Last August, while I was off of work recovering from an ectoptic pregnancy and an ovarian cyst removal, my younger brother called me. Being that my brother literally never calls me, I answered the phone even though talking to people was the last thing I wanted to do. He was calling to let me know that he and his wife of less than 3 months were expecting…and their baby was due 10 days after my would-have-been due date.
I cried a lot when when I found out. Not because I was happy for them or because I wasn’t. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing it would have been to have someone to go through the pregnancy with and to have a cousin for my child be so close in age. I thought maybe we’ll both would have had girls or boys and they might have grown up to be best friends.
I also thought about how unfair it was that I had been trying for what felt like forever and it only took them two months. But life isn’t fair and after all this time that our parents tried to pound it into our heads it was finally sinking in.
Their happiness just reminded me of my sadness. For that reason I avoided my sister-in-law for the vast majority of her pregnancy. I’m sure it would have meant a lot to my brother for me to have had a more enthusiastic response to their news but I really just couldn’t muster more than a congratulations or two. I hated that. I hated that my loss and tough times were turning me into a bitter person but I couldn’t find my way out of that line of thinking.
So for the past five months since I found out they were expecting I’ve been dreading the baby showers. It’s so hard to help other people celebrate their pregnancy when you’re not sure you’ll ever get to do it yourself. I tried to find excuses to not attend the baby showers, of which I was invited to two of them. I was terrified that I might not make it through the shower without tears.
Ultimately, I knew that I really just needed to suck it up for a few hours and be there to support my family. I must say it really wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, in fact, I might have even had some fun. While I haven’t come to terms with the idea that I won’t be a mother anytime soon, I’m starting to get excited that I will be an aunt. I will still have the opportunity to spoil a baby, perhaps many in my lifetime. I cannot let infertility make me into a person I don’t want to be. It won’t be easy but yesterday proved that I am capable of pulling myself out of the anger and sadness if I put my mind to it and my sanity depends on being able to pull myself out of it.
I feel like I’m not the friend I used to be, the wife I used to be. More than wanting a baby, I want to be the relatively happy person i was before we tried to bring a baby into this world.