My sisters are the most amazing people I know, they love and care for me in ways that I’ll probably never really know or understand.
This weekend we (my mother and brothers) drove down to the South coast to my sister and her husbands house. We were down there to celebrate the family birthdays that we had not had time for earlier in the year. My sister’s parents in-law joined us and it was a sweet little family gathering. I have two sisters – both younger than me, one eight years younger and the other two years younger. The youngest – the baby of the family – is 38 weeks pregnant and we are waiting with excitement to meet the new addition to the family. My sister was only married a year ago and she and her husband did not waste anytime deciding and planning on family life and the future. They moved out of their one bedroom flat and bought a three bedroom house and have been working hard throughout the year to make it into the cosy family home that it is now.
My husband was unable to join us this weekend – he is at work for the whole Bank Holiday period. So it was a bit like our one of our holidays in summers past – except this time we are older with more responsibility.
As we settled down to bed my sisters said to me “we need to sit you down and have a serious talk”. My stomach tightened because I knew exactly what they wanted to talk about. It was not surprising – they are my sisters. They went on to ask me what me and my husbands plans were for having children. They told me that I was not getting any younger so we should be making arrangements soon. One of my sisters said that if I did not want children they would not mention it ever again, but since they knew that that was what I did want, they wanted to talk to me about this. My other sister told me that she had spoken to my husband about this a few weeks ago and it was dismayed by his response. She told me that he did not seem to understand that I am older and pregnancy would be more difficult, his reaction seemed to be ‘oh, well we will adopt’. My sister left that conversation with my husband feeling that he did not really have my feelings and needs as a priority. My sister told me of a friend of hers who aged 42 has had to give up on the dream of having her own children. My sister’s friend and her husband have been on two year journey of misery and miscarriages – they are heartbroken.
I lay on the single mattress that had been prepared for me on the floor of my younger sister’s nursery and pulled the duvet covers up to my chin. How could I , should I respond to all that alarm and concern?
Should I tell them that I am on my own journey of misery, I travel alone , my husband seemingly oblivious to my pain, suffering and despair.
Should I tell them that I cannot just stop taking my contraceptive pill, as suggested by my sisters and bear friend, that that would be a break in trust that would be irrevocable.
Should I tell them that I am filled with such anger and rage at my husband that sometimes I just want to shake him by the shoulders and scream “do you know what you are doing to me?!!”
Should I tell them that I feel trapped in a nightmare situation that I cannot get out of and was of my own making.
Should I tell them that maybe they were right all those years ago when they told me to leave him. When they told me that he was not of my calibur.
Instead, instead I close my eyes an mutter the words “next year”.
Because in my mind it is not over yet. Next year I will be pregant. At this very precise moment in time I am not sure when it will happen but it will. I feel it, I know it and I am preparing for it.