It's expected that as your parents grow older, most of them will start to long for grandchildren. Pushy parents might try and play matchmaker for their single children or constantly beg their married progeny for a tiny tot to spoil, but most parents know not to take it too far. They may beg and whine, but they would never try to directly thwart their children's plans, especially not if they knew that trying to have a baby might literally kill their child.
One Redditor, who we'll name Heather, recently told this story of her friend, who we'll call Maggie. Maggie had an incredibly difficult time conceiving a child and was warned by doctors to not try again. Clearly, though, Maggie's mother knew better than the doctors, so she took matters into her own hands to try and get the grandbaby she so desperately desired. After her mother took things entirely too far, Maggie swore revenge. The way she took her vengeance made Heather deeply uncomfortable, but after everything Maggie's mother put her through, it's clear that woman got what she deserved. Sometimes, in order for a lesson to truly stick, you have to go to the extreme.
Heather and Maggie had been friends for some time, which was why Maggie felt so comfortable sharing how difficult of a time she'd been having trying to conceive. Maggie had several early miscarriages and the pregnancies that survived to the twenty-week mark were all lost to stillbirth.
"Her odds of being able to safely carry viable offspring to full term were extremely low."
Both Maggie and her husband were grieved when doctors informed them that it was very unlikely that Maggie would ever have her own, biological children. The doctors suggested they stop trying to have children, as further attempts could spell doom for Maggie.
Both Maggie and her husband accepted their fate. Neither one could get a permanent sterilization at the time, so they used all sorts of different birth control in order to keep Maggie from getting pregnant.
"To avoid further trouble, she and her husband implemented a program of hormonal birth control, rubber use, and calendar-watching to avoid conception, with all of the rigor and care that most couples put into attempting to conceive."
They tossed around the idea of adoption but decided to leave that for a future date. Other than a healthy amount of disappointment that they wouldn't be able to have their own, biological child, no one was all that upset with the way things had turned out. No one, that is, except for Maggie's mother.
Maggie's mother was devastated by the news that her only child wouldn't be able to bear children of her own. So, while visiting her daughter and son-in-law during the holidays, she systematically went through the couple's belongings and wreaked havoc on their birth control storage, even going so far as to poke holes in all the rubbers. How did Maggie manage to find out about what her mother had done? It was quite easy, really, since her mother bragged about what she'd done when Maggie worriedly informed her mother that, unfortunately, she'd somehow gotten pregnant again. After learning what his mother-in-law had done, Maggie's husband coined the nickname "Sabotage Sally," and the name stuck.
Obviously, Maggie and her husband weren't too thrilled when they'd learned what Maggie's mother had done, but "Sabotage Sally," on the other hand, "was over the effing moon with joy at the prospect of becoming a grandmother. Never mind that all of her daughter's previous pregnancies had ended in disaster! She was certain that THIS TIME it would be viable and perfect and she'd have a grandbaby at last!"
Heather was totally done with her friend's mother as this was the exact same, overbearing joy that Sally had engaged in the last few pregnancies too, so she should have known better. In fact, every time Maggie had gotten pregnant in the past, Sally had reacted the same way. Her joy knew no bounds and she would always be so certain that this time everything would work out just fine. Then, once Maggie lost the baby, Sally would weep and carry on, while her daughter took the losses with "quiet dignity."
As she'd expected, Maggie soon began to feel "unwell." At around 15 weeks along, Maggie lost the baby, which she knew would happen. A few days later, she scheduled an appointment to visit her OBGYN for a follow-up. Knowing her mother would be hungering for any baby news whatsoever, Maggie told her sister (who she knew would spill the beans to her mother) about the appointment. She pretended to "accidentally" mention the date, time, and location of the appointment and let her tattle-tale sister do the rest. She also cleverly held back the fact that she'd actually lost the baby.
The day of the appointment, Maggie ran into some unplanned car troubles, so she asked Heather to give her a ride to the appointment. Maggie warned her mother would probably pull an appearance and asked her to "play it cool." With a cold, ruthless tone in her voice, Maggie told Heather, "I'm going to deal with her once and for all."
Feeling that there was more there unsaid, but that it was probably safer to know as little as possible, Heather vowed then and there to keep herself in the dark. "I really wanted that sweet, sweet plausible deniability," she wrote. Even though she thought she prepared herself for the day ahead, she was totally caught off guard by how completely off the rails things actually went.
When they arrived at the doctor's office, neither Heather and Maggie were surprised to see Sabotage Sally already in the waiting room, "all big smiles and open arms." Maggie played it ice cold, ignoring her mother and heading straight to the receptionist's desk to sign in. Sally's smile faltered briefly, but she quickly rallied.
