Saturday, December 12, 2009

Julie & Julia & Natasha

We watched Julie & Julia last night. Although I was well aware that 
there would be a scene where Julia learned her little sister was 
pregnant, it still hit me quite hard. I do have to state, before plunging
into my own story, that Meryl Streep did a fantastic job capturing 
that feeling we all get when learning of someone else's pregnancy, you 
know that feeling of wanting to be happy, but really your devastated 
beyond all logic. 

Just about 3 years ago I received a phone call from my younger sister, 
she was living in New Zealand at the time, so it was a surprise to get 
a phone call rather then a letter or e-mail. After some small talk she 
let me know she was pregnant, it was unplanned, but they were both 
very excited and willing to make it work. 

So, I reacted much like anyone would, like Merly Streep playing Julia
Child, out loud I went on and on about how happy I was, but on 
my side of the phone line tears began to form. By the time our 
conversation ended, I had already opened a bottle of wine and started 
my evening of debauchery. I moved into the living room and sat next to 
my future husband, he could see that something was wrong, but I 
couldn't bring myself to say the words until I had finished most of the 
bottle. I cried all night, not only because I felt sorry for myself, but 
because I felt like such a horrible person for feeling anything but bliss. 

I WAS excited, I really was, it was wonderful to think of a little baby in 
our family, but I couldn't shake the idea that it was MY TURN. I was the 
older sister, I was the one with a fiance, I was the one with a house. 
Wasn't I supposed to be the first to give my parents a grandchild? I 
mean, didn't there used to be laws against this? It felt unfair, like once
again my sister was being handed something that I would have to fight 

A few months later she came back to Canada to have the baby, at the 
time she was 6-7 months pregnant and came to stay with us for the
holiday season before going back to Nova Scotia, where my family is
from. Seeing her cute pregnant belly was like a @*%#& slap to the 
face, I really though I had gotten to a good place with the whole thing, 
but the belly really through me over the edge. Of course I again went
on and on about how cute it was, and how happy we were, but my 
believability was wearing thin. 

By about day 3 of her visit the jig was up and the result was the 
second fight we ever had in our whole lives (and trust me, this was
much worse then the time she did or did not record over my 'Boys
to Men tape). Any and all resentment, anger, jealousy we had for 
each other came out in a wild fit of rage.......while about 30 public
transit riders watched on in horror. There was snot and tears and 
name calling and blame, NOTHING was held back. By the time 
we got home there was no words left, we just went to bed and for
the first time ever we were not speaking. 

Our respective partners did their best to keep the piece over the
next few days, but it was clear that we needed to sit down and talk. 
Eventually the boys left us alone so we could sort things out, neither
one of us wanted to be the first to talk, but once we did, we managed
to release years of unsaid thoughts and feelings. It really was one of the 
best things for us and it was long overdue, as it turns out honesty really 
is the best policy, who knew?

I let her know that I felt cheated out of my "right" to be the first one to 
have a baby. That I wanted to be the one to teach my little sisters about 
raising children and what parenthood was like. I felt like I was being 
lapped by all my friends, and now being lapped by my little sister was 
more then I could handle. I even let her know how much I resented 
her lifestyle..........traveling around the world, making art, and magically
getting everything she wants. I was tired of working my butt of at a 
desk job and barely scraping by...having to save up for years to go on 
a week vacation.  

She let me know that she was worried about the pregnancy, how this 
baby would effect her lifestyle, her schooling and the relationship 
she had with her relatively new boyfriend. After all the pregnancy was
not planned, she was not sure if she was ready, or if she could handle
being a mom when she was still in her early 20's. Although she was 
happy, she was scared and didn't know if she was going to be a good
mother. She even let me know that she resented my lifestyle. how 
stable it was, that I have a home, a job, and a plan for my future. 

Turns out we were both ugly green eyed monsters, jealous and and full
of blame. The talk did us well and by the time she went to Nova Scotia 
we were best of friends again. Even though I still wished it was me who 
had a cute little baby belly, I had a new perspective, I was happy to 
eventually meet this little guy and willing to help my little sister in 
anyway I could. 

3 months later I flew to Nova Scotia to be at the birth of my amazing, 
beautiful, charming nephew Emery. I was named his godmother and I 
am thankful everyday for his existence. I really would not change a thing,
my sister and I said some hurtful things, but these were things that 
needed to be said and my nephew is really the most amazing little boy. 
Just to show you I'm not lying about how incredibly adorable he is, 
here is a picture of Emery last year at christmas.....a little overwhelmed
by all the presents. 

P.S. He is on his way to my home right now, with my sister, his dad, his 
grandparents (my parents) and  his auntie (my youngest sister)!!!


  1. Emery is adorable! This post really hit home because the exact same thing happened to my younger sister. I remember how hurt and jealous I felt, too, and now I am her daughter's godmother and couldn't be happier. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Aww, he is so cute!

    I'm so glad the two of you were able to fight it out and still have a close relationship. The bond between sisters is so special, and I'm glad that you are able to be such an important person in your nephew's life as well.

  3. Your feelings and thoughts about your sisters pregnancy are so similar to mine when my younger sister was pregnant. I now also am Godmother to the most wonderful nephew in the world :)

    *virtual high-five to being and having awesome sisters and nephews*

  4. what a great post! I have a similar story -- the one and only BFP I had was very unexpected and unplanned by my boyfriend (now husband) and I were up to the challenge! At that point I already had been ttc with my ex husband for more than 6 years so it was a very pleasant surprise. I was @5 wks when I got the BFP and 7wks when I had the m/c. About 6 wks later my younger sister was calling to tell me she was 6 wks pregnant. It donned on me that she got pregnant around the time I was having the m/c!
    I too felt a lot of resentment; she was happily married (I'd been divorced) and here she was getting pregnant within the first year of marriage. It just wasn't fair. I now have the most amazing nephew but the really bad part is, they live in Alaska and I never get to see them. I know I would have had a really hard time seeing her pregnant but I would rather have been there than so far away. My sister is my very best friend and she's my biggest supporter and seems to understand me more than anyone else does when it comes to me ttc.
    Great post! It just made me realize how much I really do love my little sis!