My sister had a baby on Wednesday… I repeat MY SISTER HAD A BABY ON WEDNESDAY!! Now first things first, the arrival of my nephew (Cameron) makes me feel all kinds of happy emotions. My sister, Cait, is one of my favorite people in the world…she is hilarious, kind, generous and my most loyal ally. I always say I never would have survived middle school or high school without her…if anyone gets to be a mother (aside from me,obviously hah) I want it to be Caitlin…she was truly born for the job. And her husband, Adrian, is just a really kind soul…they’re going to be amazing parents.
BUT (and there always seems to be a but)…the arrival of my nephew fills me with such a sense of longing. Because the fact of the matter is, regardless of how much you love someone (and I love Caitlin and Adrian more than I love almost anyone else in this world) watching someone else have the one thing you want… well it’s difficult… it is really, really difficult. It hurts. For every ounce of happiness I have for them, there is also sadness for me. Cam’s arrival reminds me of how far away Dan and I are from having a child…and how close we were. Because when I found out I was pregnant, Caitlin was already four months into her pregnancy…I was so excited to talk pregnancy and babies with her. It gave me such joy to know our little Warrior was going to be only four months younger than Cam…but now Cam is here and our little Warrior never will be…and there is such loss in that it is hard to find the words.
I worry Cam is going to be my ‘marker baby’…this is something a family member and I have discussed…after a miscarriage you mark what your child should be by other children in your life. I worry that every time I watch Cam do something… go to school for the first time, graduate, go to college, get married…a part of me will always think “I should have a child doing this too…” I worry I will always focus on the parallel life I was supposed to lead with my sister and never will…and I worry about how that will affect my relationship with my sister. Because the truth is, it’s not fair to Caitlin. And navigating the shift our lives have taken from one another has been more difficult than I imagined. My greatest fear is the struggles Dan and I have gone through are turning me into some ugly, infertile monster (who is not a very good sister). I feel disappointed in myself that I can’t look past my own pain and only feel happiness for my sister and her growing family… I wish I was a better person, I wish I was bigger than my pain, but, right now, I am not.
So my goal is to try and focus on what I do have, more than what I don’t. (This is something I have been struggling with for some time now.) I am going to obnoxiously show off pictures of Cameron on my cellphone (because he is ridiculously adorable) and anxiously await my trip to Florida next month when I get to meet him. I am going to focus on how happy my sister is…and focus on being happy for her (and,more importantly, with her, because I want to share this amazing experience with her). I am going to forgive myself when I feel the need to cry and remind myself that I’m human…and life is hard…and grief is real. And then I’m going to remind myself that our journey isn’t over…and someday Cam is going to have a cousin to boss around at family parties and hopefully protect when someone picks on them, the same way Caitlin always did for me…and allow myself to be really, truly thankful for that.