Grieving Mother Accidentally Learns Sister Is Pregnant — At Funeral For Her Stillborn Baby
Sep 10, 2021 by apost team
When a woman loses a baby, it can be a traumatic experience. Some parents will grieve for their babies for years after their passing, and for some, the experience is tragic because they have had repeated fertility problems. This was on display when American model Chrissy Teigen, who is married to the musician John Legend, wrote publicly about the pain that goes along with having a miscarriage in October 2020. The model posted a photo of herself crying at the hospital alongside an intimate description of her feelings after losing her third child, a boy they had named Jack. Similarly, Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, wrote a November 2020 opinion piece for The New York Times titled “The Loses We Share” about losing what would have been her second child in a miscarriage. Suffice it to say that stillbirths and miscarriages can lead to tremendous grief.
That was also the case for one Redditor’s 34-year-old sister who went into labor at 30 weeks and experienced a stillbirth. The Redditor posted to the platform in August 2021 to ask whether she was wrong for admitting that she was pregnant while at the baby's funeral. But don’t be too quick to judge, as this 32-year-old Redditor’s story is more complicated than that.
As the original poster explained, her sister has struggled to get pregnant while she already has two children with another on the way. But in light of her sister’s stillbirth, which she incorrectly calls a miscarriage, the original poster says that she “figured it was best not to tell her as it was too soon and it would put salt in the already gaping wound.” But at the baby’s funeral, the secret got out.
“My excuse for not drinking (at the funeral) was easy as I'm teetotal without being pregnant, but it got difficult when my nausea hit,” the mother of two explains. “I excused myself to the bathroom, where I promptly threw up. My brother's wife (SIL), who is one of my best friends, followed me up. She straight up said 'You're pregnant, aren't you?' I responded, 'Yes, but don't tell anyone. Today's about making sis and BIL comfortable.' My SIL congratulated me and said she understood.”
So far so good — except that her brother-in-law’s teenage sister was lurking in the background. And she heard everything. Before the original poster has time to soften the blow, the teenage girl goes downstairs and tells everyone at the wake about the pregnancy.
“My sister confronted me crying and asked if it was true. I said yes but I didn't mean for her to find out like this. She screamed that 'I could conceive easier than a … rabbit (I admit this is true, and something that I know has caused a bit of pain as my other kids are 2 and 9 months) and I was flaunting my pregnancy while she suffered.' It ended with her retreating to the bedroom and just screaming. It was awful,” she continued.
The original poster goes on to say that everyone thinks that her behavior at the funeral was inappropriate, save for her husband and her sister-in-law. The original poster’s mother makes the point that she could have lied, while her husband is upset with the sister-in-law for asking in the first place. Meanwhile, the Redditor’s brother-in-law “is refusing to look (her) in the eye.”
Most Redditors contend that while she might have handled the situation better, the original poster didn’t do anything wrong.
“I understand the desire to be honest, but there are rare times when it is better to lie or deflect, and this was one of them. As evidenced by the teenager in the next room, you had no idea who could have been listening. Your SIL had no right asking that in the first place, especially in that situation, so you had no obligation to answer her question at all,” one Redditor wrote.
Other Redditors agreed, with many writing that she was ultimately not in the wrong. A vocal minority of users on the platform had a different take, however. One Redditor, for example, said that she should not have said anything under any circumstances.
“I can't with all these self-righteous ‘I sTrUgGlE wItH lYiNG’ comments. If someone I love had experienced an unimaginable loss like this, I wouldn't tell a … soul at that funeral that I was pregnant, for this exact reason. It's literally a few hours of one day to make absolutely sure that you don't add to your sister's already debilitating grief,” the Redditor explained.
“It was incredibly rude of the SIL to ask, but OP should have shut it down out of respect for her sister, and they both should have known better than to have the conversation loud enough to be overheard in the next room,” the Redditor added.
Regardless of which side you fall on, the original poster updated the subreddit with some good news. After she and her sister-in-law apologized, her sister and brother-in-law have said that they forgive her, though they do want to keep their distance as “the pregnancy is too raw.”
“I respect that, and both parties look forward to meeting in the near future when things feel more settled,” the original poster writes.istockphoto.com/Urilux
Whose side are you on? What would you have done in this situation? Let us know — and be sure to pass this on so we can hear other opinions!