My husband and I have great families. They are, however great in different ways. I have one sister, grandparents, five aunts, five uncles, about 11 first cousins, and the number is always growing. Most of my family lives in Maryland.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, M's family is rather small, he has an older sister, grandparents, two aunts, two uncles and four cousins. Only half of those live in the U.S., the rest are in Europe (M is first generation American).
My family has never put any pressure on us to have children, they would be happy for us if we did, but it is not in any way a requirement. They have their own busy lives, and don't feel the need to intrude in ours. I haven't discussed our problems with much of my family, but I did clue my mom in this past year. She has been nothing short of perfect. She doesn't dole out assvice, she only offers support.
By contrast, M's family feels that it is my duty to give them children. From our wedding forward, we were gently told to get busy. I realize that it might be a cultural difference, or just their desire to see the family grow. I'm not sure what the real driving force is behind their nudges, but it is just stupid and annoying.
At first, I was able to ignore their hints, back when we were still young and newly married. Plus I wanted to finish college, and his family, thankfully did allow me that break without any trouble.
Their nagging became a problem after we settled down and started ttc. We didn't tell them we were trying, because, well it wasn't any of their business and I didn't want the pressure. We just figured it would be a happy surprise some months down the road.
When the road started getting longer and harder, it also became harder to just grit my teeth when my MIL rubbed my non pregnant belly. But I was in no way prepared to fill them in on everything. I couldn't bear to hear any assvice, especially since M's sister had just given birth to her second and his mom was now truly obsessed with babies.
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I don't like my sister in law. We haven't gotten along for the past 8 years, mostly because she is a selfish biatch. But that's for another time.
It's been especially tough this past year, M's sister just had her third baby (my how time fly's) in December. All of his cousins now have children except one. To break it down, we are now the only married couple not to have children in his small family. To add insult to injury, I'm being lapped.
The hardest aspect of all of this hasn’t been the need for medical treatment. Surprisingly, that doesn't really bother me. I'm not squeamish about getting in the stirrups or discussing my problems with the Drs. and nurses. Quite the opposite, I just want to do what it takes to appear normal. Is it crazy to just want to appear normal, not actually be normal? Although don't get me wrong, a normaly functioning reproductive system wouldn't be turned away.
It's the failure that has been hard. More specifically it's the public failure, the knowing that M's family is watching closely, whether we discuss our problems with them or not.
I know this for a fact, because no one wanted to tell me that my SIL was pregnant for the third time this past summer. I found out from our three year old niece. She told me that "mommy has a baby in her belly". Blehhhhh
After about two years of trying, and many more not so subtle hints from M's family, I've had enough. We still haven't divulged the details of our treatment, but we've told his parents that we're working on it, and it might not happen, so they can stop being annoying now. We've told everyone else in his family who makes rude comments to mind their own and that we'll let them know if anything exciting happens.
To my relief, my MIL has backed off, she is bordering on normal about the baby making. M's father still can't help himself, he makes stupid comments periodically, but at least everyone gives him dirty looks now. And I just avoid the rest of the family if possible, because I don't want to play with new babies that aren't mine.