Monday, October 30, 2006

Attack of the Rude Relatives

I’ve been on hold for the past 20 minutes waiting to cancel my appointment with my old OB/Gyn practice. Crazy. I finally figured I would see how long of a post I could write before they get to my call.

My thesis is done and I’m going to distribute the copies to my committee tonight! Oddly, I don’t feel much better yet. H says I won’t feel relief until the defense is over and I have the diploma. He’s probably right. I was just hoping for some sense of calm to wash over me.

My agitated state could have a little something to do with H’s family, bringing us to the title of this post. I’ve deleted my previous posts on how awful they are because I felt guilty, but they are at it again and I must discuss. To recap, H’s mom has evidently told everyone about our need to do IVF, despite our clear instructions that this was private information and not to be shared. The ONLY reason we even told her and H’s dad is because they wouldn’t let up on us not being able to attend family events that were occurring during our retrieval and transfer. We also wanted them to know so that they would stop asking rudely framed questions about when we would have kids.

Well, after H got a phone call from his Lame Brother #1 (LB1) in which the brother brought up IF in front of a high school friend, H gave his mom a real talking to about her indiscretion and now the brother’s indiscretion. She was shocked to be yelled at over it but seemed sorry. So sorry, in fact, that she promised H that she would wait for him to announce our pregnancy at our next family gathering rather than telling his brothers or anyone else in advance.

Well, Lame Brother #2 (LB2) called yesterday, and he brought up to H that not only does he know about the pregnancy, he knows about the IF and he knows we are having twins. His sorta congratulations included all of this in the same sentence. His comment to H was "Man, I didn’t even know you guys were trying." Hmm, so why did H's mom feel the need to spill everything then??? Now, H’s mom had sworn to H that she had only told LB1 about the IF, her weak excuse being that LB1 is a doctor (chiropractor). Yes, I’ll take a back adjustment to fix my sperm issues from Mr. Faux Doc. Well, clearly she either lied to H from the beginning and had already told everyone about our IF, or, when she decided to announce our pregnancy without us anyway and told about the twins, she answered LB2’s likely question as to whether IF drugs were involved.

Needless to say, I’m pissed. Let’s say she simply told about the twins and then was faced with the “did they use IF drugs?” question. Knowing we DO NOT want our IF to be discussed, ALL she had to say was— "well, Emmie’s mom is a twin and remember her cousins who were flower girls in her wedding are twins…I guess twins run in the family." But nooooo.

So, my real chest pain right now is over the fact that we have to visit H’s family this very weekend--the weekend we agreed we would tell everyone about the pregnancy even though it’s still a few weeks early for my taste. Well, they all already know, and so help me if I get any questions about IF or our treatment. I will go OFF. And when my buttons are pushed to the limit like they are now, I am a force they will not want to reckon with in any way.

H was really mad too, both at his brother for his callous discussion about our pregnancy and his mom for blatantly ignoring his wishes. He said he’s going to talk to her again about it this week before we go up. He said if she ever blurts out anything about our kids’ conception in front of them, he will never see her again. We haven’t decided how or when or even what we are going to tell our kids, and we do not want to be forced into something just because H’s mom doesn’t have a bone of sense in her body. I’m just ready to light into her the moment I see her, which I know is bad for the babies. I’m trying to calm down about it, but I really can’t. I’m tense about the questions that might smack me out of nowhere from H’s aunt and cousins. (I’m pretty sure H’s mom has told them, too). I’ve been thinking of proper responses for when they say—"twins???—what type of treatment did you have?" Part of me wants a good dignified answer that lets them know I find it an inappropriate question and none of their GD business, and part of me wants to slide on--"don’t you remember how many twins there are in my family?"

Another possible response to "did you do IVF" is--"Wow, I guess times have really changed. When my cousin announced her twin pregnancy 10 years ago, NOBODY in my family even thought to ask her that question. And they didn’t even have IVF when my grandmother had twins. But now people won’t stop asking me that question! (in my sweetest voice, of course) Think that would shut them up?

Your help please--how would you handle H’s mom this weekend, and what are your best responses to the uncomfortable questions I might get? Being out about IF is not an option because I feel like it’s an even further invasion of my privacy. I’m happy to share the info and true facts with people I think need it, but not nosy relatives.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think I would just look at them with a confused look and ask "why?" when asked if you used fertility treatment.

