As most who have read this blog for any length of time knows, I have three sisters. I'm the oldest and have a no bullshit type of personality. I've been described as mature beyond my years and as an "old soul" and I think that both of these descriptors are accurate. The next sister is 356 days younger than I am (no fertility problems for my parents!). This is the sister that had the baby a few weeks ago. She's very sentimental, feels things very deeply (but only from her perspective), and generally sees the world through rose colored glasses. I call her my big middle sister. The next sister is four years younger than I am. This is the sister that had the baby in February 2015. This sister is dramatic and wears her feelings on her sleeve. I call her my little middle sister. My youngest sister is just over nine years younger than me. She's the one who had the baby in June 2015. This sister I'd classify as a follower (possibly leading to some of her questionable life choices) and has one of the funniest, most sarcastic personalities of anyone that you'll ever meet.
For the little middle sister, pregnancy was a time to shine. A time to be the center of attention. Both she and asshole brother-in-law were both pretty unbearable during her pregnancy. Her unbearableness may also be attributed to the fact that she found out she was pregnant less than three months after we received my devastating infertility diagnosis and I avoided her like the plague for the vast majority of her pregnancy. But when she gave birth she was so understanding of my need to keep my distance for a bit, even though I never explicitly told her that it's what I was going to do or why I was going to do it. My youngest turns into a mean bitch when she is pregnant. It happened with all three of her (unplanned) pregnancies. She also seemed to intuitively understand my absence and was not offended by it. My big middle sister was amazing during her pregnancy. She very rarely mentioned it and when she did, it was very thoughtful and within the natural flow of conversations. She started to get a bit annoying towards the end, but nothing close to the other two. I expected her to transition into parenthood much in the same way that she handled her pregnancy. Boy was I wrong!
My two youngest sisters, even though they knew the least about my infertility journey, seemed to intuitively understand that I could be simultaneously elated for them and devastated for myself. The words were never spoken, but there was an unspoken understanding that I would come to visit whenever I was ready and able and that my delay in visiting and meeting the baby was due to nothing but the fact that I needed to take care of myself. With the birth of my nephew, I think that my sister lost any capacity to see things from another's perspective that she may have possessed.
So without further ado, I present to you some of the gems that have come out of my big middle sister's mouth in the past few weeks.
When are you coming to visit?/I want you to come visit!/The baby misses you.
What I said: I'm really busy right now. We'll make a trip in a few weeks.
What I wanted to say: When I get damn good and ready to./You don't always get what you want./He's like six days old and he hasn't met me so he can't possibly miss me.
You don't even understand how hard breastfeeding is!
What I said: You know damn well that I don't and I'm not a good person to complain to about this topic.
What I wanted to say: No fucking shit Sherlock. But you can bet that I would have given just about anything to have the ability to try to breastfeed my own baby.
Detailed complaining about her lady parts hurting
What I said: Maybe you should talk to your doctor and not me about this......
What I wanted to say: Do you find this surprising? You just pushed a human being out of your crotch. It seems unreasonable to expect that this region of your body would snap back to normal after three days.
I never got to have maternity pictures taken.
What I said: I'm really sorry to hear that.
What I wanted to say: It's not like the end of your pregnancy was a surprise. You've had a due date for, oh, approximately eight months. Had you bothered to plan ahead a little bit you could have prevented this problem.
I'm not sure about the safety of vaccines.
What I said: Are you fucking kidding me? How many people around your age do you know
that had Polio? Smallpox? Mumps? Diphtheria? Rubella? That's right. None. Because vaccines. Go take a walk through an old cemetery and look at all of tiny grave markers for children. If they'd been born a century later they probably wouldn't have died. Because vaccines work and they are safe. If you chose not to vaccinate your child you are a threat to public health and should be ashamed of yourself.
What I wanted to say: See above.
I don't want any pictures of my son on social media.
What I said: Ok......
What I wanted to say: Good luck with that.
There are a few others, I'm sure, but this is all that I can think of at the moment. The part that I'm impressed with is that, with the exception of the breastfeeding one, none of these statements hurt me, and the breastfeeding one was just a little zinger. Had any of these statements been made a year ago it would have been really hard for me. But I was able to brush these comments off, laugh about them (because, really, who in their right mind would say these things to her sister that she knows can't have children), and go on with my day. Time does heal.