Friday, August 6, 2010

How Do You Feel About That?

My sister has been saying since she was about sixteen that she does not want any children. She met and married a man who felt the same way. They have remained steadfast in the fact that kids were not in the future for them. And this wasn't in response to people pestering and badgering them about having kids, because to my knowledge, no one was doing that. No, this was their very vocal and consistent message. My sister's husband has made some comments to me about "wasting" my life being a SAHM and my sister has also said that she is "too selfish" to be a good mom. They have a dog that they dote on and said that was all the responsibility or "kid" they'd ever need.

When we last talked about it (this past February), she had just had an IUD put in to give them five years to make absolute certain that they didn't want kids and then her husband was going to have a vasectomy. She shared this information with anyone and everyone. They were proud of their decision to live kid-free.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out where this one is going. My sister is 7 weeks pregnant, due in March. We hadn't spoken since early May and she called me a few days ago. She didn't ask about Emma or Will, just launched into her Big Announcement and then asked to borrow my maternity clothes and pregnancy books. Apparently, the decided that they did want to have kids and got the IUD removed in May and got pregnant their first month trying in June.

I have such mixed feeling about this. I am obviously happy for them since this is a wanted pregnancy. They are married, have a home, both have steady jobs, and really have an ideal situation to bring a baby into this world. Being honest, however, there is just an element of "It's not fair!" about the whole thing.

During our infertility journey, I met so many women who desperately want to be mommies for years and years. They endure so much to get there and some of them still are waiting. There are some that will never have a baby of their own, despite all of their efforts. Here is my sister and brother-in-law, who never "wanted" kids and all of a sudden, they want a baby and BAM! Pregnant. Do I wish infertility on my sister? Absolutely not. I pray for the health of this baby she is carrying every single day. I'm not really sure what I wish.

That's not true, actually. I know exactly what I wish. I wish my sister and I were closer. I wish that I could depend on our relationship. She runs very hot and cold and just when I feel that we're in a good place, she yanks the rug out from under me. She has a terrible relationship with my mom, to the point that she got married and none of our family was there. I have learned to take what I can get from my sister. When she wants a relationship, I am eager to spend time with her, but I also have learned to hold myself just a bit at arm's length and not get emotionally involved. It hurts too much when she runs cold again.

I don't want to do that with this baby. I don't want to have to hold my heart back and I won't. I didn't really think I would get to be an aunt, at least not for awhile and I am so excited to have the opportunity. I am thrilled our kids will be close in age. And perhaps being a mom will soften my sister and bring us closer. Yes, that is what I wish. With all of my heart.


Jennifer said...

I don't know what to say - I would probably feel the same. In our first year - after the Ectopic my unmarried sister got pregnant and it was a little rough for me. It seemed a little unfair. She just "got knocked up" :)

I hope you get your wish and that this brings you two closer together.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Oh, I agree, that is totally not fair.

I hope this story has a happy ending, with you and your sister getting closer.

Searching said...

Yeah, not fair, and okay to feel jealous or angry or bitter or frustrated or any of those unhappy feelings. I do hope this changes her in a good way (for it will surely change her!!) and the baby is born healthy! Being an aunt is a pretty fantastic thing and seeing little cousins running around whenever they are able to get together will be wonderful.

Rachel said...

The end of your post is so lovely. I used to wish so much that my sister's infertility treatments would work because I really do believe that caring round-the-clock for another person would have softened her in certain ways, made her a little more careful about other's (it's not that she's oblivious, she just chooses not to care). But now that she is adamantly living child-free (and fully unable to either produce eggs or carry an embryo post-surgery), she is entirely uninterested in her niece. She lives less than 3 hours away and has only met her 3 times, and I find it so hard to deal with. I like that you are trying to take what you can from the relationship, and here's to hoping for a beautiful, healthy, charming cousin for your babies to enjoy.

Mrs. Piggy said...

Totally irked at your sister's fertility. Double Ugh. But like you said, I think this might soften her a bit and she might realize what years she has wasted treating your family the way she treats them.

peesticksandstones said...

Wow, this is intense. I recall having some similar feelings pop up when someone in a circle of friends I was once a part of decided to finally keep a pregnancy after aborting a couple "oops" ones during the wild single-gal days we shared -- right at about the time my infertility issues were surfacing. A very different situation, I know.

Still, it makes me nuts how unfair it can be -- why others can "fall pregnant" and have the luxury of choice, timing, etc.

I hope you and your sister can become closer as the years go on -- I imagine time, and growing as parents, will help soften the edges a little. I'm already noticing myself changing a lot since having a kid, and being open to things in new ways than I ever imagined. Then again, I am also now intolerant of a lot things I used to put up with in the past :)

Anonymous said...

The same thing happened with both of my sisters. Growing up neither wanted kids and were horribly critical because I did. I always have. One of them even terminated a pregnancy, which broke my heart.

Then oneday they decided they wanted kids and BAM! They both got pregnant on their first try. Keep in mind they're both horribly unhealthy and significantly older than me. We were all TTC around the same time, but i was trying well before and after their pregnancies. Unfortunately, their attitudes didn't change much after having a baby. One leaves her kid regularly to do her own thing and the other is terribly bitter. Not encouraging, I know.

I'd be lying if I said that that doesn't color my perception of them.

heartincharge said...

This is tough for me and I'm not even her sister. I'm glad this happened after Emma and Will. And you are handling it great!

~Hollie said...

Well, this is definitely a mixed bag. I think one of the most important things I've learned about my life is... NEVER SAY NEVER!
I do hope that this situation brings you and your sister closer.
I think in this situation, it stings that the road was so seemingly easy. However, I think we can rest easy knowing that our journeys have brought to the place we are supposed to be, And her journey will bring her to the place she's supposed to be. We live, learn, and grow. If we didn't, life as a rock would definitely suck.
All the best, my friend.