"She took a seat and began rattling on about colors for the nursery, birth plans, diet plans to ensure a healthy pregnancy, homeopathic and naturopathic preparations that would supposedly help,"
among other baby themed topics. Maggie responded to none of it. When Maggie was called back for the appointment, Sally commented on Maggie's steely demeanor to Heather, "What's wrong with Maggie? Is she worried? She shouldn't worry! She'll be a great mom! She'll have a beautiful healthy baby!"
Heather pointed out that Maggie had been through all of this multiple times and that it had never ended well before, plus Maggie was already having trouble with "gestational illness." Sally just waved her off and exclaimed that this time would be different for Maggie.
"She just had to take care of herself and eat properly and take the things Sabotage Sally wanted her to take (because eating kale and taking homeopathic crap cures you of having actual physical issues that interfere directly with pregnancy, I suppose) and everything would be fine."
At that point, Heather decided to take a page from Maggie's playbook and tune Sally out. Having lost her audience of one, Sally turned to the other patients in the waiting room and spewed her unending excitement over her incoming grandchild all over them.
"There was a general air of mild discomfort at her enthusiasm, especially from the extremely pregnant*lady who had to physically fend her off to avoid having her belly rubbed without permission by this wildly grinning stranger."*
If those people thought what was happening in the waiting room was uncomfortable, then they should count themselves lucky that they weren't around for what happened on the walk to the car.
The doctor's office was located in a building where other medical specialties were housed. As they walked out into the foyer, Sally continued her incessant chatter about her imagined grandchild. In the middle of her ramblings, Maggie abruptly had enough. She stopped short, almost causing her mother to run into her rear. Heather quickly realized that something messy was about to go down.
"I swear that thunder rolled ominously in the distance," she wrote.
The enormity of what Maggie had just gone through was hanging in the air, though Sally was still blissfully unaware of it. She still had no idea what she had just put her own daughter through, just to satisfy her own selfish desires.
Maggie turned to face her mother, who was still beaming with grandmotherly pride. Maggie reached into her purse and pulled out a bag with a label on it marked: "Biological Waste." Inside of it was a small, bloody mass. Maggie shoved the bag into Sally's hands and said, in a loud, clear voice,
"Here you go. HERE'S YOUR EFFING GRANDCHILD."
For a moment, no one reacted. Sally just stared at the bloody bag in her hands as if she couldn't figure out what it was. It was almost as if everyone was frozen in their tracks. Then Sally's brain made the final connection and she screamed, breaking the spell. She dropped the bag in her shock and burst into "horrified, shrieking sobs." Other people in the foyer were visibly alarmed by this point.
"You knew what I've gone through before, and you still sabotaged my birth control, put my life at risk, and put me and my husband through an emotional wringer. Don't you talk to me about grandchildren ever again,"
Maggie said, in the coldest voice Heather had ever heard in her life. Then she turned to Heather and said, "Let's go," before she beat a quick exit. Heather followed her, still stunned by what had just happened. She turned to look back.
"My last glimpse of Sabotage Sally that day was of the woman dropping to her knees, grabbing the bag back up off the floor, and blubbering hysterically over it."
The walk to the car had to be at least a little bit uncomfortable. Once they got in the car, Heather finally gained the nerve to ask a burning question,"They didn't actually give you-?"
Maggie quickly cut in to interrupt her.
"No, of course they didn't! There wasn't anything left in me, anyway. I just got the bag off of Amazon and put a little piece of ground beef in it."
Heather breathed a sigh of relief that the whole thing had all been a ruse. Still, she couldn't help but think that Maggie might have taken things too far.
"The revenge which was visited upon Sabotage Sally was truly hideous."
Still, Sally brought this all upon herself with her thoughtless, selfish, meddlesome actions. Clearly thinking back to her mother's earlier sabotage, Maggie announced, "My doctor says that I'll be good to go for a tubal ligation in a couple of weeks. They'll call me to schedule."
The next day, after learning that her mother had taken the bag home with her and placed it in her freezer, Maggie revealed the truth. In retaliation, "Sally rubber-banded the bag to a half a brick, drove to the house, and threw it at the front door while having a lawn tantrum."
Although Heather wasn't an eyewitness to this, Maggie's husband loved to describe the casual way Maggie strolled out the house, carrying a drink in her hand, and said, "Oh, hey, Mom. You here for the barbecue? We're just warming up the grill." The brick left a small scuff mark on the porch, which Maggie regards with pride. "That's evidence that my mother's been warned," she told Heather. And Maggie was right, Sally had definitely changed her approach.
"As shock treatment goes, it was a resounding success. Sabotage Sally literally won't even say the word 'baby' or 'grandchild' in her daughter's hearing."
In fact, though they still keep in contact, there's definitely still some tension coming from Sally.
"Anytime I've seen them in the same room, Sabotage Sally has an expression that suggests she's just heard a distinct 'click' from underfoot while ambling across a minefield." Maggie, on the other hand, looked "as relaxed as a well-fed jaguar."
Clearly, the message was sent.