My brother-in-law and his wife are pregnant. They are exactly eight weeks behind my wife. We just found out.
Now that some time has passed, I’m happy for them and I am happy for Baby, who will have a cousin her age. But at first when they told us, it stung. They did the whole wait till 13-weeks then announce in some elaborate straight couple way. Thing is, we knew they were trying. We had been having discussions about how it was going. And they were lying to us. That stung. It stung when they made a big production about how their pregnancy was “promoting” my wife’s parents to grandparents when we were already making them grandparents. As if our family didn’t matter; as if our baby was not real. It stung when they went on and on about how they didn’t think the timing was right but had sex anyway and whaddya know, they’re pregnant (it took my wife and I nearly a year). It stung because I was jealous.
I want my family to count. I want my family to matter. I want my parents and my wife’s parents to feel like they really are grandparents to this baby we’re having. I want to have relatives as excited about our pregnancy as they are about my brother- and sister-in-law’s pregnancy. I want my in-laws to know what it’s like to have people less than excited for you or questioning your choices (“Why aren’t you guys just adopting since you can’t have a baby naturally anyway?”). I want to be able to have sex with the person I love and make a baby. I want Baby to be part me and part her. I don’t want to have to fight so hard to carve out our place in the world or to carve out my place as Baby’s mother. I don’t want to be the only one without a biological connection to the little ones in our families.
I told my wife I needed some space and went upstairs to cry. I got in bed and stared. I felt like I was being childish. Why couldn’t I just be happy for them? Why am I whining about fairness? Life’s not fair. I should get over it. But in that moment, I couldn’t.
Sweet Love, my wife said. I know you need your space, but do you mind if I come up? I have something for you.
I heard her feet on the stairs and then saw her in the doorway. I saw concern in her eyes for the woman she loves, but I saw something else, too. I couldn’t place it. She walked over and sat next to me on the bed. She stroked my hair for a minute before taking my hand and placing it on her belly.
Suddenly, I felt a little push against my hand. I sat up, eyes wide as a grin began to spread across my face. I felt her kick! I felt Baby!
I pushed down a little harder. Kick, kick! There she was again! That was my baby! And this was her saying hello to me for the very first time.
My wife pulled me to her and held me. You matter, she said. This little girl is so lucky she’s going to have you as her mom.
I looked at my wife, this incredible woman carrying our child. All that anger, frustration, and jealousy began to recede. Because in that moment, we were a family. We were real. I knew it. We were the realest thing I had ever seen, experienced, lived, or loved.
Because in that moment, I was the luckiest woman alive.