to feel jealous of sister-in-law's IVF success when I have my own dd's?

(145 Posts)
pheobepp Sat 10-Nov-12 21:30:20

I have two dd's. Both were conceived quickly and although pregnancy was hard, all is now good. Second dd is 5 weeks. Since before I became pregnant with first dd, my sister and her husband have been trying to become pregnant. Their first three rounds of IVF conicided with my pregnancies. They failed. I have just heard that their fourth attempt has been successful and sister is pregnant.

What I can't understand is my reaction. When I heard the news, I felt jealous and sad, even though I know that they will make wonderful parents and I have two beautiful dd's myself. The topic of their infertility has dominated all conversations for the past couple of years. My own Mum especially has talked about their struggle constantly. My sister hi-jacks conversations, unintentially, that I have with my parents and the topic of conversation always comes back to her - "when I have a child I will..." I admire her positive outlook because it has been a hard and gruelling couple of years but I feel that my own wonderful children have been overlooked because the focus has been on the negatives of their problems, rather than the positives of my experience. My Mum, even when she came to see my second dd for the first time, could only talk about sister's current round of IVF and did not stay for a long time as had to take sister to a medical appointment.

I am ashamed of my resonse. It is childish and petulant but I can not help feeling resentful. I feel that my own wonderful children have been overlooked and that sister's baby will be the "golden child." My parents funded their fourth round of IVF while my husband and I are struggling with decreased wages and high child care costs. I know that if the roles had been reversed, my mum would have done the same for me but I am dreading the next nine months as all I will ever, ever hear are pregnancy tales about my sister. I have heard it for years when I am with my Mum by herself, when we are all together as a family, and the only time I get respite from it is when I speak to my Dad because he is a typical man and doesn't pay attention to anything concerned with reproduction!!

Do you think I could still be suffering from baby blues from second dd's birth that is making me extra sensitive? I can't bear the thought of my sister's high maintenance pregnancy, but know she is just ecstatic to be pregnant. I am so, so pleased for her but when I think about the imediate future I feel sad and then I feel mad at myself for not truly sharing in their joy.

Congratulations on becoming hopefully becoming an Auntie.

Pedallleur Sat 10-Nov-12 21:37:53

You have it all (2 x children, easily conceived and apparently healthy) and your sister had nothing and had to resort to expensive medical assistance that took 4 x attempts to work. Your parents will love all their grandchildren equally yet all the attention is being taken away from you it seems. Imagine how your sister felt watching you conceive and hearing 'pregnancy tales' about her sisterSo yes yabu

Marzipanface Sat 10-Nov-12 21:41:03

Sounds like you are having a lot of very complicated feelings and I am betting there is more to it than 'jealousy'. It is still very soon after the birth of your second dd. I am pretty sure that hormones and blues will still be affecting you. I was murderous about all sorts of bizarre stuff for at least a few months after I had given birth.

I suspect it is pretty anti-climatic news for you in a way. You've all been waiting for this news so long and now it has arrived. Your sister is about to start on the beginning of this journey whereas you are still recovering from the trauma of your own child's birth. Give it time, say the right things, soon you will start to feel more up to engaging with your sister's pregnancy.

If it does become really unbearable, you can always come on here to chat!

gowithflow Sat 10-Nov-12 21:41:10

I think your feelings are very natural. Every new mother wants their own children to be the focus of other's love and attention, especially when they are very little and new. Even if you conceive quickly, pregnancy and becoming a mother are hard work and support from family is welcome. Your mother and sister probably do not realise they are talking of this so often, and are actually possibly trying to involve you and get your advice because you have just had your own.

Maybe have a quiet word now sister is pregnant? It will probably not come across as insensitive, as it may have done if you had said something while she was trying. At least you are aware of your reaction and know it may have to do with dd being so young and little!

Tweasels Sat 10-Nov-12 21:42:51

People will talk about it assuming you don't feel the way you do. It's not intentional, just human.

Making massive assumptions here but 5 weeks post birth you'll most likely be hormonal/exhausted don't know your arse from your elbow kind of thing.

YABU but excused for being so.

Softlysoftly Sat 10-Nov-12 21:44:10

Right you know it's illogical but emotions arent so easily controlled so yanbu to feel as you feel. YWBU not to fight it!

