My sister had her 12 week ultrasound this week and confirmed her little nugget is doing well. This is a big relief after a bit of a scare a few weeks ago. When I saw her yesterday and we discussed labour, she expressed concern her squeamish partner may struggle in the delivery room. Although she was initially considering hiring a doula, she caught me very off guard by asking if I would like to be with her when she gives birth.
I kind of laughed off her question and reassured her that her partner would survive regardless of how messy the delivery was. But later that evening she texted me and said that her and her partner had discussed it and they wanted to formally invite me to participate in the delivery experience if I was open to it.
This opened a floodgate of emotions along with some tears. My sister and I have never had an easy relationship. It is only in the past few years that we have started to find some common ground. To be asked to participate in such an intimate and special moment is an honour and privilege not lost on me. I think about being able to tell my little niece or nephew that I was in the very room where they took their first breath. As someone who has struggled with infertility for over four years now and has all but given up on having a pregnancy, this could be my only opportunity to experience child birth.
Another part of me feels incredibly sad and worries that my own heartache would get in the way of me being fully present and useful to my sister. I worry that my jealousy and resentment would cast a cloud over such a joyful day. I think of how difficult it has been for me to go meet my nephews and niece in the maternity ward and the tears I cried afterward for my own grief and feelings of longing.
I see being present for her delivery as something bigger than me. It would be an opportunity to welcome a new human into this world from the very moment they were born. I would bare witness to watching a couple become a family. I would be part of a miracle.
If I opted out, it would be only about me. I feel like I would be giving more power to my feelings of helplessness. And I might lose the only opportunity I ever have to be part of giving birth.
When I step outside of my head and include my heart in making a decision, I know that I wish to be part of this opportunity. I honour that there may be feelings that are not easy, but when I am old and grey and look back on my life, I would regret saying no.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Have any of you facing infertility been present for a labour and delivery of someone close to you? How was that experience for you? Any words of wisdom?