregnancy came to be. It’s your story to tell if and when you want to.

    Much luck tomorrow.

    xoxo

  • kath

    congratulations to you and a belated happy birthday! just turned 46 myself, on the 20th!
    anyway – about your mother, less is probably more!
    tell her you’ve got wonderful news, you’re expecting and you thought it important that she hear the news from you directly.
    tell her that you, your husband and your son are beyond excited. when she gets to asking the inappropriate questions, just use the “miracle of modern medicine” line, but tell her that’s as detailed as you’re going to get with her, because that’s the kind detail that you and your husband have agreed is private and you’ve agreed, as husband and wife, not to share. period. end of story.
    yeah, she may get mad and say some more inappropriate things – but you’ve no control over her actions – only your own. you get to choose how you’ll respond and all you’ve got to do is calmly repeat that you and your husband have agreed that information is private and you’ll not be discussing it with anyone. and all you need to say is “i’m sorry that you don’t understand” and walk away and or hang up. no, it will not be easy – it will be very difficult not to take the vitriolic bait, but the choice is up to you!

  • Rebecca

    I have a family member that probably has the same mental health issues that your mom does. If I were in your situation, I think I’d probably just let her find out on her own, but I think I’d be truthful, if asked, about the nature of my situation. I usually feel that if I don’t “own” the truth, then how can I ask someone else to (I realize though that this doesn’t always work with mentally unstable people). Meaning, if you skirt the issue of DE and your mom eventually knows (which sounds inevitable and in some ways desirable if you are going to be open about it with everyone else) then she might think you were not secure in your decision. And you are. And you should celebrate everything about this pregnancy. But the other thing is that you have to protect yourself, and I recognize that being open with your mom may mean that you are putting yourself in emotional harm’s way. This just sucks. I’ve been in a similar difficult situation and there never seems to be a “right” answer.

  • Peg

    Hang in there and I can’t wait to hear about the latest ultrasound.

    I’d tell your family but with limited and truthful statements. I like the commenter above who said “we used frozen embryos” and “she/he is ours.” It would be worse if they found out from someone else or ran into you 8 months pregnant.

    Sending positive, positive vibes!!!!

  • Tireegal

    Many many warm wiggly happy baby happy mommy wishes for your ultrasound;)
    As for your mom, I think the above advice is great from all the ppers. I’m sorry you don’t have an unconditionally loving mom – far from it. I often wonder why people like your mom adopt or have children at all. Maybe it’s a function of their narcicissm. I think there’s a book called walking on eggshells that deals with how to deal with people with borderline personality disorder. There should be a group for it like Al Anon or ACOA. Maybe there is.
    I hope that the time you spend connecting with your uncle gives you some feeling of family time. It must feel lonely sometimes. I hope your chosen family and friends can be a source of strength and unconditional support.
    Both my parents are dead but I have the luxury of happy memories to soothe me when I miss them. I’m so glad you are making happy memories and positive experiences for H and now also for this little bean you are growing.
    You’re a brave and gutsy warrior but I know the pain still hurts like hell.

  • Maria

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  • Anna

    You have all the good wishes that I have coming your way! I am keeping everything crossed for your scan and have every faith.

    Regarding your mother, my Mum’s mother (my Nanna) is just like this. She feels she owns us and demands what she considers ‘the truth’ and uses this as an excuse for persistently upsetting people. Anyway, I’m with Mina and Lara here, for the foreseeable future I would go with the instinct to protect your son, husband, self and future child. Don’t give your a straight answer that would facilitate her prejudice, she would use this to hurt all of you.

    With children there are lots of good ways to explain and help them understand their special stories and within your home and family ‘telling’ will clearly be positive. I would leave any potential conflicts that this could cause with what your extended family have been told for much further down the line. At the moment I would go with a straightforward yet detail-free explanation and lie if I had to. It’s of real importance that you are not stressed and burdened by all of this in any way, if it can be avoided.

    So much to think about! For a good reason though. Lots of good luck for tomorrow!x

  • You will be in my thoughts, I hope the u/s brings more good news.

    As for the family situation – I am so sorry. I do not have a tight relationship with my family on either side due to many reasons among which mental issues as well. I love them dearly and thry love me, but they live on a different planet.

    The most important thing in your life is your family, meaning spouse and children. It’s them you have to protect and care for. Your mum sadly is not close and can do harm to your loved ones, not to mention yourself. I say – do what you have to do to keep your dear ones safe and sode the rest. Whoever supports you and simply understands can be privy to your life. Whoever doesn’t should get general answers and that is all. I know how difficult it is to navigate these murky waters of family ties, when you are a parent yourself you try to treat your parents as you want to be treated yourself, afraid karma will get you, yadayada. But this reciprocity seldom pays off, especially with people who are ill. And sometimes just evil. You have to do your best for your dear ones and trust that it is enough. And honestly, you have enough on your plate right now to start worrying about anything else.

    I am sure you will find the best solution for this predicament when you need to.
    Best wishes to you.

  • sue

    First, I am sending all sorts of positive thoughts for tomorrow.

    Re: the parental situation – I wish I had advice, but I think that when dealing with people with personality disorders it is hard to do or say the right thing, so better to just find an answer that you can live with and stick to it despite the entitled prodding. I like Lara’s responses, both factual without over-revealing. But I’m guessing she would prod even if you gave those answers. It must be weighing on you to know you have this to deal with rather than just being able to enjoy the moments of pregnancy as they come. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this family drama.

  • Good lord, how do these people exist? I am so sorry this is your mom. I am also very curious as to why she didn’t support you adopting?

    Life with my mom was always a minefield as well. It really does seem like with people like this, you seriously can’t win. Ever. They won’t let you. I like your ‘the universe blessed us’ type answers, because that is still very true, but doesn’t give too much/overtax yourself with details, etc. I am impressed your mom can even understand the ART aspects! The parent-age folks in my family are all completely baffled by it all (or at least pretend to be).

    That’s a nice quote, by the way. I will have to remember that one. Wishing you a very wonderful ultrasound tomorrow! Hope you can put your mom on the back burner for a while and revel in such much deserved happiness.

  • Hello from ICLW. Sorry that you have so much on your plate with regards to your family. I am also estranged from my mother, last time we talked was when her father died almost a year ago. I definitely won’t tell her when I get pregnant because I just don’t care…Best wishes to you!

  • This is such a tough situation. My sister has a personality disorder and we are estranged because of how abusive she is. My best advice for answering your mother’s questions would be to pick a few truths such as:
    “we used frozen embryos”
    “(s)he is ours” – genetic or not this is your child

    If she keeps pushing just restate these things. I can only imagine how difficult and painful dealing with her is.

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