My selfish brother

I don’t like to rant, and I may end up deleting this. But it’s been brewing for a while now and today it came to a head when my mother called me to check how I was after the op I had yesterday.

The op was to remove the fibroid they found in my uterus during the miscarriage, the end of my one and only pregnancy following our first round of IVF.

But first, let me tell you about my brother.

I’ve referred to him on here before as Real First Born, or RFB. In many cases we refer to him as the golden child or similar. RFB has a charmed existence and it’s taken me every bone in my body growing up with him in my family not to resent him and not to blame him for the easy life he’s had. (Because, adoptees and infertiles: I truly believe that it’s not the fault of fortunate people that they are more fortunate.)

Backtrack. If you’ve read my blog a bit, you’ll know I was adopted. I’m generally fine with it, but there are complexities around feeling secure in your place in the world and in your family, and around wanting a biological child – the only person in your life who would be biologically related to you, who would look a little like you, a little like their other parent.

RFB was the miracle child. He was born when my parents had given up hope. They’d adopted two children; they thought they were happy with this. He’s the spitting image of my dad. He’s named after my maternal grandfather, the one my mother could never impress (and who didn’t live to see any of his grandchildren, just as well as he sounded like a nasty piece of work). Our youngest sibling is also an unexpected but has had a harder life, being gay.

RFB, on the other hand, is the archetypal English man. Wholesome, sports playing, well educated (but not that clever! As we Brits like our middle class men to be!). RFB was never bullied (apart from by his older siblings, probably). He was always the apple of my mother’s eye, her miracle boy – who could blame her? He breezed through school, playing on all the teams, being exceedingly popular and generating friends and smiles wherever he went. He is a nice guy. He’s nice because he has never known suffering in his life. It is easy to be nice when you only see nice things. I envied him growing up, and I was resentful. It’s taken me a lot to try and get over that, and not to blame him for his easy life. Mostly I’m fine and we get on well. But occasionally he doesn’t think. (My mum says “He’s a man!” as an excuse, and blames it all on his wife.)

He married his childhood sweetheart. They never dated anyone else. They had their first child with no problems, and then they decided to have another one a few years later, and of course got pregnant just fine. They’ve just moved to a huge new house – trading up. She’s even given up work just because they can. (We would struggle on a single salary… even though we earn more, they don’t have an ex to support!) Even down to the fact that they have the “perfect” one boy followed by one girl. Without even trying they just get everything anyone wants. Really, they would make you sick even without anything else!

I keep telling myself that nice things happen to nice people. But then I think: Am I not nice? Seriously, all the crap I’ve been through… Am I not nice because of it? Or do bad things happen because I’m not nice? I think mean thoughts sometimes. And I think maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself today.

Anyway, back to history. For their last (first, previous) child, they decided to announce that he would be christened on a certain day. This day fell right in the middle of a skiing holiday I’d booked six months before. It was one week holiday and it came at a very bad time in my life, when I’d just separated from my husband and I really hadn’t been away at all. It was my first holiday with friends and they were so supportive of me. And they couldn’t rearrange the christening at all apparently (a month in advance rather than six months in advance). My holiday was all paid for and I was very short of money so it would mean no other holidays that year.

My brother wanted me to cancel or postpone my holiday. I looked into going late and missing three days (half the holiday!) to attend the christening. Bearing in mind I was one of FIVE siblings between them. I mean, I wasn’t really necessary to arrangements. I worked out that to delay and get separate flights and transfers would cost around ยฃ600. In the end I just couldn’t afford it and I went on holiday and took part in the christening by Skype. Yes, churches can do Skype!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. My brother sent me a message saying “We are going to get Little Miss christened on your birthday weekend. Hope you don’t mind.”

What. The. ????

Let’s consider this. He’s well aware that I’ve lost a baby and I am meant to be pregnant right now. I would be sporting a nice big bump and foregoing wine and generally being a smug pregnant person. Instead I’ve just had an operation to remove a fibroid that was taking up residence in my womb, that likely prevented my pregnancy from progressing. Bear in mind that Little Miss has not even been born yet. She’s due in a few weeks. She will be teeny tiny by the time my birthday rolls around. In the Christian faith, there isn’t any major imperative to get a child christened within a certain time. Some wait till they’re one or something. There’s no particular religious reason.

Oh and there are FIFTY-ONE other weekends in the year when they could have Little Miss christened.

