We've been hoodwinked. I suppose you need a bit of backstory, so read on.
After my latest pregnancy FAIL, which occurred a few weeks after we learned that Hubby's SIL is expecting again (timing is everything, huh?) we told his parents that they shouldn't expect us around for Christmas. I knew that she would be a huge fat preggo at that point, and that, combined with all of my other loss and IF related holiday anxiety, multiplied by the in-laws' giddiness at having the whole family together - even the new grandchild to be - was just too much to bear. We told them several times that Christmas is hard for us, that our family will never feel whole and that this year we needed to spend it alone.
At first, they accepted it. But then, slowly, as the weeks began to pass, my MIL started laying on the subtle hints, and the guilt.
"We're going to get those gluten free crackers you love for Christmas," she says.
"Christmas is going to be so wonderful this year!" she says.
"This could be my last Christmas," she says (even though her health is pretty darned good).
"This could be Grandma's last Christmas," she says.
"This could be Grandpa's last Christmas," she says.
"It's been so long since we had the whole family together for Christmas," she says.
And then she cries.
Hubby cannot stand when his mother cries, because she uses tears as manipulation, and so her tears inevitably start us toward an argument of some sort. Divide and conquer; it's what she does best.
Despite our internal commotion, we have presented a united front to them and repeatedly said no, we're not coming this year, it's just going to be too hard.
So for Thanksgiving, MIL and FIL decided that they were going to go see BIL, SIL and grandchild (and grandchild to be), who live a few hours away. They left their dog with us earlier this week, and took off, but not before making Hubby promise that, no matter what, we'd make it to both family Thanksgiving dinners (one at Grandma's, one at his cool aunt and uncle's). I thought it'd be fine because there would be no babies/preggos in sight at either affair.
And then, last night Hubby got a text from his dad that said "Great news! We're bringing BIL, SIL and grandchild back with us for Thanksgiving!"
We had already committed to going to both dinners, and couldn't back out last minute. His family loves the drama, you know? After the demise of the Ocho, which occurred on a Tuesday, I didn't feel like leaving the house for about a week. That weekend I bowed out of lunch with his Grandma, who knew about Dead Dog Dead Baby Day and yet still insisted that the only reason I didn't show up was because I hate her. Drama drama.
Anyway, we both feel like the whole thing was a set up to get us to both events despite the presence of BIL and huge preggo SIL. They know that we (well, I, at least) would never have gone had we known in advance that they would be there.
We had Part 1, at Grandma's, already. Predictably, it sucked. The only thing anyone wanted to talk about was the grandchild and the soon to be grandchild. We exited as soon as was polite.
Part 2 will be upon us soon. I am trying to avoid an anxiety attack by repeating "Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity now."
I feel really disrespected by all of this. I don't expect anyone who hasn't walked this road to understand one ounce of what we've gone through, but I do expect people to respect our wishes and feelings when we make them clear. And we sure did make it clear that we didn't want to spend any of this holiday season around a huge fat preggo.
We love BIL and SIL, we really do. Things are just too raw right now, you know? Plus, I don't feel comfortable enough around any of his family to cry or scream or run out of the room if I feel like I need to. Right now, home is the safest place for me.
And I must get ready to leave it and face the evil in-laws over the carcass of yet another dead bird.
Fuck serenity. I need lorazepam now!