two uteri, two mamas pregnant, AGAIN, with baby number two

damn MIL February 3, 2008

Filed under: ttc — charlotte @ 10:35 pm

MIL called this weekend and asked about the birth (read: can I be there?). S told her that we were meeting with the doula in February to work out the details and make all our decisions about it. She asked if were were going to do it at home. S said no. MIL then starts in with oh, thank god, I didn’t know how to tell you how much I didn’t want you to do it at home, oh good, that’s great. Um, do we care what your opinion is? Hells no. Shut it.


Then she asks what we are going to do with Smarty. S told her we were not sure yet, and then MIL asks if he can go and stay with WTF and RM. Um, no. What? And why is she making suggestions about this anyway? And why that choice? Because they are our donors?? They live an hour and a half away from us and have 3 kids in their house. My best friend with no children lives 4 minuted from us.


Then MIL starts in with how hurt her feelings were during Smarty’s birth. How left out she felt. And what does S say to her? Guess?


“I’m sorry that was so hard for you.”


S’s explanation to MIL? “Charlotte had needs, and I had needs to make sure she got what she needed.” Right. Apologize to her and make it my fault that she wasn’t invited.


Poor S. When I got mad at her afterward (yes), she just looked crestfallen and said that she really doesn’t know what to say to her mom. MIL knows how to guilt. I am trying not to be mad at S, but it’s hard, folks. I felt so not stood up for during the birth and here we are 3 years later MIL is STILL making it about her and somehow SHE is being apologized to!!


It just baffles me.


When MIL and S were getting off the phone MIL said “Well, I feel like I won one and I lost one.” What? ‘Won’ because we are not having a home birth ‘lost’ because I guess she was hoping and expecting S to tell her ‘of course you will be there.’


Oh, I almost forgot my favorite thing MIL said: “This is my last chance to witness a birth.”


Same shit she pulled with me 3 years ago. Like we are supposed to have her there so SHE can have an experience. I want people there who are going to support us. It is as if we are slapping her in the face to not have her be there. It almost seems like this is a public humiliation for her. WTF? Crazy.


Ug. S apologized to her! I am channeling all of my powers of zen and easygoingness (which are not, to put it mildly, my strengths) to be understanding and trust that S and I will work this out. After their phone conversation I spent a 1/2 hour alone decompressing, then talked to S about it in a reasonable fashion, then dropped it for the rest of the weekend. Fuck. I deserve a frickin medal.


22 Responses to “damn MIL”

  1. Sounds so much like my mom. Goodness.

    Change of subject but when I was leaving my son’s engagement party, we had thunderstorm going. I was completely sober. I wanted to go home.

    I had to drive from Disney area to Tampa home. Mom went on and on about driving as far as US 27 convoying with me on 1-4 . She lives south from there in Sebring.

    I have every confidence in my mom tho she is in her 70s. She is a GREAT driver. But believe me she had no more business out on the road then i did. And what would she do if I plowed into a piling or something. She ended up staying vernight with my son and spending ‘quiet time” with MY granddaughter. SO be iT! LOL . At least I only had my own neck to worry about.

    But she was bound and determined to see me half way home. And dominated the conversation for almost an hour about doing this because she was so worried about me. I am 47 years old.
    Moms ( MILs) arrrrggggh !

    I desperately zen too wth not much luck. Smiles

  2. Megan Says:

    I’m sorry but i wouldnt care who’s mother she is, i would ring her and i would be blunt as hell. i’d tell her how she ruined YOUR birth experience… tell her rent a video and stop trying to manipulate her way into getting to go to the birth…then deal with the aftermath afterwards. There is going to be aftermath anyways, may as well get it over and done with now…

  3. Melody Says:

    Um, didn’t she attend the birth of S and S’s brother? So it’s not as though she has NEVER experienced childbirth– not that it’s you and S’s responsibility to make sure she gets to live her dream in the first place. Just saying.

    If she ends up at the birth, it should be because she is wanted, not out of guilt.

    Geez– this is raising all kinds of mother issues for me now.

  4. Jude Says:

    Ooof. Guiltius Maximus. I don’t even know what to say, except that I have such strong sympathy for S for being in the middle of this. Her mom obviously has a strong hold on her heart, and of course you do, too. Ooof.

    I hope there is a solution that you and S are down with, and that MIL doesn’t assert herself into S’s Guilt Factory. I’m so sorry.