Why the rush? Apparently it’s because SIL wants Little Miss to wear her christening dress and wants it to fit. I am sure that given she hasn’t even been born yet would mean they aren’t sure what size she’ll be on my birthday weekend, and I don’t see why she would be significantly different in size the weekend before or after.

So let’s think about this:

He knows it’s my birthday.
He knows that we lost our baby and would have been pregnant now.
He knows that the last christening fell during my one holiday booked six months in advance.
He “hopes [I] don’t mind”.

Maybe I’m overreacting. (FWIW, my sibling #2 was absolutely incandescent on my behalf. I haven’t discussed with #4.)

Another bit of history: birthdays are a big deal for me. I’ve had quite a few of them. Maybe it’s an adopted person’s thing. Maybe it’s a me thing. I think being one of four it was our special day. I think having been adopted it was my belonging day. I just know I always found them important. And one of the things with my ex… He never used to celebrate them with me. I used to have these huge parties and he wouldn’t attend. We would do something different, just us. In a decade of birthdays he attended one of my parties (my 30th). It used to make me feel like **** that my partner / husband didn’t want to come to social occasions with me, and even worse on birthdays. So I’d make up for it by having extravagant bashes and telling myself it would be okay.

It wasn’t.

After we split up, I decided I wasn’t going to give up things that were important to me. I was going to celebrate life and not feel guilty for doing so. I was going to be happy and social rather than scared and isolated. I was going to say what I wanted in relationships and not compromise on important things like: a guy who wants to be seen with you in public, a guy who isn’t afraid to say he loves you every single day, a guy who kisses you on the lips and tells you you’re gorgeous (even when you’re not)…

I found my guy. He does all those things and more. And he was adopted so he knows about some things that we can’t even say. He knows that birthdays are important. On my first one together, he did a special birthday trip to… Disneyland Paris. It was a surprise, and he organised everything from the champagne breakfast to the Disney hotel and telling me all the best rides to go on. After a long time of feeling sad, being happy again. Our birthdays are only a few days apart so we go every year. He loves Christmas just like I do, and we know that we have to go and celebrate our birthdays before Christmas celebrations kick off.

So that’s my feelings on birthdays. And christening. For this one, if I go… I’ll have to spend my birthday dreading the baby talk. I’ll have to be reminded that my baby is dead. If I do anything on my birthday evening, I will have to finish it at a decent hour because I’m going to have to get up super early the next morning to trek across London (an hour and a half) and dress up and go to church for a christening. I’m not religious and I don’t like christenings at the best of times… They are just a reminder to the childless of their barren state. As well as being boring, if you’re me. (I’ve had a lot of experience of church, enough for a lifetime… I admire how people seem to get something out of it, but other than visiting them on holiday to light a candle for granny, I tend to avoid them.)

So back to the call with my mum. She was asking how I’m feeling. I’m feeling fine. Oh and op update (opdate!): the bloody fibroid was larger than any of the scans said. They’d said it was 15mm, then 10mm, then 5mm. I asked if it was changing but apparently you can’t tell on scans. When they got in there it was 25mm! The bugger!

My mum then suggested that they were going to stay in a hotel the night before the christening near my brother, and asked if I wanted to come and stay too and do something for my birthday.

I mean, really. How would I like to travel across London and spend my birthday doing something with my parents away from home and Dog?

I said that it was unlikely. She asked if maybe T would want to come too but he has a ready made excuse and has no intention of attending – it’s his sister’s birthday.

So basically I have a choice.

1) Forego my birthday this year. Suck it up and go to the christening. Leave as early as possible as it will probably be horrendous. Think baby shower x 100. In church. Not to mention they won’t even ask me to make the cake so it will be some monstrosity!

2) Don’t go to the christening. Cause family rift. (My mum said I didn’t have to go but she thought I was overreacting. Also had forgotten until I reminded her that the last one was scheduled during my ski holiday.)

3) Have some understated birthday, like a dinner or something, and try and enjoy it. Finish early and get up early the next day (yuck) and go to the christening.

I’m guessing I will do that. I’m feeling pretty p’d off about it but maybe that’s just a post operative haze.

Sometimes this infertility stuff sucks.

