At the age of 12 I learned I wouldn’t be able to have kids. Although it’s gotten easier to live with and accept, there are still times that make me question if true acceptance is a destination I may never reach. My older sister is having a baby for the first time, giving my parents their first grandchild. My younger sister and I will become aunts for the first time.
A lot of firsts are happening for everyone.
My parents are ecstatic and everyone around them has joined in on the excitement. It’s all anyone can talk about. It’s all my pregnant sister can talk about…literally. Nothing comes out of her mouth that doesn’t have to do with pregnancy. It’s become rapidly overwhelming as we near the end of her final trimester. It’s become exhausting talking about nothing other than this pregnancy and baby. I even get weekly photo updates on the size of her stomach and baby.
I’m grateful for being involved but if I am being honest, at times I find it difficult to handle. I watched my parents cry with excitement when they first found out. That sparkle in their eyes has remained constant. I can’t help but be reminded that I won’t be able to give them that same feeling of pure joy someday. The feeling of hopelessness and disappointment leaves me in a paralyzed state unable to properly communicate with those around me.
As we get closer to the due date, I am tested yet again. Myself, younger sister, mother, sister-in-law and her mother put together a baby shower. It quickly turned into what I viewed as a circus, a show that was more about egos, an abundance of gifts, arguing, and an over the top presentation to compete with baby showers around the world found on social networks. Going through a surplus of gifts surrounded by women that found talking anything and everything about babies pushed me to a place where I began to shut down. It felt like the miracle of life and how special this gift my sister was sharing her body with was being overlooked by all the bells and whistles we have available to us today. I felt sad.
So, what do I do now? The best thing I can do is be sad, talk about it, and write about it. Infertility happens and it is not easy to deal with at any age under any circumstances. I don’t blame my sister, I don’t blame anyone. At times it’s so far from my mind I don’t give it a second thought. Other times, like now, it’s so in my face that I can get overwhelmed quickly. But it’s not anyone’s fault. I am so excited for this child to come into the world, because I already love him so much. We have options today for families struggling with fertility. I am not hopeless and neither are you. Just because we may temporarily feel hopeless at times doesn’t mean we are hopeless. There may not always be a quick fix, but we can talk about it and relate our experiences with each other. So, I’m going to let myself be sad, I’m going to talk about it with those closest to me, and I’m going to share my story with you.
We are not alone.