Author Topic: Beandipping dead baby stories  (Read 7583 times)

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girlysprite

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Beandipping dead baby stories
« on: January 18, 2013, 11:06:58 AM »
Me and DH have recently become parents of a beautiful baby boy. He is six weeks old now. This story takes place during christmas, when we spent some time in my moms home with the baby. He was, at tha point. 3 weeks old. We were doing fine, but due to hormones amy story about a baby dying or suffering another bad fate leaves me im tears.
During the visit I went upstairs to feed the baby. SIL started a comversation with DH. She congratulated us on having become parents, and continued right away with telling that it was hard for her to see young babies, because she had never been able to conceive. My DH was slightly miffed at this (can't she just be happy for us? He thought). But them she continued to tell about her experiences as a nurse in the past, and babies who were born with severe defects and deformities, who'd die soon after birth. My DH said that he needed to check on me and the baby and removed himself from the room.
He didn't tell me what happened until now, as he didn't want to trigger me, and I thank him for that judgement. But really, who tells such stories to new parents??

mrkitty

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 11:52:38 AM »
First, girlysprite, congratulations on your new baby!!  ;D

There could be a lot of reasons your SIL did this. But it sounds to me like a classic case of good old jealousy. But no matter the reason, (I think) it's pretty insensitive and in poor taste to go on about such a topic under the circumstances. Let's all say it together: In! Appropriate!

I think your husband handled it about as well as any one could have. There's that technique on here called "beandipping" where one changes the subject (other posters are more experienced about how to deploy the maneuver; I'm still learning) but essentially you just ignore what they say and change the subject. OR, you can use Complete Silence, where you cease speaking all together and just stare at the speaker and say nothing until they (hopefully) realize they stepped in it and either apologize or run scampering from the room.

But the excuse and quick exit your husband made seems to me like a perfectly reasonable and effective way to go. I take it that this conversation did not happen in front of you (I certainly hope not!). Depending upon how close your DH is to your SIL (is she his sister, or wife of his brother, or the wife of your brother?) or how they're related by marriage, perhaps, if this continues, he could pull her aside discreetly and gently - but firmly - point out that this topic is very upsetting for both of you and you would both appreciate it if she didn't bring that up in either of your presence again?

Now personally (and this is just me here) I find the topic rather too distressing to discuss in any kind of a social context - and I would rather not hear about such tragic things unless it was very relevant to a particular conversation. My goodness. There are just some. things. you don't bring up at certain times!!!!

Jealousy, I say. She probably is not even consciously aware of it. I'm so sorry about that.

But, again, congratulations on your new beautiful baby!!! Yay!!!  ;D

Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 11:53:15 AM »
Girlysprite, I'm always amazed at people who do this so I have no answer for you on that one.  Bravo to your DH for 1) removing himself by beandipping and 2) having the good sense not to say anything to you until now.

Congratulations on the new bundle of joy!

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 11:57:44 AM »
Me and DH have recently become parents of a beautiful baby boy. He is six weeks old now. This story takes place during christmas, when we spent some time in my moms home with the baby. He was, at tha point. 3 weeks old. We were doing fine, but due to hormones amy story about a baby dying or suffering another bad fate leaves me im tears.
During the visit I went upstairs to feed the baby. SIL started a comversation with DH. She congratulated us on having become parents, and continued right away with telling that it was hard for her to see young babies, because she had never been able to conceive. My DH was slightly miffed at this (can't she just be happy for us? He thought). But them she continued to tell about her experiences as a nurse in the past, and babies who were born with severe defects and deformities, who'd die soon after birth. My DH said that he needed to check on me and the baby and removed himself from the room.
He didn't tell me what happened until now, as he didn't want to trigger me, and I thank him for that judgement. But really, who tells such stories to new parents??

I think your dh nailed it right there. No, she can't.  I've known people who, if they were unhappy, felt the need to bring others down too because hey misery loves company, right?  I think what she did was downright cruel though, only 3 weeks after you had your child and she was planting thoughts like that?