  5. gypsygrrl Says:

    i’m with melody ~ this is triggering all kinds of mom-issues for me too. and sadly, its really solidifying my long-time plans of it only being me (and of course, a partner, if there is one in the picture and i am not a SMC) in the delivery room and a doula for me.

    but this isnt about my plans. its about you and S and this little girl on her way. i am sending lots of love and even some zen even tho i am not good at it either. i think you handled the whole thing as wonderfully as you could. you cooled down, you talked to S and expressed your feelings and didnt make it a weekend-go-round. i cant imagine being in either of your or S’s shoes in this…

    guilt trips suck.

    more hugs and love.

  6. Calliope Says:

    sounds like you had a fun weekend…not.
    sending love.

  7. Chicory Says:

    OUCH! ouchouchouchouchouch

    I can understand why you’re mad. I’d be FURIOUS. Does it help if I point out that no matter what S said, MIL will hear what she wants to hear? That even if S said: “Mom, you totally ruined Smary’s birth for us with your histrionics and your selfishness that you should sit very still and very quiet and hope beyond hope that we’ll even let you VISIT the new baby while we’re still in the hospital, let alone attend the birth. ”
    MIL would probably hear, “I’m totally pussywhipped by my shrew of a wife and if it were up to me I’d never be saying such a thing to you, dear sweet mother of mine, please help me. Save me from the harriden.”

    I’m very proud of you for decompressing for a while and for talking about it in a calm manner. That takes real balls. I really hope that the doula can help you two make a plan that serves everyone’s (or, everyone who counts) needs.

  8. Chicory Says:

    oh, yeah, and the RM thing was totally out of line and confirms various fears I have about her thoughts on that relationship. Yuck.

  9. shelli Says:

    ugh – I can SO picture MIL and MY mom having tea together, to talk about ways that their daughters aren’t taking them in to consideration.


    no assvice, just sympathy…

  10. Uhhh.. I’m so sorry. yep, you get that medal!!

  11. I keep clicking on comment and then finding myself at a loss for words. I too would be so incredibly angry at mil and a little at S, I really hope that your doula can come up with some good solutions/compromises for you. I would like to know what she suggests, as I’m sure I will encounter a similar situation someday. You have my deepest sympathy, because my mil thinks it’s all about her too.

  12. coolerdoula Says:

    Argh… It’s so extraordinary to me how many mothers/MILs feel this incredible sense of entitlement to be present, when 9 times out of 10 I would wager they didn’t have an extra soul in the delivery room with them…

    I would have torn all my hair out at the root. Medals aplenty en route.

    Sounds like you need, at the very least, that S explain that actually the person who had a tough time was you…

  13. Erika Says:

    I found this online today and thought it might be of a little help to you:

    DEAR ABBY: My family is protesting a request I have made regarding the birth of my first child. I would prefer that my husband and I be alone with our newborn for at least the first 24 hours after the baby is born. I would like to contact my family the day after to invite them to the hospital.

    Both our families can be very loud, as I witnessed firsthand last week when my sister-in-law had her first child. There were at least 20 relatives in her room after her C-section. It became so loud at one point that the nurse had to ask everyone to either leave the room or keep their voices at a moderate level.

    I also saw how overbearing my mother was with my sister when she had her son several years ago. Mom says I’m “taking this experience away” from her, but I don’t think it’s her experience. It’s my husband’s and my experience. I truly feel it will be more peaceful if it’s just my husband, me and our baby that first day. My husband has agreed to go along with whatever I request, but I know he’d prefer his family be present. Your thoughts, please? — NO VISITORS IN LOUISIANA

    DEAR NO VISITORS: Your reasons for wanting peace, quiet, rest and time to recuperate are valid, and you should communicate them to your obstetrician and the nurses at the maternity ward — just in case news of your labor and delivery “slips out” prematurely. While I understand your husband’s wish to have his family present, unless he’s willing to undergo the procedure in your place, he should not only respect your wishes but make sure they are carried out.

    THAT being said, if she weaseled her way into YOUR birthing experience, then I say it’s payback time this time around, and THIS time, things should be done the way YOU wanted in the first place.

