Miscarriage & Insensitive Inlaws


#1

In September, I delivered our dead son at 16 weeks gestation. We were blessed with many wonderful Catholic and Protestant friends, and our priest also was a strong source of support. We had a lovely funeral for him.

My problem is how to deal with my husband’s non-Christian secular parents (mine are dead). When we called to ask them to help watch our three living children so I could go to the hospital, they told us they were “busy.” My husband let it go but I was furious when I heard. When my husband asked if they intended to come to our son’s funeral a week later, they said that they were no longer busy and could make it. I HATED having them there, because the moment the funeral was over, they were noticably thrilled. Even our priest and deacon said later that they found their “celebratory” mood inappropriate and surreal. My father in law was asking everyone if they’d like to go out for lunch and have some wine right after the funeral!!

In the past four months, I have been emotionally blundgeoned by these people, who find every excuse in the world to share details of their only daughter’s first pregnancy with me. The daughter and I were initially due just three weeks apart, so every time there is an announcement about her pregnancy, it is like a knife to my heart. My mother in law actually visited two months after our son died with her daughter and repeatedly rubbed her belly in front of me and asked if we all wanted to read her online pregnancy report about how far along the baby was that week. I finally snapped when she told me she was going to e-mail me pictures of her daughter’s profile!! I told her to please stop sharing this info with me, because it hurts. She seemed surprised. Within a few days, she was beginning conversations with “I know you said it hurts you to hear about XX’s pregnancy, but…(insert lengthy detail here about pregnancy).” My only defense has been to ignore her calls.

I am now 2 weeks from my due date and crying almost every day in secret. I am angry at my husband for not protecting me more from his parents. I’m angry that he did not object to them not helping us during the delivery. I’m angry that these selfish, insensitive people should be so loved by our three older children and it kills me to hear them talk so lovingly about their grandparents.

I can only ask for prayers, because I know that and time are all that will help me. If someone can please pray for Dawn in VA, I would appreciate it.

-Dawn


#2

Dawn, I’m so sorry you’re going through this and that your in-laws were so insensitive in a time when you need the most help. I lost my baby at 9 wks gestation 2 months ago and my family “tried” to be there but I got very bad comments and I know it hurts like heck when people in your own family don’t help.

Yes, your husband should’ve said something, but maybe because they aren’t Christian is why they act that way? If your MIL never lost a child, she doesn’t understand how it feels to see and hear about other pregnant women. I still hurt a lot. In fact, yesterday I almost cried in front of a pregnant lady. I was in a vet’s office talking to her and how she was almost 6 months pregnant and how happy she was, etc, and I almost began crying right there and then. I told her I had lost my baby 2 months ago, so she stopped talking about it.

Can I ask something? Is your husband Catholic? Did he convert? Could his parents feel some kind of resentment toward you since you’re Catholic? That could be a reason for her rubbing her daughter’s pregnancy on your face. Maybe she feels like you took her little boy away from her and does it on purpose? I know my ex-boyfriend’s mom was like that and if I had married him and lost a baby she’d been the same way with me. She hated me.

Oh, and it’s ok to cry. You shouldn’t have to hide it. :frowning: I heard anniversary dates are VERY hard. And these past 2 months, I’ve cried on the “month-aversary” of when I got in the car crash that took my baby’s life and on the actual day I miscarried him.

You are in my prayers and send you many cyber ((((((HUGS)))))).


#3

dear dawn,

you and your DH are in my thoughts and prayers as well as your baby. It’s ok to cry and let it all out. Don’t hide it. If your ILs can’t deal with it, then it’s ok to avoid them. They have no right to do what they are doing at all.

