Sunday, April 25, 2010

What do you say when you can't find the words?

Really, I don't even know where to begin.

In preparation for my SIL, J's baby shower, I offered to help my SIL, K with the dessert that she was going to bring. She is admittedly not the best cook, and so I thought I would help her out. I went over to her house Friday afternoon so that we could get them done.

K is also pregnant. She has been the only one of my SIL's that I felt actually cared about my feelings. She hasn't flaunted her pregnancy, and has only brought it up if asked. She has been really awesome, so I didn't mind at all being around her. The sting is still there when I glance at her just-now-emerging-belly, but I have managed to push the feelings aside. K is the one that found out recently the gender of her baby. A boy. While making the desserts I asked her (probably for the 10th time since finding out she was pregnant) if they had a name picked out. Her eyes dropped to the table and she told me the name they have chosen. "C_____ ______ ______"

My heart stopped.

"No!" I yelled, mostly out of shock. K, giggles and says "what?"

"That's our name." I tell her.

K giggles more, and replies "oh, sorry."

I think she's joking. I have been VERY verbal about our use of that name. Whenever the topic has come up, (as all of us girls know happens A LOT, especially in a room full of preggos) I have told them all that we will name our son C. Not "We really like the name C", or "We are thinking of naming our first son C" but "We ARE naming our son C" and "The ONLY name we have decided on is C."

I waited a minute to see if she says anything. She doesn't. Then it sinks in. She's not kidding.

"I totally thought you were joking." I say.

More giggles, then "Sorry." Silence. "So, are we going to go pick up something to eat?"

I am devastated. In complete shock, and ready to melt into the ground.

I take her to pick something up, but I am too nauseous to eat. I brought her back to her house, quickly showed her how to make the dessert, and then excuse myself to come home. I didn't say anything else about the name. I not only needed time to process it, but also wondered if maybe she had forgotten, or somehow didn't know about us using the name.

When I walked in the door, DH was on the phone... with his mother. He was visibly frustrated. Apparently, when I had left K's house she had called her husband, DH's brother, and told him that I was upset. He then called their mom, who then called DH. (can you say "SPINELESS?")

My MIL told DH that they had known that we were going to be upset, and had been scared to tell us. She said that K has really liked the name C since she was a little girl, and that if we really like the name, there is no law that says we can't use it, too.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! Not only did they know we had chosen the name, but they knew we'd be upset. AND THEY DID IT ANYWAY!!!

If K had liked the name so much, why is it that in all the times we had discussed names, she never mentioned it? It's not because I was unapproachable about it. Another SIL spoke up when we were discussing names and said that she really liked that name, too, and that it was high on their list of possibilities. She and I discussed it, WHILE EVERYONE ELSE WAS AROUND and found that there were actually 2 names that we both had interest in. I told her that C was more important to me than the other name (it was a girl's name) and that I would happily give up the other name, if she'd do the same with C. She agreed. (Which works out well, because she is having a girl and has actually chosen that name for their daughter.) So, I know that K knew that I was willing to discuss these kinds of things in a civil, and polite manner. I am all for compromise. I am one to always try to meet in the middle, but not now. I KNOW that this name isn't nearly as important to K. She obviously likes it, but still. She should have known it was off limits.

I don't have the words to express how deeply hurt, and offended I am. It is not just a name to me. C IS MY SON. Whether on this earth or not, that is my son's name. It has been for years. I cannot fathom seeing their son, and calling him C. It makes my heart hurt. We have placed soooo much hope into that name. It is beyond comprehension that they would take that from us. This baby that we have tried so hard for, have gone through so much to have, and continue to work for has had his name stolen. And by people that we love.

The thing that gets me the most is that there is NO DOUBT that they knew. They know how much that name means to us. It is the ONLY name I have ever used to refer to our son. As in "When we finally get to bring our little C home..." or when asked about a cycle or pregnancy, "I hope we finally get our C."

As for my MIL's suggestion that we both use the name... yeah right. The babies would have the same first and last name and although they would have different middle names, we don't want to call our son by his middle name. It's not a possibility with their son either since his middle name will be my BIL's name. Too confusing. And we all know that full names are reserved for when you child is in trouble. It wouldn't be so bad if his family weren't so close, but that isn't the case.

I will never forget this and I will never forgive them. When they chose that name, they chose to end our relationship. Plain and simple.

I don't know what else to say. I have NEVER been more hurt... BY ANYONE, than I am over this.

How would you handle this?


Christa said...

Seriously, I think you're out of line and overreacting here. You probably don't want to hear that, but that's my honest opinion. C is not your son, as you said. No. Just, no. That is a hypothetical name...a fairy tale, and you can't lay claim on it. I'm sorry...but you can use the name anyways (which I agree isn't perfect), or give yourself time to "grieve" the name, and move on. Start from scratch...think how much you've changed and grown over the years. It's time to start from the drawing board, and get some perspective. Seriously -- it's not worth carrying a grudge and ruining a family relationship over this. It's not.

Michelle said...

