March 1, 2007 at 6:56 pm #2087
Haven’t been on the site in a while. We have just learned we’re expecting #6, I saw the heart beat this week! Thought we were finished….Dr. thinks I double ovulated…and there were just no signs of it….conception occurred 8 days before period was due. The thing is, I’m turning 42, and everyone (except my parents/brother) is thrilled, even kind of laughing, well with us and at us, but in a kind way. The thing is, i let my oldest daughter (15) go spend the week down south with my parents this week (vacation week) and I told them the news this week. They were shocked, negative, and have made some very inappropriate and hurtful comments to my daughter, like I should get my tubes tied, and I’m too old, and my husband’s family makes me think it’s good to have lots of children. I am so hurt! My parents joined the church 15 years ago, and although I can’t say they have embraced it the way I have (I converted 25 years ago), I have always taken joy in sharing the faith with them, and even made them godparents to our 2nd child. I love them and I thought we had close and loving relationship, so this makes it all the more hurtful. I do not want to confront them about what they’ve said until after my daughter returns, because I know they’ll tell her she should have kept quiet. My father is a recovered alcoholic (16 years) and they still have a lot of the old communication dysfunctions and issues related to that whole life.
Anyway, do you think I should just chock it all up to ignorance and let it go? My instinct is to protect my daughter, and I’m just appauled that they would verbalize these things in her presence. I just want to lash out in anger verbally and tell them to kiss my advanced maternal-aged you-know-what! Just kidding. But I really do need to vent this anger. If I go to confession now, I know it’s too soon for me to be over it, and I’ll just blubber to the poor priest, but I am not ready to forgive 100%.
Any advice would be so helpful. Has anyone else had this experience?March 2, 2007 at 1:10 am #3350
Congratulations on your new baby. I pray that you will have a happy and healthy pregnancy and delivery.
I have a friend who is also 42 and expecting her 5th. So you certainly aren’t the only one out there.
As for your daughter. Have you asked her how she feels being in a house where her parents are being belittled, insulted and their decisions maligned? I was in a similar position when I was 12. I was visiting my grandmother and her husband, who are not Catholic, and they started making what they thought were innocent jokes about Catholicism and priests and nuns etc. I was VERY uncomfortable because I didn’t agree with what they were saying, but I was too young to know how to articulate my thoughts and feelings about the matter. My parents had always told me that if I was ever in a place that I want to leave, all I had to do was call them and they would come and get me, no matter what time or where it was, with no questions asked. None of us expected that it would be my grandmothers house that I wanted to leave.
My grandmother and her husband didn’t understand and were quite hurt, but that is beside the point. The point is that MY PARENTS defended ME, not them, ME. Their daughter. They took my side, with no questions, because their primary responsibility was to ME. And believe me, this has caused problems in the family and only in the last few years has it started to be forgotten.
Your daughter shouldn’t be expected to defend your actions, nor should she be put in that position. Your parents are behaving inappropriately, and I would bring my daughter home if I were you. She may have told you the things they said hoping that you would bring her home. You should absolutely listen to your instincts and bring her home. And instead of being hurt that your parents aren’t more supportive of you, I would get angry and protective that someone, anyone, is being inappropriate with MY CHILD.
When my parents came to take my home, it built an unbreakable chain of trust between us. I can’t tell you how important it was to me, as a child, to know that my parents would fight for me, and protect me. And I knew that this would make things really difficult for my mother. I knew that she and my grandmother didn’t have the best of relationships. I knew that by doing this thing for me, she would get angry phone calls from my grandmother, her husband, my aunts. And that if gramma weren’t yelling on the phone at my mother, she would be crying at my mother about how mean I was. But that’s the thing. My parents stood up and stood between me and all of that, because I was too young, and shouldn’t have been put in that situation in the first place.
Good Luck, you have my prayers.
dom-mommyMarch 2, 2007 at 3:16 pm #3351
Thanks for your prayers. A few things come to mind. Firstly, she’s 1,000 miles away and due to weather I couldn’t fly her home today even if I wanted to, plus she comes home tomorrow. Secondly, she’s like her father, in that she’s an excellent communicator and handles conflict so well….far better than I do! She can hold her own…she’s got no problem saying “I think it’s inappropriate for you to say that.” Of course, they will probably think she’s being “like her father,” but that’s ok. Also, I do have a very close relationship with my parents that has taken years to get to this point, thanks to counseling, some good confessions, lots of prayer, healing, and the setting of boundaries on my part. I guess this just kind of knocked my wind out a bit, because I thought we’d moved beyond this type of thing. They say it’s because they are concerned for my health, and worried about my well being, and being able to care for my family. I do have an extremely busy life, hectic at times, and my last pregnancy was hard to get through and took a year for me to bounce back…that was at 39. But those of us who have been through this many times know that God gives us what we need to get through it, and that trust is the key. My mother has a lot of faith, but I think deep down she has a lot of difficulty with trust.
