Timing is a funny thing. Just the other day, I read this post hot-forks-sharp-knives-and-rusty-nails over at Leah's blog My Dusty Ovaries and thought to myself "wow, I know exactly how she feels." But then I got some news that very night that really revealed the sorry state of my emotional health.
But first, some background. For at least the past year, prior to every family get together with my husband's family, I've spent a ridiculous amount of time worrying about whether my husband's brother and his wife will be announcing they are pregnant with baby #2 (they have a 2 year old) and how I will handle it. No one ever told me they were trying, but I had a feeling it wouldn't be long. Once again, my husband's entire family will be together for a few days around the 4th of July. Having JUST received confirmation that IVF #4 was a failure (yesterday, only one day before the big get together), I, of course, began worrying about the possibility of hearing "happy news" from the in-laws. But last night my husband told me something that I wasn't anticipating. It turns out I was right that they are trying for #2, but it also turns out that my sister-in-law just had a miscarriage. I don't know much about the circumstances, expect that it was very early and apparently they're "doing just fine".
The thing with which I'm struggling is that I can't seem to muster even a little bit of sympathy. I'm so wrapped up in my own problems that I truly have nothing left for anyone else. My poor husband did not relish delivering this news and I didn't disappoint. All I could think about was that I could not handle having to listen to any discussion of their miscarriage and that having to deal with everyone's sympathy for my SIL would push me completely over the edge. There are 2 main reasons for my thinking about this. One, my SIL is a bit of a prima donna, and, despite the fact that she went to business school and had quite the high powered job for awhile, at the best of times my BIL and much of the family treat her like she's made of glass. Second, while they have clearly told the entire family about their miscarriage, my husband refuses to tell anyone but his parents about our struggles. Now, do I think they don't deserve everyone's sympathy, including my own? No, they do deserve it, but I can't provide it right now. In fact, one of my first thoughts when I heard was "hell, at least they can get pregnant without major medical intervention!" Nor can I sit around and listen to everyone be ultra nice and sympathetic to her, while I have to pretend that I'm fine, when I am most decidedly NOT FINE! I'm so NOT FINE that I can't even come up with any decent words to describe how absolutely f*cking horrible I feel.
My husband drove with our daughter to his parents this morning, while I worked. The plan was that I would follow after work. I spoke to my husband on my way down this evening and according to him everything is fine there. I'm pretty sure that he understood what I was asking and that was his way of saying don't worry it's not a topic of conversation. Nevertheless, I have ZERO desire to go spend time with his family. They're not a bad bunch, but frankly, I find my MIL increasingly annoying (I'm sure it has nothing to do with my own sour mood over the past year!) and his brother and SIL have always annoyed me. Oh, and my SIL's sister, who is visiting from Japan for a year and whom I don't know at all, is there too. I do not want to make small talk and I do not want to pretend that I'm fine.
Luckily, I got a temporary reprieve from it all. And, not only did my husband endorse it, but he suggested it! (Thank goodness he understands!) Instead of driving to the in-law's house, I drove to my parent's house (all of 15 minutes from my in-laws). So, tonight I'm staying at my parent's, and I got a bonus of getting to spend some time with my sister (who is also in town with her family for the holiday). Tomorrow I'll have to face the music and head over, but at least I'll have gotten an extra 12 hours of coping with the latest bad news under my belt before having to put on a fake smile and playing nice.
Am I proud of how I feel? No. But, I will not beat myself up over it, because I already have enough reasons to feel lousy.