I know when Piratebabe was real little I got a bit paranoid about that sort of thing, and when the older two were that age too.  So I sure didn't need help from others giving me things to worry about!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

MamaMootz

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 01:47:07 PM »
Who tells people these stories? I don't know - people who are jealous or possibly just thoughtless. Or possibly she was doing a "consider yourself lucky you have a healthy baby" spiel without realizing it?

Maybe this was her way of expressing her pain about not being able to conceive?

If it makes you feel any better, OP, I was subjected to Pregnancy Horror Stories Version 1.0 during my entire pregnancy from a co-worker whose wife had such a horrific labor she almost died.
I really, really, didn't need to hear that after miscarrying  one baby (I was carrying twins) early on in the pregnancy while carrying the other twin to term.

People can be thoughtless twits. Good on your DH for protecting you, though, and excellent use of Bean Dip.

"I like pie" - DD's Patented Bean Dip Maneuver

Hmmmmm

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 01:58:45 PM »
Congratulations on your baby.

Since your SIL worked in an environment where birth defects and infant death were dealt with on a daily basis, she might have become a little desensitized to how these stories effect people who are not used to hearing them. 

If this is out of the norm for her in other ways, I'd let it go.  But if this is a common practice of "raining on your parade" then I'd reduce contact and learn some really good bean dip recipes.

Sharnita

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 07:35:24 AM »
As far as "just" being happy for you, people are pretty complex so experiencing happiness for you without any sorrow or regret about their own disappointment actually seems a bit unreasonable. The stories seem strange and disturbing but I think it was a strange version of "count your blessings" combined with an expression of relief. If she worked with these mothers and babies she is aware of what could happen worst case scenario. She might have had some nervousness and now that you are past that she is relieved and revealing her past concerns.

Would it be better not to give voice to her feelings at this moment? Probably, yes. OTOH, I don't think she actually has ill intentions. To me her words indicate she trusts you enough to share her sorrows and concerns.

girlysprite

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 12:47:38 AM »
I know for myself that when a person can't get children while they really want to, it can result in a life-lomg hurting and missing, so I'm giving her a full pass there myself. I don't think she had any bad intentions with her stories. Etiquette and certain social graces aren't her stromg suit, and I believe that she was teying to make conversation - though that didn't turn out well obviously. I can kind of imagine how it goes 'the topic is babies, what do I have to tell about babies? Well, I worked in neonatal care for sick babies, let's tell about that!'

WillyNilly

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 01:44:31 PM »
I definitely think her stories were inappropriate. But I think as someone who works in healthcare, she was somewhat desensitized. I also think it might be a kind of coping mechanism for her - proof she's not alone in her lonely aching for a baby that'll never come to term in her body and live a life. And in that vein, while she was certainly wrong, I absolutely think your DH's "can't she just be happy for US" was cruel - did you ever mourn for her? You will most likely get a lifetime of happiness with your child - how much time did you give to her in loving support of her inability to have that too? If you don't stand with her in sorrow, how much does she owe you in joy?

girlysprite

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 09:42:25 AM »
I definitely think her stories were inappropriate. But I think as someone who works in healthcare, she was somewhat desensitized. I also think it might be a kind of coping mechanism for her - proof she's not alone in her lonely aching for a baby that'll never come to term in her body and live a life. And in that vein, while she was certainly wrong, I absolutely think your DH's "can't she just be happy for US" was cruel - did you ever mourn for her? You will most likely get a lifetime of happiness with your child - how much time did you give to her in loving support of her inability to have that too? If you don't stand with her in sorrow, how much does she owe you in joy?

Those things happened before she got into a relationship with my brother. She is of my mothers age ( nearing 60). She is quite older than my brother, so at the point that their relationship started, children were no longer an option anyways due to her age. I didn't even know she ever wanted children; she doesn't seem a motherly type. Because she didn't know this it caught my husband by surprise.

