While things have been tough over the last couple of weeks the one thing I have really been struggling with is how to stay a part of the family and still take part in all the family events, yet protect myself from the pain of dealing with other people’s babies. I’ve mentioned before that Friday Braai (BBQ) night is tough as it’s all about my niece, but that applies to any time we spend with the in-laws as my SIL lives in their pocket.
A few weeks back my SIL phoned to invite us to a braai which was being held just so that her baby could play with a family friend’s baby. It took all my willpower not to say – “yes sure I’m dying to go to an event all about other people’s babies so I can feel really left out”. Then last week we were all invited to DefTTC’s cousin for breakfast, another event with the cousin’s baby and our niece. And now next week is our niece’s birthday another event full of other people’s babies. Those that have been following my blog for a while will know just how hard my nieces birth was and I now find it so hard to believe that a year on we still don’t have a child in our arms or even in my belly.
The struggle is that family is so very important to me. I love having the in-laws around and being able to spend so much relaxed family time. And I want to be a member of the family. A member who can be counted on to be at family events, that is there to support and help. I want to be an aunt that my niece knows and loves and plays with. In fact I have aspirations of being her favourite aunt, but then that shouldn’t be hard to do as she doesn’t have any others!
My awesome husband told his sister that we would probably not be attending her daughter’s first birthday party. I cannot begin to imagine how hard that was for him to do. He is even more family focused than me and is so close to his family and spending time with them is just about his favourite thing to do. To let his sister down and tell her that we probably just wouldn’t be able to face that many children, can’t have been easy for him. But he did it to protect me, to save me the pain and to take the pressure off me. Just another reason to love him more than life itself!
But, I have been doing lots of thinking about this. It just doesn’t seem right. I don’t want our infertility to drive us apart from the family. I don’t want to become the people who aren’t invited to the family events or birthday parties or baby showers because we can’t face it. This morning on the way to work I thought through the whole thing, I thought about what my priorities are and what really matters. And family matters. And I want to be at that birthday party. She will only have one first birthday, and her favourite aunt can’t miss it. So DefTTC will be letting his sister know that we will be there and if she could understand that we might not be there at all she will also understand if we can’t stay long.
Of course reaching this decision was made all the easier by the fact that I really am starting to feel stronger and hope is creeping back in too. Let’s hope it lasts through the party next week.