First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Isn’t that how we all assumed it would go? What happens when things happen out of order and are less than perfect? Or what happens when things aren’t happening? My sister and I join separate blog worlds, that’s what happens. I am new to blogging and I hardly think I am qualified to be a guest on my sister’s blog. I am very intimated by the whole thing and it’s not just because Amanda is a much better writer than I am (she is). I am intimidated because my struggles seem far less difficult than the audience I’m writing to.
I’m a mother of three and my audience is women who are or have had trouble having children. What could you possibly want to hear about from me? When I asked my sister this very question, she said, “Talk about what a bitch I am, talk about what it’s like to have a sister who can’t have kids or tell everyone having kids isn’t always roses and sunshine.”
I can’t talk about her being a bitch because despite occasional bitchy comments (we are all guilty of those), she isn’t a bitch. Obviously having kids isn’t always roses and sunshine, even women without kids know that. However, kids who drive you nuts and having a sister who can’t have kids (yet), share common ground. There are a lot of tears, there’s questioning and there is doubt. Her tears are over a child she doesn’t have, over the children she’s lost and over the unfairness of it all. My tears are over the children I do have. I have lost (I’ve had two miscarriages); the difference is that I already have kids. I understand that, but that doesn’t make it any less painful. No woman should ever have to experience a miscarriage. However, I believe it’s much more devastating for a childless woman to go through that. It’s unfair that a woman so capable of loving a child doesn’t have one. I occasionally feel it’s unfair that I have a child with a disability. My oldest child, Aiden, was recently diagnosed with autism. I shouldn’t feel unfairness for him or myself because if you’re going to have a disability, autism is the most manageable one. Does that sound bad? I am easily overwhelmed, so despite the fact that its manageable, we have a lot of hard days.
I often question why my sister is struggling. All of you have gotten to know her (you may even know her better than I do), so I’m sure you see how maternal she is. I have never stopped praying for her. She deserves a baby. I know God will give her a baby. I just wish I could tell her when and how. She’s my big sister and always seems to have answers for my questions. I’d love to be able to return the favor. When someone you love hurts, you want to take the pain away. How can I possibly take the pain of not having a child away? I’ll give her my kids! Yes! I know, that’s not what the infertile woman wants to hear from fertile myrtle. However, I suffered from postpartum depression after both of my daughters were born. There’s my sister praying, hoping and wishing for a baby. Then there I was, with my newborn feeling so disconnected and sad. In those first few months, I really didn’t want my girls. I would’ve gladly given my sister my baby.
There’s a lot of guilt that comes along with all of this. I pretty much feel guilty all the time. Not only did I at one time or another not want my kids, she has to deal with when I do want them. After every picture, status and post the next thought I have is, “I hope that doesn’t upset Amanda.” I bring my children around her, I talk about them and all I keep thinking is, Get the children away from her! Shut up, don’t talk about them. Your stories aren’t interesting anyway. I don’t know why I’m making her sound like a monster. She loves my kids and she’s OK with seeing and hearing about them (or so she says). I hope she isn’t lying about that because I know they love seeing her.
I haven’t answered any questions and I haven’t given any advice. I hardly think I’m in any sort of position to do so. I am 24 with no college degree, I’ve been working at the same place since I was 16 and I’m not the picture perfect mother I thought I’d be. Here is what I do know. God will never give us more than we can handle and we are living this life because we are strong enough to live it. My mother was the first person to tell me this. I use to think God entrusted me with a lot, and I thought I was strong. Now I know, my sister is the strongest and most trusting woman. The doubt rarely comes, and if it does it’s quickly pushed aside. She knows there is a plan for her (she just wants to know what it is). She will get her baby. She is a mother and always has been. Amanda is loved deeply and that’s where her strength comes from. She loves deeply and that’s where her courage comes from. All I can give are my prayers, and trust me, I’m always praying for the childless mother.