When I was pg with DD2 I was jealous of my own baby I felt that if she was a boy Asian mil may live her more than DD1, and if not she would still usurp DD1 just by being a baby. Totally ridiculous but I went so far as talking to mil about it who reassured me. I gave myself a few mental slaps and moved on.

You need to do the same, look at how gps are with your DDs do they dote on them? Their is an infinite amount of love so give yourself a good slap and move on.

Softlysoftly Sat 10-Nov-12 21:46:09

*There angry

Anonymumous Sat 10-Nov-12 21:47:55

You're jumping the gun a bit, assuming that their baby will be 'the golden child'. Your parents sound like lovely, supportive people. I'm sure you will find that when your sister finally has her precious baby at last, a lot of the tension will be gone and your parents will be in a better position to lavish love on all of their grandchildren, including yours. The endless conversations about IVF will be over, and you and your sister can enjoy your babies together.

Don't underestimate just how hard it must have been for your sister to see you getting pregnant so easily while she was struggling, and how worried your parents must have been for her. When all you want is a baby and it doesn't happen, it becomes almost impossible to think about anything else. I can totally understand if you feel that it's overshadowed the excitement of your new baby a little, but your sister deserves her turn in the spotlight - she's waited long enough for it. Don't begrudge it to her.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sat 10-Nov-12 21:48:54

If it helps my IVF baby is no more or less favoured by my parents than my naturally conceived nephews. It's natural for it to be a focus of attention now when they have had trouble conceiving but once the baby is born they are all pretty much the same.

Congratulations on your beautiful new baby smile

ovenchips Sat 10-Nov-12 21:48:55

I think you are masochistic posting in AIBU!

I think it is pretty natural to be feeling how you do. It's precisely because your sister has finally achieved her goal, as it were, that allows you the opportunity to not be so focused on her but more on yourself.

Sounds like it's been difficult for everyone and it is a shame that your good news and positive life events are not celebrated with the same intensity as your sister's less positive ones are commiserated with. But that's also natural. We all focus on problems and how to help, especially parents.

So wallow a bit in private but then allow your family to obsess a bit about the pregnancy. Cos that's probably what's going to happen and tbh I don't think there's a lot you can do about it. It is lovely news after all.

crypes Sat 10-Nov-12 21:49:42

I think you are picking up some bad vibes in the family and its probably all getting to you. My sil had IVF years and years ago and she went on and on and on about it and it was successful and all the family were really pleased but she suffered such stress, her marriage broke up, her husband was alcoholic and they were absolutely broke with a new baby. So i reckon your just picking up on the tension and you need to just concentrate on yourself for quite a while.

Mylittlepuds Sat 10-Nov-12 21:50:43

Feelings are feelings. You can't help how you feel. You have recognised it's not how 'you should' be feeling but you just can't help it. That's part of the human condition.

The truth is everyone has feelings they 'shouldn't' but some are more sensitive than others in dealing with them. I'm like you - I need to get them out there. Most people don't - they bury them and then pretend they didn't have them and then mock people who do.

Just try and focus on what you have. Yes you feel bad about your happiness being sidelined but I promise, I'd rather be in your shoes than your sisters. What if she wants another DC after this one? Realistically speaking it might just not happen. For you on the other hand it shouldn't be an issue. Yes you might be a bit put out but try and keep in mind the sheer torment she's been through. I'd prefer to go under the radar a bit and not go through what she has.

Finally - of course your hormones are playing a part. I was a mess and still am a mess after the birth of DS who's now 19 months. My head's still not straight. A friend who's got a brand new DD let it slip that she's terribly jealous that I'm pregnant again! If only she knew what I've been through she really wouldn't be...

Don't be hard on yourself. Just acknowledge how you're feeling and vent on here. Just keep schtum and try and enjoy her being happy - or look like you are!

Hope you feel a bit better soon.

TwitchyTail Sat 10-Nov-12 21:52:47

Well, you know you are being unreasonable of course, but I commend your honesty and I think I can see where you're coming from.

You seem to have already identified a lot of the reasons for why you feel the way you do. Do you think that another part of it is that, subconsciously, you have lost something now that you are no longer the only "mother" in the family? That something that was yours alone - a success, if you can see it that way - is now being shared by your sister?

