Grieving being mamas together

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What?  You thought I'd never post again?  Well I thought I'd return with a head splitting deep thought whammy....

As you all know, my sister is pregnant.  Without trying and/or unplanned, however you choose to categorize it.  She is now in her 17th week, and has not told any of our extended family.  At first, they said they were going to wait until 13 weeks (don't get me started; I know the risk of miscarriage goes down, but hello, it's not like making it to 13w guarantees you a baby on your due date- there are tons of heartbreaking late loss mamas to testify to this...), but they have continued to drag their feet and keep this amazing news stuffed away.  They would like the world to believe they are a fancy, worldly, cultured couple whose lives are filled to the brim with amazingly exciting things all the time.  So they do alot of traveling and entertaining, and yes their weekends are chock full of activities, and maybe I am super lame, but it seems simply exhausting to me and with the bulk of "look what we're doing", the vibe is starting to seem fairly for-the-sake-of-showing-off.  But, my point is that when I ask her when they are going to tell people, she starts making excuses: "well not this weekend, we are throwing a party for X", "well not this week because I'm travelling for work", and on and on.  I think it is fairly sad that they can't take a half hour out of their super amazing lives to share the news of their baby with their family, for pete's sake.

She was not "excited" in the beginning.  Everyone told me to give her time- that she would warm up to the idea.  So here we are, months later, and she may have warmed up 0.5 degrees, if I'm generous. 

I have asked her no less than 25 times if she wants to go maternity clothes shopping, and she keeps telling me that she doesn't need clothes yet.  I reminded her that last year when I went in April, I bought stuff that was too big for me until August or September.  She keeps saying she doesn't need the clothes.  OMG!  How can she not want to go shopping for maternity clothes?!  I know she doesn't need them yet, but throw me a bone girl, just go try some on for this summer! 

I keep asking her what sort of prep they are doing for the baby.  Her answer?  They are planning on tiling their kitchen backsplash, tiling their bathroom floor, and installing a fan above their shower.  Oh wait, did you miss the baby things?  So did I.  Okay fine, maybe they are "nesting" but let's not forget the whole POINT of nesting which is to get ready for the BABY.  They are not, for example, fixing up the baby's room.  The closest thing they have come to even getting near the baby's room is "looking through some files" in there. 

So, to all who told me that she would warm up and that this would be so fun for us to be able to share pregnancy and baby talk, I give up.  I thought I was over this, but I don't think I am.  I am seriously grieving swapping baby advice and experiences, but most of all, I think I am grieving (in advance) of being moms together.  One of my favorite bloggers just found out her sister is pregnant, and she did the cutest post about it.  I about cried when I considered how different my relationship with my sister is (and realistically, will be).  She does not call me to ask what I thought about whatever baby product, or if I want to come help her clean out the baby's closet, and I do not think she will call me to ask about breastfeeding advice or sleeping trouble or any other thing about their baby.  She will not call me to see if we want to plan activities for the kids together- it will always be their family apart from ours.  (I know in theory our kids will be a year apart, but I don't think the kids will see each other more than I saw my cousins who lived several states away.  They don't involve us in their life now, and I can't tease myself anymore that it will change once they have a baby.)  It is really breaking my heart.

Full disclosure:  I hope their baby is a boy.  I don't want to have to share Maryanne's precious stuff with someone who could care less.  I am already grieving being moms together, much less being moms of girls together.

Our other sister and I are supposed to throw her shower in August.  At this point, I honestly do not know how I am going to do it.  How do you throw a shower for someone who would rather not celebrate their pregnancy, when the whole point of a shower is to celebrate the pregnancy!??!  Don't even waste your breath telling me that by THEN she will be really happy about it. 

I keep telling myself to just not ask her questions, to just let her humdrum along like she is apparently content to do.  I have tried.  But I can't.  I still call her and ask her about her baby, knowing I will hang up feeling hurt and disappointed and ostracized. 

Maybe this is how the fertile world is.  It was no big deal to get pregnant, so it is no big deal to be pregnant.  I think that is really shameful.  They can get all hyped up about all kinds of other things, but when it comes to the getting stoked about the baby that they are carrying, they just blow it off: no biggie, whatever.  It literally makes me want to cry.

As much as I'm grieving, I'm also very thankful that God is merciful.  I honestly do not think I could have survived her apathy if we hadn't had been blessed with Maryanne already.  We are so grateful for her, and just as we have done since the second the pee stick dried, we will continue to emphatically and excitedly rejoice in her presence and the fact we get to be her parents.


Coco said...

That's such a hard situation! I'm so sorry. But I'm wondering if it's really about being pregnant, or something else. I know a lot of fertile women who are *almost* every bit as excited about being pregnant as IFers... I've decided that's why they complain about it all the time, kind of like the skinny girl who constantly asks "do I look fat?" just to get the attention, but I digress.

