Sunday, November 21, 2004

cousine, cousine

I'm nervous about Thanksgiving. It's my first time seeing my extended family since we were diagnosed with infertility. It's the first time I'll see my cousin's new baby. A 3 month old boy who was conceived when they weren't really trying.

My cousin and I have had a serious case of "sibling" ever since we were infants- born just 3 months apart, living on opposite coasts so we didn't see each other enough to know that the stories my grandmother told each of us about the other weren't exactly true. I believed her to be a star gymnast, a straight A student, popular and cool. She believed the same of me except that I rode horses and didn't know a parallel bar from a balance beam. It wasn't until we were both in college that we realized that we were actually quite similar, would probably have been good friends if my grandmother hadn't intervened. But of course, by then, it was too late. The damage had been done.

We're civil to each other, of course. More than civil even. And give us a bottle of wine or two and a pack of cigarettes and we're the best of friends. But we still don't see each other that often. Even when we were both living in New York, I only saw her once or twice a year at family gatherings far from the city.

So let's just say the fact that she has a baby and I don't is just a little hard for me to bear. I bought a present for the baby yesterday- a completely selfish act since I didn't want everyone to think that I'm bitter. Which, of course, I am. And I'm practicing my coos and aahs in front of the mirror every chance I get so that when I face the baby for real next Thursday no one will know that I'm really broken up inside.

Part of me is hoping that the baby is as sweet and cute as the reports I've gotten so that I really will fall in love with him and all my envy will disappear. But the rotten part of me hopes that he is colicky and cranky and ugly to boot so that when my baby (my sweet, good baby) is born everyone will like him or her more. Completely crazy and awful, I know. I know!

I had a dream the other night that my cousin and her husband and their kids (in my dream they also had a 5 year girl) bought a new house. And I had heard it was a tiny one bedroom in New York. But when I went to see it it was an actual house. A beautiful cool house with a grassy yard and huge oak trees in a great little suburban neighborhood. And I realized while they were giving me the grad tour that it was the exact house that my husband and I were planning to buy. Only they had somehow gotten to it first. (sound familiar?)

Later in the dream, I left my cousin's house to go to the baby shower that my mother was throwing for me. I wasn't pregnant. Still had infertility issues, but my mother thought that a baby shower would cheer me up. Thought that I could put away all the presents I got and save them for later. My cousin was at the shower and so was her mother and pretty much the whole cast of characters who will be at our real-life Thanksgiving celebration.I went into the bathroom and cried. Didn't want to come out. Didn't want to open my gifts or have the party at all, but no one seemed to understand why.

I have to say that dream did not help my anxiety about Thanksgiving any. I'm pretty sure it made it worse. But the plane tickets have been bought, the turkey has been ordered and there's no way I can't go. I just hold out hope that it won't be nearly as bad as I'm imagining it. And really- how could it be? No, don't answer that one.


Blogger amanda said...

Yep. I hear ya. This is precisely why we will not be attending the big family Thanksgiving get together this year. We'll make it for the immediate family stuff, but I just can't handle the whole big family shindig. There seems to be a lot of the "oops baby" thing going around with my cousins. Three of my cousins have gotten knocked up or knocked someone else up in the past year. It's too much for me right now. Add that to the fact that my parents now have custody of one of my other cousin's little boys and my head might just explode (or my heart). It's so hard. I totally sympathize.

Oh, and I tried valiantly to comment on your last post but couldn't find a way to do so without bursting your bubble. You know, it's really weird that I can self reflect just by reading your blog. A lot of times you're going through or thinking the same exact thing that I've gone through or thought. Sometimes that makes it easy to comment, but sometimes I just can't get the words out because it brings so much to the surface for me. Anyway, good luck with turkey day!

2:59 PM  
Blogger spiller said...

It won't be as bad as you think it will. It can't possibly.It wouldn't be fair. And if it is, try to focus on that future Thanksgiving when your beautiful brilliant offspring is in his/her first semester at Harvard while hers is lying around the house eating Ding-Dongs and watching MTV.

6:45 PM  
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