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!”