A catalogue of coincidences — The Bump
Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss

A catalogue of coincidences

(Just a note to say, I ramble here before I come to my loss, but it is important to set the scene).

My brother-in-law and his 'wife' (I use inverted commas because they're not legally married, but they had a wedding... more on this to follow) are both quite greedy individuals and this manifests itself regularly in the form of copying; if they see someone with something they'll have to have it.

Individually, these incidences could easily be just coincidence, but there is a whole catalogue that definitely looks suspect when considered as a whole.  

Most of the time this occurs in the form of objects/gifts.  For example, I was bought an art deco watch as a present from my husband (at the time my boyfriend) and soon after his brother bought his 'wife' (at the time his girlfriend) an art deco watch as a gift.  Similarly, I was bought an emerald ring for my birthday, then he bought her an emerald ring too.  A diamond necklace and earring set: again, first me then her.  

This doesn't just happen with us either; she insisted he buy her a fur coat after he had bought his mother one.  She buys the same earrings as my sister-in-law and insists she had them first.  They buy their daughter things that my other niece has asked for, and then let her parade them in front of my other niece.  These are just a few of the many instances in which they’ve copied us or others.

This, on its own, is nothing more than an annoyance and perhaps something to laugh at.  But they've also based big life choices on their 'I-want-because-they-have' mentality.  A year and a half-ago me and my husband sent out our save-the-date cards for our wedding.  His brother and the 'wife' had been 'engaged' far longer than we had, but there'd been no talk of a wedding in the entire time I'd known them, and they were one of those couples that were just 'eternally-engaged-never-to-be-married.'  She had regularly shown contempt for the institution of marriage and endorsed the conspiracist idea that if you get wed the government will know too much about you and control your freedoms, etc.  But a week after our save-the-dates went out, they announced they were getting married a month before us.  Talk about thunder-stealing. 

This didn't frustrate me as much as it frustrated my husband, but he got over it and we managed to laugh at how ridiculous the whole thing was.  They only started planning two weeks before their actual wedding date, and she'd thrown him out a number of times throughout the year, so really we were all fairly unsure of whether or not there was even going to be a wedding.  But there was and it was a lovely day (it's amazing what you can throw together in a couple of weeks).  Nevertheless, we felt certain that they’d not have married had we not set a date.  We also felt a sense of pointlessness in the event, since they had a ‘wedding’ and exchanged rings, yet did not actually get married.  In the eyes of the law (and in fact the local authority) they are both single and she lives alone as a single mum.  Again, this is a reflection of their greed, since she probably claims help with her rent, etc.

As frustrating as this is, it is nothing in comparison to what’s just happened, and I’m sure you can guess by now where this is going. 

My brother-in-law has wanted another child for a long time (they have one already), but his ‘wife’ has put it off because of her work commitments and the fact that my BIL is an alcoholic and drug-abuser and regularly disappears for days, getting off his face.  They are both also very selfish and will drop their 8 year-old off to my sister-in-law’s any chance they can get and leave her there until they have been sufficiently bombarded with phone-calls asking about their whereabouts and what time they are planning to collect their daughter.  My mother-in-law felt certain that the ‘wife’ would never have another child. 

And yet, you’ve guessed it, after we announced our pregnancy to a select few (including those two), she congratulated me, and quickly steered the subject to how she was ready to have another baby too.  I cried that night, thinking about how difficult it would be if something goes wrong with us and they have a baby that would be due around the same time and would only have been conceived because of our conception. 

And then I miscarried a couple of weeks later. 

Now I’ve just found out that they are actually expecting. 

I am not mean or stupid.  I do not for one second expect that people around us put their family planning on hold because we are sad.  I have been very happy for my colleague who has just had a baby.  I can compartmentalise and rationalise my pain.  Pregnancies and birth around me do not make my pain worse, they just remind me of it.  I can feel happy for other people’s joy and I have not been bitter or resentful about the other pregnancies around me.

But this is different.  This is intricately linked with my loss.  They are ONLY having a baby because we were.  And their pregnancy is like a punch in the face.  It is mean and cruel.  And I don’t know how I can spend Christmas with them.  And I don’t know how I can welcome a new niece or nephew whilst hating the fact that they were conceived.  And my poor husband.