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48 comments

  1. mamajo23

    Or option 4. Send a big bouquet of flowers the day of and express you condolences for missing it then do whatever you want to celebrate your birthday… For what it is worth, I don’t think you need to go. This battle is hard enough without adding something like this to it. Take care of yourself. If they don’t get it- they are lacking compassion or empathy in my mind. Not their fault necessarily but not yours either. Think of it this way– if the tables were turned and one of your siblings was going through this IF hell, wouldn’t you just want them to protect themselves? I cannot tell you how many important things I have missed because of IF and my family is just concerned about my well being. Or at least they act that way to my face ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 9 people

  2. recurrentlyunlucky

    I agree that you don’t need to go and should take care of yourself first. Sometimes in life we just have to be selfish, it’s survival. But if I would get such text from my brother I’d simply reply: actually, I do mind, you know how important birthdays are for me and if you want me to attend you should reschedule. It’d be honest and it’d force him to consider you. But maybe that’s why I’m not in great terms with my siblings now, so maybe don’t get advice from me…

    Like

    • patientsubfertility

      I think you’re taking this way too personally. There’s no way that sat down and picked a date and said “HA! It’s my barren sister’s birthday! Let’s do it then! BWAHAHA.” This was not intended to insult you. You can’t please everyone, no matter what the date.

      I guess I don’t see the big deal because christenings are not really a cultural thing here, and we’re not religious anyway. It’s not a summons, right? Can’t you just send a gift and a card? Sounds like you don’t really care about the ceremony or whatever.

      And why would it matter? Did you expect your whole family to have a child’s birthday party honoring you? I haven’t seen my parents and siblings on my birthday in years.

      If this is such a big deal, move your birthday. Have a giant party the week after for everyone. What’s the big deal?

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      • mamajo23

        While your point about him not doing it on purpose might be accurate and a good reminder the rest of this comment seemed a little insensitive to me. This whole Infertility hell is wrought with emotions we should never have to face and emotions there is no ‘right’ way to handle and if this incident hurts her or causes her frustration and pain who are we to judge? I think we are all just doing the best we can to get through this and need others supporting us. Your reminder that her brother may not have meant any harm is a good perspective to bring but I think the rest of the comment was unnecessary. If it matters to her, who are you to judge? Just my thoughts. I have found your comments to sometimes be a little insensitive. It might not be on purpose but just something you might want to consider before you respond. Once again- just one (rather sensitive and infertile) gal’s opinion.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Nara

        Hmm. Interesting comment. I think the fact that he knew it was my birthday and referenced it in the message says that he was very aware of when it was.

        Also, it’s not just “my barren sister’s birthday”, it’s “my sister who recently lost her baby”. Kind of similar but different.

        Christenings may not be a big deal for you. In the UK they are generally quite a big thing and you are expected to attend, especially if you’re a relative.

        “You can’t please everyone” – for sure. But there are 51 other weeks in the year they could have done it. And as I said, I wouldn’t have been so upset if I’d “just” been infertile rather than recently had a miscarriage which would have meant I would have been pregnant right now. I am sure I AM feeling overly sensitive at the moment. It’s kind of difficult being obviously not pregnant when you would have been if you hadn’t lost the baby. But I don’t expect everyone to understand that. I’ve said many times that some people don’t understand loss as they haven’t experienced it – I get that. My brother hasn’t ever lost anything so it’s hard for him to understand.

        “Did you expect your whole family to have a child’s birthday party honouring you?” – err no, not sure where you got that idea from. I don’t expect them to come; I don’t expect to have to go to a christening on that one weekend in a year either.

        You seem to have a bit of a sensitivity chip missing but that’s cool. It’s probably how my brother feels. Funny how you say on your own blog that you feel hurt by people excluding you from things… Maybe there’s a reason for that.

        You come off kind of abrupt. There are nicer ways of saying things that don’t involve being all “ooh why do you care about infertility” when that’s generally why we are here. If it’s not a big deal to you then it’s confusing to me why you’re reading and blogging on infertility. Perhaps you should just get over it – what’s the big deal?

        Liked by 5 people

    • Nara

      I replied and said it wasn’t ideal! He hasn’t responded. Which to me says he knows that it is not great timing. I guess I am probably being overly sensitive. They can’t consider everything but they all know about the miscarriage so I would have thought they could have just avoided that one day. It’s already booked so can’t see them changing it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wannabe Mama UK

        Saying it wasn’t ideal was very polite, British and diplomatic of you. I’d have said outright “yes, I do mind. Baby isn’t born yet so can’t you do it the week before/after. I have plans for my birthday weekend so of you want me to come you’ll need to change it, otherwise sorry but I won’t be able to attend”. But… I have no problem being blunt with family/friends, even if it p*sses them off. Lol

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    • Nara

      Also sorry you’re not on good terms with your siblings! I am generally with mine, which is why this is so hurtful. But I think we all have history and for us that means that RFB generally does what he wants and everyone goes along with it.