Make totally sure that you tell them straight out how hurt you are by this.

There are SOOOO many names in this world... they should absolutely just pick a different one.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Christy. You are overreacting quite a bit actually. I've had a SIL take a name from my husband and I. It's not worth making such a big deal out of it. Maybe give yourself time to recover like Michelle suggested and move on. I'm really sorry that you are going through this. Don't let this be a reason to ruin an important relationship because you are choosing to take your anger out about infertility on a family member. Keep that in mind.

Beth said...

I actually don't think you are overreacting. I think this is an excellent case of how the fertile population doesn't understand the infertile population. If all you have is a NAME then they should at least let you have that. I have three very fertile siblings and my biggest fear is not them having more children while I wait for mine but that they will take my name while I wait for mine. For a reason that I won't go into right now, names are very important in our family and having someone take my name would be a huge slap in the face. It would be totally different if you weren't trying to get pregnant but you are trying to get your "C." All of that being said though, I will say that my husband has the same name as his cousin and it is totally fine. There are only 4 grandchildren and 2 of them have the same name. We are very close even as adults - closer that some siblings are and like I said, it has never been an issue. They were both named the name for special reasons and it is special for both of them.

Meim said...

Thank you, Beth. I am glad that someone understands.

Christa and Anonymous, I understand your view, and appreciate your opinions. I just wanted to stress that the part that I am having the hardest time with is the fact that THEY KNEW. They knew it would hurt us and did it anyway. To me, that is unacceptable. Although I would still be upset if they had unknowingly used the name, it wouldn't feel so personal and as if it were a direct slam. I probably would have been able to deal with it much easier and faster.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I don't think you are over-reacting at all. The fact that you have been up front with the family about how important this name is to you is the key part of this whole situation. That and the fact that the whole family knew and seemed not to be concerned about your feelings.

Our future babies' names are a part of the hope we cling to... Heck, I've had names picked out since I was in college (and that was a long time ago). It would be incredibly difficult for me to accept that anyone in my family took any of the names I've carried in my heart for all these years.

Christa said...

M -- I should clarify that I do see your point...I really, truly do. And I'm so sorry for your pain. I have both been in -- and witnessed -- very very similar situations. I think what I am reacting to so strongly is your anger...I just wouldn't wish that on anyone. Although understandable, it is still so very corrosive (sp?)...and I hope you can find some peace. Maybe I'm a pollyana, but I really have a feeling that things with work out with you, and with this name. Whether you use it in the future, or you come to agree on another point is that I don't think you should make any absolutes about a major relationship in your life over it now while you are "in the moment" with it. While you may be the "wronged" party here, I still think you'd be wise to try to let go of your justified anger.

AnxiousMummyto3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnxiousMummyto3 said...

I love you and will email you soon. Missed you!

Penny said...

How awful! There is no good way to handle it. Maybe after a lengthy stay away from all things related to her, some clarity will come. In the meantime, I just wish you big hugs.

PS- I don't think you're overreacting, and it is especially validated given that the rest of the family knew this would be an issue for you and DH. It is more than a name, it is a symbol of your hope for the future, and someone went and stomped on that. I'd be really hurt too.

Kate said...

I definitely understand. Even if they had decided on using the name -- even knowing how much it would hurt you -- they should have told you in a way that acknowledged the blow they were dealing to you. Not done casually, with giggles, as though by pretending it's no big deal they can MAKE it no big deal. It IS a big deal, and at the very least they should have treated it as such!

I hope that you can still have a relationship with them and their child, but I would definitely understand if this is too big a breach. Do what you need to do.

Annie said...

Of all the names there are in the world, it's tragic that both you and K have loved the same name for a long time. The manner in which she told you was just awful and you are justified in being angry. However, even if you were as fertile as she is you may have ended up with all girls! In a sense, she "wins" just because she can produce a male child - and yes, she is rubbing your face in it. It's not the fact that she's using the name that is wrong (she has every right to use it and so do you if the time comes) but it's her giggling and dismissiveness over the pain she KNEW it would cause that is the problem. And even if you explain how much it hurts you, it is clear that she doesn't care in the least, so why bother? Though it would be interesting, just for curiosity's sake, to ask her how she would feel if the situation were reversed. Even thought you really can't "claim" the name, you do some cause for justified anger - BUT it's not worth causing a huge family rift over.

Ashley said...

Oh My Gosh! I am raging and hurt at the same time for you! I don't get it. I don't get people. I don't understand how someone could do this. I mean, really. Are people this unkind and inconsiderate? I'll be happy to tell her off for you! Really.

Since it seems to me that everyone already knows this is your name and this chick has decided to use YOUR name, I think you have every right to tell her exactly how you feel. I think she is being insensitive and disgusting. If your MIL knew you would be upset, SHE had to have known this would hurt. Come on. I would tell her everything that you put in this post. Mail it in a letter if you can't say it to her directly. Do NOT guard your feelings on this issue; she has not guarded hers with you!

And I am so sorry that you have to deal with people like this. Truly, you deserve to be treated with so much more tenderness and respect.