Both my friend and my husband have told me that, ‘at least we’re happier than they are’, ‘at least we’ve got a good relationship and are better people.’   My friend was trying to encourage me to see it from the ‘wife’s’ perspective – ‘it’s sad for you, but look at how messed up she must be.’  But this hasn’t helped. I don’t want to compare ourselves to them.  That’s what they do.  I don’t want to do the same.  I just want them to stop comparing themselves to us.  I want to feel like I can share things with my in-laws without the worry that they will jump on our bandwagon.  There is no room on this wagon at the moment.  It’s full of sadness.  And they’re hitching a ride at the expense of that. 

I don’t really know what I am achieving posting this, other than letting off steam.  Perhaps, if you’ve been patient enough to read this far, you can tell me if I’m being irrational, or reading too much into things.  Perhaps if you do I will be angry at you!  Haha.  Perhaps some empathy (if it’s deserved) will help.  I don’t know.  Thanks for being a virtual ear and shoulder though.  

Pregnancy Ticker
Sadly miscarried our first pregnancy 09.09.15

Re: A catalogue of coincidences

  • Wow that sounds so awful. I don't think you're being irrational at all, and I would probably be reacting much worse if I was in your situation. At the end of the day, your friends and DH are right: clearly this woman is sick and miserable. In the end you are better off than she will ever be, but I know that doesn't help ease the pain of your loss now. Just remember that when your rainbow baby comes you will be a more amazing mother than this woman could ever dream of being. Just hold on a little longer, things will most definitely get better. In the meantime avoid her like the plague. Hugs to you and DH.
  • O wow I do not think you are being irrational at all, or imagining things. I do think there is no way you can share things with them without them jumping on your bandwagon as you put it, and family can often treat us worse and hurt us more than our worst imaginable enemies. Sometimes our hopes for a healthy/loving relationship with some family/ friends are just impossible to achieve.  Is there a way you can avoid spending the holidays with them, and just disassociate yourselves from them? Sometimes we just need to let people go when they are harming us. I am so very sorry for your loss.
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  • There is a couple that my husband and I are friends with, but they're not as bad. It's hard dealing with it and gets so annoying when someone can't let deal with someone else having the spotlight on them for a change. A few years ago we moved out on our own, within two months they bought a house(to top our apartment), we buy a car(they buy a newer one within months), we mention when we were planning on ttc they mention they're going to literally the same month as us. Only difference in this department is her husband admits he doesn't want kids and that he's too selfish to give up his time and money. What helps us is remembering our life is about us, no one else. Keep your head up and try not to stress over all the petty things that happens (yes I know easier said than done) it just means they're jealous and unhappy with their lives.
  • I'm sorry for your loss and sorry you have to deal with this woman. It's hard not to feel jealous and irritated even under normal circumstances. I think it's okay to let yourself be really annoyed with them for awhile. Trying to suppress those feelings, in my experience, doesn't help with healing. I think it's also fine to just avoid situations where you have to deal with them for awhile if you need to. Sometimes you have to have a break from those "competitive" friendships/relationships. I have a friend who has a bad reputation of bragging about everything to a really disgusting degree (she does it with promotions, new house, vacations etc.). She was told she probably couldn't have kids but then accidentally got pregnant. I was happy for her but she started texting everyone, including our friend who has had a lot of fertility struggles, about how she just accidentally got pregnant and was already 8 weeks and on and on and on about it. We (me and the other friend) skipped her baby shower. I felt guilty and I felt bad for being that "bitter" person, but I just could not deal with being in that situation and listening to her and having other people ask me when I'm having kids.

    My point is: take care of yourself, whatever that means. 
  • Thanks guys.  I don't think I can avoid Christmas, but I will try and keep myself away from them for now.  

    angelbab807 Yes, you've reminded me of another example - housing!  Similar situation to you, really.  We are in the process of buying a house, and all of a sudden, the day after we put an offer in somewhere, they started looking at getting a house.  It's not a problem; it'd be great if they get somewhere else, but luckily me and my husband are in a position where we can afford to buy.  They started talking about getting a mortgage, but they fail to see that we've declared all our incomes and have paid our taxes - that's how we can get a mortgage.  I don't think it's the same situation for them.  

    Again, not a problem at all, but it fits into the wider picture.  

    Anyway, thank you all for your support.

