My daughter Tessa died prematurely 15 months ago. DH and I are doing ok. Actually, we are doing great. We decided that we could not go thru the pain of possible loss or IVF again and we are adopting a little 4 y/o girl from China. So many people think that Avery (our daughter in China) will take the pain of losing Tessa. It won't and that is another vent all together.
My problem is my SIL. She is an OB nurse and was actually there for us when Tessa died. She is a good friend and I love her. This is the problem. She found out that she was pregnant with her little boy the day after Tess died. She didn't tell us that she was pregnant for a few months because she knew that being around pregnant women and babies made me hurt.
So now, she has a 2 beautiful boys. We are preparing for China. She works nights 2 times a week. She needs a baby sitter for Tuesday's. I am losing my job. (This is a good thing for me) and she said, "since you have so much "free time" can you baby sit the baby while I sleep on Tuesdays?" I love her dearly but she always waits till the last minute to plan for childcare. Always. Another thing, and this is what bothers me most...I don't think I want to babysit for that long of a time a little one that is that close in age to Tessa. Everytime I see the baby, I think, "Tessa would only be a little bigger" or "Tessa would be teething too"...I smell his little head and wonder if Tessa would have smelled that good. It makes me feel panicky inside. I just don't want to do it.
She is at the end of her rope, she looks terrible because she is so exhausted. Her husband has used up all of his sick time to take off so she can rest prior to working all night. They make good money and can afford a sitter. They just haven't looked.
Tell me that it is ok for me to not baby sit him. Tell me that I'm not crazy for comparing him to our Tess and NOT wanting to spend hours with him. I love him dearly...but I know me and I know that when this sweet boy passes milestones in his life I will always wonder about the milestones Tess would have had...like 1st grade, losing her 1st tooth, 1st date....am I crazy?
You are totally NOT crazy!!!! I think it's completely understandable how you feel. You should really, right now, take care of YOU! Don't worry about what she's going to do, how she's going to cope (duh, get a sitter and pay him/her!), you just need to do what's right for you, emotionally. Get selfish. THat's what I had to do to maintain my sanity, and so far it's worked. Kinda.
I agree. Putting yourself in a bad situation so that she can be in a good one is not what friends are for. You need to do what is best for you. It would be different maybe if they were financially stuck too or if it was a temporary thing but you have a lot going on (without the pain of loosing Tessa) and then, add the stress of emotional rollercoasters that would be caused by babysitting, you'd be a wreak. It sounds like you already are pretty stressed about it. If she's a good friend, she'll understand. And, don't feel guilty. You do what you gotta do.
Thank you all for responding. If you send me your email addy, I will send you the pictures I have of Avery. We are very excited...and scared.
Ok..I am not crazy..but what do I SAY to her? They already think that I should be much farther along in the grieving process than I am..I don't care what they think...I know I am exactly where I should be....
I totally agree with the above pp's. Your SIL can get a babysitter. You need to put yourself first. Period. Please don't feel selfish about it.
What do you say to SIL? I really think it's best to be honest. If it were me, I'd just tell her something like: "I've thought a lot about it, but I'm sorry -- it would be too hard for me right now. This kind of grief takes so much longer to process than many people realize."
Your SIL was caring enough to avoid telling you when she was pregnant. So she seems sensitive, and seems to have your best interests at heart. So I imagine she'll understand. And if she doesn't, well too bad for her: she'll just have to.
Great big hugs to you,
(PS I look forward to seeing photos of your child! Congratulations!)
I was just thinking that the very fact that your SIL asked you, means she doesn't understand how long this grief can take. There's an expression: "You don't know what you don't know".
She hasn't 'been there' so she doesn't know! Until now....
What you will actually be doing here is educating her -- and this will help her not only personally, but professionally. In truth, you're looking out for yourself AND you're actually doing her a favour. A win-win.
Lisa, congrats on finding your daughter Avery. I would love to see a picture. I am so very happy for you and your family.
I agree with the other ladies...it is ok for you to do what is best for you. I could not deal with babysitting like that. Life is so hard, we need to put ourselves in situations that make it easier on us.
I don't think you are crazy at all. I too, would just be straight forward and let her know that you cannpt help her right now, and yeah, inform her on the grieving process. Best of luck there hon, I hope it goes well!
And congrats on getting your little girl from China, that is so exciting!