Tears in Idaho

Well, I called it, you guys. I’m no fool.

My sister is pregnant.

She called me when we were halfway to Idaho and I cried the rest of the way here. Why oh why did she have to call me? I sent her an e-mail so that I could get a quick response from her and later reply with my own congratulatory e-mail that I had carefully planned out. Instead, she caught me off guard while I was on vacation and I had to figure out what to say on the spot.

And as a result, this was how the conversation went:

SIS: Blah blah blah. (Small talk)

ME: Blah blah blah. (Small talk right back at her, but the whole time I’m thinking, Just get on with it, will ya?)

SIS: So I was calling about that e-mail you sent me…

ME: Yeah.

SIS: Well, I wanted to wait until I was further along to tell you, but I am pregnant. I’m about 8 weeks. (At which point, I wanted to ask, If you were trying to hide it from me, then why did you keep dropping the most obvious hints ever? But I didn’t.)

ME: Congratulations.

SIS: Thanks! We’re very excited!!

ME: Well, congrats.

SIS: Thanks so much.

(Silence. Utter silence. Did she want me to say something more? Because I really had nothing left.)

ME: So….when are you due?

SIS: Oh, like, in the middle of March, somewhere in between the 13th and 17th.

(More silence because I am thinking, Great! That is just flipping fabulous. March 14th is our wedding anniversary. AND will be the anniversary of Teddy Graham’s conception. Thank you, God, for making this even HARDER.)

SIS: I just wanted to call and tell you. I didn’t think it would be right over e-mail.

ME: Oh, well, it probably would have been easier that way, but it’s okay.

SIS. Oh. (Pause.) Well, I guess I’ll know for next time. (And I think, Next time?! You think I’ll have to go through this AGAIN???!!!)

ME: No, it’s fine. I just thought we had talked about that? But it’s okay. You did what you felt was right and that’s fine.

SIS: (sounding slightly miffed) Well, fine then.

ME: (feeling crushed by guilt and remorse) Listen, I can tell you’re upset and I don’t want that. This is a hard time for me, but I’m happy for you. I really am. I want to be there for you and help you celebrate this baby.

SIS: (sighing and sounding just as pissed)  Okay. Well, drive safely.

ME: (now highly annoyed too) We will.

SIS: Talk to ya later.

ME: Yep.

And that was that. And I can’t decide if I handled it well or if I said all the wrong things. Because apparently my sister thinks it’s the latter one and I hung up feeling horribly guilty. And how fair is that?! I already feel like sh*t and now I have to feel guilty too? My Honey says it’s because I didn’t give her the response she was hoping for. But what did she really expect? If I’d had time, I could have formulated the perfect, warm, sisterly congratulations. But I need to process in order to do that. I cannot do it in the heat of the moment, when my heart is breaking all over again. I can’t.

But this isn’t about me, is it? It’s about her.

Because she’s pregnant.

And I’m not.

The End.

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9 thoughts on “Tears in Idaho

  1. I can only imagine how hard that conversation must have been for you. My heart breaks for you because I can totally imagine how I would feel in your same situation. I wish that I had the right words for you, but I want to let you know that I am thinking about you and I am sending you tons of virtual hugs. Hang in there, girl. I really hope things get better for you really soon. I know they will.

    • Thank you. It’s 6:21 a.m. here and I’ve been up for two hours because I just couldn’t sleep. Just kept thinking about my sis and finally I figured I’d get online and try to occupy my mind. Reading your comment made me smile and lifted my spirits some, which is a good way to start the day. So thank you for that, and for your optimism! I needed to hear it. 🙂

  2. I think you handled the situation perfectly fine. Your sister knows you are struggling with IF so she should have been more sensitive to that fact and not called you. She should have emailed you instead since that was the initial form of communication, or at the very least, not expected you to squeal with glee when she did call you. Her pregnancy is about her but she should also be respectful of your feelings as her sister and realize your hurt isn’t aimed specifically at her but rather at pretty much anyone who easily gets pregnant, and that it just hurts more when it’s someone who is close to you. (Not that I’m trying to put words in your mouth, but that’s pretty much how I felt when my sister told me she was pregnant, and again when she said they were choosing not to have another baby because they “can’t afford it.” They make somewhere in the neighborhood of $120K+ per year. Can’t afford it. Yeah right.)

  3. I honestly think you handled it very well – much better than I would have.

    Sure, she’s probably pissed because you didn’t gush and fawn over her the way she wanted. But she also let YOU down by not telling you by email, which seems to be what you requested from her. I know that people who haven’t been through infertility can’t really understand it, but when you’ve already made it clear to someone that it’s been very painful for you, I think they need to drop their expectations a little when they announce their pregnancy to you.

    I’m really sorry that you were hit with this unexpectedly and you’re now feeling guilty about your reaction. Please go easy on yourself. You did the best you could in the situation. *hugs*

  4. I’m very sorry, it sounds like this was a really hard situation. Hopefully your sister will come to experience some perspective regarding the correct time and place. Hang in there. Hugs!

  5. I’m sorry you had to find out this way–unprepared to offer her the kind of response you had so carefully planned out. That conversation does sound a bit awkward, but I don’t think it’s anything you did wrong. You each had certain expectations of how the conversation would go, and clearly those expectations were not met. I don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about, and I hope the next time you two talk, it will be much more light-hearted. Try not to let it ruin the lovely time I’m sure you’re having!

  6. I’m so sorry that your gut feeling was right. Just the fact that you were trying so hard ahead of time to formulate the correct response shows how much you care despite having to deal with your own pain. I wish you had received the same consideration from her but unfortunately those who have never walked in your shoes simply cannot relate.

  7. That’s so difficult. I agree that she should have replied to your email, since you were reaching out in the method most comfortable for you. It’s good, though, that you explained why her news was so difficult for you, and I hope she has empathy enough to take that into account, as she should. If she’s mad because she didn’t get the happy squealing overjoyed response she wanted, well, she should learn to consider other people’s situations before looking for it. Perhaps you could follow up with a note/email reiterating your conflicting happiness/difficulties if you want to smooth things over, not that I think you should feel bad or guilty.

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