As for the 'can't she be happy for us sentiment': that is a quote from my husband, which, in hindsight, didn't clarify well in the opening post. I'm usually quite laidback, so I shrug and don't mind if such things come up. I think what DH meant by that quote is he doesn't like her starting to talk about her infertelity and mourning of that loss right the first time she sees us and the baby since the delivery. Such meetings are usually reserved for making happy noises about the new baby, not detailing out how bad such occurances make you feel. It was not about the feelingsshe had, but the timing she chose to share them.

WillyNilly

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 11:54:15 AM »
I totally agree her words were inappropriate.

But I still think its really unfair and selfish to think she should "[make] happy noises abut the baby".  She needs to not be negative, yes, but she does not need to be positive; neutral is appropriate and its greedy for you (or your DH, etc) to expect more then neutral. So while her behavior was wrong, your/your DH's expectations I think were unfair as well, and probably compounded the hurt. If she can't be happy for you, she doesn't have to fake it, she just should contain it.

Pen^2

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 09:50:38 PM »
She was inappropriate, absolutely.

But it may not have been due to jealousy: a lot of people, when confronted with a new situation, fall back on their own related experiences. This is why it is not wise to talk with a beef farmer while eating steak. He may mean well, but chances are he'll be talking about how to kill a bull and strip it of meat, which isn't something most people are comfortable talking about while eating said meat.

She may have just been trying to make conversation and saying everything that came into her head about babies. "Oh, I want a baby but haven't gotten pregnant yet after trying to conceive for aaaages." "I'm a nurse and get to see all the sickest, most dyingest babies there are. Let me tell you about them..."

It could have been a subconscious jealousy thing, yes. But maybe she just had verbal diarrhea and was spewing everything she could think of about babies. Either way, it may be wise to ask DH to explicitly tell her, if it happens again, that such comments are far from appropriate and are both hurtful and unwelcome.

Bluenomi

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 10:09:57 PM »
There is something about pregnancy and babies that make people tell horrid stories. You get the bad birth ones, the miscarriage ones, the stillborn ones etc. All the freaking time!
No idea why, maybe it's because it's the 'best' baby story, or because they think expecting/new mothers need warning about what can go wrong, or because they just aren't thinking.

I recommend bean dip. Lots and lots of bean dip. I've sticked myself up because I've discovered that once people fine out you are having twin, you get lots and lots of stories  ;)

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2013, 12:17:29 PM »
She was inappropriate, absolutely.

But it may not have been due to jealousy: a lot of people, when confronted with a new situation, fall back on their own related experiences. This is why it is not wise to talk with a beef farmer while eating steak. He may mean well, but chances are he'll be talking about how to kill a bull and strip it of meat, which isn't something most people are comfortable talking about while eating said meat.

She may have just been trying to make conversation and saying everything that came into her head about babies. "Oh, I want a baby but haven't gotten pregnant yet after trying to conceive for aaaages." "I'm a nurse and get to see all the sickest, most dyingest babies there are. Let me tell you about them..."

It could have been a subconscious jealousy thing, yes. But maybe she just had verbal diarrhea and was spewing everything she could think of about babies. Either way, it may be wise to ask DH to explicitly tell her, if it happens again, that such comments are far from appropriate and are both hurtful and unwelcome.

I agree that she was probably trying to just make conversation.  She might also be one of these people who does not pick up on clues that she is making other people uncomfortable. 

In this case, it might be best to skip the beandip for a more direct approach.  If she starts telling the OP and/or OP's husband horror stories about babies, they should first respond with "This subject makes me/us uncomfortable, could we please change the subject?"  If she ignores this reasonable request, they can then say that the her comments are inappropriate and unwelcome.

jackie jormp jomp

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Re: Beandipping dead baby stories
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2014, 01:07:51 AM »
As far as "just" being happy for you, people are pretty complex so experiencing happiness for you without any sorrow or regret about their own disappointment actually seems a bit unreasonable.

This.