Third-Party Reproduction

Difficult Mother-in-law

JessarabJessarab member
edited August 2014 in Third-Party Reproduction
My mother-in-law and I have never had a warm and fuzzy relationship, in fact she has done quite a few things to hurt me that I've just put in my past to try and build a relationship with her. She is very much focused on her sons and doesn't much care for me or my sister-in-law as she feels we took her sons away from her by marrying them. Long story short, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer late last year - my mother-in-law felt the need to tell me to get over it (having cancer that is). I underwent fertility sparing surgery to remove the tumors and used an egg donor to get pregnant. My husband and I have been very open with our families about the entire situation but have not been ready to share publicly with extended family and friends as we still processing all of the emotions that have come along with this journey. 

My husband and I are walking for ovarian cancer in September and we invited our close family and friends who helped up through the last 9 months to walk with us. My mother in law took it upon herself to email about 30 people (all of whom had no idea about the cancer and over half of them I've never even met) and share that we are walking to increase donations. In the email she wrote how upset we would be if we knew she was sending it and all but said I had cancer (mentioned how we need to support one another who have cancer and how cancer has stricken the family however there has been no cancer diagnosis except mine in the last 10 years).

She forwarded us the email later in the day and we responded saying how hurt we were that she would think about how we felt and then completely disregard our feelings and send the email anyway, how she knew we weren't ready to say anything public, and we weren't sure how to answer any questions that these individuals may have. Her response was apologetic and then the focus changed to how upset she is and how she's been in a dark place, how her Mom's health isn't good (which we found out later is untrue, she's doing just fine) and basically turned the whole thing around to a pity party. We shared a few emails back and forth with her and she continued on with how she doesn't see us enough and we don't include her in our lives although they live two hours away and we see them monthly and call weekly - this has been this way for years.

She is now ignoring us - a tactic my husband says he has dealt with since childhood. He shares how he feels and she shoots him down and turns it around to make it about her. Eventually she comes around and everything will be normal until someone shares how they feel. With a baby on the way, I know that I need to maintain a relationship with her for the sake of the baby and my husband, but my husband and I have agreed that it is no long appropriate for me to try and have a close relationship with her. 

I'm looking for advice from anyone who may have a similar situation with their mother-in-law and how they have handled the relationship going forward. I'd love to know what level of communication you may have with your MIL and if you feel that it's been beneficial to remove all emotion and in depth conversation and just keep everything high level. I feel as if I've done everything I can possibly do to repair the relationship but I am literally at a loss on how to move forward. Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!
Pregnancy Ticker

Married September 3, 2011 | TTC since May 2013
Me: Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, underwent fertility sparing surgery which left low ovarian reserve, no tubes, partial ovary | DH: perfectly normal 
BFP: 5/30/2014 via donor eggs | EDD: 2/6/2015

Re: Difficult Mother-in-law

  • I'm so sorry you're going through this. I wish i could give you advice, but I can't. My MIL and I dont' have a particularly good relationship. But it's cordial. I tell my husband to call on birthdays and such but that's about it. His parents live a few states away and truthfully, i'm totally fine with that.



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  • I'm sorry you are going through this. I actually have similar trouble with my mother.

    I was sick nearly my whole life and got very sick in my 20's (all because of undiagnosed Celiac). I was hospitalized multiple times and couldn't even remember my phone number. She said I was faking it.

    After our struggles with infertility and loss, she made horrible comments to us about our first loss. I stopped talking with her after that. Then we had IVF and losses 2 and 3. 

    She is unhappy that we are using a surrogate and was rude to me during my shower this past weekend (which she came to uninvited).

    I have limited contact with her, but have decided not to rob our child of a grandparent until its necessary (which I think will likely happen).

    The hardest part is not receiving care and consideration from those you would expect to get it from. I have realized there are better people in my life that supply that for me.

    Be kind to your husband, as much as it hurts you (and it rightly does) he has dealt with this for a LONG time.

