Hi everyone thanks for being lovely and supportive as always. Just wanted to get this off my chest. I see a lot of posts about the grief of miscarriage but nothing specific about unsupportive family. What has made my two miscarriages doubly painful has been the fact that my mother's response has been totally inappropriate both times. So not only does she not make me feel better but makes me feel much worse.
The first miscarriage was mid December last year. On 22nd I travelled to my parents house for Christmas, where I joined my two brothers and grandma. My parents were the only ones who knew, and we had kind of agreed that I would tell the rest of the family when I got there. But it just didn't happen on the first day.... Everyone was in a festive mood and party preparations were in full swing so there was never the right moment. My parents also acted as if it had never happened. If they had pulled me aside and said something like, 'can we make a space where you feel comfortable sharing this with everyone' I might have plucked up the courage. As it was, I felt like I couldn't say anything or I'd ruin the mood. My family aren't exactly good at sharing their emotions, and I was always raised to not communicate my emotions or emotional needs.
Anyway, two days went by and I had trouble keeping my shit together. On afternoon of 24th we were baking cookies and I must have been staring into space looking sad and my grandma's like 'what's wrong? You look so sad! Cheer up its Christmas!' and my mum said 'leave her be' but my grandma kept asking and I was going to cry so went upstairs to be alone. I cried for about an hour and just couldn't stop. Then my brother wanted to go for a walk and called up to me. I couldn't stop crying, and thought, this is ridiculous, I've just got to tell them. I agree that Christmas eve wasn't the best day, but I had no other choice.
So I came downstairs and saw my mother in the hallway (everyone else was in the living room) and said 'I'm going to tell them' and she said 'oh.... I don't think that's a good idea....' and I said 'sorry?! Why not?!' and she said 'well, it just might make them worried....' and I said 'worried about what?' and she said 'well there's the fact that you and your husband don't have your own place and he doesn't have a job...'
Basically my mother is a massive 'keeping up with the Joneses' type of person who cares way more about what she thinks people think about her and her family, than actually caring about her family's feelings. Like a year or so before this happened her sister's husband died and when she and her kids came for Christmas my mother just got obsessed that her house didn't look perfect because one of the sets of Christmas lights on the tree didn't work. Like, these people are grieving, they don't give a shit about your stupid lights!
So anyway her reasons for not wanting to tell my other family members about my miscarriage was basically because she had found my pregnancy inappropriate in the first place because my husband and I weren't in secure financial circumstances, plus she didn't want to spoil the 'mood' of Christmas.
So I snapped at her and said 'I cannot believe you just said that' and went into the living room and said 'you may have noticed that I've been a bit low recently, well I had a miscarriage'. And thankfully all the rest of my family are adorable and supportive and just got up one by one to hug me, say they were sorry, and that it would be OK. I felt so blessed to have actually caring family who know how to give emotional support. I tried to avoid my mother that holidays as much as possible. She never seemed to realise that her attitude was hurtful, let alone apologise.
Fast forward 10 months later and I had another miscarriage, again at 7 weeks. My mother has been staying for a week, she's here another week. I came home from work sobbing and told her, she hugged me and said she loved me. I do know that she loves me really, she's just really crap at showing it. But then after the hug she immediately started asking loads of intrusive factual questions like 'are you going to see a doctor? I really think you need to see a doctor, and a fertility specialist... There are treatments you know, I mean I had my tubes unblocked to have you...' She meant well but it just wasn't the right thing to say. I just went to my room.
Hours later I came out and the first thing she says is ' you know, this is way more common than you think' which is again one of the least helpful things you can say to someone. And bear in mind that my mother lost a baby at 14 weeks and was clinically depressed for 9 months afterwards so you think she would have some empathy. I just said 'just don't say anything more'. What made me feel even worse was that she has literally done nothing in 2 days to take care of me, like I had to fix my own supper, so with blood gushing out my uterus soaking a maxi pad in an hour plus tears streaming down my face, I make myself a cheese omelette while she sits on the couch scrolling on her phone. I ate in silence and then went back to my room.
Then today she went out all day with her friends, which I totally don't mind obviously, but later started asking loads of intrusive questions about the doctor's appointment, including did they do an internal exam 'because that's needed to see if there's something wrong with your uterus'. I also have vaginismus, which she knows about, which means getting pregnant is bloody difficult as it is and internal exams are extremely traumatising, and clearly the last thing I want to think about. Again no emotional support or just basic TLC, like no offering to make me a cup of tea or hot chocolate, or bringing me anything to eat, like I'm not asking for anything elaborate but even some toast would be a kind gesture. Luckily I bought a frozen pizza on the way home from the doctor's which is what I'll eat this evening, while she looks at her phone again.
I really hope that I don't sound like a horrible demanding selfish bitch but I swear if this were happening to my sister daughter or even friend I would be more supportive than my mother is being. Like last time, a friend of mine who literally lives in another city cooked me a broth and my husband picked it up for me (my darling husband is traveling for work unfortunately which is why he hasn't featured in this story). He says I shouldn't be hard on my mother, and I just have to accept that she's crap at being supportive, and not hold it against her. I don't, really, but it still hurts and shocks me that she can be so clueless, and wanted to share in case anyone has similar stories..... I am trying to see the bright side, like I have learned from my experience how to treat someone who's having a miscarriage and how NOT to treat them...
Thanks for listening