My mother-in-law and I have had a tumultuous relationship throughout the years. My husband (DH) and I have been together for 17 years, and recently our relationship has been improving. In August, I discovered that I was pregnant, and I believed that this would bring us closer as a family, especially since my own family lives a few hours away.
During my entire pregnancy, things seemed to be going well between MIL and me. We discussed baby planning, and she was always eager to buy clothes and items for the upcoming arrival. I was excited about the idea of my baby having a grandmother nearby and hoped it would strengthen our bond.
Fast forward to last week when I went for a routine check-up at the OB for my 38-week appointment. To my surprise, I was immediately sent to the hospital for an emergency C-section due to preeclampsia and a breech baby.
The initial plan was to have both my mom and DH in the delivery room. I quickly called my mom, hoping she would make it in time. However, due to the urgency of the situation, I was informed that only one person could be present during the surgery. Naturally, I chose DH to witness the birth of our daughter, but I was scared and longed for my mom’s presence throughout the entire process. By the time the surgery was over and I was in my room, visiting hours had already ended. Thankfully, the hospital made an exception and allowed my mom to visit for a few minutes, as I had been desperately asking for her throughout the procedure.
The problem arose when MIL tried to come to the hospital while I was being admitted. I asked her to wait since I wasn’t in a room yet and wasn’t even sure if the procedure would take place that day or the next. I made the mistake of expressing my need for my mom to be there with me, considering my fear and anxiety. I assured MIL that I would inform her when it was over, and she could then come to the hospital to visit.
However, instead of understanding the situation, MIL directed her frustration towards DH. She claimed it was unfair that she couldn’t be there for him (as if he was the one undergoing surgery) and expressed anger that my mom had been able to be there, even though they had to make an exception for her due to visiting hours being over. It has now been over a week, and MIL has not come to see the baby or even inquired about her. This has deeply hurt DH, and I am struggling to comprehend how she could make this situation about herself. With four children of her own, one would expect her to understand that labor is not a spectator sport, especially when it escalates into emergency surgery.
This incident has become the breaking point for me in my relationship with MIL. I suspect she expects me to go out of my way to bring the baby to her, even though she has never made the effort to come to our house, even before the baby was born. However, I refuse to do so. If she wants to meet her granddaughter, she knows where to find us. We have always had an open-door policy.
There is a history of deeper and, at times, unhinged behavior from MIL that I am not willing to disclose to strangers on the internet. But this experience has left me feeling hollow and worried about my future relationship with my mother-in-law. What should I do?