Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WARNING: Pregnancy Hormones in Full Swing!

I'm now 15 weeks and two days pregnant, and I can't believe how quickly time has flown by.  On the other hand, though, the next pregnancy milestones (the second trimester, then actually looking pregnant, and finding out the baby's gender, and so on) always seem so far away.  While I am now officially in the second trimester, I still don't look pregnant...Most days, it just looks like I've had one too many cheeseburgers!  It's hard to be patient, but I know I'll look like I'm smuggling a basketball under my shirt before too long.

In another time span, the past five months since my sister announced her unplanned pregnancy have been some of the most emotionally difficult of my life.  I've written a couple of times (here and here) about that whole situation, so many of you know how I feel about it and how it's impacted everyone in my family.  Even though I got past letting her ordeal affect me to an extent, it still weighs heavily on me some days.  There are still a lot of times that I question how all of this could possibly be part of God's plan, and how it could possibly turn out in a redeeming way.  I suppose we'll see exactly how it all works out in a few more months, but I'm still apprehensive about and frustrated by it all.  Here are some observations/questions/general musings related to the subject [WARNING: Pregnancy hormones in full swing!]:
  • Why in the heck is it that my sister gets more attention due to her pregnancy than I do?  It may sound petty, but I truly don't understand how, when we've done everything the right way, some people-even and sometimes especially, relatives-ask her endless questions about her baby and don't even bring ours up in conversations...at all.  I just don't get it. 
Example: This past weekend, when we were at my cousin's wedding, my mom said that my step-grandma told her that her sister was making some booties for my sister's baby since she knew what she was having.  She proceeded to go on to say that she told her sister that "[her (my mom's)] other daughter (yeah, didn't even say my name!) was pregnant too," so that when we found out what we were having, she'd make us some as well.
These situations honestly infuriate me.  My grandpa congratulated us when I called him with the big news, but my step-grandma has never said a single word about it to me, and only ever talks about my sister's pregnancy to anyone.

Which brings me to my next point...
  • I absolutely despise hearing that I'm pregnant too.  I want to say, "Excuse me people, but we've been planning our baby for a long time, and just because my sister is pregnant at the same time doesn't mean I'm happy about the situation!"  Seriously...It was hard enough to dealing with everything in the beginning and trying to decide if we wanted to go ahead with our plans for starting our family with her being pregnant without all of everyone's "helpful" comments afterward.  I had a lady tell me one day "how cool it was that [we] were pregnant at the same time", and I wanted to punch her in the face (figuratively, of course).  Newsflash, we made the conscious decision to start our family despite the whole ordeal, so if anything she should be the one who's pregnant too.

I know I've written about it before, but it's still a constant battle...
  • In a previous post, I mentioned the gender issue, and it still hasn't let up.  The only way I've learned to get around it before people have a chance to force their opinions on us is to tell them upfront that a lot of people think we should have a boy since my sister is having a girl, but that we don't see why that should have any impact on us.  Putting it that way lets them know upfront that that isn't the way we feel, so most people get the hint and leave it alone.
Bottom line, we shouldn't have to feel that way...we should be able to enjoy having people guess what we're having-it should be fun!  But instead, it's hard not to get bitter about it given the situation...The same people who encourage us to not let my sister's pregnancy affect ours tend to be the very ones that force the comparison, so it's just a vicious cycle.  If they truly wanted us to enjoy our pregnancy, they wouldn't bring up my sister at all...But it seems like it's inevitable, so I always end up feeling hurt and defensive.

Next point:
  • I also don't get why people ask about our pregnancies as if we're a single unit.  Even though I'm forced to sit at the same table with my sister while we're at lunch with my parents, that is in no way an indication that I'm okay with the situation.  I don't even want to see or talk to her after everything she's said and done to me, so I hate having to pretend like everything is hunky-dory in public.  We live in a small town and news (especially the scandalous sort) travels fast.  Due to my sister's need for attention, I'm pretty sure almost everyone in town knew she was pregnant by the next day after she told us, but plenty of people still aren't aware of our baby's existence since we don't advertise the fact.  This leads to endless awkward conversations to start, then once people are aware of the fact that we're both pregnant, they like to question us as if we were Siamese twins or something; i.e., "How are y'all doing?", "How are the babies doing?", or "How is [my sister's name]?  Oh, you're pregnant too?  Well, maybe you'll have a boy then!"  I'm always so frustrated by this that I usually just say "fine" and leave it at that, while my sister proceeds to go on and on about her pregnancy-related maladies, or how much the baby's moving, or how much she likes [insert food here].  Honestly, if you want a real answer, ask me a real question...Ask me.

I know it sounds like I'm being super pessimistic/pissed off, but I promise I have good days in addition to the not-so-great ones.  The one thing that gets me the most is that this isn't the way any of this should be for us.  I suppose it's a case of the "if only"s...If only my sister hadn't gotten pregnant, we would be able to enjoy our pregnancy and things would be the way they should be, doting grandparents-to-be, relatives, friends & all.  Instead, a huge chunk of that joy has been sucked from us by my sister's ordeal, and we're left with the crummy leftovers.  In no way do I regret our decision to continue with our family plans, but I still wish things were different, the way everyone assured us they would be even after everything happened.  I hate to break it to them, but they were wrong.  There are very few aspects of our pregnancy that haven't been affected in some way or another by my sister, and as a result, I have a hard time accepting our reality sometimes.  She seems determined to rip any hint of joy right out of my hands, and a lot of times, she does a very good job at it.  I try to hold onto hope that things will be different once each of our babies are born, but at this point I'm not counting on it.  I simply don't see things changing anytime soon, and it could potentially get much worse once the little ones are here.  I feel like she's invaded my life in every aspect...not only my pregnancy, but my relationship with my parents (eating lunch with my parents, doing anything with them, having them over at our house without her showing up), my job (because I work for my parents and she is there a lot), my town (since she moved back here last month), even my everyday enjoyment, because she's always there.  I know things would be a lot better if she would just get a job, but I don't foresee that happening in the near future either.  So for now, I guess I'm just stuck dealing with the mess that my life has become.

Disclaimer: No, I am not depressed (most days); I don't need professional help (although it would be nice to talk to someone who could tell me how to deal with all of this!); and I do very much appreciate my life and all the blessings in it...This is just an overall crappy situation, and sometimes it's very hard to put on a happy face and make the most of it.  I never claim to be perfect, and this is just one of those especially imperfect days.  I'm determined to have a healthy, happy pregnancy with a healthy, happy baby in the end.  I have a great husband to support me, and some awesome family and friends that are actually there for me and understand how this whole ordeal has affected us all. Most of all, I just want to be able to enjoy my pregnancy, because I know that it's a one-time thing for this baby.  I just haven't figured out how to achieve that yet...suggestions are always appreciated!


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