Friday, July 20, 2007

You are kidding me right?

On top of all the medical things we are mulling over for the baby, this is the nasty gram FIL sends to the Hubby:

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 6:01 PMTo:
Subject: Mom

Hubby's Name :I will be attending R's funeral on Friday. I am flying to SJ in theam & returning pm.

You have some damage control to do with your mother. She has beenfeeling really crappy with this ongoing vertigo. This amplifiesanything that's bugging her.

She feels excluded from the baby event. She only wants to lavish loveon both of you and the baby. She's not competing with the Household 6's arent or trying to take over your lives. You are her only son and this baby maybe the only grandchild. Who knows? She's been going around the housesaying things like "I have nothing to say to them". "Maybe we'll go toTN in January, maybe not."

Household6 never talks to mom. She wants so much to share in her joy, not take it away or control it. If we did something to alienate you or Household6, let's deal with it.

If you want us to back off, okay, we can deal with that. It's just we have so many friends with grand kids crawling all over them, we want some of that too. This isn't worth losing you over or causing a big problem, but you've got to let us know the rules. We don't want to cause alienation or drive anyone away, so think about this for a while.You don't need to get back to me. If you say I sent you this e-mail Iwill deny every word of it.

We've always been open. We deserve the same.


Here is my response:

Hi P,

Hubby asked me to read this so we could discuss what’s going on and try to work through this together. I am sorry that E isn’t feeling well, I had viral vertigo in Germany and it definitely is not something that anyone could even claim to be considered remotely fun.

I’m sorry she’s feeling excluded and I honestly do not know why she would feel that way. I can only guess and attempt to address the issue. I don’t know where the thought of competition came to light and I can assure you that my parents do not feel like they are in competition with you. We try and be even with both sets of parents so that no one can ever claim that we gave one set more time or more this or than that to the other.

If she does not want to come out at Christmas then why not come out at Thanksgiving instead? The first few weeks of birth I will be in recovery from a c-section. I will not be good company and will not be able to do much as far as entertaining is concerned. The baby will be learning a routine and will not be very interactive at all. By coming few months down the road, Oz will be more interactive, we will have an established routine and be able to spend better quality time with you all.

Hubby has told you that he will be deploying again in XXXX. That gives hubby about 6 months with his child before coming home again to find that his son is now a 2 year old. He will miss a lot of firsts – first tooth, first steps, first words, standing etc. The next time he will get to see him it will be when Oz is speaking, walking and a 2 year old. We would like to spend as much of that 6 months before he leaves with our son, to allow hubby to have as many of those firsts as he can. That doesn’t mean we don’t want you here ever, but that we would like to spend as much of that time with our son. While hubby is deployed you all, me and Oz will be here and able to make plans to visit. You will probably end up seeing him more in those 15 months than hubby will.

Lastly, it will be difficult for us to have you come right after the birth as we are still adjusting to a new home. We have not received any of our utility bills yet to see if we are right in the budget we set. On top of that with hubby planning a major portion of the deployment, he has very little time off of work. Having a little space between him staying home right after the birth to help me and Oz and then when you came out a few months later is a more reasonable request to his command and would more in likely be approved versus trying to take off an entire month in the middle of deployment planning.

(This is in relation to me never speaking to his mother) This statement really isn’t a fair one. In the nine years that we have been married please think about how many times when you have called that you asked to speak with me? Usually if asked at all its one or two questions then there is that silence that you are ready to speak with your son. He’s your son and I can understand it, so I am not hurt by it since my parents often speak more to me than to him. But ‘never’ is not a truthful term especially when I am hardly asked to speak to you.

As for sharing baby joy, I will be honest I am hesitant to speak much about it. I am a private person in nature so many bodily issues aren’t going to be something I’d speak to many if any people about.

The other issue that has bothered me and I have said nothing about it, is that over the course of our marriage and especially within the last few years there were some comments made by you all that really hurt. Maybe and I am sure this is the case that you didn’t know just exactly how hurtful they were, so I am telling you now.

Hubby and I both felt pressure from you to have children. When as a married couple you are also faced with infertility issues, pressure from anyone to have a child amplifies the stress and strain of not being able to have children tenfold. Not getting pregnant month after month that we tried stings and is a struggle all on its own. It was made even harder to bear the disappointment of not being pregnant month after month when you hear comments you made such as:

“We show this picture of Bella to our friends since this is the only grandchild we are going to get.”

“Bella will probably be our only grandchild so we put her picture up there.”

