Post # 1
Hey ladies… I am NOT ttc or pregggers or wanting to be…. EVER. I have no understanding whatsoever of what my brother is going through. I want to be there for him and my SIL. i don’t know what to do.
Here’s the facts: they’ve been TTC for 2+ years, have just finished their second round of egg harvests and embryo implants. Unsuccessful again. No more attempts covered by insurance. after the first time, or around then anyways, my brother and I talked about it and he indicated to me that he was okay with having a kid or not having one. but SIL is hell bent on having a baby. She has a pair of clogged up fallopian tubes, and her uterus doesn’t seem to want to hold on to an embryo very long. I understand that this is sad for her, and that he might even be sad too. Last I heard from him though, he really shouldn’t be very sad about it, except to be sad for her. Which I totally get.
Problem is i don’t know what to say or do for her or him or them without sounding fake. I told them each, “I’m so sorry.. please let me know what i can do if anything at all. i want to be there for you even if you just want to talk” furthermore, i don’t know if this is true, but i sometimes think that they (well mostly SIL, since bro is pretty laidback and less chatty than SIL) purposely don’t keep me up-to-date on what the hell is going on, because they think i don’t care. Which i do care. I care about them, and i am sad for them in a way, because they are sad. (or at least she is… i dunno anymore). i don’t particularly care if they ever have a kid. i think they are awesome just the way they are and I would hate for them to change, as all people do when they have children. And I’m certainly not hell bent on having a kid. quite teh opposite, in fact. i also kind of feel bad for my parents since my Bro is their only hope.
Sooooo… i know i am preaching meat to a bunch of vegans as it were, so please try not to be too judgemental. I’m glad lots of other people are having kids in the world, as it takes the pressure off of me 🙂 hahah I just want to know, what’s the right thing to do or say? i want them to know i love them and that i want to support them, and be here for them. i figured this was the right part of the site to post on since some of you may be having a hard time like they are…. What, if anything, would help? Or, what would make you feel like your friend or family member gave a shit about what was happening to you? i am at a loss, and i never am.
Post # 3
I’m interested in this too, none of my siblings are TTC but I know many of my friends will eventually and I just don’t understand the need to bear children… I’ll adopt if I ever have the time and means for a child but wouldn’t consider having one of my own and am against fertility treatments.
Post # 4
I just want to know what people in similar situation as my brother and his wife would advise. I feel so lost. Usually I always have the right thing to say (or at leats something close) I am never at a loss for words. This is really bugging me. Hopefully soemone will have some ideas 🙂
Post # 5
Right now, caring for them while not caring whether or not they have a child are contrasting points of view. And I wouldn’t assume anything about your brother’s feelings, men often feel that they have to pretend to not care and be strong, when the opposite may be true. So judgements about his feelings and how it’s really just your SIL that cares certainly will not help. Blaming it on her and her fallopian tubes is also really insensitive.
I would think that the worst think you can do is ask how the baby-making is going – it’s awkward and they probably don’t want to be reminded or have it discussed. Also, I would not make any comments in front of them about how you never want to have a child, I know that rubs most couples the wrong way when they’re having trouble TTC. I think you’ve already done the best thing you could – telling them that you are there for them if they need it. But if you’ve also made it clear that you don’t care if they ever have a kid, have no interest in kids at all, etc., I can see why they may not want to open up. Here is a really good article on the subject: http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/for-family–friends/infertility-etiquette.html
Post # 6
@Wonderstruck: “contrasting points of view” yeah, no kidding, that’s why I’m asking all u tac folks what would be helpful. Secondly, I’m sharing facts as I’ve been told them regarding Fallopian tubes so calm down. I’m not “blaming” anyone, I’m a 31 year old RN, not a ten year old who doesn’t know how a baby is made. Again, not judging how my brother is feeling. Just relaying to the hive what I have been told, So that I can get the best advice possible. Of course they know I don’t want kids, they’re my family. Rest assured, I don’t go running around shouting it out all the time, again…. Not a ten year old. I thought asking about things would be bad too.. But SIL was sad that I hadn’t been inquiring, which was really confusing to me because I thought I didn’t want to be pushing her to talk about anything, but she thought I didn’t want to know , which wasn’t true. And I’ve never told them I don’t care if they have a kid. I told you all that.
