Thursday, 17 September 2009

My Sister

I have the best sister in the world. We are less than two years apart and have been best friends since the day she was born. Even though at times we've been thousands of miles and oceans apart we've always been very close. We are also lucky enough to be married to men who have become best friends over the years.

When D and I started trying for a baby in the summer of 2007, my Sis' and her Mr. decided to throw out their birth control too. Two months later she calls to tell me I'm going to be an Auntie. I cry with happiness and we both talk about the possibility of us being pregnant at the same time (these were the hopeful early days of TTC). Months go by and for every picture she sends me of her growing belly it's more obvious how flat and empty mine is. When she's 9 months pregnant I finally get to see her in person and feel the miracle of a little person kicking from the inside. June 11, 2008 my Nephew is born. He's the most perfect little thing I've ever seen and I fall deeply in love with this little man. That same week my younger cousin who has a 1-year old son discovers she's pregnant again. I get this achy feeling in my chest and have a hard time knowing how to deal with the unexpected baby news. Suddenly my family is literally exploding with new life and my arms are blatantly empty.

My Farmor (paternal grandmother) is the matriarch of our family and the only living grandparent. She's ninety six, brutally honest and not very diplomatic. Shortly after Nephew is born, me, Mamma and Sis' visit her to introduce the latest addition to the clan. Farmor is happy to see us and thrilled to meet her new great grandson. She tells my sister how great she looks and then takes one look at me and asks me if I've gained a little weight (here we are, my sister with a somewhat pregnant looking belly 2 weeks after delivery and me looking my normal self). I brush it off and change conversations back to ooh and aah's about Nephew, drink my coffee and eat one cookie less than intended. Later when Sis' and Mamma are in the kitchen, Farmor looks from baby Nephew to me and asks: - Have you found out what's wrong with you yet? Are you going to end up with a test tube baby? 
I quickly pick my jaw up off the floor and flee to the restroom with tears welling up my eyes and I'm for once thankful that Farmor is not very mobile. The rest of the visit I'm quiet and not another word is uttered on the issue. But in the car on the way home all of it comes gushing out, all the tears, all my fear of not getting pregnant, all of which Farmor's words have brought to the surface. My wonderful Sister stops the car and for the first time I get to talk about what's going on, our struggles and hurdles. Mamma and Sis' listen with open hearts, give me lots of big hugs, and tell me everything is going to be alright. 
From that day our infertility is all in the open, nothing is too embarrassing to talk about and even D's "cup dates" are discussed over dinner. Being out of the "IF closet" is such a relief and takes a lot of the pressure off.

Last time we were in Sweden visiting my family was a big milestone for me and D. We met with the RE for the first time, decided on a treatment plan, and got an arsenal of medication. I visited Farmor at the hospital (she broke her leg again) and told her about our plans to "try and make a test tube baby". She wished us luck and actually apologized for being "a little blunt" about the issue. Although her words hurt so much at the time I can't help but think that a lot of good has come from it.
Over dinner one night Sis' and her Mr. told us that they are going to start trying for baby number two. Maybe this time we'll get to experience pregnancy together.


  1. You are lucky to have such a great mom and sister. I also have a fantastic sister, who has been very supportive through this. (She recently gave my mom a little hell about babysitting my brother's dogs instead of coming to Las Vegas with me for our IVF. Go sis!) Being "out" with close family feels so much better. Not too many people outside my family know about this, so it's nice to have a sounding board for things.

  2. I can relate, I've been in the IF closet a long time, and now that we are doing IVF, I've told everyone and I have a big family. I find it helps answer questions people have about it. I figure it is such a big part of my life, how can I keep it a secret? Besides more people need to know about this struggle...


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