The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking of my own family. We have some pretty big problems. And we mainly deal with each other on a very superficial level. I share a lot of things with them, but NOTHING that really matters to me. I know better, all it will get me is hurt. Even still when one of them asks me "aren't you just in AWE of the miracle of your baby after IF?" I give a non-chalant shrug... even though inside I'm bursting to yell "YES!!!" my family doesn't have my trust, and I can't be open with them about it at all. They weren't there through the pain, and I can't let them in on the joy.

Anyway, what I'm bumbling about trying to say, is that maybe there's another issue here. I can't imagine that someone wouldn't be truly excited about being pregnant (although it's possible I suppose) BUT I can see someone downplaying there excitement, guarding their emotions, and keeping the precious news to themselves because of other issues that they don't want to deal with or share... just my 2 cents. Good luck with it all! *hugs*

Praying for Hope said...

In denial? It'll be a lot tougher to deny it in a few weeks when she does start to show. How can she not need maternity pants, at least? Or a Bella Band? I was having some problems zipping by 17 weeks (it was probably the bloating, but still . . .).

Maegan said...

I wanted to be pregnant so badly. It was all I hoped for every month and I dreamed about it very often. When I finally WAS pregnant, I was in a completely different head space than I thought I'd be. It wasn't that I wasn't excited about my baby, but I just struggled with so much apprehension about MYSELF and how I would handle finally being a mother that it was really hard to be geeked when people asked if I was excited. I didn't need maternity clothes until about 20 weeks either. So it didn't feel quite real in that aspect too.
With all due respect to your journey and your experiences, I think you are being too hard on your sister. It sounds like you guys have clashed in the past, so maybe there is a bit of sibling contention there and you are just venting, but the fact is, you just can't expect her to respond the exact same way you did to your pregnancy. For example, in the first paragraph you imply that she was being presumptuous to want to tell at 13 weeks, as though she was assuming all would go well after that, but then judge her for still waiting at 17 weeks, as though that means she isn't grateful. I guarantee you that she will love her child just as much as you love Maryanne. Give her time to adjust to this new stage in her way. And I say that from the perspective of someone who was totally blown away by my OWN reaction and thought process early on. It didn't mean I wasn't grateful and happy - I thanked God for every day I woke up still pregnant. Your sister might be doing that too, for all you know.

You will still be mamas together.

the misfit said...

Most of the fertile gals I know are excited about being pregnant to the point of being totally self-obsessed. There are people who manage not to bring it up every ten seconds (and I thank God for these women), but they will happily discuss it if someone brings it up. So I don't know your sister, of course, but I can't help thinking that something else is going on. Are you sure the child is not ill? Is she perhaps considering abortion? Are there serious problems in their marriage? I'm not trying to be alarmist, it just seems that there HAS to be something else going on under the surface. If I were pregnant, I would be reacting EXACTLY like her - because I would assume the baby was going to die any day. (In fact, if it were me, I wouldn't even have told my sister, yet.) That seems unlikely if she's not an IFer, but...I just imagine a back story here.

I hope whatever it is gets worked out painlessly and she can embrace the rest of her pregnancy (and motherhood) with joy and share it with you.

Leah said...

Everyone handles a pregnancy differently, whether they have struggled to get pregnant or not. I don't think there is a wrong way or a right way for your sister to act. There could be underlying issues that are causing your sister to feel more guarded. She could be in shock. We can't have expectations of how others will act in these situations, as they often don't act how we hope they will.

I agree with Maeghan. I was confused because you seemed like telling people at 13 weeks was too soon, but now can't believe that she's waited until 17 weeks.

I struggled to get pregnant, and I was not the giddy pregnant woman. That's just not me. I actually HATED my baby showers because I don't like attention on me. And I love my child to the moon and back, as I'm sure your sister will also. Be easy on her. We are all on our own journeys in life, and no 2 journeys are exactly the same.

Stephanie Ann said...

Getting renevations done before baby is a great idea! Like, you have time for that with a baby or toddler. Lol.
I agree, I think you're being a bit too harsh.. it seems like she can't please you. I had a friend who NEVER went maternity shopping-yoga pants and t-shirts the whole 3rd trimester!
She's only 17weeks, she has plenty of time to get the nursery ready. And if she wasn't all that thrilled to get pregnant to begin with then she still might be getting use to the idea... maybe you're being too pushy about it all. You said you've asked her several times to go shopping and her baby plans and haven't been met with warm response... perhaps backing off a bit and let her be pregnant in her own way. There is not wrong way of doing these things.
I'm sure she'll love her child just as much as any other good mother.