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"




When I decided to invite my mother to my baby shower after 13 months of estrangement, I underestimated the myriad ways she would become a once again force in my life. My mom’s way of dealing with conflict is to re-write history to suit her then sweep it all under the rug.  This has played out over and over in my life.  Have a blow up and pretend it didn’t happen.  No resolution, no meeting of the minds, no agree to disagree.  Just keep up the pretense that all is well without ever having an honest dialogue about anything.

In addition to now calling and emailing regularly (I never answer her calls to my cell or home phone and if I am going to respond, which is rare, do so with an email), she came over a couple of weeks ago unannounced and uninvited (after I specifically told her not to come over) and, when I didn’t answer the door, she proceeded to try the handle and LET HERSELF IN!  That led to an unpleasant exchange as I worked to usher her out of my house and our yard but without causing a scene.  She thinks she has the right to impinge upon us.  It is an age old argument dating back to my first apartment.  So, for some 25 years I have laid down boundaries (do not come over unannounced, call and get confirmation it’s OK to come over before you do) and she has ignored them.  And, you would think our recent (and in my mind continued) estrangement would prevent her from taking her chances, but, no.

She had surgery on Monday and as a result of her impending surgery was somewhat frantic to come over to hold the baby (hence her coming over unannounced).  I kept putting her off but finally acquiesced after my husband and I decided he would be present for the obligatory baby holding while I went to work out (YAY (both for not being home and for working out)).  Only, she came an hour late, just as I was getting home.

The visit was relatively benign but there were some things that struck me as odd.  She really wanted my older son to read to her.  They were alone in his room and she was trying to cajole him since he was unwilling.  I intervened a bit (and shouldn’t have) and he eventually read to her.  And, I realized after that she was evaluating him (she was an elementary school teacher for 30 years) and comparing him to my nephew.  It was creepy.

At some point she casually said that she had had “a lovely conversation with J yesterday, talking about being grandmothers to these boys”, J being my mother-in-law.  It surprised me that A) she would proactively reach out to her after ignoring her during her recent visit here and ignoring all J’s attempts to reach out over the last year and a half and B) that the conversation was lovely or even close.  I decided to reach out to my MIL and, when I got no response from her for three days, I knew, KNEW  that it was not good.  Turns out, she wasn’t even going to mention what she refers to as a “bizarre” conversation because she didn’t want to upset or stress me.  But, I pressed her, and she called me last night to relay how the conversation went.  Some highlights:

  • My mom’s tone from the get go was angry.  She lashed out immediately upon my MIL answering, and admonished her not to interrupt her.
  • My mom conveyed how hateful I am, how I’ve destroyed our family, how no one could imagine what its like to have me as a daughter.
  • She said that abruptly and for no reason, last Spring, my husband and I decided we didn’t want to be part of the family any more.
  • She recounted her version of event after event over the course of my life to illustrate how ungrateful, unloving, ugly, and mean I am.
  • When my MIL tried to interject, my mother told her to “be quiet, I’m not finished!”
  • When my MIL tried to tell my mom that life’s too short, that she should just enjoy her beautiful grandchildren and then went on to expand upon some of their traits, my mother said, “Do you know why her children are so great?  Because she got to PICK THE EGGS”.  Yes, my mother reduced my children, her grandchildren to some kind of science experiment and that I (unlike my sister) benefited in having designer babies.
  • My mother told my MIL to stop posting nice comments on Facebook because it makes her look bad.

The conversation went on for the better part of an hour.  ONE HOUR of my mother throwing me (and my husband (can you imagine my mom speaking ill of my husband to HIS MOTHER?) under the bus as a way to garner some kind of support, to turn my mother in law against me, to get validation.  But then to tell me, the very next day, that it was a ‘lovely conservation’?  It is absolutely lunacy.  She made her break from reality a long time ago, but it is shocking that she would reach out to someone outside of our family in an attempt to rope them in.

I’ve been reeling ever since.  Not that this is anything new.  Not that she even involved my mother in law.  Not that I believe one word of it.  But, I am left to figure out how to contend with it now that I opened the door a crack.  Hell, my dad has called here half a dozen times with updates on the surgery and her recovery as if A) I care, and B) we haven’t been estranged all this time.  He, too, has drunk the Kool-Aid.

There is no confronting her, no opportunity for rational dialogue, nothing to be gained in communicating with or even knowing her.  I must completely back off our relationship again, this time without a catalyst, and close the door to communication.  But, the damage is done, again.  She makes me feel bad about myself.  It serves as a constant reminder that the single most important relationship in ones life is with their mother.  I make note of it every single day.


