• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Wedding Woes

I wonder how LW would feel if she was excluded?

Dear Prudence,

My husband and I confided in my sister-in-law and her husband about our fertility issues. A couple of months later, she got everyone together for a surprise pregnancy announcement, which included me. I felt like I had been punched in the gut, left immediately, and was inconsolable after. I felt like inviting me was extremely inconsiderate and in bad taste. I’m undergoing in vitro fertilization and have avoided her throughout her pregnancy. She will have her baby any day now, and I don’t feel like I can bear being around her until we are expecting our own. This diagnosis has been extremely painful, and I don’t know that I will ever completely get over it unless we have our own child. Am I correct in feeling her surprise announcement was insensitive? Does she owe me an apology? How do I better cope with these terrible feelings?

—Struggling Sister

Re: I wonder how LW would feel if she was excluded?

  • cupcait927cupcait927 Western NY wine country member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In this situation, knowing that SIL knew about LW's infertility issues, I think it SIL should've reached out to LW prior to the announcement and told her in person and give LW the option to be at the gathering or not. I think letting LW find out in the manner that she did is slightly insensitive on SIL's part. I may also be a little more sympathetic to LW than others because H and I have been trying for almost a year and so far no luck. I'm a lot more emotional about it than I thought I'd be so I can understand where LW is coming from, but I also think that maybe some therapy to help her handle her emotions towards the pregnancy are in order, since she will be around SIL and this baby as they are family. 
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    VarunaTTei34short+sassyOliveOilsMom
  • In this situation, knowing that SIL knew about LW's infertility issues, I think it SIL should've reached out to LW prior to the announcement and told her in person and give LW the option to be at the gathering or not. I think letting LW find out in the manner that she did is slightly insensitive on SIL's part. I may also be a little more sympathetic to LW than others because H and I have been trying for almost a year and so far no luck. I'm a lot more emotional about it than I thought I'd be so I can understand where LW is coming from, but I also think that maybe some therapy to help her handle her emotions towards the pregnancy are in order, since she will be around SIL and this baby as they are family. 
    Totally agree.   The SIL was really insensitive here for not thinking of the infertility issues.  

    If I knew someone had major relationship issues I wouldn't invite them to a surprise engagement announcement without clearing it first either.   It's called not being insensitive. 


    cupcait927levioosaei34OliveOilsMom
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 21
    FWIW, SIL is likely a clueless one when it comes to infertility, that said, SIL isn't expected to manage LW's feelings on eggshells nor LW get jealous rage because SIL got PG first.  She sounds like one who will be the aunt who puts down everything the kid does until she has her own in which case she will be the baby only poops unicorn glitter and can do no wrong...
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    VarunaTTCasadena
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Yeah but something tells me even if she had a heads up, she’d still feel this way.  Another issue entirely is she doesnt want to be around the baby until she has her own.  Yes it would have been nice for SIL to mention it before but maybe she thought it would be a cute idea to surprise everyone about it at the same time?  She didn’t think.  I do that A LOT.  But doesnt seem like a huge faux pas to me. 

    short+sassyMesmrEwe
  • Dealing with infertility issues with friends and family, is really difficult.  It's not something that is frequently discussed in real life and how to handle the issues surrounding it, from all sides.  

    So yeah, I think SIL was insensitive. I can also see SIL waffling all over the place about which decision would be the most insensitive to her SIL's feelings.  And I think LW is being a little overly sensitive, even though I understand why.  I don't see either SIL or LW being able to have a good conversation about this though, just based on the facts of the letter (asking if she's "owed" an apology), so I think LW should just work on healing herself, through therapy or other means.
    charlotte989875cupcait927banana468OurWildKingdom
  • I think the LW is far more in the wrong here and needs major therapy.

    In any situation where the person struggling with infertility was told ahead of time what's going on life went on.   Pregnancy progressed and babies came and they were loved.   

    This LW is trying to be in her own bubble until she gets what she wants and that's neither intelligent nor realistic. 

    My only point is that SOME semblance of sensitivity is something that I think the SIL should have exercised.  
    VarunaTTOurWildKingdomMesmrEwecupcait927
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    kerbohl said:
    LW just says that it was a surprise pregnancy announcement ... do we know it was a big production?  Or did SILt get the family together for dinner and then say that they got everyone together to say that they were expecting?  
    Oh GOOD POINT!!!!!!!! Yes! 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    mrsconn23MesmrEwe
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    The fact that LW uses words like "inconsolable" and says she doesn't think she can bear to see her niece or nephew, makes me think that she may not have handled it any better had SIL let her know earlier. And even without the normal risk of letting a secret out like PP mentioned, if LW is this upset about it, she would be upset, party or not. So now SIL would be asking her to not only keep a secret - one that is devastating for LW, but also to put on a happy face and pretend there's nothing. I think that's a lot.

    I agree that a huge announcement production is a bit much, even if there weren't fertility issues in the immediate family. But if they're the type of people that like that kind of thing (like a lot of people in this social media era), I don't think they're wrong for going about their business and having their party. A lot of people love these "scrapbook" moments and the SIL was probably super excited to share her news with her family. I don't think that's a bad thing. I mean, how many ridiculous over-the-top pregnancy and gender sex announcements have we all seen on facebook, each one trying to be "better" than the last? It's not my personal cup of tea but I know people who literally have planned their facebook announcement before even conceiving. It's a big deal to people and I don't think that should be taken from SIL and BIL if they want it. 

    As horrible as this must be for LW, she needs to get herself some coping mechanisms. Because she could be headed down a very long hard road and locking herself in her house isn't going to do anything but cause her more problems. 
    FTFY. Sorry, it just drives me crazy. 