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  3. flatwhitetogo85

    I’m so sorry ๐Ÿ˜ฆ What a shitty thing of them to do! I don’t think it’s necessarily shitty of them BECAUSE it’s your birthday, because that would not matter to many people (myself included – although I would expect them to check first!). What’s shitty is that there is one small thing that is important to you, for reasons that you’ve explained and which are totally understandable, and they choose to disregard this despite everything you’re going through. If there was a reason why it HAD to be that weekend then he should have picked up the phone and explained it to you. I agree though – there is hardly a small window of opportunity for having a christening!

    It really bothers me the lack of thought some people have. I get told all the time that I am “too sensitive” and I “take things personally when [I] shouldn’t”. Ultimately this has always been a justification for people making shitty decisions or acting in a shitty way. At the end of the day, I believe that if you want to do something which you suspect may upset someone else, (1) do whatever you can to NOT do that thing; and (2) (if you have no choice), go about it in a decent way and speak to them properly about it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nara

      Yeah, it just came through in a message. I think he knew it would not be something ideal as he wouldn’t have referenced my birthday otherwise… Like he knew it was my birthday. But either way, I’m sure I would find it hard to go to a christening anyway, so soon after the miscarriage. It’s not something I am looking forward to, even when she is born, having to go and see her and do the whole baby thing. I’ve avoided friends who recently had babies – I’ve seen one but they are very low key about the baby so it was fine. I agree people shouldn’t have to worry all the time about hurting people’s feelings and their sensitivities and so on. But I kind of think it’s different in the family when you fully know what’s going on. I know they’ve already booked it – according to y parents it’s fait accompli. I’m sure I will end up going anyway… Not looking forward to it.

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  4. ourgreatestdesire

    Totally agree with Mamajo on all points. My first thought was “What a little shit!” And as usual patient sub fertility is just getting on to try and make people feel crappier about themselves instead of trying to be at all helpful. Don’t listen to her! You have a right to be pissed off right now and I say, if you truly don’t want to go, then don’t go. Or call your brother up and tell him that you actually do mind and a couple of weeks back or forward aren’t going to be a big deal to change it. Good luck! My heart goes out to you with having deal with all this. I am glad they got that fibroid out… damn thing! Hope you heal quickly and are feeling better very soon. Love to you, my Friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Thank you. I haven’t come across her before but maybe that’s a good thing! Jeepers! Really everyone in this community has been really supportive so maybe it’s a bit of a shock when people are rude. But she does have a point; I’m sure my brother didn’t do it on purpose. It just doesn’t enter his head that it might be insensitive or hurtful because as I mentioned, he has a perfect life. A bad day would be England losing at rugby or something! (This happened recently!)

      I know I am being overly sensitive and I’m sure that it is more about having just had the op and being about to embark on another round of IVF in the next few months.

      Also: I’m British. So the likelihood is I’ll just suck it up, stiff upper lip, and go to the christening.

      Thanks for the support! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

      Liked by 2 people

  5. MrsD

    I agree that they probably didn’t plan this on your birthday weekend on purpose, although people who have not experienced infertility or miscarriage just don’t get it and never will. To them it would seem like over-reacting or selfishness because they have no clue how it feels to deal with these things. But that shouldn’t invalidate your feelings and even if they don’t know how it feels they still should be considerate and compassionate.
    Also, I think it’s really weird to plan a christening before the baby is even born. Nobody I know would do that, and if they did they’d get laughed at!

    My sister in law has 3 kids (she gets pregnant and pops out kids really easily) and insists on having a big family birthday party every year for each one of them. Well one of them has a birthday that falls right around the same time that both my husband and I also have birthdays (we’re two days apart) and we like to take a little weekend trip every year to celebrate. This of course always falls on the same weekend as the nephew’s birthday party. We’ve just taken to saying “sorry, but we already have plans to be out of town that weekend” and we don’t go. So if it were me, that’s how I’d handle the christening issue. Just tell them you’re sorry but you already have plans for that weekend, then send a card and gift or flowers and go out and celebrate you. And to hell with what the rest of them think.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nara

      Thank you! I really appreciate it. Yeah, I thought it was weird too to plan the christening before the child is born… I’m not sure why, unless the church gets booked up years in advance!