It is what it is! That’s my attitude. It will take some time for me to get over the sting of it, but ultimately, I know God calls me to rise above their ignorance and use it as a learning experience. Everything is for His glory, and I can only pray that out of all of this, some good will come for the sake of their souls.March 2, 2007 at 4:20 pm #3352
Here’s to all the “old” mommys of the world–the only people who can fit bifocals and binkies into the same conversation!
I am 44 with a three year old and a nine year old. After years of miscarriages and disappointment, my husband and I were blessed with a second bundle of mischief and I am loving every minute, but I have to say that the pregnancy was not happy.
Since we suffered 9 previous miscarriages, my husband and I had given up trying to have another child. We were deeply hurt and resentful and had made the decision to use birth control, something we had pondered for a long time. We were extremely skeptical of this pregnancy and even angry with God that He would play such a dirty trick and give us yet another child to love and lose so soon. I was convinced I would lose her and wouldn’t allow myself to even look at her on the ultrasound. We never announced this to anyone–not even our families, even though I was becoming increasingly round. Once my mother said, “Do you have some news for me?” I simply answered “No” and gave her a distinct look that told her not to press me.
Then at about the 19th week, I went into labor and was put on bed-rest. Bed rest with a five year old to take care of! Now everyone would know–family, friends… I had to tell my mother and mother-in-law and I braced myself for their judgements. Even though they didn’t verbalize it, their faces told me everything. I was sure they judged me. I felt foolish in front of my friends who were looking at college brochures with their daughters and I had one in kindergarten and one fragile one in the oven.
What had I done? I cursed myself for putting my career ahead of starting a family for so long…I cursed the Church for her teachings against birth control…and I avoided thinking about the baby growing inside of me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want this child–I wanted her more than anything and was sure I would be betrayed again…I resolved not to fall in love.
At the same time, my baby sister was pregnant at 28. She had just gotten married and became pregnant on her honeymoon. It seemed so unfair to me that she should be given this gift so easily, without any pain or loss. My initiation to motherhood seemed so much more cruel. While she prepared a nursery with attention from family and friends, I prepared for the worst alone and sank further into despair, sure that I was disfavored by God.
One day, about the 32nd week, the doctor told me I would be allowed to take a “field trip” escorted to the movies or to dinner for a few hours. My husband invited me to a restaurant and bought me a new maternity dress (I had not even been wearing maternity clothes!) . I decided that he, at least, should not suffer so I resolved to try my best to have a good time and dress up for the night.
As she so often does, my 5 year old daughter sat on the edge of the tub while I ritually put on my makeup and did my hair in just my slip. She knew she was going to be a big sister, and perceptive as children are, knew not to ask me about it. But this evening, she just had to ask “Mommy, is that my sissie’s foot?”
I stopped and looked at her dumfounded. She touched my big belly and repeated “My sister’s foot is sticking out.” I looked down and just above my navel was a perfect little foot pushing aginst my taught belly bump. I pushed on it and it pushed back with equal force. I pushed again and it moved a little and then another appeared on the other side of my navel. I went to the mirror–what an absurd sight. I had never seen anything like it…and I had looked at a lot of pregnant bellies in envy over the years! There I was–a big, round belly with two perfectly formed feet sticking out on either side of my navel!
I finished dressing in my new silky maternity dress, wrapped up in a warm shawl since my coats no longer fit and headed out. At the restaurant, we were seated by the cozy fire–very romantic–but like inferno for a pregnant woman and so I removed my wrap and it slipped to the floor. My husband stood to retrieve it, but the waiter was there first and handed it to me. He stopped and stared. “Wow!” he said, “That is incredible, I can see it’s feet…that is amazing…my wife and I just found out…wow…” He couldn’t look away.
My husband came over to investigate and saw his child’s two feet, perfectly outlined. He stared, unable to move. I glanced to the table next to me and an older couple were talking quietly, pointing and laughing. The woman said, “We just came back from California visiting our 12th grandchild. He’s two months old. Smiles all the time.”
