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-   -   Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well. (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f256-recurrent-miscarriage-and-pregnancy-loss/2684625-daughter-law-not-handling-multiple-losses-well.html)

serena.j October 9th, 2013 11:37 AM

Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
It has recently come to our attention that our son's wife has had issues with recurrent miscarriage. My husband and I have never pushed grandchildren on our son and his wife, we had assumed they were taking their time. About two months ago it had become obvious she was pregnant, but neither of them really came out and said it. You can only hide a pregnancy so long, but we never pointed it out. They would announce it when they were comfortable.

When she lost that one, it was also pretty clear. When we found out our son said it was not her first lost, her second loss, or even her third loss. She had asked him not to bring it up with us since the first loss. He says she feels not only guilty, but there's a lot of shame as well for her.

This last pregnancy was the furthest she had gotten. I believe my son said she was eighteen weeks or around that. The others had been far earlier. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but now she has become very withdrawn. She tends to avoid us. She would come over at least once a week for lunch. I have been told she sleeps in their guest room now. She had been seeing a fertility specialist but told my son she doesn't want to anymore. Adoption and surrogacy is nothing she wants to hear about. I really am at a loss as to what to do for her. I did not have any issues with my own pregnancy, so I have no idea how to reach out to her.

plan4fate October 10th, 2013 11:00 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Hmm.. that's a tough one, but can you be my mother in law? Mine literally patted me on the head and told me it's ok if we don't have children, she has other grandbabies :/

Do something nice for her. Tuesday is Babyloss Awareness day. Send her a pretty candle holder, with some information about the wave of light, and light a candle at home yourself. Make it known that you know these are your grand-babies, and her children, and that you love them and her and will not forget any of them.

Welcome to Remembering our Babies, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness

You could also offer maybe to take her out for a mani/pedi, or maybe facials at a local spa. Don't push her into talking about it, just be there for her. Letting her know it's ok to come around and that you won't talk about it unless she does.. might give her the courage to come out of her shell. Some don't like to talk about their losses with anyone, then there's others who will tell you the joy of every second of the pregnancy before it was over. A break from seeing a fertility doctor might be what she needs for now.

*hugs* to you Grandma. I'm sorry for the loss of your grandbabies.

serena.j October 10th, 2013 12:56 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Oh gladly. I can't believe she would actually pat you on the head like a child. I could never imagine doing anything like that. My own sister in law feels grandchildren are a competition, and that my son is far behind because her son and his wife have three and another on the way. Different women seeing things differently I guess. :)

I did not know about Babyloss Awareness Day. I don't know if she does, but I will bring it to her attention. Right now I'd do just about anything.

ZoeChloeMommy October 10th, 2013 01:24 PM

Hugs to you for being an awesome, caring mother in law. Mine has said some pretty stupid crap to me.

My In Laws see grand babies as a competition as well. There is a ton of pressure on us right now to have another because mother in laws, brother, has 4 and right now she is behind 1. Not realizing this isn't something that just falls into our laps.

Not having people to talk to about this is isolating. Makes you feel so alone, that no one understands. Then to add to the fact you can't make your husband a father, it is down right depressing.

serena.j October 10th, 2013 08:49 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Thank you. I just don't see how people see it as a game. It doesn't matter to me that you have four grandchildren. What does matter is that it's really upsetting to others to act like you're the best because you have grandchildren.

esparando para bebé October 11th, 2013 01:17 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Thank you for being so kind and caring to her in her time of grief. I agree with the others in not pushing her to talk about it but letting her know that you are there and that you recognize that they are your grandbabies and her children.

For me, hearing that it was "God's plan" from my MIL really ticked me off. (Even back when I was more religious.) I didn't want to hear that God chose to kill my babies while letting my child-abusing, druggie brother father nine.

One thing my mom has done for me is to make sure I know she thinks of them/remembers them around Christmas and Mother's Day. I think out of everything, that has meant the most to me.

serena.j October 12th, 2013 10:03 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I have to admit I'm pretty amazed at some of the reactions you all have told me about. I would say I can't imagine any woman saying or doing such, but Lily hasn't talked to her own mother in years. I did see her this morning, and I did try to bring up Babyloss Awareness Day, but she brushed me off. She said she was in a hurry and had no time to talk.

serena.j October 15th, 2013 11:56 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I just want to say I really appreciate how kind and helpful you all have been. I did try to talk to her this morning and let her know I'm here if she needs it. It didn't end well, basically with her not so kindly telling me to mind my own business and leave her alone.

esparando para bebé October 15th, 2013 03:35 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I'm sorry she feels that way. I'd LOVE to have you as a MIL. Maybe when her grief isn't so raw she'll realize just how loving and caring your intentions were. *hugs* Please feel free to join our chat tonight. You are grieving too.

serena.j October 15th, 2013 08:50 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Thank you. And thanks for reminding me about the chat, though I'm not sure it's the place for me. And I've probably missed it.

serena.j October 27th, 2013 04:27 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Just wanted to post a little bit of an update I guess. I spoke with my son, who said Lily has had some rough days, and she still refuses to really talk about what's been going on. He has considered taking a week off, or at least a Friday, so he can get some quiet time with her.