      I can relate to the birthday thing too. We always get summoned for the nephew’s birthday (the one grandchild) and I find it odd that something like 12 adults are expected to drop everything for a child who doesn’t even understand it’s his birthday! My sib #2 and her partner always go away for their birthdays and miss whatever family occasion is on at the time. I respect them for doing it! I usually don’t get my excuses in early enough! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. ashleykyleanderson

    I totally understand this even though I haven’t been through something similar. My little sister announced her pregnancy pretty much as soon as our plane touched down following our “taking time for ourselves/healing/dream trip because we haven’t been able to get pregnant” vacation to the UK last year. She had my mom tell me about it, gave me one day to process it, and then posted obnoxious “I’M PREGNANT!!” photos all over facebook the next day even though she had been asked to wait another day or two (she actually hung up the phone on my mom at this suggestion). She also knew we were planning to start our search for a gestational carrier as soon as we got home (she had previously offered, then rescinded) and was upset that our surrogacy was going to take away from her pregnancy attention.

    It was terrible timing. Then, as we signed all of our contracts and paperwork for the surrogacy to finally move onto IVF, my sister-in-law announced her pregnancy (though she was at least respectful of us and had the decency to tell us herself… still tough though). Then my parents planned a baby shower celebration days for my little sister the week I began my injections for IVF. I wasn’t invited (I’m assuming because it was “awkward” for them– my sister and I have not had a relationship now since she handled things so badly) and then when everyone asked where I was, they were told I didn’t want to be there. It was brutal. Photos were all over Facebook of my happy family with lots of baby things and my pregnant sister happy as can be at her baby shower while I suffered (for the record, she is the one in our family who has had an easy life). I could barely get through the day.

    Was I being oversensitive? I don’t know, but it’s possible. Even still, I just could NOT cope with handling it the way they wanted me to (which was to put on a happy face and brush everything under the rug– for some reason my family has very British behaviors in some ways). Clearly there was very little thought where I was concerned. The fact that it was handled SO poorly made an already painful situation even worse. Why did I always have to be the one to make things easier for them?

    As a way of simply surviving, I did what I felt capable of and then got myself through the treatment. I am always the one to sacrifice or take care of others, but in this case, I decided to make myself the priority. They didn’t understand and they still don’t. I have damaged relationships from that time, but honestly, I just had to get through it. I didn’t handle it perfectly, but they certainly didn’t either.

    So, ALLLLL of that to say, do the best you can but make sure you take care of yourself. Unfortunately, they may not understand. Try to work with him if he seems amenable. Otherwise, do what you have to do to get through this time, which is absolutely the MOST important thing.

    And also, I am sorry that your family has hurt you this way. It was (and is) really painful for me that they didn’t understand or even really seem to try. I love them, as I’m sure you love your family too, but they also really hurt me as well.

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    • RJ

      To Ashley: Omg that’s so awful! I would have been super hurt if that happened to me. I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this during such a difficult time in your life. I literally don’t know what to say, I am always so shocked when people are so insensitive and selfish. Hopefully I’m not overstepping by saying that.

      Nara, I agree that you shouldn’t be forced to go and they should have picked a different weekend. I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive, I think they are being overly insensitive (although I guess it was nice of RFB to ask at least). But they probably should have just picked a different weekend and everyone could participate. I wouldn’t go, but I’ve just turned into a bigger advocate for my own needs these days, since someone has to care about my needs ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, I really love my bday (even though it means I’m getting older) so I get it.

      Glad the fibroid is OUT and hopefully this will help you have a successful pregnancy! Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        Thank you so much. Well, RFB didn’t ask, exactly… He just told me and hoped it wouldn’t be a problem! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think it’s good to advocate for your own needs… I think we are quite culturally understated in the UK, like we are expected to suck it up / make other people’s desires the priority, if you get what I mean. I really hope the fibroid removal helps too! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Oh Ashley, I’m so sorry that you had to go through this. I’m really sad that you don’t have a relationship with your sister because of it. I kind of think that the only thing we can do in these situations is try and deal with things the best we can, and of course it must have been horrendous for you. You’d think that she’d have a bit of understanding considering everything you’ve been through. And I cannot FATHOM how she would feel resentful that your surrogacy would take attention away from their pregnancy. That is just perverse! Life isn’t a competition, and anyway, I think anyone doing stuff that’s different to the norm (like adoption, surrogacy, anything different in life, not just having children) should expect to have more attention, because people will be interested in something different!

