Last month my sister-in-law found out she was pregnant. This week my sister told me she’s pregnant. As with any pregnancy announcement while you’re still trying, each one was a mix of emotions. Joy for them, excitement for the new lives (and future nieces or nephews), but also jealousy and that aching sadness that it still isn’t you. However, I noticed a few differences that has made one so much harder to process.
My sister-in-law and I were on the TTC journey together. They got married two months before we did, they conceived their first month of not preventing (which was a few months after our miscarriage), then they had an early miscarriage and had been trying unsuccessfully ever since. She and I were often in our FW and TWW together, and we shared every OPK and BBT shift and negative HPT.
She texted me within moments of taking that first test (with a barely noticeable line), which is understandable, given our history…but since that moment it is has been all her pregnancy and how she’s feeling. There was not (and still has not been) a single acknowledgement that this might be a little hard for me; especially since I’ve been trying longer. I don’t want to steal the joy out of it for her, and having walked through a miscarriage and month after month of failure as well I am happy that she finally has this. But I lost my TTC buddy and I now get to watch every moment of her pregnancy while still struggling to conceive.
My sister, on the other hand, called me up and spent a good 15-20 minutes letting me talk about how I was doing (she’s known about this struggle for some time) and letting me share my frustrations and emotions. She then chatted for a bit, and as the conversation was coming to a close she broke the news. She immediately followed it with, “I have a strong support network and plenty of people who can provide me what I need emotionally, I don’t need to you to fake that you are only happy for me, I know you are happy and I also know that you don’t want to be unhappy but I’m sure that you are hurting; this has got to be hard for you.” She absolutely and generously gave me the space and freedom to be that person who has to be told gently, because she understood and valued the complexity of emotions I was feeling.
I absolutely hate that I can’t fully rejoice with these dear people in something so beautiful and wonderful. I hate my selfishness that keeps me focused on what I don’t have. It’s something I’m trying to process.
But right now, that’s there. And being given the grace to have those emotions without judgment-and thereby having those emotions (and the TTC struggle) acknowledged-is making the transition to only being happy for them a lot easier.
- TTC: trying to conceive
- FW: fertile window
- TWW: two week wait
- OPK: ovulation predictor kit
- BBT: basal body temperature
- HPT: home pregnancy test