    And she says "got everyone together". That's open to interpretation, but in my experience, when I say my sister got everyone together for nephew's whatever, I mean immediate family on both sides. If I'm taking about something with cousins and friends, I'd say my sister threw a party. It's not clear, but I'm not reading this as SIL rented a hall and invited 100 people to announce the pregnancy. It may not have been that over-the-top. 
    ShesSoColdcharlotte989875VarunaTTILoveBeachMusic
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    The fact that LW uses words like "inconsolable" and says she doesn't think she can bear to see her niece or nephew, makes me think that she may not have handled it any better had SIL let her know earlier. And even without the normal risk of letting a secret out like PP mentioned, if LW is this upset about it, she would be upset, party or not. So now SIL would be asking her to not only keep a secret - one that is devastating for LW, but also to put on a happy face and pretend there's nothing. I think that's a lot.

    I agree that a huge announcement production is a bit much, even if there weren't fertility issues in the immediate family. But if they're the type of people that like that kind of thing (like a lot of people in this social media era), I don't think they're wrong for going about their business and having their party. A lot of people love these "scrapbook" moments and the SIL was probably super excited to share her news with her family. I don't think that's a bad thing. I mean, how many ridiculous over-the-top pregnancy and gender sex announcements have we all seen on facebook, each one trying to be "better" than the last? It's not my personal cup of tea but I know people who literally have planned their facebook announcement before even conceiving. It's a big deal to people and I don't think that should be taken from SIL and BIL if they want it. 

    As horrible as this must be for LW, she needs to get herself some coping mechanisms. Because she could be headed down a very long hard road and locking herself in her house isn't going to do anything but cause her more problems. 
    FTFY. Sorry, it just drives me crazy. 

    And she says "got everyone together". That's open to interpretation, but in my experience, when I say my sister got everyone together for nephew's whatever, I mean immediate family on both sides. If I'm taking about something with cousins and friends, I'd say my sister threw a party. It's not clear, but I'm not reading this as SIL rented a hall and invited 100 people to announce the pregnancy. It may not have been that over-the-top. 
    No, don;t be! Thank you!! If I'm never reminded, I won't know I'm still effing this up. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    MyNameIsNotcharlotte989875
  • Yeah I'm not reading it as a giant hall but I also roll my eyes at some mild subterfuge even if it's "Cookout at the Brown's on the 15th!   Bring the wife and kids!" makes it sound like this was a group gathered to announce something at the same time with no notification on what was coming.   And that was done after there was knowledge that someone in the room was struggling with infertility and that person's struggle with achieving what this person had was not met with sensitivity.

    SIL may not have been wrong on paper but I think it lacked tact. 
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    SIL may have been a little tactless, but what’s done is done. LW is way more in the wrong and owes SIL and BIL (and her H, too) an apology. 
    banana468MyNameIsNotmrsconn23
  • Oh - the more I read it the more I wonder if the LW is.....so high maintenance that people are tired of kowtowing to her antics.  So without knowing the backstory maybe the lack of tact is because the SIL might describe LW as....self-absorbed?  


    Casadena
  • LW needs more help than Prudie can give her. I don't doubt for a second that it's painful to see other people having babies when you are dealing with infertility, but it's not healthy to spend your whole life avoiding and resenting people who have what you don't. She needs to go to therapy and learn how to deal with this now, because it's a problem that isn't going to go away. There are probably going to be other people in her life having children, and she can't expect them to feel guilty or act indifferent about it for her sake. And she also shouldn't distance herself from the people who are most likely to be there for her when she's going through this difficult time, and some of those friends and loved ones may be people with kids. 
    image
    OurWildKingdom
  • I don't know that there was a good way to share, because I absolutely do not think the SIL should have been expected to give the LW a heads up ahead of time. I see this advice all the time over on TB, and I think it's wrong. The SIL and brother wanted to announce to the family at the same time. Even if they know the LW really well and have a great relationship, they have no way of knowing that the LW won't let things slip. (And I also see plenty of stories over on TB of people complaining or asking how to deal with family members who don't keep the secret.) And I don't even necessarily mean LW deliberately blabbing although that could happen. It could happen by accident or just not thinking ahead.

    This summer, we told our immediate family when we were expecting around six weeks because we were staying temporarily with my in-laws, and I really couldn't hide not feeling well. But we were waiting for 12 weeks to tell other people, and we'd told my ILs this. Just days later, I was at the store with my MiL, who had a short convo with an acquaintance. Of course, my MiL mentioned that our daughter, her granddaughter, was also here and she was excited, which led to the acquaintance asking if she had any more grandkids. I was totally shocked when instead of saying "no" or even "no announcements right now," my MiL hemmed and hawed and "well, umm, haha, nothing ... we ... maybe ... well, I suppose who knows ... nothing's public" with plenty of knowing nods! I was quite upset because it's a small town and news flies around pretty fast. She as much as flat out said that either I or my SIL (which this acquaintance may not even know, and I was standing right there, of course) was expecting. 

    So either the SIL and brother have to run the risk of the news leaking before they're ready to share and potentially offending people who (in my opinion, if they're close family, rightly) expected to hear such news directly instead of through the grape vine. Or they could not invite the LW to the party and risk offending the LW because there are some people who struggle with infertility who would be upset by people assuming they wouldn't want to attend the party. Or they can tell the LW privately a couple hours before the party so there's no/little chance for news to spread, which may upset them for the same reasons as above if they've already heard about the party and thought they'd been deliberately excluded, and then they may not be able to come even if they wanted to on such short notice.
    Or they could skip the party and tell people individually by phone in an afternoon. There are lots of other options here. 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards