Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Sister-in-Law Situation

Don’t panic, Jan, don’t panic.

My sister-in-law sent me a text before Thanksgiving. She asked if I could share some NFP resources with her. As soon as I saw it, I knew what it meant. She is going to try to have another baby.

She and her then boyfriend, now husband, had the first and still only grandchild in Husband's family when she was 20. It was not easy when SIL was got pregnant, for anyone involved. She wasn’t married, and had “run off” with her boyfriend in the middle of her senior year of high school, leaving letters saying she didn’t want to be part of the family anymore. Husband’s family was wounded deeply, and when she announced that she was pregnant, they all had a very difficult time dealing with it. They have been working on healing their relationship ever since.

Husband and I weren’t married at the time, but I was definitely angry and jealous. Husband and I were a foregone conclusion, and I was supposed to have the first grandchild. I knew that my being upset was selfish—it’s not like SIL wanted to get pregnant then either, though she never admitted it. You know, I think it might have hurt everyone a little more that she never acknowledged that it wasn’t part of her life plan, but maybe she’s better at rolling with the punches than the rest of us. It’s probably going to be one of those lifetime issues that we all carry around, people wanting apologies for something that doesn’t really require an apology to us in the first place.

Issues aside, we’re all in love with our nephew. He’s 4 and half years old now! I can’t even believe it. Husband and I love when we get to spend time with him. It feels special to get called “Aunt” and hear Husband called “Uncle,” to have a little hand reach up to hold mine at the zoo, to watch him grow and learn. Being with him confirms for me that I want to be a mom.

Even though I didn’t have the first grandchild, I thought for sure I’d have the second. For sure. SIL would say that she wasn’t sure she wanted to have another child, but it certainly wouldn’t be until Nephew was 5. She’s been using an IUD for years. But, here we are almost 16 months later, and after I emailed some suggestions to SIL and offered to talk if she needed to, she wrote back and said that she and her husband are planning to have a baby next year, but the IUD needs to be out for 3 months before they start trying. She figures that charting will help her avoid pregnancy until that time period is over.

Maybe I’m being really pessimistic, but it’s practically official. I will not have the second grandchild. 


  1. I'm so sorry! It's so frustrating, and almost panicky, knowing that fertiles are actively trying. My resolution, I decided a couple of days ago, is that I will assume at all times that every woman I know and encounter is pregnant. That way, it won't bother me. I'll see how that works. Praying for you.

  2. I am so sorry. Sigh. So many thoughts here that I am not sure how to express. :) Just know you're not alone in watching situations like this develop.

  3. Oh no! I'm so very sorry to hear this.
    I thought hubby and I would have the first grandchild too. We were married first on both sides of the family. I'd planned it, just like you did and it hurts on belief that it didn't happen.
    Your statement: "It’s probably going to be one of those lifetime issues that we all carry around, people wanting apologies for something that doesn’t really require an apology to us in the first place." Yes. Exactly. That's exactly how I feel. I'm waiting for something that will never happen. But I still expect one. I don't know why. An acknowledgement from them would go a long way.
    Please know that I'll be praying for you.