The Two Sides of Becoming an Aunt

I’m just going to be blunt and name today’s topic: the extreme highs and lows of a sibling having a baby while you still struggle to have your own. I am going to get this out the best that I can. Hopefully, it will help people understand what goes on.

On March 23rd, I became an aunt. My younger sister had her baby girl, and I am in love. Well, I am in love while sometimes crying and feeling extreme grief. When I am around my little niece, I coo, cuddle, sing to her, change diapers, etc. When I look at pictures my sister sends me, I show them off and exclaim over the amazing awesomeness of my niece. It is the most wonderful feeling seeing my little sister as a mom.

75% of the time, I feel this extreme joy and happiness. The other 25% is mixed with grief and sadness. I have cried in my car after a visit, on the phone with my mom, in my bed with my husband, etc. I absolutely hate feeling like this.

When I told friends of mine I was an aunt, some asked immediately if I was okay. I will admit that, at first, I just smiled and gave the okay. I didn’t want to admit that my heart was filled to the brim while breaking. Why should I be so sad? Part of me got annoyed because I felt that I was seen as the sad-sack woman. I wasn’t mad at anyone. It’s just how I felt. My feelings were flipping back and forth so often that it was making me exhausted and snappy. (Sorry, Steve.)

I felt worse because my sister had some complications with her c-section, my niece has jaundice, and my brother-in-law was beyond exhausted. Who was I to be extremely emotional and needy when they were going through so much? I thought this, even though no one said it.

One thing I do not feel is jealousy. I am not jealous of my sister.

If I picture how my mind works and acts with all of this, it’s like the movie Inside Out. Joy is fighting with Sadness, and it doesn’t seem to end.

chalkCircle1

Sarah has to be happy! No, she has to be sad.

I was ashamed of my feelings for a short amount of time, until I spoke to my mom and husband. They both told me it was okay to feel this way. I am allowed to feel great joy and grief right now. I have been through so much recently so I must allow myself to feel like this. It’s only been a week since I was told this, and I don’t feel ashamed of these emotions. I have not stopped grieving and feeling frustrated. That is just what it is right now. However, I still so happy and in awe of the little human I call my niece.

sad donald glover GIF-downsized_large

ALL THE FEELS!!!! (I love Community.)

I hope this post shows just a little of what I feel. I know that it only scratched the surface, but it’s what I have for now. I’ll try to update as I move forward.

Steve and I had a follow up with our doctor at SGF-Atlanta on April 4. I’ll update on the next post. I also appeared on my friend’s podcast for her online magazine, The Educator’s Room, discussing being a teacher and dealing with infertility. (Thanks, Fran!!) Check it out here: https://theeducatorsroom.podbean.com/e/episode-67-dealing-with-infertility-as-a-teacher/

Until next time, keep drinking the water.

-Sarah

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4 thoughts on “The Two Sides of Becoming an Aunt

  1. Sprha says:

    I can so relate to this….my younger brother had baby last… year my nephew is 7 months..I am in love with that little human being….I don’t feel jealous of my bro..but I feel sad for myself….I feel like how u felt and feel like even now sometimes….but it’s ok to feel like ….we all will be the other side soon….take care☺💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JustHeather says:

    I cried reading this. I know and remember those feelings (hell, they still come at me at the strangest of times). I didn’t have a sibling get pregnant first, but all of my closest friends, cousins, co-workers..and some of them even twice before I ever even saw a positive test. It was one of the hardest feelings in the world to be truly happy for someone, yet at the same time (different side of the coin?) feeling totally down and out sad for yourself. *hugs* You are in my thoughts often.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah says:

    THIS IS ME! Brother and brother in law on babies #3 and I can’t help like feeling like the one whom no one wants to tell because I will get “sad.” I struggle to not define my happiness based on what those around me have which I feel I lack. I do not want infertility to be my label and cause people, especially my family, to view me as less than.

    Liked by 1 person

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