I am sending you a virtual hug to let you know that you are not alone in your grief. :hug1:

God Bless,
Lisa


#4

Dawn, you are in my prayers. :gopray: I’m sure I would feel exactly the same as you do if my in-laws behaved like that when we lost our baby two months ago. In fact it seems like the only normal reaction to have to such insensitive people. Continue to protect yourself from them and ignore calls, decline visits. Have a long talk with your husband and tell him how let down you feel; ask him to support you and protect you from these emotional barrages. Unbelievable! :console:


#5

Dear Dawn, so sorry for your loss. I can relate–I lost our first baby in the 14th week…it broke my heart. My relatives did not comprehend the pain in the least and made remarks and did things that hurt. I too felt tremendous grief at the grocery store when I saw any woman in the stage of pregnancy that I would be in if my baby had lived. I cried on my babys due date. It took a year to feel less pain. What really helped me thru the grief was joining a compassionate friends support group ( look up on the web for a local chapter) and going to a Catholic parish minister for support and just to talk out my pain. I also prayed the rosary daily and meditated on the agony in the garden. Forgiving others for they know not what they do was also an important way to heal.
It took years to release all my tears but it is important to cry all the tears and not hold them back.
It’s been 20 years since my first baby died. Our consolation is that we will see her in heaven where she is safe and secure and waiting for us. I hope my sharing helps you on your journey thru grief…Love in Christ,


#6

I woke up this morning with a headache from crying so long last night, as I wrote my original message. But now I have tears from reading the responses on here. I’m so grateful for your prayers. And thank you all so much who have “been there.” Part of what makes this so difficult is that I feel so lonely. My husband is wonderful, but he has admitted he simply isn’t as devastated as me because I was the one who carried the child. Neither of my closest friends have ever gone through this and the wonderful women at our parish, while many of them have miscarried, are now busy raising their large families.

Thanks so much for the suggestions, hugs, and prayers. It is a sad thing when one feels like they need the support of strangers online because one can’t get it in the family, but I thank God that I live in a time when I can reach out electronically to my brothers and sisters in Christ for help. And they respond.:o

In Christ,
Dawn


#7

you are a nicer person than I. I would have written these folks out of my life after my baby’s funeral, so I would hopefully not have had to endure the rest of the story.

Yes it is a sad fact that the prevailing culture of death has so far perverted the truth that a mother and family mourning a baby taken early in miscarriage are not even acknowledged in their grief. I think we know the underlying reasons for that thinking, and should direct our prayers to healing that reason.

praying for you and your family, even those who are planning for a new baby, in hopes your experience will make them value their own gift properly as a person, not a possession to be gloated over.


#8

Here’s some news. You are still a mother and will always be a mother, only your child is already in heaven in the arms of Jesus waiting until you can hold him yourself.

unitegriefsupport.org/filebin/newslettersample.doc

aplacetoremember.com/griefhome.html

When you are ready, please go to these places I have provided above to help you in your grief.
Do not concern yourself with the fact that your in-laws do not understand your loss. Let it go, it’s eating you alive more than you need at this time. Take care of yourself, lean on your husband, your friends and your faith. God is willing to hold you and the Blessed Mother has arms so wide and understands so well the loss of a child. You are in my prayers.
:wink: :hug3:


#9

Dear Dawn,

I am really sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. I am also sorry you have to deal with such insensitive inlaws during such a difficult time. It is okay to cry. You have nothing to hide. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Sincerely,

Maria1212


#10

This stood out to me. Make sure your husband knows that you want him to protect you from his parents. He has been dealing with these insensitive people all his life; he probably already learned coping mechanisms–like letting it go when they refuse to help him. I suspect he wants a relationship with his parents, so he takes what they offer on their terms and may not realize the effect that has on his wife and marriage. That stood out to me because I have had issues with my in-laws that has affected my relationship with my husband if we are not careful.

I am also in the situation where my own parents have died, and my husband’s parents are the only living grandparents. (Also like you, I had a miscarriage, but my in-laws still don’t know about it; we hadn’t yet told them I was pregnant so we didn’t share about the miscarriage.) We moved to a different state just to be near my in-laws because we wanted our children to know their grandparents. Honestly, I think most of my dissappointments arrise from my expectations that my in-laws will behave similar to my parents. They are nothing like my parents, but I am only recently realizing that and the implications of what that means.

