My brother called to tell me that his girlfriend is pregnant.

The fact that he called (we mostly just text) told me it was something important – good or bad. He really tried to do this in the kindest and most gentle way possible, and he knew this would not be easy for me to hear. But, as you probably know from experience, some news still sting even if transmitted ever so gently.

I was ok on the phone, congratulated them and wished them all the best, asked how his girlfriend was doing (pretty good) and whether they were planning to get married (yes, but later, once the baby is there). But of course this brought up all those ugly infertility feelings: they are younger than we are, they have been together for a fraction of the time we have! (because clearly it works this way) Maybe they weren’t even trying! Add to that the ugly loss feelings: she’s 9 weeks, and they assume they will have a baby in September. Even if I am pregnant now, I will worry about losing the baby until we have reached at least 26-28 weeks (not that it’s “safe” after that, I just haven’t been there, and the likely outcome is better than at 20w). Probably beyond that, too.

I finally burst into tears just before H came back home. We spent some quiet time missing A & C, and being hopeful for this cycle.

Of my three brothers, this is the one I am least close to. Not that we have big arguments or anything, we’re just different. I had told my two other brothers about the FET but not him, and didn’t feel like mentioning it yesterday. The others might have told him, it’s not a secret – but as he didn’t bring it up either I think he might not know.

And yet, there is some sort of silver lining when looking beyond the stings. I grew up in a big family and always enjoyed spending time with my cousins – and, as it looked like neither of my brothers was going to start a family soon, I was a bit sad to think that our children might not have this. Admittedly, much of this thinking was before we lost A & C, so now there is an extra layer of complicatedness. But as I’m really hoping to bring home a baby someday soon, I’d be happy if he or she had a cousin to play with.

10 thoughts on “sidelined

  1. Nope, that sting never goes away, does it? Sorry it hit you so hard. It always happens for me like that too. I get out my “congrats” and then need to take some time for me.

  2. Oh man, I can really, really relate to this. I have a brother, we shall call him complicated, and that’s the politest term I can use. He had his first child at 19 while he and the 16 year old mother were on drugs. Then again, while he was in and out of jail, he got a different girl pregnant around 23. Years after cleaning of his drug habit, a third girl got pregnant and had an abortion. A fourth got pregnant about four years ago. The most recent, his current, live-in girlfriend got pregnant at 21. He is 35. He has at least four living children and I say at least, because I only found out about one of them a year ago. He is literally at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from me in terms of fertility, and he has never, ever intentionally tried for a child. They were all random hookups or brief relationships. I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve cried over the ridiculousness that he has four, three of which he never sees, four of which he can’t afford, while my husband and I spend 40% of our income trying for just one. It stings and stings and stings. So sorry that this news had to come in the midst of your two week wait. Hoping you’ll have good news of your own to share with your brothers very, very soon!

  3. That’s so hard. My sister had her first baby with a dooch bag guy she had just broken up with before she found out she was pregnant. That announcement hit me so hard. I cried at the unfairness of it all. We had been trying for several years already at that point. Of course, we love that niece so much and obviously we’ve gotten over it, but it was sooooo super hard. Then my brother got his girlfriend pregnant while they were seniors in high school. Then my sister got pregnant with her fourth right after I had my miscarriage. Fortunately, I then got pregnant a few months later and we found our success story, but all those pregnancy announcements were so incredibly difficult. Not to mention my cousin who had a few pregnancy announcements thrown in there too. I’m certain you will love this niece or nephew dearly, but that doesn’t mean the sting isn’t there. Hugs to you as you work through this, and hopefully very very soon you will be making your own pregnancy announcement.

  4. Ouch. What timing for an announcement. When we were first trying to conceive, my cousin announced her pregnancy at the age of 41. I had such a false sense of entitlement as I felt this was meant to be my news. That was two years ago. I didn’t know we had infertility issues at that time, so I thought we’d be making such an announcement soon, and I was a bit annoyed as I had been hoping to borrow some of their old baby stuff (as I thought they weren’t having any more kids). It just stings more when they add “we weren’t even trying” which just translates to -“look at how easy it is for us!”

  5. Ugh, I’m sorry that you had to feel that sting. He was kind enough to deliver it gently, but it doesn’t really matter, it still hurts.

  6. I am so sorry. I know how hard this is. My younger, unmarried sister got pregnant a month after my first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. She didn’t tell me until months later when she was around 16 weeks. Out of all the pregnancy announcements over those years hers was the hardest. Now I have a 6 month old niece that has brought so much joy to my life and my husband’s. And she has a cousin on the way! Praying for you and that your niece or nephew has a cousin on the way shortly!

  7. That one must have hit like a punch in the gut. I’m so sorry. Nothing worse than being lapped by younger family members.
    I’m glad you can also connect with the part of you that is happy for a growing family, and that you can be hopeful for your own children one day joining your family.
    I’m hoping for some good news on here shortly.

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