For the longest time, I have hestitated to write down my feelings about this. And I am posting here, as I know this is a place my family hasn't found yet - a sanctuary where I can share my deepest feelings without impacting the ones I love.
My sister is pregnant. She is 32, almost 33, and she has been married for 2 1/2 years. Her husband is ecstatic, as is her stepson, an adorable boy who is 9 years old, bright, funny, and caustic-witted. This week they posted their first photo of her expanding waistline. The joy in her smile is a wonder to behold, especially since I remember all the sleepless nights I spent when she was in college, sitting with her on a wrought-iron fire escape in Koreatown in Los Angeles, watching her blow smoke rings as she coped with depression, despair, and a truly devastating detachment from her own emotions.
But I'm jealous. And every time I call to see how she's doing I wish that it were me sharing news and photos of a bigger tummy instead of her. After all, I'm 37, almost 38, and my husband and I have been married for over 8 years and together 11. We've been trying to conceive about as long as she had. My husband has to go in for fertility testing in the next week. But I have a feeling the news won't be good. See, I've been pregnant once before, in my twenties, and my body, according to my ob/gyn, is doing all the things it should be to make a baby a possibility. But hubby, in spite of years of relationships, has never had an 'ohno!' moment. I can only hope that his issue is something treatable with exercise or diet or a fancy pill.
And in the meantime, I keep making the call - to find out how she's sleeping, what kinds of cravings she's having, how it feels to have her body begin expanding. It's a kind of torture for me - to want so desperately to be sharing that kind of news myself. And after avoiding starting a family while I enjoyed building the strong, warm relationship that I currently thrive in, I have to fight against believing it's my own fault for not trying years ago.
I only hope that communicating my complex feelings here will make it easier to support her journey to Momhood. They're finding out the sex of their baby in three weeks.