My in-laws are the only living grandparents, and I expected and wished for more support from them in raising our children. I no longer wish for that–they have very different values than ours. My MIL and FIL are nominally Protestant, but in reality very secular. Once my babies outgrow the stranger anxiety for grandparents who live close but whom we rarely see, they idolize them for several years. I hope that my own children learn that grandparents deserve respect, love and some indulgence even when their values differ–because one day I might be a grandmother. But their idolization for their grandparents has not seemed to last–at least not with my older children. Without me saying anything negative about my in-laws, my teenagers notice that their values don’t match ours. Your children will eventually notice both the grandparents actions and your reactions; your reactions will likely have greater impact on your children than their grandparents actions.

You don’t have to like your in-laws. You don’t even have to spend much time with them. If you haven’t already asked your husband to protect you from their insensitivity, tell him if you want him to protect you from them. Let him be the one to make the phone calls or answer the phone when they call; let him visit them, etc. They are *his *parents, not yours; don’t expect them to act like your parents.


#11

I am so sorry for your loss, and it is a loss. I too lost a baby at 20 weeks. It was the worst time I ever remember.
But while I was grieving, my in laws were so happy, since we "didn’t need another one anyway"
The best advice I got was to just walk away. I know it sounds silly, but I would just go to my room,or out to the car and just cry until I felt better, or just sit and find something to occupy my mind.
You do not have to sit there and take their abuse, you have the right to grieve and to cry.
I highly reccomend checking out the links someone gave. Being with others and having a chance to talk about it in a supportive enviroment is healthy.
Big hugs :grouphug: and lots of prayer:signofcross: .


#12

Dear Dawn, I have nothing more to add - everyone here has given wonderful advice and I’m right there with them. I lost our first baby at 5 weeks and my university professors were more supportive than some of my family. I had some insensitive comments to deal with, as well. :hug1:

Many, many prayers for you and your DH.
:hug1:


#13

I have also buried two children who have died before their birth. I will keep you in my prayers. Due dates are so hard! It will get easier. The most surprising thing about burying a child is that your love for that child doesn’t stop growing after that child dies. Just think how beautiful that child must be in heaven. I ask my babies to pray with me an for me always. God Bless and keep you close.


#14

Dawn, offering a prayer for you and your family. I pray God will bring you comfort and peace as you grieve your child. I’ll also pray that He will open the eyes of your in-laws and soften their hearts.
God bless you and your family. :crossrc: :hug1:

I’m guessing if you’re Catholic then your parents may also have been? I don’t know if it will helpat all, but maybe you can take comfort in knowing your beloved child is in the arms of your parents in Heaven, worshipping our Lord. :hug1:


#15

Dawn
I’ve been there and done that. It’s 4 years now and I carried our baby to 20 weeks (even though it died at 7 and no one would listen to me to make sure things were ok so it went unknown for months) and everyone still pretends it never happend. I truly feel your pain and sometimes that pain can rock you to your core. You need to confront your husband on this. I didn’t do this and I still carry resentment towards my husband for not standing up for me. You need to let him know how you feel and you two need to work this out otherwise it will be the foundation of a wall between you. Please seek outside help as well. I hope you find peace with all of this. I’m still seeking mine.


#16

Hang in there, sweetie! Make sure your husband knows you don’t want contact with his parents, esp. his mother, as gardenswithkids suggested. And protect yourself for the next couple months. If she calls make sure you are “busy”.

:grouphug:


#17

You need some assertiveness training. I know that you’re busy right now (congratulations!), but keep an eye out for it, including books at the local library.

Your husband may not be up to facing off his parents. Unfortunate. I know that if I had ever tried that sort of treatment with my daughters (supposing that they were by dgters-in-law), I wouldn’t have gotten past the first sentence.

