(Closed) How to support my brother whos’ ttc?

posted 6 years ago in TTC
Post # 3
Member
1348 posts
Bumble bee

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 # 5
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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 # 8
Bee
6473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • 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
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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
Member
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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
Member
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

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
Member
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

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
Member
1089 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

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
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

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
Member
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

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
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@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.

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