    In deepest empathy, 


    Pregnancy Ticker
    Sadly miscarried our first pregnancy 09.09.15
  • Hi,

    I'm sorry about your situation, and I don't think you're being irrational.  And even if you can't avoid them, I don't think you necessarily have to bother with being fake-nice.  Is your sister in law (or whatever she is) purposefully gloating about it in the midst of your loss?  If she is, she's an a-hole, and I bet everyone else can see it too.  I know that emotionally moving on from your loss is going to have its ups and downs, as is dealing with your family as this pregnancy advances.  Maybe you can come up with some things you might say if things came to an ugly head around the holidays?  I know I'd be upset and frustrated in this situation for many reasons, but I'd also be worrying about Thanksgiving or Christmas or other family get togethers because how am I going to feel when she's talking about all her pregnancy symptoms, etc.  Having a plan might at least help with that anxiety.  And honestly, given your relationship, I might just say something like "I'm very happy for the two of you, but I'm sure you can understand that it is difficult for me to hear about this because of my loss" and then walk out of the room if their pregnancy comes up again.  That way, you've been polite, you've congratulated them, but you've also announced that you're not emotionally ready to deal with them, thankyouverymuch.
  • Wow.  What a situation - and your feelings are completely logical.  Everything you said makes sense - you aren't mean, you aren't expecting people to set up their life around yours, but you also probably feel a very classic "why me?"  Why did you miscarry, not her?  Why, why, why.  They seem like a couple who only structure life in a reactive way.  When someone does something, they follow suit.  That isn't the way to live a life.  You had plans and dreams ahead, and you deserved to have them.  That isn't irrational. 

    Although I don't have a similar couple in my life, I had similar comments by a well intentioned family member when I was venting about some friends.  (It's amazing when you go through this how temporarily judgemental you become...at least I did).  Everyone I knew who recently had kids I was comparing myself to, and my family member mentioned how two of the couples aren't nearly as close as my husband and I are, or as well prepared...but that didn't help.  I didn't want to compare, I just wanted some type of reason why THEY could have a child but we couldn't.

    So, cliff notes version.  You are not irrational.  Your feelings make complete sense and your loss understandably stings more because of the timing.  If their child wasn't even planned originally, you don't understand why their pregnancy is working out.  One thing I learned on this ride is that nature can suck, and it isn't logical.  Give yourself some distance from them in the coming months, especially around when you would have been due.  Take care of yourself first.  
  • Thanks Diane2218.

    Penelope4612, no she's not gloating as far as I'm aware.  I haven't seen them since I found out.  I've just heard about it through my husband.  

    Apparently though the other day when my BIL had disappeared (getting drunk/drugged-up) for the night, the wife said to my MIL that she was going to take some herbs to terminate her pregnancy.  So I imagine that the emotional blackmail and using the unborn child as a weapon has already started.  Also, I joked (...sick term to use here, I know, but I'm bitter) to my husband that she wanted jewellery because I had it, a wedding because we had it, a house because we had it, and a baby because we had it, and now she wants a miscarriage to follow suit too!

    I should probably show a little more empathy for their awful situation, but I'm not going to because a) I'm feeling really resentful, and b) they've brought their ridiculous situation on themselves.
    Pregnancy Ticker
    Sadly miscarried our first pregnancy 09.09.15
  • What a horrible, horrible couple.  I had called her future miscarriage before your last post.  Actually, I am somewhat dubious that she is actually pregnant at all.  I vote that you stay away over Christmas and in general.  After a life dealing with family drama, I finally learned to just step away, and am so much happier for it.  Good luck to you!
    4 early losses 2009, 2010, 2015.  Baby #1 born 2/13/11.  
  • Doing some Christmas shopping over the last couple of days and I've remembered another to add to the list:  last year I bought my husband an iPad for Christmas.  So after she found out, the wife went and bought my BIL an iPad for Christmas too. But of course, she couldn't let him have one without buying herself one as well!  This year my husband has vowed not to tell them what he's got me.  Oh, and another one: When my BIL bought a vehicle, she bought hers at a later date and had to spend "at least what he spent on his."  There's more where that came from...

    And tonight, we were going to have dinner and a DVD night with fireworks with my MIL, SIL and her children.  When going to buy the dinner a couple of hours ago (I live in England, if you're wondering about timings), I was informed that my BIL and the wife had invited themselves along.  I finished the shopping feeling really sick and panicky.