  14. Erika Says:

    That last paragraph wasn’t Abby though… It was my opinion… Just re-read it and realized it may be confusing

  15. Susan Says:

    I’m telling you I am more than willing to have her kidnapped for the day of and the weeks following the birth 🙂

    Ugh. I would simply say “ok mom you win” then tell her a completely different date the birth is on…then “oops baby came early” Couldn’t help that because everything happened so fast!

  16. Lo Says:

    She is really a piece of work. so sorry.

  17. byrdlady Says:

    Ouch. i’m sorry. 3 is almost always a crowd, and i wish she could learn to respect your autonomy as a couple.

  18. mrsbluemont Says:

    awful! she is so inconsiderate. i’m so sorry you’re in this spot and would make you a medal out of construction paper and glitter instead of working the rest of the afternoon if i could.

    here’s to hoping she has a burst of clarity that this is not her birth. ox

  19. Judy Says:

    I would feel very hurt if I were you. Are you hurt or just angry? I think that unless S knows/hears of your feelings she can’t understand them. I am sure their is some abandonment pain as well. No?

    You need her right now, your grounding is off and your new position in this relationship is anxiety causing.
    This can all be said without anger or resentment, Ask S for your help. You need her now to hold your hand a bit and reassure you of her loyalty.
    Good luck

  20. Franny Says:

    My sister (and closest friend/biggest fan/next-door neighbor) pulled this same stunt. DP and I had already agreed that there would be NO ONE at the birth who wasn’t medically necessary, and the minimum # of those people at that. I had attended my sister’s highly medicalized births of her children, and I knew I didn’t want all that activity. So my sister starts getting all weird just before the baby was born, but I had enough going on and I just ignored it.
    In all my readings on the laboring process, one thing that really stuck out to me is that the uterus will stop/slow labor when your body senses a threat or stress levels get too high. Anything that makes your brain send out “unsafe” signals will lengthen labor. We labored mostly at home overnight and went to the hospital an hour before the baby came. We never called anyone until two hours after the baby was born.
    When we called my sister, and all appropriate parents, to tell them our daughter was here, she burst into tears and hung up on me. She didn’t even want to hold my daughter for at least a couple of weeks after she was born.
    When she finally made it clear that she was completely furious about not having been invited to witness the birth, I just let her say whatever she needed to say, and then said that, though I appreciated her support, I require more privacy than she does. I didn’t have her there because I didn’t have ANYone there, and it just wasn’t about her. There’s nothing wrong with her lack of boundaries, but there’s nothing wrong with my need for privacy. Almost a year later, she still doesn’t get it, but I still am delighted with my choice not to have extra observers in the most private, intimate, powerful moment in my partner and I’s life.

  21. Co Says:

    You can’t win with a narcissist. I repeat that to myself often when dealing with narcissists in my own life.

    I agree with Chicory… it doesn’t matter really what you or S. say or do because your MIL will probably hear or remember what she wants to.

    But it does matter what S. said because it matters to you. I can understand that S. doesn’t know how to deal with her mom and I’m glad that you are sympathetic to her about that, but you had every right to be angry with what she said because it does sound like, in essence, you got blamed for the MIL not being at the birth. S. could’ve said that it was the first child’s birth and you and she both had needs and she had to protect them instead of what she said. I’m glad you’re not harboring ill feelings about it, but it’s fair to be miffed.

    I can’t offer much obviously. Hugs.

  22. I know this is going to sound trite and simplistic, and maybe unfeeling, but really it isn’t (well, not unfeeling anyway!). I certainly do understand your emotional reaction about MILs continued efforts to “weasel” her way into the birth, and your long-held resentment of how she “ruined” your birth experience. Trouble is, you can’t change what happened with you, but if you keep hanging on to it, it will continue to ruin lots of other stuff. I know it is hard, VERY hard, to even think about letting go of those feelings you have against MIL, but the longer you hold onto them, the more they will affect every aspect of yours and S’s relationship, whether it’s the birth or any other area that she might have access to.

    You cannot change conditions, only your own perspective. If you and S. can focus NOT on keeping MIL away, but on having the best birthing experience that you both can possibly have together, then things will probably just fall into place for you. I say this from my own experiences in many areas. The more I pushed AGAINST something, the more it came to me, and the times when I just “let go”, and allowed things to happen on their own, all the things that I feared MIGHT happen did NOT. Strange, but true! I leave you with Carrie Fisher’s wise and wonderful words:

    “Resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

    Blessings on you both!

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