      I can so relate to the British sweeping-it-under-the-rug. Really I thought it was telling that of everyone in my family, only my sib #2 (coincidentally the other adopted one) thought that RFB was being insensitive. It didn’t occur to my parents at all and I haven’t discussed it with #4. Like they were all sorry about the miscarriage, and I know they were sad for me, but to them it was back in July and we’re now in October and I should be over it by now.

      I’m sad that we’ve been hurt by our families… Like you said, we do really love them but this journey can be hard. Sending you hugs. (And hoping to meet you in person for the hugs in a few weeks!) x

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  7. B.s

    Agreeing with mamajo on this one too!! Although I haven’t experienced loss, I have experienced the struggle of infertility and no how hard it seems when it feels like no one gets what you’re going through. I don’t think you should have to endure something like that after what you have just gone through! So option 4 is what I say too! Good luck! ๐Ÿ’—

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    • Nara

      Thank you… I have been swithering about this in the past few days. I know it seems like an overreaction, but also I just think it seems so selfish! Who knows what I’ll do on the day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • B.s

        I don’t think it’s over reacting at all, given what you’ve been through. You need to put you first, if they’ve never been through what you’ve gone through, they don’t understand and that’s ok, put you first! Good luck! ๐Ÿ’•

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  8. stealingnectar

    So, I have some experience with this. My sister-in-law had her second baby one week after I lost mine at 17 weeks…and promptly asked me to be the godmother and told me the weekend. I couldn’t come the original weekend (I had a huge work presentation at our headquarters 5 hours away from my home) and so she rescheduled for the next weekend. So, about 6 weeks after losing A.G., I was half way across the country – dressed up but feeling exposed with the extra layer of fat around my middle – and trying not to make it about me as I stood there in front of everyone who knew I just lost a baby. I agree with MJ that you shouldn’t go if you don’t want to go. I was numb and just went through with it, but looking back I just feel sad about the timing and the insensitivity of it. Why was I expected to be so brave and giving? That might sound overly emotional to some, but if you’ve had loss like this you get it. I try not to hang on to hurt, but I also have learned I don’t have to meet others’ expectations of me! I just need to do what is healthy for me. I should have been able to be a mess at home and not smiling in front of a church and in pictures where I can see my thick pregnancy remains on my frame. (As an aside, I also (like ashleykyleanderson) had my little brother announce his pregnancy to the family the day I was coming home from our we-lost-a-baby-so-we-are-escaping trip.) It’s true that people who don’t know the loss don’t know the pain. Do what feels right, but please know there is an option #4!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Nara

      That is awful! I can’t believe you managed to get through that. I really think people are hugely insensitive. And I can’t believe they made you do that knowing you’d just lost AG. I really feel for you… It sounds horrific. xx

      I think my family don’t think our baby really counted, if you get what I mean? Because I wasn’t visibly pregnant or anything. We are just supposed to be over it by now, when really we will just be back from our post-miscarriage trip and restarting IVF around that time. I hate to think how awful I’m going to feel on down regulation and also all the excuses about drinking etc… I just would rather not do it.

      On the plus side, my #2 sib has been absolutely amazing and angry on my behalf!

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      • stealingnectar

        Thank you for the support. I truly think this is one of those times that you can decide how you feel and not worry about your family’s emotions – or at least not have them trump yours. You can always send a gift and write a nice letter to baby…and then another one to your brother kindly explaining that you love them all and why this is so hard for you. He doesn’t have to agree, but he should be able to gather up some compassion and understand it is just too much for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nara

        Thank you for the tips! I do feel like I should say something and not just let it go… I feel like we often try and minimise our pain to spare other people’s feelings and I just feel a bit like: Why should I? Also seems nuts when the baby hasn’t even been born yet! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • stealingnectar

        I agree. I am usually pretty easy going but I feel this is one area women routinely have to act like they aren’t grieving. Maybe, if they really want you to go, they could switch the weekend after you discuss your feelings with them. I don’t know, but my situation is one where I look back and feel like it was so crazy and raw and unnecessary.

