Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm going to be an aunt, or so I've been told.

I found out today that my younger sister is pregnant.

She's 21, the oldest of my three younger sisters. She's due September 8th. She was allegedly off birth control pills for three weeks when she got pregnant because she didn't want to fork out the money for a replacement pack when she had a temporary lapse in her health insurance coverage due to an administrative error.

She still hasn't told me, or our dad. Her mom (my stepmom) told me last night on the phone when I asked how she was doing. I guess she's about 10 weeks along now.

About two weeks ago, I saw something innocuous on her myspace page - a message from her best friend asking if she'd gone to the doctor yet. Her response, "no - just the nurse so far." And I looked up - and told Patrick "I'll bet you cash money my sister is pregnant." He laughed at me and told me not to get myself worked up.

Our birthdays are 6 years and 4 days apart, and the entire time growing up we always had to have joint birthday parties on HER birthday because it was a national holiday, and people were typically off work on her birthday. I always felt like she got preferential treatment. She got braces. I didn't. My parents (well, my dad and her mom) loaned money to help put her through school (she's still not finished). On the day I got married to my first husband, they took her to get her hair and nails done. I did my own. They paid for her car (they still do) and her car insurance. Granted, my dad has occasionally helped me with new tires or repairs, but never actually paid for my car. She's still on their health insurance. I paid for all of my own school - with my own debt. They did pay for a year of car insurance for me, and a semester of gas when I was tight on money. And they paid $1500 for a month of rent for me my first year of law school when I got into so much financial trouble.

She and her boyfriend are buying a house less than 10 minutes from our parents. Patrick and I live about 15 hours away. Rationally, I know she didn't do this to steal my thunder. I know she's going to have a lot on her plate. She's not finished with school. I know she was sleeping with someone else while she and her boyfriend where on a "break" less than a year ago - as she brought the new guy up to visit us. She has told me before that she's not sure she's in love with her boyfriend. She's only 21 - and while a LOT of her friends have children, this is scary. I know that she needs a support system and feels alone. My parents were very supportive of my pregnancy, and aren't showing her the same support. I know that part of it is that I'm older. I've finished school. I have a career. She doesn't.

I want to be happy for her, but I'm hurt. I was so excited about the fact that we'd have the only grandchild on my parents' side since Patrick's sister has six. I was so excited that for once, I'd have the undivided attention of my family. I'm hurt that she didn't tell me - and that she still hasn't yet.

I'm overwhelmed by the news really.

I don't know whether to say something to her - to let her know I'm here if she wants to talk and needs advice. Or whether she's trying to make it clear that she doesn't want my input.

Sigh. I'm actually glad that my stepmother was the one who told me, as I broke down in tears when I heard the news. I feel so ashamed for that reaction - but it was visceral, real. It was terribly selfish of me, and I worry about what that says about me as a person.


And on a completely unrelated note - here's a shot of Julian from tonight. The entire ultrasound he had his hand squarely in front of his face - and that coupled with the placenta on the front of the uterus made it nearly impossible to get a shot of his face.


Helen said...

Once again, we have the same story.

While in hospital for my last hospitalization just before the twins were born, I found out my "live by Mom and college/home/cars/wedding paid for by Mom and Dad sister 7 years my junior" was also pregnant. With twins. Courtesy (we believe) of fertility drugs which my unemployed sister is crazy enough to be on (as we have no twins in the family anywhere, and she was desperate for another.) This, after having the family's first grandbaby/great-grandbaby already and beating me to that one.

It's irrational, but I know exactly how you feel. It's like the specialness of it all somehow lost its edge, which it shouldn't. It's funny-it's the one time in life when you are a center of the family's attention and you want that attention, and then to have it divided and stolen feels unfair somehow, which is in itself a shitty thing to feel.

It sounds like you two are drifting apart. In my experience the arrival of babies and hurt feelings has completely and irretrievably destroyed the relationship between us. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, while at the same time it sounds like your hurt, sadness, and to some degree resentment needs to be discussed.

I'm sorry April. Email me if you'd like because I really, really know how you feel.

Jenn said...

Selfish or not, it sucks. My little brother (20 at the time) got his on again off again girlfriend (who was on methadone to treat her former heroin habit) pregnant and decided to tell us while I was in the 2WW from IVF. She was due 4 weeks before me and our boys are less than 2 weeks apart (my nephew is older).

It sucked, a lot, but now that time has passed, it's not a big deal. I like that my boys have a cousin so close in age.

PiquantMolly said...

Sorry about the news. I had to give up the dream of having the first grandchild about a year and a half ago. It sucks.

Look at your Julian, though! Those CHEEKS!

Scoutj said...

Oh sweetie. I might have you beat! When I was pregnant with Superboy? My dad's wife got pregnant with their second child. My youngest brother is 2 months younger than my oldest son. How's that!? Okay, just trying to make you laugh a bit. It is true though! At least I really love her. But it is hard that I don't have family that can ever come help with our kids because my dad went and had two more kids after my mom died because they have all the same things going on that we do. You know?


family sucks. well, sometimes.....