Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pink Elephant...

I said it was coming... now here it is. A post begging you to answer this nagging question:

How the heck we tell our families about what seems like a huge pink elephant in the room???

As I've said before, my mother-in-law makes it perfectly clear that she is ready for more grand kids. My sister-in-law has one child and he will be turning 10 this spring. Nearly every time we see her she makes a comment about us and our lack of offspring. It doesn't matter the size of the comment, it hurts just the same. Every time.

My family on the other hand, don't typically have much to say on the topic, but I know they are waiting for the announcement to come. Unfortunately they will be getting a much less exciting announcement in place of the one they are hoping for.

So here are my problems.... please solve them for me :)

I HATE crying in front of anyone other than my husband. I know that I can't possibly tell our story without losing it. And to be honest I'm not 100% sure my husband can either, and if/when he looses it... well, I'm done for.

I want to set very clear boundaries that this is NOT the new topic of conversation, a formal invitation into our sex life, an opportunity for them to share their opinion of the treatments we've done/plan to do or a good time for them to tell us about their co-worker's sister's second cousin.

I want them to understand what we are looking for in sharing this part of our life with them.... even though I'm not totally sure at this point what that is. Support on our terms?

I also need them to understand the magnitude of the situation. This is by a long shot the hardest thing we have EVER faced.

And lastly, I don't want to be over dramatic. I want express the hurt, the struggle and the pain but at the very same time I don't want be the person who thinks their problems are world ending. Even though it feels like it sometimes!

If you've been reading and not commenting, here is your chance! Leave nothing out. Tell me I am being a wimp. Tell me I shouldn't do this. Tell me I should. Tell me that sending these words in an email is a total cop out. Tell me what you shared that you wish you wouldn't have. Tell me it isn't nearly as terrifying as it seems right now.


Katie Norman said...

Okay, wow, I have a feeling I might have a lot to say so I'll apologize in advance for the long comment. First, I can't believe how long you've kept this all in! I didn't last that long. I was so set on being able to surprise everyone that I tried to wait but after a few months when we knew something was wrong but we weren't sure exactly what, we told our immediate families and very close friends. I needed that. I knew tough times were ahead and I needed their support. After 10 months of trying, I started my blog and then EVERYONE knew. It was scary, but I have to say, it worked for me. People will still say stupid things (they always do) and sometimes you get that sympathetic look that makes you want to stab someone, but you do lose all the "when are y'all having kids?" questions. And you could also get really good support. The biggest thing for me was more people praying for us. Most of the time there was NOTHING anyone could say to make me feel better but knowing that people cared enough to pray for us was one thing that meant a lot to me.

So to sum up, I think it is a good thing to let it out into the open. Then you can be real. You don't have to feel like you are constantly putting on a facade. (I have an extreme fear of crying in front of people so I completely understand what you mean about that. But I've learned that being that vulnerable with people you are close with can bring you closer. It makes you genuine.) You will hopefully get increased pray and support. But guard your heart. When someone has never been through something like this, they don't know what to say and therefore (instead of just keeping their mouth shut) they will say stupid things that can hurt. I guess you have to take the bad with the good and hope that the good far out weighs the bad. (If you are only planning on telling certain people, which is what we did at first, gauge your audience. At first we decided to tell the people that we knew would genuinely pray for us) Okay, that's my rambling of advice. If you ever want to talk in a not so public way, my e-mail address is on my blog.

Bobbi said...

Do they all know about your blog? Perhaps that'll be the route to go. You don't necessarily have to talk about it with them, but you can share some insight with them on your feelings, your struggles and what you're going through. I've shared my blog with family and when we see each other, they "know," and don't have to say anything because they know, ya know? LOL!!!

Stephanie said...

Katie gave great advice. Here is mine. Personally, I don't think email is a cop out. We told our family and most of our close friend via email, but it was because they are an 8 hour drive away and really, if it was going to be email or phone, we preferred phone so we could tell our side, not have interruptions and also so we didn't have to either A) giant conference call or B) retell everything 10+ times over. I honestly do not feel as though email is a cop out, but I don't know how close you are to your families either.

Now that our families know, its been a bit disappointing. They didn't know what to say, no one seemed to care when we told them I miscarried (because it was a 5 week M/C, to them it didn't seem real) and I still don't think they understand the magnitude of what Rick and I live with on a daily basis. But they know. So they don't ask questions. They offer prayers. They understand why we can't commit to coming back for a holiday because we don't know how our cycle will play out. It was practical for us to tell them.

Again, though since they are 8 hours away from us, we don't see them except a handful of times a year so it could be a very different dynamic than what you have going on.

If you wanna talk more shoot me an email :)