        Like

      • Nara

        Jeez, I completely agree. I cannot even fathom that someone would think you were okay to do that. That’s just SO insensitive. I think people feel like you just have to “get back on the horse” though. I told my smug-mother friend about the miscarriage (basically why I was avoiding her) and her response was just “It happens to loads of people” and “My neighbour was told she was infertile and…” and “At least you know you can get pregnant” – yadda yadda. I wanted to smack her in the face. Unfortunately it was online so I couldn’t! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

      • stealingnectar

        You know what? I sort of thought I was okay! Or, I didn’t, but I didn’t really realize I had any other options…and I really didn’t realize how ridiculous it was until way later. I was so raw for the first few months I just jumped back into everything but it was HARD. I had a few times I miscalculated and ended up in breakdowns after X event. So, be careful with yourself! Be kind! This is a perfect situation to take it easy with your emotions. Your friend sounds horrible by the way. I really hate the “at least you know…” line. I have heard that quite a few times. Although it is true, the pain from miscarriage is NOT something anyone wants to know. Ever. Under any circumstances!

        Like

      • Nara

        Yeah – my friend is that self-centred one I’ve talked about before. The one who is “too old” but just decided to wait till after marriage to start trying for a baby, and despite being a borderline alcoholic and drunk on honeymoon, conceived first shot. It’s a bit difficult not to feel bitter. I was kind of hoping that telling her would shut her up or at least make her think, but no, I’m really lucky because I KNOW I CAN GET PREGNANT NOW. FFS.

        I don’t think I will have any breakdowns… I mean, like you said, I think I’m generally okay. I just don’t want to feel forced to do that when it’s something really not fun for me and when it’s so in my face insensitive!

        Like

      • stealingnectar

        I totally get it! Yes, I remember you talking about her. Some people (lots of people) will never get it regardless of how well we communicate our feelings!

        Like

      • Nara

        Ha. I do probably resent her a lot. She’s just so blasรฉ though, it drives me crazy. At least I’ve managed to stop spending time with her when she just makes me feel bad – I’ve stood up to her in that regard!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. sewingbutterfly

    I must admit, I agree with mamjo. If you were a big pregnant lady, you probably wouldn’t care, as a more subdued birthday would be just the ticket. But you aren’t. Why should you have to spend your birthday being reminded of what you lost? Your brother probably didn’t mean to be insensitive, BUT I don’t see any reason to just agree and go along with it. Just point out that you would really appreciate it, if they could do it the weekend after as you plan to celebrate your birthday. If he is any kind of brother at all, he will respect that and change it OR understand when you choose not to attend. I have missed 90% of family events due to living 5.5 hours away. Including my stepbrother’s wedding because they changed the date at the last minute! No one thinks of us and gets annoyed when we can’t just drop everything and get leave from worl to attend every little thing. As I have 9 siblings there are a lot of events. My heart goes out to you, I cannot even imagine having to go to a Christening so soon after a miscarriage and surgery. It just sucks! I hope you can work something out that allows you to take care of yourself and still celebrate your birthday!

    Like

    • Nara

      Thank you. I guess it does sound kind of petulant when I say “Not on my birthday!”… I don’t think it’s the birthday per se but more the lack of thought and insensitivity. I’m sure he didn’t mean to be insensitive. I think if you haven’t had loss or you haven’t suffered from infertility then you don’t really get it. I like your way of excusing yourself from family events! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sadly I’m the closest out of the family geographically so can’t use that excuse! Thank you for your understanding. x

      Liked by 1 person

  10. libraryowl33

    I agree that you should take care of yourself and celebrate your birthday. I’m sure your brother didn’t make the connection between the christening and your loss, but they should pick a different weekend. Have you replied to him yet? Would you be comfortable asking him to move it, and explaining why?
    It sounds like you’ve made up your mind to go, so I would definitely do something to celebrate your birthday, and then do something special for yourself after the christening is over.
    And, it has to be said; what lunatic plans a christening before the birth?!!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      I already replied to him, saying it wasn’t ideal but we’d cross that bridge when we come to it. Also that T (my partner) can’t come as it’s his sister’s birthday. (He had a ready made excuse!) I think it’s all already booked, from what I understand from my parents, and I guess the thing is, I wouldn’t feel great going to it whenever it is. It’s just the way we always are though… Maybe it’s a British thing or maybe it’s a my family thing, but we’re definitely expected to suck it up.

      And yes, I don’t understand why they had to plan it before she’s even born!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. elizabetcetera

    A christianing BEFORE a birth? I’ve never heard of such of thing. Is this real?