You don’t have to take that sort of treatment.

Do you have either “Ann Landers” or “Dear Abby?” in your local paper? Both of these writers often deal with these sorts of problems and can supply any number of commentaries and comebacks for you.


#18

This sounds like the plavce I’m stuck in right now. My husband said the same thing to me, he even complained I was crying a month after the loss of our baby. :frowning: And I’m still crying now and then. I’m the only one of my friends who is married so no one knows what it is to lose a child or to even be pregnant.

Keep yourself coming to the forums. They have helped me so much. This place has been where I’ve found all the help and support I needed and still need. Pray a lot. Talk to your baby. You have a little saint up in Heaven looking after you. That’s the good part about all of this. Ask him/her to pray for his grandparents, especially for his grandmother. And do try to talk to your husband about how you want him to protect you from his mother. :hug1:


#19

Dawn, I’m praying for you.

I am angry at my husband for not protecting me more from his parents. I’m angry that he did not object to them not helping us during the delivery. I’m angry that these selfish, insensitive people should be so loved by our three older children and it kills me to hear them talk so lovingly about their grandparents…

I think your husband does need to step up and tell his parents to treat you better. You deserve it, and you would deserve it in good times as much as you do now. If your husband isn’t ready to talk to his parents about it, he can at least keep them away from you and make your excuses when you don’t want to talk to them.

As for the children aspect, kids are by nature self-centered, and won’t realize your in-laws’ true nature until they are directly affected by their attitudes. As much as it hurts to see that they love your in-laws, I pray that they won’t be hurt by them until they’re old enough to handle it.

It took me years to realize that my grandparents were actually not very nice people. They lived next door to us all our lives, but we never saw the effect they had on my parents, especially my mother, their daughter-in-law. When they moved in with my family after I went to college, I realized how rude and dismissive they were of other people’s concerns. Since I didn’t live with them, I am still able to treat my grandmother with respect and take her out to dinner when I’m home, but my younger brother and sister have been through too much, and avoid talking to her.

Anyway, Dawn, I’m very sorry for your loss, and I pray your pain will be eased. I’m also praying for your husband to find the strength to give you what you need in this time of mourning - comfort, protection, and support.


#20

Oh sweetheart, this just breaks my heart.

I am so sorry, first of all for your loss, second of all for the INSANE amount of insensitivity. One part of your post really hurt me:

“I know you said it hurts you to hear about XX’s pregnancy, but…(insert lengthy detail here about pregnancy).”

Really, it’s time for your husband to step in on this part. Have you spoken to him about this? I am not really that shocked as the women in my family are notorious for this kind of thing. I have an aunt who in acknowledging my miscarriages went on to tell me how PAINFUL it was for others, how much MORE TRAGIC, MORE TERRIBLE, MORE LIFE-IMPACTING on other people than it was for us. :shrug: Sometimes I wonder if she tells my stories in the same light to other’s who share their losses with her? I actually hope so, or convince myself it’s just her way, so it doesn’t hurt so personally bad.

Either way, your IL’s don’t view your child as tangible as they never met him/her as you did. That doesn’t excuse their behavior at all, it just makes sense. Really – wings? Gee, want a beer with a side car while you are at it? That is so beyond crass…I am so sorry!

My grandma (mayor of crazy town) always says things about how a “daughter sticks with you and a son marries off” – I often thought it was “stays with you in craziness” but in your case I could see my own family doing the same, read: my own family saying things to a female in-law about a pregnancy within their little circle. It horrifies me. That’s why we dont hang out with them often. Your in-laws, especially MIL needs a big old slap upside the head of reality!

Do you think she has enough decency that if her own pregnant daughter told her what a witch she’s being in regards to you – she would quit? Or at the very least, feel shameful enough to not repeat the behavior? If so-- your DH needs to talk to his sister. :cool:

I am sorry about the Due Date. June 6 gets me every time.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.