For all intents and purposes of this post, I have a sister. And yesterday she really pissed me off. Actually, that’s not altogether true; she pretty much broke my heart into a million little pieces. But because it’s easier for me to deal with, my initial reaction is always anger. That’s just how I roll.
So let’s start over: my sister really hurt me. And this isn’t the first time.
Good, now that I’ve come to terms with that, let’s move on.
My kids are 22-months apart. When my little boy was born, it was the most magical experience EVER, despite the 3 hours of pushing and emergency C-section that resulted. I WAS SOMEONE’S MOM! However, when I look back on my labor and his birthday, I’m overwhelmed by memories of my sister’s hurtful words that day. I won’t bore you with the details; just trust me that she was out of line, so much so, that my husband (who is the kindest, most non-confrontational soul on this planet) had to have a talk with her about stepping the hell off. Okay, those are probably my words, not his, but you get the picture.
Fast forward to the day we announced we were pregnant with kid #2: my sister was more interested in why she wasn’t the FIRST person to know, and then proceeded to tell me how she feels so bad for my son because he was getting “the shaft.” He would no longer be an only child and that was horrifying. Preposterous. Unacceptable. Because my sister’s kids are about 4 years apart and that was how she did things, she just couldn’t understand why not everyone else would follow her lead. Duh.
Anyway, my ultimate goal was to labor and birth both of my children naturally. No, I wasn’t drunk when I set that goal (but I wish I had been as I was laboring–holy hell! Pain much?!). So, it didn’t work out either time, but with my daughter, I got a little “crunchy,” as they say, and downloaded and listened to Hypnobabies tracks like it was my job. I also hired a doula because I just had to avoid a repeat C-section. My sister? Yeah, she had something to say about that, too: “I didn’t need those tracks. Or a douIa. Just did it naturally, twice.” Well, PIN A ROSE ON YOUR NOSE, SISTER! This woman has never heard of the phrase “to each her own.” And if she has, she is clearly very adamantly against it.
(Side note: I plan to write about both of my kids’ births and the different experiences in future posts because birth stories have become a huge obsession of mine! I’d love for us to share–start drafting your stories now, ladies!!!).
I opted to nurse my daughter which made things a bit difficult for anyone else who wanted to hold or feed her, particularly because she refused a bottle or cup. She wanted Mama and Mama only. However, other family members persevered and spent quality time with her and got to know her and were eventually blessed with her beautiful smile and open arms. My sister, however, decided it was too difficult to win my daughter’s affection and simply chose not to hold her. At all. For, like, the first 6 months my girl was on this planet, my sister barely acknowledged her. It was, and still is, very painful.
And finally, yesterday, the proverbial straw: over the phone, my sister was laughing about how she never really gave Ella a chance because she just felt so bad for Brady. She actually used the word “unfair” when discussing my husband and I having had another child. She ignores the fact that Brady absolutely adores his sister, and she returns the favor ten-fold. My sister went on about how Ella didn’t like her, and that was okay with her because she had a hard time coming around to her, too. At that point I asked her if she realized what those statements said about the kind of person/sister she is. She laughed. I did not. Because anger is my ally and sarcasm my weapon of choice, I promised her that I would ask permission before having my third baby, and he/she wouldn’t be conceived for at least another year. To this, my sister responded: “Stephanie, why can’t you just be grateful and appreciate what you have? It’s like just because you have this dream, you have to do it.”
So wrong and on so many levels.
1. I am beyond grateful for what–oh screw it. I’m not even legitimizing that asinine comment with a response.
2. I thought that’s why people have dreams: to achieve them? Someone please tell me if I’ve been going about this goal-setting thing all wrong.
These feelings I’ve been carrying around go back to events from my childhood, and are now growing exponentially since the beginning of my kids’ childhood. I am having a very difficult time coming to terms with how a person who is supposed to love me and my family can say (and mean) such hurtful, cruel things. How anyone could look at an expanding family as a bad thing? I’m trying to avoid therapy costs and use writing as my outlet, but I’m *this* close to going to Confession for the first time in years just to get this off of my chest. Now, I’ll just need to finally memorize that Act of Contrition and I’m golden.