In-law's

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I can't figure out my in-laws' response to our baby.

In a nutshell, it is SO reserved.

Maybe comparing them to my family is a little unfair, what with all our crazy shows of emotion with regard to anything that is happening, especially a baby we have prayed for for 3+ years.

And they have always been on the more stoic side, but I was hoping for a tad more show of excitement. At least from my MIL (who does know that we have been trying for a long time). At this point, it seems like my BIL's are more interested in the baby and asking me how I'm doing!! (Which is sweet, because they are definitely manly men who do not talk about touchy-feely stuff.)

I sent out a weekly update about what is going on with the baby at 9 weeks (still unbelievable we are here!) to our families- right from the beginning I'd asked everyone if they'd like to be included, and MIL wrote back "Absolutely!", so I thought that she would be a very doting grandma-to-be.

All she wrote back this morning was "So what names are you thinking about?".

Not, "that is so cool!" or "won't it be great to hear the heartbeat with the doppler?" or "have you gone shopping for maternity clothes yet?".

Plus, I am terrified to discuss names with them because it is going to be hard enough to agree on a boy and girl name between Mr. A and I, much less have people discussing it and weighing in once we tell them our favorites!!! They are pretty opinionated folks (behind closed doors), and the thought of telling them the names we are considering (Christian and traditional, but not "popular") makes me nervous.

I think my expectations of how she would respond are based in the history we have: she was pretty involved with our wedding planning because we lived in their city up until 3 years ago, while my mom is several states away. It was really fun to go shopping with her or put together goodie bags....

Maybe if we still lived in their city it would be different. Maybe they are worried that it is still early. Maybe I should just be grateful that she wanted to receive an email from me each week at all; maybe this is just a pregnancy-after-infertility expectation that needs a dose of reality.

15 comments:

Neamorfnost said...

I haven't commented on any of your posts but have been following you for a while now. Just wanted to say that i am really happy for you as i have been in the same situation. And actually even my inlaws are acting the same way, so i would just advise to relax and not to pay too much attention to what the have (or have not) to say. Works for me :-)

Bridget said...

I'm sorry A, I wish they were a little more excited. What does hubby have to say about their reaction?

eggsandsperm.com said...

I can understand that you want her to be more excited, but she might just be getting used to the news. You were trying for so long, maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet.

She will get excited and in the meantime, don't worry about other people--just enjoy this moment and savour it!

Praying for Hope said...

It might take awhile to sink in. We thought my MIL would be the most enthused when we announced the news, but, well, she wasn't. But she's certainly enthused now that her grandchild is here and ready to be doted upon. This is probaby my selfish side speaking, but I enjoyed the lack of involvement before the LO was born since the involvement after she arrived was overwhelming at points.

Mommy-In-Waiting said...

I think you have it righ with her being reserved since it is early in the pregnancy and she knows what it took to get here. Chances are, as the pregnancy progresses, she will show more emotion and become more involved. Congrats on getting to nine weeks! Hope you are feeling well!

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I bet it is just because it is early and hasn't sunk in yet. She'll probably get there as the pregnancy moves along and you start planning & buying things. We haven't solidified a name, but we aren't planning on telling the name until the baby is born. Partially to avoid commentary and opinions.

Melissa said...

My MIL was the same way. It didn't really "sink in" until I started showing and then she started being more interested. Weird, but she was so cautious in the beginning.

However, she later mentioned how odd it was that her baby {my DH} was having a baby. And well, she was just "all full of emotion" but didn't know how to display it.

Maybe she's in shock? lol

and yeah - I agree with Bridget, what does your DH have to say about this?

Suzanne said...

Our philosophy about naming was that we would only know for sure about the name once we met our baby, so we finessed the name discussion by having three or four "top" choices that we shared publicly. Although my husband and I were pretty sure that we knew which name was our first pick, we told friends and family that we would make a final name choice once our baby was born. Having several other names that we also liked and could share as legit contenders made it easier to not get into name dramas with anyone.

Is there any chance that your MIL ever had an early pregnancy loss? Especially since she knows about your journey to get to this point, she could be holding back until you've made it to the second trimester. Just a thought...

Congrats on your excellent progress - you and Baby A remain in my prayers!

Coco said...

That's so hard. After all your work and struggles. I wonder if she just doesn't know how to react. You know, kind of the same thing about infertility, people don't know how to respond, maybe she's worried about saying or doing the wrong thing. I don't know. But it stinks. And I don't think you're over reacting. Hopefully she'll warm up with a little time.

With the name situation, I wouldn't tell anyone the names you are considering until you have decided on one. Too many people with too many opinions. This should be your decision as a couple. No one else should be able to weigh in. I'm glad we had decided on my son's name before telling anyone cause my dad HATED my son's name for a long time. But it's the perfect name for him. We also go with Christian, more traditional names. So we got his name from one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Still, it's nothing super strange. Hope you're feeling well!

nurslouisa said...

Definately, definately stay away from the name options with the in laws, the biggest fights I had leading up to the birth of my son with my husband was over the name. And the reason we fought was because the in laws were pushing for certain names.

Baby Hopes said...

I'm sorry they're not more excited for you. :( That's disappointing, but I do think you're taking a very generous perspective. Who knows what their reasons may be. This is helping me to re-evaluate some of the reactions from my sister, so thank you!

Suzanne said...

Just another random thought on your MIL's response - it might just be a generational thing. I found that some of my older relatives (aunts and such) were way more reserved about our pregnancy news than friends and family in our own generation. Clearly happy for us, but not nearly as obviously excited... Might be what's happening in your case as well.

AL said...

I'm sure she's very, very excited but just doesn't know how to be involved in the pregnancy appropriately?

And on names - I wouldn't share either! Let the decision be between you and your husband!

Mrs. Lydon said...

I felt the same way when we got pregnant. I think because we as infertiles have been dreaming of sharing a pregnancy with our family and friends for so long we have also been dreaming of their reactions for that long as well. I dont know if they could ever react well enough for my dreams personally. You are so beyond elated about this (as you should be) only another infertile could really understand and have the right reaction...stay excited and dont let anyone elses involvment or uninvolvement or little reaction damper your light right now. Just take them for what they are and you will avoid being sad about it.

Jennifer said...

So sorry your MIL doesn't seem more excited. As for names...don't share unless you want lots of advice and comments! We didn't tell my in-laws our names because they are so opinionated. When my sister in law had her last, eight years ago, my MIL hated the name and made no attempt to hide it. We decided not to tell them ahead of time because we loved our name and we knew they wouldn't say anything after we adopted and had the baby named. And although they may not love the name Ellie, they haven't said anything about it.
So excited for you!! Wish I had time to comment more...although I am reading all your posts!