Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Separate Journeys (And a Very Special Addition)

My sister is pregnant.

I've known this for awhile now, but wasn't allowed to say anything until she made it public. Now it is.

So. My sister is pregnant.

I'm excited to meet this little one. I'm overwhelmed by the joy of a new baby in the family.

It's a little surreal to be honest with you. I'm her elder by eight years and I always thought I would be the first to give my mom a grandbaby.

But now, my sister is pregnant.

I feel like it needs that space around it. It's like, I can't really comprehend it. I can't wiggle myself into that place where it's me and her enjoying this ride together as sisters who are about to be a mom and an auntie. I feel like an outsider, watching it all happen but not participating. We're both happy, but we're happy separately. And, I know she probably feels the same about our situation. She is happy for our process. She is excited to be an aunt to our future baby. But, she's watching us and feeling disconnected from our journey.


I've seen the ultrasounds. I've driven her to appointments. I've cooed and awed over her growing belly. I'm genuinely happy for her. I am involved. But, something in me feels separated from the process.

She's pregnant.

And I'm not.

And I never will be.

I've dealt with my infertility in the past. But, I don't think the wound ever really goes away. It hurts. Even in the middle of such happiness and excitement, it still hurts.

I feel I need to write this because I promised in our "about us" section that we would chronicle our fears, the ins and outs, etc. etc. etc. And this is a big part of adoption, right? Dealing with infertility head on? Not approaching it on tippy toe and pretending that "I'm over it."

In order to BE over it, I have to GET over it. And I can't GET over it if I stay away from it...

So here I am.

And here it is:

I am upset when I hear pregnant women complaining about being pregnant.

I am sad that my sister's belly is filled with movement for the first time and she can feel it, but I can't.

I am jealous. And, I'm angry with myself for being jealous.

I am upset that we have to take classes to be allowed to parent a child, but fertile couples don't.

I am sad that most women wait nine months for their babies and I don't know how long we'll have to wait for ours.

BUT. And this is a big BUT. I am honestly happy to be an aunt. I can't wait to rub that baby's fluffy head. I can't wait to spoil him rotten.

I've mourned the inability to have biological children. I'm so happy to adopt. But, I don't think I ever truly dealt with the loss of the pregnancy itself ... not the baby, just the pregnancy aspect of it... the road to that baby. I guess I didn't give it as much thought because I was so consumed by the thought of not having a child . Now, I'm consumed by the thought of not having a child.

I'm not hiding my feelings. My family knows how I feel. They know that I'm hurting. But they also know that I am thrilled with my family being formed through adoption and all the possibilities that brings. I'm happy to be on a different road, sometimes I just wish I could give the other one a try. :)

This "adoption road" has two lanes... one is coping with the infertility, the other is the excitement of the adoption process. They both head the same direction. they are connected. It's possible to travel in either lane at any given time and still head straight toward our destination - our baby. It's cheesy, it's hokey... but it gives me comfort.

So my sister's pregnant.

And, I'm not.

And that's okay.

I think he looks like me. ;)


Angie said...

(hope this works! TESTING... 1. ..2..3.. TESTING!)
Wow! Stephanie, you beautifully express how you feel and it's as if you're talking for me too. Thanks for your honesty. I will be checking in and keeping track of your journey. Thanks for doing the same on my blog too!
All the best,

Stephanie and Nicholas said...

Thank you Angie!

(And YAY, it works!!!)

Chris said...

Hi Stephanie. While the "getting pregnant" part of the equation doesn't apply to me, I do understand your feelings about your sister having children. My younger sister has two daughters and part of me was always envious because it looked like my wife and I weren't going to have children. So instead, I made the decision to enjoy every moment I had with my nieces and soak up that experience. When I told my sister that we were going to be adopting, she was absolutely ecstatic and began dancing around with her 4 year old celebrating. Now I can't wait to eventually introduce our little one (whoever she may be) to her cousins.

Jacksmom said...

Hi Stephanie,
Thank you for commenting on my blog post yesterday. Congrats to your sister, but unfortunately, I know where you are coming from. Sure, I have a kid already, but I've also experienced IF to get there, IVF x 2, once successful and once not. And you are right. That pain doesn't go away. No matter how much you think you are over it. It sucks. You're going to be a great mom though, and no doubt when your little one is placed with you, your families will be SO excited for you!!

Lisa said...

It is so difficult feeling all of those mixed emotions. Being happy for those that are close to us that are pregnant but being really sad at the same time because it isn't us. It's hard to be around them because our emotions are pulled in a million different directions. I will be praying for you as you learn how to be around your sister and as you start the adoption process!