    If your brother asks if this is a problem for you to attend a christening during your birthday then he KNOWS that this is a problem. Just say yes, it’s a problem, I have plans, but tell him you’d be able to attend a post-birth christening if they have one. Send flowers and a card. Stop being such a pansy @ss Brit and pull you balls out. You have a life too that’s worth living. The little growing fetus won’t know the difference whether you attended the pre-birth christening at all. Have a great birthday with friends, alone or whatever you chose to do. Your brother has already given you an out by acknowledging YOUR birthday is a problem. Are you Catholic — why are you feeling so much guilt??????? GET THE F OVER IT. Send a card and flowers and be done … plus drink some Cava or Prosceco with some good friends and celebrate. You’ll have a lifetime to celebrate with that little niece or nephew!!!! Stop giving in to family guilt! Seriously.

    Like

    • Nara

      “Are you Catholic?” – Yes!
      (Not practising, but you can maybe understand why it’s considered important to attend.)

      Also I think you have misunderstood – the christening is not before the birth. It’s after the birth, but the birth hasn’t happened yet – they are just planning it before she’s born.

      Liked by 1 person

      • elizabetcetera

        Ok, I had misread some of the previous comments and yes, typically I’ve understood the Christening to be after the child is born. I, myself was Christened. I have no recollection of that day being around 1 year old, but I do have the pics of who was there.

        I can understand family pressure. But it does seem like they are planning the Christening BEFORE the child is even born, that you could kindly ask your brother if they could make it not on/around your birthday. He is aware that this poses some sort of problem for you because he has mentioned it interfering with your birthday.

        The only Christenings I’ve ever seen were the few that happened at the church I attended. I knew none of the families.

        I would imagine a Catholic Christening though to be just about as dull as some masses I’ve attended (I’m not Catholic).

        The only things I can think of to make this event less dull is to drink some coffee before you go so you can stay awake … and is it possible to be a part of the Christening, like read a poem or meaningful passage in the Bible? Maybe the priest is the one to have total control in these processions … I was just thinking how to make it a little less tedious for you.

        What *IF* you didn’t go to the Christening — how heathen of you, I know, but instead, had your brother, SIL and new little one over with some other family members for a very personal celebration of little Suzie or Johnny’s new life?

        It certainly would be less dull. You could have cake and treats while avoiding the doldrums of religion? You could have your cake AND eat it too?

        I don’t know … then there’s always the option of sucking it up, going and celebrating your birthday the week before or after the Christening …

        Good luck in whatever you decide and keep us posted! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  12. waitingbetweenthelines

    Whether or not it was on purpose, it’s highly insensitive. As our pregnancy loss and infertility journey has gotten harder and harder I find I simply can’t be polite anymore just to avoid conflict or to make other people feel comfortable . I would probably be very honest about my reasons for not being able to come and do what others have suggested… Send a lovely gift with your mom. He’s your brother… He’ll get over it at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      Thank you… I think it probably wasn’t on purpose (although I do sometimes think SIL is a bit passive aggressive in some of the things she does… families, eh). I have told my mother that I’m not happy about the idea of attending and I think it was insensitive of them to do that. And reminded her that the last one was in the middle of my ski trip. They got on fine without me that time so there’s no reason why the whole thing would be ruined if I didn’t attend this time.

      However I do feel backed into a corner… I feel like I’ll be the one considered unreasonable if I don’t attend. I’ll get the blame. People won’t understand.

      Like

  13. Arwen

    I am so sorry RFB has done this to you, it is highly insensitive and clearly he has kinda thought about it since he mentioned your birthday so the whole incredibly bad excuse of ‘he just doesn’t think’ doesn’t cut it. I don’t really know what you should do other than take care of yourself first. If you do feel you should go can you just go to the church and then bugger off immediately afterwards and do something for yourself with T and Dog?
    Also who plans the Christening before she’s even arrived?! Fertile people have so much innocence/naivety it’s galling. And the whole ‘they want her to fit her outfit’ thing? WTF, if it doesn’t fit just get another one FFS….

    Like

    • Nara

      I know! Thank you for understanding! It just seems so odd, and you’re right… the innocence of always having things go right. Nobody thinks something might happen during the birth, or she might have to stay in hospital or something. (I don’t EVER wish this on anyone, least of all my brother.) T remarked that he thought it was tempting fate to plan anything before the birth. I think if we’d have had PB to full term we wouldn’t have bought anything until the last week or something! It’s just a different world…

      Like

    • Nara

      Thank you so much. I’ve been okay but the op didn’t go entirely according to plan… I ended up in A&E (ER!) and so I had to take it easy yesterday and the day before… dosed up on painkillers! Thank you for thinking of me. xx

      Like

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