“We were so happy that you finally allowed us to have a grandchild.”

“We’re so happy it’s a boy, you do better with a boy than you could a girl.”

I really don’t think you have any idea how painful those comments were. Unintended or otherwise when we were having difficulty conceiving in the first place it just stung beyond reason. It was just another reminder of how there was something wrong with us, coupled with the subtly that we were somehow slighting you on purpose, denying you grandchildren as some form of punishment.

Again a comment like ‘grandchildren crawling all over you’ is one that comes across as if we were purposely keeping and not having grandchildren to spite you. It stings and isn’t pleasant. If that wasn’t what you mean then I am sorry but its those comments that hurt hubby and I both.

Please also keep in mind that your friends, how many of them have a child in the military? I believe its just EG. Most of your friends and their children live within a 100 mile radius of each other and are able to come over on shorter notice. You raised a son who wants to serve his country and one who has a sense of adventure to include moving where ever the Army takes him. I chose to marry him because I agreed with him and his desire to see the world and his choice to serve his country. It also means that we are often on one income and can’t always afford to fly at a moments notice or to entertain guests with a new budget to establish.

(In response to his last line about being open and deserving the same) As an effort to keep the peace we have often kept quiet when things said or done weren’t always the best nor the kindest. The few times hubby or I have spoken up, often the reprocussions were much worse than saying nothing at all. Hubby received a hurtful letter once from E and when I asked that when extending invitations to my baby shower without my prior knowledge be stopped I never got a response at all - I was given silence. These aren’t actions of being very open. And it often seems that only acceptable response is the one that you want to hear.

Neither one of us want either set of parents to feel like they are being denied their grandchild. We want Oz to know his grandparents and love them. We just have a large amount of things going on in the first year of Oz’s life and want Oz & hubby to have the opportunity to spend it with each other. It doesn’t mean that while hubby is deployed you can’t come visit or we can’t come visit – in fact quite the contrary because we will have a little more money in our budget to be able to accommodate trips out to the grandparents.

All we really need from you is understanding without feelings of guilt being impressed upon us for trying to bond with our child and establish our family as parents and son. We asked to spend more of the first 6 months as time alone with ourselves so hubby can be with his son. It doesn’t mean you can’t visit and December was a time you asked for. Three, four, or 5 visits in a 6 month period right before a 15 month deployment when your son will miss a majority of his own son’s first year of life is more than we can give. As a retired Col and someone who served tours in Vietnam, you must know how much it hurts hubby to know he will miss most of his son’s first year of life and will come home to a 2 year old who may or may not recognize his own father.

Had there not been an upcoming deployment so close to Oz’s birth frequent visits wouldn’t be a concern at all – we just want bonding time with our son before hubby has to spend and miss so much time away from him.

Hubby still needs to read it but pretty much he said what ever I say, he's okay with it. I doubt this will fly well but its going to have to do because I'm not going to play the temper tantrum game from a 60+ year old woman every single time she doesn't get her way. Oye!


nationalguardwife said...

My inlaws are the saem and my folks speak with Huby more than me. I applaud everything you wrote. Very well said and who cares is it goes well. You three will need time to bond and be a family in a short amount of time.

Butterfly Wife said...

You sound very thoughtful and concerned about what is best for your immediate family. Good luck with it all. I hope the birth goes well.

ABW said...

Maybe we have the same inlaws. We also had problems and never heard the end of it from them. The stories I can tell....I hope that this letter will let them see where you are coming from. Good luck!

CaliValleyGirl said...

Whew!!! I think I held my breath the whole time I read that...I can't believe your MIL temper tantrum and guilt tripping. Your response was well-thought. I am interested to see what the result will be.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cali -- especially holding my breath! Very well thought. I hope they respond to you positively -- it's obvious that you have spent a lot of time contemplating the issues! Good luck!

TripleE said...

Very well said!
I went through 5 years of inferility and I was amazed at the insensitive things people said. Many are lucky that I didn't knock them out due to hormones, etc..
I'm sorry to hear that Daddy will miss so much.

Linda said... hard life can be! Your inlaws aren't horrid people, just very narrow-minded with little insight as to others' feelings.

Your son is GORGEOUS - congratulations on his birth. AWTM sent me here, but I'm putting you on my RSS reader, cuz, quite frankly, any military wife out there deserves to have loyal supporters (especially those of use who are in the same boat as you!)

Mrs. Who said...

A beautiful baby, indeed!

And in my experience, if you don't say something now, the situation will only get worse. I hope this helps get things settled for you.