Hi ladies, looking for a bit of advice of how to deal with my sister (mum of 4) who thinks she knows everything about being pregnant!
I'm 6 weeks pregnant with my first, conceived through IVF/ICSI. It has obviously taken a lot to get to this point, and I'm quite stressed about getting through the next 6 weeks and beyond safely.
My DH & I are living with my parents whilst our house is being built, and over the weekend my sister brought her kids to visit. Problem is, they've all been sick with a stomach virus all week - which is the last thing I need when I'm already dealing with nausea!
We were out when they arrived, but quickly stopped in so I could pee and we could pick up a couple of things. I popped my head into the room to say hello/goodbye and took off for the front door. My niece ran up and hugged me, I apologised to her and said I didn't want to hug because she's been sick.
My sister got really offended that I didn't want to stay and talk to her (she left a second hand skirt on my bed as a "present" which is quite worn and nothing like I would wear!). Later on she send me a message saying how much I'd hurt her and she's been pregnant 4 times so she knows the dangers of getting sick when pregnant, etc, etc.
Yes, I probably could have handled things better, but I was having an off day as it was, but this has really stressed me out and I feel that it's really insensitive of my sister to go on about how her feelings and how she's some sort of expert on pregnancy. Only one of her 4 kids was planned and it doesn't cost her $10k, multiple daily injections, medications and surgery just to have a CHANCE at getting pregnant! I'm being carefully medicated even now due to immune issues to make sure my body doesn't inadvertently attack the embryo - she just doesn't seem to understand that I don't want to take any chances.
It doesn't help either that my mum is backing her up on this and seems to think I'm over-reacting, "you're not the first woman in history to be pregnant you know" type of statements. Any ideas how I can deal with family members like this?? I might not be the first woman in the world to be pregnant, but it's the first time for me and they just don't seem to understand that an IVF pregnancy is much more complex than anything they've experienced
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12-08-2013 10:26 #1
First time pregnant - dealing with the "know-it-all" mothers?
12-08-2013 10:37 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
No real advice but a big congratulations and I hope your sister starts to understand soon.
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12-08-2013 10:39 #3
Unfortunately my advice is to brace yourself as the unsolicited advice will only come harder and faster once you are 'showing'.
In regards to those close to you (mum, sis etc) I would reply with exactly what you said at the end of your post...
"I do know I'm not the first pregnant woman, but it is my first time, and every pregnancy is different! You also may not realise the additional aspects involved in an IVF pregnancy"
Perhaps a bit of education on IVF pregnancy is worthwhile?
In regards to the the general public...friends, colleagues, strangers in the supermarket etc....
You just need to nod and smile, let them say their piece. File away the advice and either use it or discard it later....
When the baby comes they'll all be experts on how you should parent!
Also worth keeping in mind that most people offering advice are doing it because they really do feel they have some experience that can benefit you. They are often giving you the benefit of their own hind sight...
And you can always vent here! 😉
12-08-2013 10:58 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2012
that is quiet rude of your sister, my sister wont even let me visit her house if one of her kids are sick so that i don't get sick but i also do the same due to her newborn having CF i wont visit her if i am sick. If she truely understood the risks of you getting sick she should of stay away until kids are better or give you a heads up when she is visiting and let you know the kids are sick so you can go out. I have been lucky and not had too much non wanted advice just unwanted belly touching but that's a whole other thing lol, but i generally keep myself away from people anyways and only have to deal with people at work and i just do the whole "nod and smile" or when they start asking stuff so they can then give their 2 cents i just go as far as telling them "feeling tired a lot" there is no remedy for that in pregnancy lol . BTW Congrats on the pregnancy and fingers crossed everything goes smoothly .
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12-08-2013 11:26 #5
I just say "my FS said it was really important to do/not do x, y z and seeing as he's an expert in his field I'm going to take his advice". It's completely natural to be cautious in your situation. Paint on a fake smile and let their advice go in one ear and out of the other
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12-08-2013 11:29 #6
Thanks ladies, I really appreciate your feedback.
giggle berry, I definitely needed that reminder to "brace myself" for all the unsolicited advice which is bound to come my way. We all have stories and experiences to share, but it just seems ridiculous during pregnancy!
I better practice my nod and smile technique
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giggle berry (12-08-2013)
12-08-2013 11:37 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
I can understand why your sister is a little upset...but I can also really understand what you are going through as well.
I would talk to your sister...explain to her that you did not mean to offend her and that you would love to see her when they are all healthy. Let her know you are feeling a bit anxious and hope she can understand that as much as you know you are not the first woman to be pregnant, it is the first time you are pregnant and after the IVF it has left you feeling very vulnerable."
I know how it feels after IVF...it takes away a lot of our innocence and makes it hard to just relax and enjoy our pregnancies. It is hard for people who have not suffered losses or gone through IVF to understand...i didn't for my first (natural) pregnancy.
Tell your mum and your sister that you need their kindness atm...but also take a breath and know that all your feelings are heightened and try your best not to worry too much.
It is a tricky balance.
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12-08-2013 11:47 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2006
I agree with giggleberry, once you are further into your pregnancy, people will start telling you about labour, then it will be breasfeeding, then it will be about raising kids and the best way and best food etc etc.
12-08-2013 12:11 #9
Hi Arlais - I think this happens to every pregnant woman and the nod and smile advice will get you out of brief encounters with strangers who mean well, but with family, you might have to be gentle, yet also clear in how you feel. I think informing them about your condition is wise.
Has it been at least 48 hours since your sister's little ones have been ill? Stomach bugs can even stay in little ones bodies a lot longer than this too. A lot of people take them out as soon as they've stopped chucking which is wrong. (We have personally been at home for two weeks as someone put their child into care with it and DSs body can't get rid of it.) My SIL also did a similar thing, but with more children and brought the illness with them...and stayed. It only kept cycling around their family so our parents and my family stayed well - we had a newborn at the time. She also got offended that we were cleaning our hands regularly.
Some people who know you well will also have some great advice and recommendations. Listen to it, filter it, try some out, throw some out and see how you go. As you said every pregnancy is different, and so is every child and parents also have a particular style of parenting they like better over another. ie. routine vs demand is a big one.
Also, what is the 'norm' or a general thing may not work in every pregnancy or situation.
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12-08-2013 12:24 #10
I don't think a lot of people understand what us having to go through IVF have to endure not to mention the expense. People need to stop and think!
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