Trading Places

Day 2 of the 2WW…so far so good.  The fact that I’ve taken this whole week off of work has really helped keep my stress levels down, and I feel like I’m in a better place than I was at this point last time.  If all is going according to plan, my 3 little guys (which LG suggested we name B-17, B-24, and B-52…a suggestion which was summarily vetoed), should be blastocysts today. 

Since there’s little exciting to write about IVF-wise during this time, I thought I’d take a little detour and write a bit about some things I haven’t really touched on…aspects of my story both related (and not) to infertility.

As I’ve written about previously, my mom, sister, and I are all extremely close.  That doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a certain disequilibrium that I think comes into play in any parent/sibling relationship.  As a child, I was sick basically from the time I was 6 months old.  For at least a few heart-wrenching months due to a lab error, my parents thought I had cystic fibrosis.  Fortunately, that turned out to be a misdiagnosis; however, I was diagnosed with severe asthma and a whole host of environmental and food allergies.   Oh, and to top it all off – I had infant acne.  A real dream come true for my parents, I’m sure.  

As I grew older, the asthma played a very real and disruptive part in my life.  So many of my childhood memories involve the local Children’s Hospital.  Much of my mom’s time centered around shuttling me to doctor’s appointments, visiting me in the hospital, and basically just trying to keep me breathing.  As a result, my mom and I were incredibly close.   This left comparatively little time for my younger sister who remembers frequently being pawned off on neighbors during the middle of the night as my parents rushed me off of the hospital yet again.  It wasn’t until much much later that I realized the toll this took on my sister and how left out she felt.

All of that changed when my sister had her first child.  My niece, M, was born exactly 2 weeks to the day after my father died.  She came into the world with a job.  Basically, to breathe life back into our family –  a job which she pulled off like a champion.  She was and still is a true light in all of our lives.   From the moment of her birth on, my mother and sister shared something that I didn’t – they were both moms.  The first few years of M’s life, my sister lived about 30 minutes from my mom, and they spent a tremendous amount of time together.  I was far away in Denver living a completely different life.  They were never ever exclusionary, but I could tell without question that the dynamic had shifted.  That balance shift remains today.  My sister and mother talk every single day.  My mother is a constant presence in the lives of M and her younger brother, L.  They adore her and she them.  As LG and I started down the path of trying to start our family, I have dreamed of rekindling that kind of closeness with my mother.   Not that we’re not tight now…it’s just different.

The longer it takes us, the more I’m afraid that having my mom be the kind of grandmother to our children that she is to my niece and nephew just won’t be possible.  Yesterday, we spoke on the phone and she told me that her chronic back pain seems to be something more ominous – advanced degenerative disc disease.   I am worried for what that means for her — this is a woman who just last year booked herself on a 2-week walking tour of Switzerland — and selfishly, I’m worried about what that means for the children LG and I hope to have.  Will she be able to lift them and swing them around the way she does M and L?  Get down on the floor and play A.merican G.irl doll or trucks?  I know regardless of what happens, she will love them with all of her heart and be a great source of advice and support to us, but its just another reason that I hope it happens soon so they can know her as M and L know her – vibrant and active.

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3 Responses

  1. Wow- to be honest, I’ve never given much thought to the relationship my mother has with my sister (a mom) or either of my SILs (both also moms) or how parenthood has bonded them in some way that I can’t yet share. It’s an interesting situation, and I’m sure your mom and sister aren’t intentionally leaving you out, especially since you’re close to begin with. I have found that I have more in common with friends who are either childless or have older kids than with the ones who have babies or toddlers. Whether that’s a similar bond issue, or just the fact that I don’t want to talk about babies and toddlers, I don’t know.

    My fingers are crossed for you that this is going to work and you’ll be part of the mommy club very soon, and will never again have to feel left out from the relationship your mom and sis have. Sticky thoughts!!

  2. I can definitely relate. My dad just had surgery and questionable test results on something and I thought to myself, Am I going to have a baby soon so my parents can have plenty of time to enjoy being grandparents? And I worry all the time that my newly married brother and his wife will announce they will deliver the first grandchild. But it sounds like you have a different kind of bond with your mom, one that can never be broken. I hope you very soon get to understand that shared experience as moms piece as well!

  3. i totally get this. my younger sister has two kids. they are 6 and 2. my mom got to spend so much time with them. now, she has parkinsons and is stuck with this progressive disease. will she have tremors so bad that she won’t be able to hold our kids?

    …and my dad wears velcro shoes now. you know that means he’s old 🙂

    hang in there. i guess my main response is that yes, the relationship will be different, but maybe it will be stronger b/c she knows how much you guys went through for kids?

    xoxo

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