Sunday, July 5, 2009

Telling the Grandmother

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my mother has been in the dark about my efforts to become a mom. My mother is a difficult person. Our relationship is not easy. She is certain that her way of thinking and doing things is RIGHT. I did not need her judgment and negativity while trying to become pregnant. But now that I’m in my second trimester, I knew I had to get the reveal over with. Part of what I expected in her reaction was “how will I explain this” and “what will people think.” Well, as my regular readers know, I’m pleased as punch about this, proud of how I got here, and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

So, plans were made for me, my mother, my BFF and her 8 month old son (via donor egg) to have lunch on Friday. I had a plan on how to break the news. A few weeks ago, my mother asked me to get her a bottle of her favorite perfume from ebay (cheaper). So I ordered the perfume and put it in a gift bag with a copy of the latest ultrasound picture. (Without my name photoshopped out, as it is when I post here.) The plan was for my friend and I to get there before my mother. SNAFU, but no biggie. I got there first, snagged a semi-circular booth, and slid in to the middle. The table was perfectly high enough to hide my belly. (I won’t be posting any belly shots here, but I must say, I think it’s really cute!) I had the gift bag on the banquette beside me. My mother arrived first, then my BFF and her son a few minutes later. This was the first time my mother had seen her baby (my BFF and I have been friends since we were 14, so my mother’s seen her grow up, too). A few minutes of cooing and loving on the boy, then I passed the gift bag to my mother and said, “Here’s your perfume, and there’s another surprise in there for you.” She took out the ultrasound picture and looked confused. Then she had to get her reading glasses out to read it. Stunned silence. She turned to me and said, “You’re pregnant?” “Yes. Congratulations! You’re going to be a grandmother again.”

There were questions, which I answered over the course of lunch. I explained much of the course of events leading up to this pregnancy. The attempts with my own eggs, using my dear friend as a sperm donor and the stronger bond we formed during the process (didn’t feel I needed to tell her yet that he will be the child’s guardian), how Kathy and I found each other, the trips to Canada, etc. I showed her photos of Kathy’s gorgeous twins. During all this, my friend gushed about how wonderful this was and how happy she was for me. She also talked about her experience using donor gametes. Interestingly, I think my mother was most surprised when I said I was embracing the fact that I was doing this on my own. I mentioned the crap that has to be dealt with on an ongoing basis with my niece’s father, I told her about a friend of a friend who is due to deliver twins in a few weeks and just discovered that her husband has been cheating on her with their older child’s nanny, etc. Then she dropped her own bombshell. My mother’s husband has 2 daughters. He also has 2 nieces who he has treated as daughters as well. (His sister’s children. His sister died when his nieces were in their early teens.) Turns out his youngest niece (who has a 6 yo and and an 8 yo) has been cheating on her husband with his youngest daughter’s husband (they have an 8 yo). Both couples are splitting so my mother’s husband’s niece and son-in-law can be together. EWWWWW! Did you follow that? BTW, I hope I haven’t confused things by not referring to my mother’s husband as my step father. They got together when I was well into adulthood, and although I like him, I just don’t think of him as a father figure at all.

Anyway, over the course of lunch, the shock seemed to wear off, and we talked a bit about baby names, etc. She suggested I stay with her for a few weeks after I give birth. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! She lives less than an hour’s drive from me. If she wants to help, she can come in the morning and leave in the evening. I probably responded to the suggestion a bit too stridently. (Blame the hormones.) I will address it again next time I talk to her, and tell her that while I appreciate the offer, I don’t think it would be good for our relationship.

As I was saying goodbye to her I asked if she wanted to rub my belly for luck. She gave my bump a little rub, then leaned over and said, “Hi darling.” I grinned and said, “Oh, you’re bonded already!”

22 comments:

Michelle said...

I am so glad that things went so well with the big reveal. I TOTALLY understand the not wanting her to stay with you. I would be the same with my mom. I think she would drive me nuts.

And EWWW about the son-in-law and niece!!!!

Kristin said...

I am so glad she responded in such a positive manner! I really am very happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear things went so well! -S.

Beautiful Mess said...

How sweet and great! Oh I'm so glad it went so well, Dora! I love that she rubbed your bump and talked to the baby. Too sweet!
*HUGS*

calliope said...

So glad that the telling went smoothly & that she embraced the news! LOVE that your friend was there to set the tone with it being a good thing! phew
(& grinning that you have a little bump- I bet you look fab!!)

Meg said...

I'm so happy that it went well!

Are you sure that we can't convince you to share cute bump pictures? Pretty please! I will if you will!

Heather said...

That's fabulous, Dora...I'm so glad it went well in the end!!

Cassandra said...

Hooray, much better than I anticipated!

Your family is straight out of a soap opera. You can be the sensible voice-of-reason character.

Another Dreamer said...

Aww, I am glad it went so well :)

Just Caz said...

What a great unexpected and wonderful response.
especially when she rubbed your belly.
Adorable.

battynurse said...

I'm glad things went well with the telling. I understand not wanting to stay with her. I wouldn't stay with my mom either.
That whole son-in-law/neice thing is a bit of a crack up. I have a similar messed up story about a few of my family members that I don't tell very often.

Melody said...

Beautiful! Sounds like things are setting up very nicely for this little one's arrival. My mom and I have always had a contentious relationship, but she has really surprised me with the support she shows me and her granddaughter now that S is here. Still drives me crazy, but we're much closer now.

Magpie said...

that sounds like it went well - i'm glad for you.

Billy said...

Glad to hear it went well!

Pepper said...

Yay for happy revelations! I love it when that happens.

P.S. Is it bad if I say that being single and pg is tame compared to the drama that your mother's husband's family is experiencing?

The Steadfast Warrior said...

Aww, I'm so glad that "show and tell" went well. I can't imagine how nervous you must have been. Grandma's already hooked, love it!

becomingwhole said...

Oh! So glad it went well! Crazy about the family drama, though, huh? You are definitely looking like the "plain vanilla" one of the clan now (lol).

So glad you're well. :)

Bella said...

Awww...I'm glad she was supportive and excited! And, I would really like to see a bump pic. Pretty please?!?!

Jo said...

So happy for you! the big reveal went well!

love the family love triangles, or quadrangles! Very confusing!

the Babychaser: said...

Lately I've been wondering what it's going to be like when (if) I have to tell my mom I'm finally pregnant. I guess I'll have to tell her we're using DS, because EVERYONE else knows. But I don't want to. I try not to give her information like that because while she'll TOTALLY be on board with it, five or ten years from now she'll stab me in the back with it.

Ugh. Parents.

So good on you for holding your own. And, of course, congratulations for finally being in the "tell" stage.

chicklet said...

I think you took a totally smart approach - I'm so happy to read it went so well.

Selmada said...

I'm glad it went well with your mom. That is such good news.

I'd love to see belly shots though. You can do what I did, and take them from the neck or breasts down. That way you dont have to show your face. I think pregnant bellies are adorable.