Yesterday my amazing new little niece arrived! I was honoured to be invited to partake in her birth. My sister and brother-in-law wanted me to have this amazing gift knowing that being part of a birthing experience of my own would be very unlikely. My sister called in the middle of the night on Saturday to share she was in labour (three weeks early)! I met them at the hospital and was in the room as she quickly moved through the stages of labour. Within 10 hours she was fully dilated! Even with the epidural, her back labor became excruciating and she was eventually whisked off to the OR with daddy for a forceps assisted birth around 630pm. No room for two supports in the OR so auntie was sent to the waiting room.
To say I feel disappointed to not have been there for the birth is an understatement. It broke my heart when I walked in to the recovery room to have the first thing my sister say to me be “I’m sorry.” She and her partner were champs and did everything they could but sometimes babies just need a little help to make their entrance. I swallowed my own mess of emotions and focused on the joy of being the first family member to meet my niece and to know that I had been with her as she worked her way closer to this world.
Today, I am a bit of a mess. That familiar swirl of intense happiness along with the ache of infertility grief is as present as ever along with a the heavy disappointment that I am unlikely to see a live birth of someone special to me. Two new babies in my immediate family within 12 days is surreal and a bit overwhelming. I am so proud and thrilled to be an auntie again but I am so resentful of my own negativity and grief. Why can’t my joy be pure? It feels so lonely and selfish to have sadness when everyone is celebrating. I just keep reminding myself that I am capable of more than one emotion and that my feelings are perfectly ok.
One excellent outcome of yesterday was that witnessing labour solidified my choice in adopting. The mechanism of how our child comes to us matters less than ever. I do not have labour envy! As I watched my sister and brother-in-law search for what features their little one shared, I was strangely calm. When I watched my parents walk into the room with such joy over meeting their granddaughter I knew in my heart they are capable of that exact joy when meeting our child, even if how he or she comes to us is different.
We are next out of our families. I say this with absolute confidence.