And I would most definitely want to slap your MIL for breaking your confidence the way she did. That's just wrong.

Good luck with all of them and I'm sorry that you didn't get to tell everyone in your way.

Beagle said...

I am of no help here because I am just busy avoiding people who bug me these days.

Good Luck with the nosy family types.

I'm sure someone will have some good advice for you.

Anonymous said...

LOVE your comment about the twins. That would be great - if his mom starts to quiz you down (or either lame brother), inform them that you want to keep the rest of the details private since so much of your privacy has been invaded!

Yikes - I don't blame you for being furious. Some people are so clueless.

Motel Manager said...

Congrats on finishing the thesis!

As for the rude inquiries, there is a thread on IVFConnections on the twin board about this. One recommendation I read on there that applies to pretty much any IF inquiry is, "I'm sorry - did you just say that out loud?"

Hope548 said...

I'd just smack her upside the head and tell them all to stick it up their a$$. No, I'm not sure how I'd handle that, but I certainly wouldn't be looking forward to it. I'm glad at least you know what you'll be up against. Honestly though, all that matters now is that you are pregnant, who cares what it took to get that way. It's not your fault you needed assisstance. You're on your way and nobody can take that away from you. So try to be cool and you'll figure out what to do!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Emmie -It's Lisa checking in. I often still read your Blog to see how things are, and couldn't help commenting on this one.
I would absolutely discuss your thoughts about the situation with H's mom. I would do it in private, but I'd be stern and to the point. And as you know, talk about how YOU feel, e.g. "I feel disrespected when my and H's personal business is discussed." The minute you start off by stating You are such and such, she'll get defensive. Once you establish and state your boundaries with her (and the rest of the family) on this topic among other things, you may have to consistently remind them but eventually, out of respect if nothing else, they'll get it (you hope).
Other than that you sound good. I'm so happy for you (and those little ones). Take care. ~L

luolin said...

I don't know how to handle your (H's) relatives, except to never again tell his parents anything private. In general though, you don't have to share anything that you don't want to. Iff you don't want to lie or be direct about telling people upfront how inappropriate the question is, your "Wow..." response seems like a good answer.

I don't have the twins issue, but it is hard for me to remember sometimes that just because somebody asks a direct question, I don't have to answer it. People occasionally ask me about Mr. L's symptoms (they tend to assume it is a different, more common disease) and I tell them it is not my health information to share, but they can ask him if they want.

GLouise said...

Oh what a pain! Big hugs, and deep breaths!

Yes- the nosy relatives don't deserve a science lesson on how ivf works...I would just stick to my sweet little "twins run in the family" statement. I hate it when celebrities say that, but I think in your case, you need all the defense you can muster against your annoying relatives :-)

Hang in there, and try not to let them drive you too crazy.

Michelle said...

Wow, I'm sorry that H's mom took it upon herself to share your personal information with the rest of the family. That was really out of line, and I'm glad to hear that H is going to call her on it. I think that's the best way to handle things: have him talk to her and re-explain that you've trusted her to respect your wishes not to share this information with others. As for this weekend, I would take the high road and pretend that she hasn't said anything. This is your good news to announce - don't let her ruin that for you.

Heather said...

I have no wise ways of talking to relatives. I use the avoid method. Luckily we don't have family less than 6 hours away so we don't have to deal with them much. I'm sorry they suck.

Jena said...

What a cow! Why does she need to be the family gossip? My mom did tell my extended family about my pregnancy (which ticked me off a bit because I was looking forward to telling them) - but at least she didn't feel the need to tell them exactly how we got to this point!

When you talk to your MIL I think you should simply say "I'm sorry we ever confided in you. We won't make that mistake again."

For rude questions from other people, I have no problem calling them on their rudeness "What a rude question" in a mildly shocked voice seems appropriate. If they persist, ask them if they would like to share the details of their sex life or embarrassing medical details with everyone.

Anonymous said...

I would give the gossip some "faulty intelligence" or maybe lie.
You could let it slip that you used a sperm bank and the donorwas someone of another race, and you're expecting quintuplets. The blabbermouth will end up with egg on thier face. Hey,she earned it. Things might be more interesting that way.