16 comments to Contending

  • […] Contending » Things I appreciate every single comment on my post about contending with my mother. I […]

  • That is just awful poison. I’m so sorry. I would shut her out for sure. I think I understand that she makes you feel bad about yourself because you don’t want to be the person that won’t speak to her mother. Clearly it is the right decision, but it just feeds her posing as a victim. I have a pair of aunts that I have disowned and even though I feel justified in it and happy to not have to deal with them it is hard not to feel guilt about estranged family. I hope you are able to not dwell on it and get on with your life.

  • Argh, why are there people like this on earth — who just have to make things so awful for others and create drama, angst and unhappiness that is totally not necessary? My mom’s side of the family does a lot of these kinds of things. And while I’ve been tempted to try to have relationships with some of them because we lack extended family in a big way, I have decided it’s just not worth engaging with them. As much as not having a mom who’s ‘there’ in any way leaves such a hole, I know for me that if I can be in the right mindset, sometimes it also inspires me to work harder to create the kind of real network (of friends, etc) that’s about genuine love — though, unfortunately, that sure can take a while.

    Thinking of you, and hope the workouts are helping you feel better mentally, too. I miss my solo trips to the gym!

  • oh wow, she is way out of line here. so sorry you have to deal with this. there are just some relationships that are simply too damaging to hold on to. this sounds like a prime example.

  • Serious lunacy. There are some days when I wonder if your Mother and my mother are cousins. Sigh. Protect your family, honey. Lots of love.

  • If I may ask a direct question: Why do her actions make you feel badly about yourself?

    Read what you wrote above as if it were MY blog, not yours. Seriously, take a step back, and read the story.

    The woman you are describing above is delusional, and has a vendetta. She has serious issues. It’s like she’s trying to make you feel badly about yourself – it’s how she makes herself feel better.

    Break the cycle – break off communication for sure. Clearly there is no middle ground with your mother; there is no way to have a relationship with her on your terms.

    (And yes, there’s a catalyst – a telephone call to your MIL where she was completely rude in badmouthing you AND her son.)

    But the bigger issue here: breaking the cycle of allowing her delusions affect how you feel about yourself. And yes, I’m aware that it’s SO much easier said than done. But dammit, you are perfect the way you are – it’s your MOTHER who has the issues.

    And really, this post makes me so angry at her. Who the f*ck is she to expect you to have a relationship with her when she spends all her time telling people how awful you are?

    Anyway. Lots of love to you. From this post, your sons have a wonderful grandmother in your MIL. Break free from your mother for good. Being attached to ANY kind of relationship with her sounds like a recipe for heartbreak.

    I am so sorry.


    • And I was just wordnnieg about that too!

    • سلام!آغاز سال Û±/Û±/Û± را به تمامی بازماندگان دنیا تبریک عرض می نماییم! -به خانواده میگفتم:کار رسانه ای دشمن باید برای ما درس و عبرت باشه…

    • If I communicated I could thank you enough for this, I’d be lying.

    • There is no way I would wait tables for a set wage. If I could make $10 an hour waiting tables or sitting on my butt in an office, guess which one I’m going to pick. Ten dollars an hour (which would be a very generous wage) is not enough for all the crap you have to put up with as a server.

    • You have the monopoly on useful information-aren’t monopolies illegal? ;)

  • Oh this sounds so awful … I have a similar relationship with my MIL, but I can only imagine how devastating it is when it’s your mom. Please don’t be hard on yourself, and do whatever you can to protect yourself and your family.

  • I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. Please don’t let her make you feel badly about yourself- you have no reason to. You’ve done nothing wrong. Huge hugs…

  • Sarah

    And you are a damn sight better at mothering than BOTH of your mothers!

  • I am so sorr you are dealing with this. It sounds very stressful. I am sorry your mom is this way and even more sorry she talks about DE IVF that way. It sounds like you are making the right choice, as a mom yourself, to keep her at a distance!

  • What an evil woman she is! And your dad… God, I feel for you. It is absolutely appaling. I know how hard it must be, but this is a toxic relationship, and you feeling bad when you haven’t done anything, is just another proof. I know very well how powerless this makes you feel, not having any kind of control of the situation and having to deal with someone who is completely off this world, and I too think that you should just cut the ties and let them float back to their world. It is not easy, but you need to think of yourself first, because you must remain sane for your children. It must be one of the saddest things in the world, but it needs to be done. Because what she did to you, she can do to your children, as you very well know. Not to the same extent, but still, why invite the worm in your apple? Oh, how infuriating that there are mums like her in the world.
    Stay well and strong!

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