My sister has reached what I like to call the "batshit crazy" phase of her pregnancy. Maybe it's just me, but I find women in late pregnancy to be pretty much unbearable. She's at that point.
I talked to her this morning. I've sort of put her due date out of my mind, but I realized how close she is based on how unbearable she was on the phone. She cried because her hairdresser can't fit her in before her due date and she's going to have grey hairs in all of the pictures when the baby is born. I bit my tongue so I didn't suggest that maybe this particular problem was a result of her failure to plan ahead. I mean, she's known this was going to happen for a bit. Then she launched into how overwhelmed she was with picking out a breast pump. Again, I bit my tongue and didn't remind her that I do not have (nor will I ever have) experience with this particular device.
Since she felt so comfortable talking about her pregnancy, I used it as a segue into "when the baby is born." Specifically, I made a few requests that I didn't think were unreasonable. When my niece was born last year I didn't have to foresight (or confidence) to set boundaries and make requests and as a result I ended up being bombarded with texts and calls and tagged in I don't even know how many pictures on Facebook. The state it left me in wasn't pretty and it took me quite a while to claw myself out of it. When my other niece was born a few months later I still wasn't in a great state of mind, but thankfully hubs' ran interference and protected me from a lot. It still hurt but at least I wasn't reduced to a sobbing mess on the floor.
This time I'm at a good place so I felt comfortable making a few requests. I fully understand that this day (whenever it comes) isn't about me and that my sister deserves this day to be about her. That being said I need to protect myself. So I told her that I wouldn't be coming to visit until the baby was a few weeks old. I requested that I not be tagged in any pictures on Facebook. And I asked that I be informed of the birth by text instead of a phone call.
On some level I think that she understood why, even though I didn't explain my reasons. There were tears but she agreed to my requests and said that she'd love to introduce us to her son whenever we we are ready to meet him.
I'm doing ok with all of this, though I reserve my right to lose it later if that's what I need to do. At least I'm doing a lot better when compared to the birth of my nieces because anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I didn't handle those two . But I'm also a year removed from that. I'm angry that infertility stole from me the ability to celebrate with my sister(s) on one of the happiest days of their life, but I'm being gentle with myself and allowing for the space that I need to get through this, and I think that I took big step this morning by advocating for myself and making a few simple requests.