I would give it time. There's no rule that says you have to be instantly delighted by news of a pregnancy in the family. Don't beat yourself up. Make an effort to be encouraging and positive, support your sister, and I think you'll feel a lot better once you've had time to get used to the idea of a niece or nephew smile

44SoStartingOver Sat 10-Nov-12 21:52:54

I suspect you have always been a little careful in relishing your dc with your sister and maybe feel deprived of a little joy. Just don't fgs ever share this with your family.

Jollyb Sat 10-Nov-12 21:53:11

I'm not sure . I can see how your sister's IVF 'journey' may have dominated family gatherings and you may have felt it has overshadowed the birth of your children

MistressIggi Sat 10-Nov-12 21:55:49

You will surely find it a lot easier in the family to talk about, visit etc with your two children once your sister can be a mother too, than if she remained childless. Things will get easier.
It is perfectly understandable that you want a bit more attention for your new arrival! Taking your sister to an appointment when she should have been doting on your lo seems not on to me. (Why does she need someone to take her?)

But please, stop thinking of the money - that money has made the difference between a life or no life. I don't think you would want to swap places with your sister, would you?

MaMattoo Sat 10-Nov-12 21:56:56

Yabu. Ivf is painful is more ways than one. Get beyond your jealousy issues, it they are as simple as that, and be there for your sister who is going to be worried, anxious and paranoid through this part of her life.
The few people who have seen her and known her struggles are you and your mum. You now know how precious a new baby is and what it feels like to have one. Use that knowledge and support and love your sister through this.

If you could see the chink of unreasonableness to post here you show the ability and sensitivity to get past it!

Sorry if I am coming across too strongly but a close pal of mine just had an IVF baby, and it's shown a new ugly side of this magic treatment I did not know existed.

Congrats on your new baby and good wishes for soon to be an auntie!

Narked Sat 10-Nov-12 21:58:38

It must have been sad feeling that your joy always had to be tempered by respect for their longing for a child and you never really got to enjoy having your family cooing over your newborns because people were wary of upsetting your sister and held back.

On the other hand, the longing your sister must have had for a child, the heartbreak when each IVF cycle didn't take, especially as you were pregnant at the same time, and the pure envy she would have had to deal with every time she saw you with your DDs can't have been easy either.

It's an understandable response. Don't feel bad because of it. Don't let it take over.

Mylittlepuds Sat 10-Nov-12 21:59:05

Oh and I promise you won't feel a jot jealous when your sister's going through sleepless nights and newborn hell and your DD is being more predictable and your hormones are less, erm, erratic.

Also don't forget about how worrying being pregnant can be - ten fold for her. You've got through it and your DD us here happy, healthy and, I bet, gorgeous smile

Jollyb Sat 10-Nov-12 21:59:30

Posted too soon - but as others have said it must have been devastating for her to see you conceive naturally - twice.

I can understand your reaction- pregnancy, fertility and families generate strong emotions. My sister announced her 3rd pregnancy when I was 38 weeks pregnant with my first. I was livid that she couldn't wait til I had given birth!

Mylittlepuds Sat 10-Nov-12 22:00:58

MaMatoo - what's the 'ugly side'. Oddly intrigued.

kilmuir Sat 10-Nov-12 22:03:07

YABU and horrid, what on earth are you jealous of?? scared your offspring won't get the attention.
Hope these thoughts pass.
Enjoy their baby and enjoy being an Aunt

CeilidhHayley Sat 10-Nov-12 22:03:15

Your sister? Or sister in law? You don't seem too clear on which is pregnant.

dysfunctionalme Sat 10-Nov-12 22:07:29

I think you need to try to accept how it is. The one certainty about becoming a mother that it doesn't go the way you may hope or imagine. Whether this is in obvious ways such as poor health or gender disappointment, it happens. In your case it has come about with your sister's IVF journey.

You could look at it as overshadowing your own journey, or you could try to view it in a more positive light which is that you have your beautiful healthy family and pretty soon your dds will have a cousin. That is magical.

I'm not suggesting you should dismiss your feelings, but I think you need to try to accept that things are not as you wished or imagined.

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