Today was a day I hadn’t been looking forward to for a long time. I should have looked forward to this day, I should have been excited and happy…but I just couldn’t be either of those things.
What, you may ask, what the event that happened today that caused me to feel like this?
Some of you I know won’t “get it”. Some of you will think that I am acting like a spoilt child and that I’m no better than a petulant 5 year old when I tell you all what it is. For I harbour a very guilty secret inside me.
The truth is, I am jealous.
I am jealous beyond belief.
What is it that I am so jealous of? It is my 29 year old first cousin who has managed to produce a normal, healthy and happy baby boy who was born last July.
She is 12 years younger than me. She is the daughter of my Mum’s sister and is more or less the age her Mum was when she gave birth to her. She is at the age now where I should have already been a Mum, because I started trying for a baby with my ex-husband when I was a year younger than her.
And yet here we are – her at the age of 29 with a beautiful six month old baby boy who is happy, thriving, inquisitive and gorgeous. And me with….nothing.
No baby to hold. No nappies to change. No crying to soothe. No feeding. No showing off my beautiful baby boy to my family and friends.
Today she travelled from where she lives to visit us and show off her baby boy. Never in my life have I felt so jealous as I did when I first saw her today. It’s not fair, not right – why did SHE have to get there first? Why did HER Mum become a grandmother before my Mum? She had just found out she was pregnant with him when my Frankie was born sleeping.
I know it isn’t rational. I know that I’m an awful person for even feeling this way. I know I should be happy for her.
But the truth is, I’m not.
She is going back to work in a few months time and she will be leaving him in a nursery. I want to scream at her NO – you can’t do that. You can’t leave him all alone in a strange place. You must treasure every single second you have with him, because it could be your last. How do I know this?
I have been there.
This has set me back quite a bit. I know some of you reading this will be judging me, and rightly so. I should be so grateful for what I’ve got, I’ve got a wonderful husband who loves me more than anything in the world, I have amazing parents, a fantastic family, friends who I really appreciate who have helped me more than they will ever know. I have my health, my work and my wonderful German Shepherd Curley.
But at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I have failed at the one thing that we are put on this earth to do. Numerous miscarriages, chemical pregnancies and Frankie is the proof of that failure.
My cousin went to see my parents before I saw her. I met them in the carvery restaurant for lunch around the corner from me with my husband. My heart sank when they walked in, my cousin with her son in her arms, my parents behind looking very proud. I wish they had that same look of pride for me and Frankie if things had been different.
I could hardly look my cousin in the face, let alone her son. But by the time we had finished eating and went back to my parents house, I forced myself to do the unthinkable, as this picture shows:
I held him.
I held my second cousin in my arms.
I have held my friends babies. I held my friend Fiona’s daughter when I went to London in the summer, and I loved it. I have held my friends daughter Bryanna twice since she was born. I loved every second of holding them. It has been over a year since Frankie was born sleeping, so why should I still feel this way?
But there was a big difference this time.
This baby is family.
I was 12 years old when my first cousin was born. Who knew that she would end up being a mother before me.
Not me, that’s for sure.
I’m really sorry for this post. I’m really sorry for saying the things I have in it. But they are what I feel, and I would not be true to myself if I pretended that yesterdays visit and meeting was okay for me.
Still, I got through it. I got through another day. And at the moment, that’s all I can ever hope for.
My husband and I finished off the day watching the film Jaws with our new surround sound on, and it was like watching the film for the first time. I still smiled. I still have hope.
I am lucky. I am blessed. I am fortunate.