By now, a small community of nearby diners had formed oohing and ahhing over this tiny apparition that was manifested on my belly. The waiter was viewing photos of the new grandchild and a very young couple on our other side were lamenting to my husband that no matter how they tried, date-night conversation always turned to their twins at home.
My face was red-hot and I felt panicy. Without anyone noticing, (a miracle itself since I was so big and clumsy) I slipped into the ladie’s room and slumped to the floor crying. I cried fo a long time, until there was nothing left. There was nothing left except to laugh. I held onto one of those little feet and stroked the other.
And then I realized the obvoius thing that I had truly known all along. A child, born or unborn, is not really a gift to me. His or her life is a gift of course, but it is not given to me like a birthday present or the maternity dress my husband bought.
The gift of life is given to the child from God. This is her life already, apart from me. I cannot hide her even in my own belly. This life growing inside me is God’s and her own from the beginning and I have the sole puprpose of bearing it, with all it’s joy and all it’s pain for however long I am needed. But the gift is not mine.
This baby growing inside you is already here–already your child, your children’s youngest sibling, already your parent’s grandchild. And like it or not, they already have begun a relationship–rocky as it is–apart from you. Your parent’s are probably right at this moment beginning to reconcile and negotiate this relationship in their own hearts.
I don’t care how spiritually strong a woman is or how much she desperately wants to become a mother–there are always mixed emotions when it comes to pregnancy. And that is okay. How must Mary have felt! Unwed, betrothed and getting bigger by the minute. I doubt her family reacted with poise and grace and congratulations. They may have been ashamed of her. They may have feared for her life–an unwed mother could be stoned to death. It wasn’t until Joseph was visited by an angel that he accepted Mary’s pregnancy.
Maybe your own parents were expecting something different for you. Maybe they are worried about you–your finances, your health. Maybe they have trouble accepting that your life is your own just as every parent has trouble accepting that for their children. I wonder how Mary accepted Jesus’ role as teacher. I wonder if she always knew He would be sacrificed. How did she let go and let her child live His destiny?
My little three year old still opposes her mother at every step and probably always will and that is our relationship. She tests me and pushes back, and though in years to come that trait of hers may bring heartache and arguments, I can also admire in her a festiness and can remember that she stood up to me and shouted to the world “I am here and won’t be denied.”
You child is here and soon your parent’s won’t be able deny her or him. Things have a way of working themselves out. I promise to pray that God will turn their hearts.
In the meantime, take care of yourself. Ask for what you need–don’t be shy about it. Talk to your doctor about antepartum depression–a depression that occurs durring pregnancy and is 15 times more likely to occur in expectant mothers over 40. And tell your child in your womb about your parents–it may help you to understand them better.
Good Luck and many prayers…
EileenMarch 3, 2007 at 2:27 pm #3353
I don’t know that I can add maything more than has already been said… but I would definitely tell them you do no appreciate their comments or opinions, and especially for them to talk like that about you to your child is UNacceptable. It is none of their business how many children you have…they are not supporting you or the children… I do not have a relationship with my mother or stepfather…I could only take so many years of abuse from her. It’s a difficult thing, but I had to protect my children from the hurt she bestowed on me. When she made my then 3yr old cry last Easter, that was it.
Yes, we should honor our parents. But we do not have to allow them to abuse us or make us feel like dirt.
How sad for your parents that they can’t just accept the joy of another grandchild and realize just how blessed you all are.
Many prayers!March 4, 2007 at 2:18 am #3354
Its hard, we so desire approval from our parents. *hugs*March 4, 2007 at 4:23 am #3355
That was a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing it.March 16, 2007 at 10:51 pm #3356
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted comments and offered prayers. Through a well worded letter from the heart to my parents, and a great confession, I was able to free myself of all the heartache caused by the situation. My parents have profusely apologized numerous times, and they are calling me daily to ask “how’s my baby doing today?” They needed time to get over the shock, and i think the Lord taught them a lesson in trust and yes, even tact.
God’ mercy is so wonderful, and after my confession I was absolutely freed from all sorrow, anger, and negative feelings. His grace helped me through it. How sad for people in the world who try to solve marital, parenting, and family problems without the guidance of God’s love and mercy. No wonder we have such a messy world!
I am now 9 weeks and thoroughly sick, a good sign. Will be glad when this part passes!
Blessings to you all……March 17, 2007 at 12:25 am #3357
Congratulations! All babies/children are a blessing! Let their negative comments go in one ear and out the other. They must not know how to handle all the success and good fortune you and your husband have had through your children. I have a mother who is similar so I know how it can hurt. Hang in there.
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