Someone named Anonymous commented on my "How to Tell your Infertile Friends You're Pregnant" posting tonight. She broke the news to her infertile sister-in-law (SIL) that she's pregnant, but her SIL won't acknowledge the pregnancy. She wonders what she should do now.
Here is my one-person's opinion on the matter:
1) You've got a tough situation there. It sucks on every side: sucks to be the infertile SIL, sucks to be the fertile SIL. No matter what happens, there is no perfect solution, and no one will come out of this perfectly happy.
2) You are luckier than she is because you get a baby and an awkward family situation, and she just gets an awkward family situation. You can keep your irritated hat on (hey, our feelings are what they are), as long as you put your compassionate hat on top of it.
3) If I were the one pretending my sister-in-law weren't pregnant, it would be because I thought I would start to cry the second I acknowledged she was. Your SIL might think it's better to say nothing than to act sad or mad. It's kind of an extension of "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all": "if you can't say anything without crying, shut your trap."
Or her silence might be a sign that she's in denial about the situation. If she doesn't acknowledge the pregnancy to you, she doesn't have to acknowledge it to herself. As my therapist has told me, sometimes denial comes in handy.
No matter what, I am a firm believer in getting things out in the open, though, so since she's not likely to take the lead, I think it's up to you. The next time you see her, take her aside and tell her how much you care about her, and how much you hate that you're both in this situation. Ask her what she's feeling, and what you can do to make it easier on her. If you don't think this would go over well in person, write her a letter to that effect... on real paper with a real envelope (it will seem more thoughtful than email).
Once you get the communication flowing, if you can, take your cue from her as to how much she wants to be around you or talk about pregnancy and infertility.
Short of that, I'm not sure what else to tell you. So I'll open it up to my girls.
Ye women of this hard-knocks community, what advice do you have for Anonymous?