    So I've just paid for their dinner and my husband's cooked it for them, while I've feigned illness and have been hiding in the bedroom away from the DVD and the fireworks, and eating my dinner in bed because I cannot face them.  So, @BBHME you give good advice and I am trying my best to stay away but it is evidently proving difficult!  And I feel like I can't tell anyone why I'm really 'unwell' because it sounds so awful to not be happy about their news.  So I'm telling strangers on the internet instead.  Thanks guys. X
    Pregnancy Ticker
    Sadly miscarried our first pregnancy 09.09.15
  • mskeenanmskeenan
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited October 2015

    Oh my, I am so sorry that you have had to deal with these people. I'm even more sorry for your loss. A loss is already painful enough but to have more negativity in your life doesn't help with the coping I'm sure. I would minimize contacts with these people. I know you mentioned you can't avoid Christmas-but you don't have to talk to them or interact with them at all in my opinion. Will other family members be understanding if you don't want involvement with them? They should considering everything. In my opinion you would even have every right to avoid even holiday functions because of them (if that was your wish).

    It does sound very plausible that she faked a pregnancy which is down right sick. It's not all that easy to just get pregnant whenever you want (for most people at least... maybe I'm a little jaded as I'm battling infertility issues) but that timing seems very odd to me.

    I've had a lot of toxic people in my life and have recently cut out a lot of them especially after suffering my loss. I feel so much better for it and I believe that it is hoping me through all the emotions tremendously. I know family is different but at this point it doesn't sound like that act like family at all. I wish there was something I could say to make you feel better. I'm sending hugs your way and praying for

    **BFP and loss warning**

    Me: 29
    DH: 29
    Us: Married Valentine's Day, 2015
    DH: No issues.
    Me: PCOS, unexplained infertility (whatever that means!!)
    June 2015 Medicated TI cycle: BFN
    July 2015:  Medicated TI cycle: BFN
    August 2015: IUI: BFP. Chemical pregnancy :(
    October 2015: IUI: BFN
    January 2016: Egg retrieval: 10 frozen embryos!
    March 2016: FET Cycle- 2 embryos transferred!: BFP !
  • First, I am VERY sorry for your loss. Going through a miscarriage is painful enough. Second, just stay away from these people. You need to detach yourself emotionally from them. Of course they are family so you will have to see them, but even if temporarily you need to keep this poison out of your life. Surround yourself with good friends and family that are supportive and loving (really). This time is hard enough to have others bring you down. Time will heal you and DH. Take care of yourself.
    ******TW******Siggy warning
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  • mskeenan said:

    It does sound very plausible that she faked a pregnancy which is down right sick. It's not all that easy to just get pregnant whenever you want (for most people at least... maybe I'm a little jaded as I'm battling infertility issues) but that timing seems very odd to me.

    I agree, the timing is odd, but I'm sure she wouldn't have lied.  I think they must have started trying the night that we told them we were pregnant, which would have probably been about just over 2 months ago?  I'm not sure how far along they are.  But that will be interesting to find out. 

    I've been trying to keep away, but Friday, Saturday and now today there have been family events/gatherings with them and I've managed to avoid the last two, but I don't think I can get out of today.  We'll see.

    Pregnancy Ticker
    Sadly miscarried our first pregnancy 09.09.15
  • Update: she wasn't lying.  I recently found out their due date and it's the 11th June.  We were due 10th April.  Two months after us.  They must have conceived 2 weeks after we told them and the week that I was miscarrying.  Harsh stuff.  

    Anyway, like the situation with the wedding (they managed to squeeze it in a month before us), it probably looks to the outside world that we are copying them, as we are now pregnant again and due end of August.  

    And the 'wife' is now keen on the buggy we've been eyeing up... It's never ending! 
    Pregnancy Ticker
    Sadly miscarried our first pregnancy 09.09.15
  • Wow. I'm so sorry for your loss!! And that woman sounds crazy. 

    I'm sure everyone already said everything but,  if it were me, I would a.) Not tell her anything ever again and b.) Start throwing her off her off your trail. For example, planning on getting  an emerald necklace to match your ring? You tell her you're looking at pearls. 

    Ugh. I cannot imagine. She sounds awful. Huge hugs to you! <3
  • I'm sorry for your loss.  I have a friend like that and it is so frustrating!  I wish I had some inspiring words for you but I don't.  Just know you are not irrational at all.  I'm sorry you are dealing with this on top of everything else.  Hugs!
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
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