*JenJen* October 29th, 2013 09:42 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I think you are an amazing MIL for wanting to support her. It might be physically and emotionally too hard for her right now to even acknowledge that support. I'd maybe just send her a card or letter in the mail, letting her know that you are so sorry for her losses, that you are here for her if she wants a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to, or just someone to help distract her.

There are times when I literally cannot handle even acknowledging the fact that I've had losses. I bury my head in the sand, ignore everything, and do anything to avoid remembering it all. Then there are times when I'm able to talk about it, to acknowledge all that has happened on our journey to parenthood..but it really depends on the day and hour. I'd just give her some space and time and just try to remember her on the big days- even sending her a sweet card around her EDD can be helpful in knowing that she isn't the only one who thinks of the losses.

MelChicago October 29th, 2013 03:39 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I think you're a very caring person. While I'm sure it stings that your DIL isn't more receptive to your sympathy, I think that her reticience is understandable and allowed. Throughout my losses, it could be odd which people I felt able to share with, and others I felt I didn't want to. I really don't have any explanation why I felt different ways. It's clear the support she needs right now is for you to treat her like you always have. That can actually be a really important, validating way to show support. It can be hard having people looking at you (even in love) watching to see if you're about to break down, assuming you must be doing terribly, bringing up the loss at times when you just aren't in a mental space to deal with it. But "letting" her be normal and treating her as if she is the same person you've always loved- that can be an amazing, healing gift.

Again, I truly admire your kind heart.

serena.j October 29th, 2013 04:54 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I know she must need her space, but right now it's very hard to give. I don't like her telling me off or hanging up when I call, and I really don't like hearing how she's doing right now.

*JenJen* October 31st, 2013 09:17 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I know you mentioned that your DIL had asked your son not to tell you- she might be pretty angry and upset and ashamed that you know now. She's grieving this loss- which is not just an early miscarriage, but a later loss. She's grieving the loss of her privacy, and her ability to have people in the dark as to what she is going through and being able to pretend to be normal around them. Let her have her space. Don't call. If you want her to know you are there for her, send her a note- let her know that you care, that you are there if she wants to talk, but that you won't bring it up and will take your cues from her.

Unless you have dealt with going through fertility treatments and dealing with recurrent loss, you really cannot fathom just how much each loss can hurt and destroy parts of your soul. I know for me personally that as much as I love the support of family and friends, if I am not ready to deal with it, I'd flip. I don't answer the phone, I don't return texts, etc. when I am in my bubble and dealing with it. It takes time to come out of it, and a loss at the holidays is by far the hardest time of year for me- this is the season for families and dealing with empty arms is just another reminder that I fail at starting my own family and its my own **** fault.

*JenJen* October 31st, 2013 09:28 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
I'd like to suggest you read these posts by a friend of mine who is dealing with RPL, Primary and Secondary Infertility, and the full term stillbirth of her daughter. They might help you to understand a bit more:

Jump Over The Rainbow- It Won't Rain Forever!!: Those that know. And those that don't.

Jump Over The Rainbow- It Won't Rain Forever!!: Voyeurs

Rainbow Momma October 31st, 2013 10:18 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
You are def an awesome MIL! My own mother said some pretty nasty things like " Well, that solves that problem" (those words haunt me to this day).

But like the other gals said, just give her time and let her know you are there for her. It may be awhile, if at all, before she's ready to talk.

plan4fate October 31st, 2013 10:21 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
The hardest part about dealing with someone who's having losses is remembering it isn't about you. You are entitled to your feeling and emotions, afterall this is your grandbaby. But the pain isn't the same and having people poke in can be extremely difficult.

I do wish my family was more like you. I keep getting the Relax, it'll happen. Stop trying. None of which are helpful what so ever.

serena.j October 31st, 2013 11:37 AM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
So now the answer is to just leave her alone?

plan4fate October 31st, 2013 12:08 PM

Re: Daughter in law not handling multiple losses well.
Don't push her. You made contact to let her know you want to talk when she's ready. Leave it at that. If you call, don't mention the baby or ttc. Pushing her might send her further away and might cause trouble between her and your son (I've def seen it happen).

Offer to your son, to buy a Christmas ornament for the babies they've lost. Leave the decision up to them however. You can certainly buy an angel for your own tree though.. I wish my mom would.

She may feel that she's a failure and letting everyone down. Seriously the feelings of inadequacy that we deal with truly suck and unless you've had a couple of miscarriages you just don't get it. I say this because I have very close friends who've had stillbirths... and you know what? My 14 miscarriages don't give me any experience at all as to what they are feeling. I have a friend, every time she comforts me tells me she's sorry.. and that she cannot imagine how i'm feeling.

Lash (the writer of the blog posts Jen shared) wrote a lot of REALLY thought provoking articles after her daughter's stillbirth last year. I haven't checked out the links Jen posted but I hope one of them is the circles of grief.

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