When I was young - about primary school age, I think - I was prone to the same unsociable habits as any other child my age, and I came in for the same amount of scolding from the adults around me. "Bea!" they would say. "Stop whining/annoying your playmate/picking your nose!" But my mother always took a different tack. She would take me aside and, looking stern but patient, pose the following question: "Is there any reason you're doing that?" And I would usually pause uncertainly, caught off-guard by being made to analyse the basis of my actions, sometimes causing my mother to prompt ("Is your nose itchy? Runny? Sore?"), but inevitably I would come up with some excuse, whereupon my mother would explain why the solution I'd come up with wasn't an acceptable one, suggest a list of suitable alternatives, and close with a warning about what type of punishment I could expect were I to repeat my behaviour now I knew better.

On Tuesday I phoned my mother about the fact I hadn't heard from her since I wrote to her about our loss. "I sent you an email on Saturday," I began.

"Yes," she admitted reluctantly.

Then I heard my mother's voice from my own lips, stern but patient, saying, "Is there any reason you haven't contacted us since?"

The plain truth is my family is bad at these things. But I learnt that lesson a long time ago so there's no need to rehash it all again. Really, my mother's only following in the footsteps of the woman who raised her. It's funny how life reminds us we're our mother's daughter, after all.

Little Sister emailed Mr Bea to check on me. She said my mother is distressed to the point of threatening to buy a plane ticket and come over, apologised for having read the password-protected blog uninvitedly, but assured us it's for the best as it's allowing her to give wise counsel on the appropriate things to say and do. To think, I didn't tell her because I'm the Big Sister. The Little Mother. How hard it is to reshape the mould.

Shortly after I published this post, a bunch of flowers arrived at the door from my family.


Anna said...

It's really hard to break old patterns of behavior. I'm sorry you have to deal with this!

serenity said...

Funny how we turn into people like our mothers.

I am glad that you forced the issue; it's the only way to make people be aware that we need their support in situations like this.

I've been pondering this, Bea - I know it's unsolicited assvice, and I'm sure you've thought of it - but have you considered the possibility that the early pregnancy development issues might be due to a problem with the embryos, not you? I have been doing a lot of research on OHSS and its effect on embryos, and even with excellent thaw rates, I've heard that the high estrogen levels at some level compromise the embryos. And since you're working from the same fresh cycle batch, it could be something you might be able to change by doing another fresh cycle.

It's something to consider as you search for answers, I suppose.

*hug* I am thinking of you.

Piccinigirl said...

Oh Bea, you made me cry this morning. Which isn't so bad really..
I know that I've wrote before about how I felt about my mom's indifference in the beginning and then her acceptance and help now and it was very hard for me to understand why should wouldn't come on this journey with me at the beginning and why she couldn't empathize with me at all. Now that she does, I have come to be more optimistic about our IF (and even though I am ashamed to say it wasn't Mr Kir that made me "believe") because she is on my side/our side.
So I understand, because even know she still doesn't know quite what to say, what to ask, how to be. She wants it so desperately FOR ME, (just as I suspect your mom does) that it behooves her to keep up the "good conversations".

as for Little sister, it's another place where I feel what's you're feeling. MY sister being younger and brother too, I grew up being the mom to both of them and I hate to tell them "bad things" but I have found in each of them (as you have) that level of concern can be given to us and our situation and they too, CAN take care of me instead of the other way around.
I am happy that Little Sister is doing that for you.

I can't tell you how sorry I am about how what is happening to you, but many love you, even when that love is given in a weird way.


Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I agree with Serenity. It's good that your forced the issue with your mother. Your family needs to know how important it is that you have their support. It's nice that she is trying to make up for hurting you with the flowers. Please know that I am thinking of you.

Jess said...

Yep. I agree with all the others. Glad that you forced the issue a bit. It's hard for people to show compassion sometimes even if they FEEL it, but it's good to point out that, even if it's hard, it's something people SHOULD DO.

I'm glad they sent flowers. I'm glad you're at least getting a little support now. :)

The Momcaster said...

i'm so glad to hear your family's slowly starting to "get it". and the flowers were an incredibly sweet gesture. as they come to understand IF better you'll have strength in numbers. take care and rest well.

Watson said...


I'm so sorry you're going through all of this, but I'm relieved your family can better support you now.

Thinking of you, dear...

TeamWinks said...

There's no doubt I'm my mother's duaghter. I'm not complaining though. We are enough different that it works out.

Flowers? That was very sweet of them....better late than never.

Anonymous said...

Bea I'm so sorry about everything.
I used to feel my family didn;t understand. Then one day my MIL sat and cried with me - it was the most helpful thing anyone ever did for me.
I appreciate as someone who has made it 'to the other side' I may not be someone you'd want to be in contact with but if you do ever feel like someone to chat to in Sing let me know- I'd be happy to meet for a coffee. I have made it to the other side but after many years, treatment cycles and miscarriages. Understand important no DC or bumps in sight- but can definitely manage that.

The Town Criers said...

It's always nice when the flowers come after the fact and much better than the alternative--to force the issue and still receive no response. I'm sorry you needed to force the issue in order to get the comfort. And I'm sorrier still that you need this comfort in the first place. Sending a hug, Bea.

Bea said...

K - I have no contact info for you - want to email me at infertilefantasies (at) gmail (dot) com?


thirdtimelucky said...

Just here to say I'm sorry about how things worked out. I've been away for a week or so and missed this.

Thinking about you.


Pamela Jeanne said...

Glad to hear that you're working through the communication awkwardness with your family. For years I kept the pain private -- partly because I wanted to think that my husband and I could handle it on our own. When it became clear that IF went far beyond the medical intervention and I could no longer compartmentalize it I felt I had to step forward and talk about it with my family. It was extremely difficult for all the obvious reasons, but we now understand each other much better...

Jason and Samantha said...

(hugs) Glad to hear you forced the issue as well, people just don't get how hard this infertility stuff really is. (hugs) Good for you, you should be proud.

Baby Blues said...

I'm sorry. I have tried to reach out to family for help too but didn't get the reaction I was expecting. As much as they want to be there for us, sometimes they just don't know how.

Bumble said...

So happy everything's sorted out now with your family. So sweet about the flowers, that brought a tear or two to my eye! I hope you're doing okay... x

megan said...

families and communication issues have to be one of the most troublesome roads to navigate. i'm glad you spoke up for what you needed and that your family is coming around.

GLouise said...

I am glad you received the flowers...I hope your family will step forward to support you.

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