I will check out the article, thank you 🙂
Once again feeling like the only times I ever post to the bee with a real problem and not some fluffy BS about wedding colors and tissue paper decor, it’s all misunderstood :-/
Post # 7
@Ms Rocky Point: Not “tac” folks! Haha! It was “ttc” folks! Damn u autocorrect!
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia
@Ms Rocky Point: I think just being supportive and acting as a sounding board if they WANT to talk about things is a really good thing. It must be so hard for them, my heart goes out.
Post # 9
I wouldn’t say anything unless they bring up the topic, and then I would just listen to them. I don’t think they are looking for advise or for you to cheer them up, just for someone who listens and tries to understand their pain. If they don’t bring it up, then they don’t want to talk about it. You offered to help anyway you can, and you told them you are sorry. That’s all you can do.
Post # 10
I think that it’s really hard for anyone who hasn’t spent time TTC to understand how somone would be feeling after 2+ years. Try to think about something that you really, REALLY want badly out of life and then imagine not being able to have it. If you’re feeling like you never want kids, of COURSE it’s difficult for you to relate! But if you’re very invested in your career, or in a relationship, or something else maybe it will help you relate a little better.
Otherwise, I think that the best thing to do is NOT be fake or say things that you don’t mean. If you are ambivilent about whether they have children, focus on trying to support your brother and SIL. Offering to take them out for dinner or to hang out can be good just as a distraction! You can send texts/cards when you know they have doctors appointments saying “thinking of you” etc. My feeling is that if you’re being fake, those closest to you will probably know.
Good luck to you AND to your brother and SIL!
Post # 11
The worst thing my inlaws used to say to me during our TTC period was keep questioning if I was pregnant. My BIL would examine everything I did, ate, drank, etc. and joke that I was pregnant. Eventhough he wasn’t trying to cause harm it was extremely hurtful.
So don’t joke about the pregnancy of constantly ask how their TTC journey is going. I would just make yourself available in case either one of them wants to talk. Call them for no reason every once in a while so that the lines of communication are open if they want to discuss their problems.
Also as MRSLMA said, if you brother fills you in on any appointment you can just let them know on that day that you are thinking of them. Little act or words or support go a long way.
Post # 12
I agree with @jaguar:. I think you’re being supportive, even though you don’t understand, you’re still there for them. Better than what my mother used to say when I told her we were having fertility issues…”get over it.” I would have loved to have someone to vent to back then!
Post # 13
I just wanted to add that your SIL probably doesn’t talk about it with you, not because she doesn’t think you care, but because it is hard to talk about. It is not something most people enjoy openly talking about. Just knowing that you are there to listen is probably all they really need. It is nice to know some one is there, even if you don’t really want to talk about it all that much.
Post # 14
They are probably not bringing it up and keeping you 100% up to date because it is painful for them to talk about it. This isn’t about you – it has nothing to do with you, actually – so I think that it is likely their own grieving process that is keeping them quiet, not anything having to do with you.
Post # 15
If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t have been asking the “hows it going?” questions either. Did SIL tell you she was sad that you hadn’t been asking her? I just assume that’d be annoying to have to give updates all the time. Maybe you can let her know that you want to be informed as much as they are comfortable sharing, but you don’t want to make her uncomfortable by asking too much… leave the ball in her court to disclose info or not?
Post # 16
@Ms Rocky Point: Well, yiu wanted help with your problem, right? That’s why you said you posted…for advice. When it comes to real problems it’s very unlikely you will like all the advice you get, and the best advice is generally non-sugar coated and therefore hard to hear sometimes. I’m not upset so there is no need to tell me to relax, nor did I mean to make you feel like a ten year old – I was hoping you hadn’t said some of the things in your post to your brother and SIL and am glad to hear that you haven’t. But when I said contrasting points of view, I don’t think you quite understood what I meant either. I was saying that right now, in their eyes, you can’t care about them and their happiness but NOT care whether or not they have a child, because to them at the moment those two are the same thing, they’re so related you can’t care about one and not the other.