    TTC #1 since 12/2010 DH: MFI, cancer survivor Me: Resected septate uterus, lap treated mild endo, tubes open, ovulate on own, autoimmune disease 3 Failed IUI's (2/2012, 4/2012, 6/2012) 
    IVF #1 August 2012. BFP! Beta #1 56.7 Beta #2 150 One baby, one heartbeat on 9/20/12! no h/b @7w6d. dandc @8w0d
    FET #1 December 2012, BFN
    FET #2 February 2013, no embies survived thaw
    IVF #2, BFP #2, Loss #2 March 2013, Scar tissue discovered, RPL testing,
    IVF #3, BFP #3, Loss #3 (twins) September 2013
    Hostile ute, moving onto Gestational Carrier!

    GC/FET #1 of 1 5AA blast and 1 compacted blast, February 2014, BFP #4 on 3/1/2014!
    6w u/s 1 bean with h/b of 145 bpm, 8w u/s 187 bpm
    EDD 11/7/14. Please, please, please stick little one!

    Praying unceasingly for a miracle. ALL welcome!


  • I am so sorry for what you are going through. I can't imagine how difficult dealing with your mil and her actions must be. I do know how difficult dealing with ovarian cancer is, and I will say what I tell myself..."you made it through cancer and chemo, you can get through this." Congratulations on your pregnancy, please try not to let anyone take the joy that you and your DH deserve :-)
    8/2011: Diagnosed with ovarian cancer, ovaries and tubes removed

    12/2011: Finished chemo

    5/2013: Cleared for DE IVF

    11/13: DEgg IVF#1

    8/5/14: Grace was born!

  • I am so sorry that you are going through this... how horrible!! I don't have any advice to offer except that perhaps you and your DH should seek counseling to help you through it. I've been seeing a therapist for the past 10 months to help me deal with the stress of infertility, and I have to say, it really helps to get an outside, unbiased perspective. It sounds like your MIL isn't going to change, and I respect your wishes to maintain a relationship for the sake of your child. A counselor may be able to help you through it so you don't lose your mind in the process! Sending hugs your way!

    Me: 32 DH: 35  TTC#1 since March 2012
    Dx: Poor Embryo Quality, Arcuate Uterus, Poor Uterine Blood Flow, Mild Endo, 
           Protein S Deficiency, Sjorgen's Syndrome 

    IUI #1-5: BFN
    Laparoscopy & Hysteroscopy: minimal endo, partial septoplasty
    IVF #1: 10R/6M/6F ~ Day 3 ET = BFN
    IVF #2: 14R/9M/5F ~ transfer canceled ~ all embryos arrested at 1-2 cell stage
    IVF #3: 9R/5M/5F ~ 1 frosty!
    IVF #4 (FET #1): BFN

    IVF #5 (DE IVF #1 with Dr. KK protocol): Currently PREGNANT!!!!!!
    Synthroid + Prednisone + Metformin + Baby Aspirin + Supplements Galore = 15+ pills a day
    Lupron + Lovenox + Delestrogen + IVIG + B/W = 2-5 pokes a day
    19R, 17M, 17F - transferred two Grade A blasts 11/16, four frosties!!!
    Beta #1 11/24 (13dpo/8dp5dt) = 367 ~ Beta #2 11/26 (15dpo/10dp5dt) = 709
    Beta #3 11/29 (18dpo/13dp5dt) = 1,997 ~ Beta #4 12/1 (20dpo/15dp5dt) = 3,403


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    [Deleted User]
  • You ladies are the best :) Thank you so much for the advise - we actually sought counseling two years ago and the way things have been are actually better because of it. Regrettably she is still ignoring us - my husband has had it. 

    @lincoln79 - so sorry that you're in a like position... I love your perspective and will most definitely try to incorporate that mindset.

    Can't thank you ladies enough - for letting me vent, your support and advice :) 
    Pregnancy Ticker

    Married September 3, 2011 | TTC since May 2013
    Me: Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, underwent fertility sparing surgery which left low ovarian reserve, no tubes, partial ovary | DH: perfectly normal 
    BFP: 5/30/2014 via donor eggs | EDD: 2/6/2015
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