My cousin lives in the same town as me, and I don’t see her near enough. She’s the same age as my younger sister and we all had a great time when we were growing up, hanging out at our grandparents’ house every few months. Times at our grandparents’ were magical – and the best thing was that we knew it at the time. They had one of those houses that was welcoming to everyone of all ages, with lots of land and activities for the kids, and they were relaxed about what the kids did. We really had no limitations – and no responsibilities while there – and we knew that this was very special. I miss those days.
My cousin and I share a very similar IF history in that we both struggled a great deal to get pregnant. She tried and tried for years to get pregnant – 4 total. She was not as aggressive as I was in getting treatment/assistance. IF treatments really weren’t for her and she figured they’d just keep trying on their own. I, on the other hand, was a regular at the RE’s office and never skipped a cycle with them. I took no breaks – that’s just how I am. She figured it would work out some day for them. I figured it would only work out if I took control of the situation ASAP. We are very different. Where we are similar is that we knew of each others’ struggles and discussed them, and I think we both secretly hoped that we wouldn’t get pregnant before the other one. We didn’t want to break each others’ hearts.
When I did get pregnant, I didn’t know how to tell her. I asked my mom to tell her mom (our moms are sisters) and she agreed to do that for me. I figured the news would be best coming from her mother. In hindsight, that was so cowardly of me, but I just didn’t want to be the source of pain for her. When my mom called her mom, she said, ‘Courtney has some news that she’s not sure how to tell K. Their latest IVF worked and they’re finally pregnant.” What do you think my aunt said? “Are you kidding me? K is pregnant too! She didn’t know how to tell Courtney!”
My mom called to tell me, her mom called to tell her, and then we called each other and let out a collective sigh of relief. It felt so good to feel SO happy for someone else when it came to pregnancy – and for that someone to be my cousin! I felt relief for her, for myself, and for our families. We both got our wishes granted, and at the same time. We did it in our own ways though – her via good old fashioned trying and perseverance, and me through modern science. Different paths but the same result – with the same timing.
Throughout our pregnancies, we were due just 6 days apart. When I was told I needed a C-section because M was breech, I got very excited because I was allowed to deliver 6 days early which meant that we may have our babies around the same time and be hospital neighbors. Our babies ended up being… exactly 6 days apart. I went to see her and her daughter (H) the day after H was born and it was marvelous! Sitting there holding her miracle, with mine still inside me, was surreal for me.
M and I went to visit them today. We had planned to go last Wednesday, but our geothermal issue got in the way. I love watching the babies play together. M just sits back and watches while H runs the show. That’s the way it’s always been and probably will always be. It’s adorable. H has the sweetest little baby voice I have ever heard. Her soft, melodic voice almost moved me to tears today – it’s just so precious and something I hope to remember forever. I could sit there, with my eyes closed, and just listen to her babble for hours – her voice is so peaceful to me. M lit up at the sight of H and he jumped right in to be her friend, even if that meant letting her climb all over him and knock him around a little.
I feel privileged to have shared a similar path to parenthood with my cousin. I look at K and H and can’t help but be reminded of how far we’ve all come, and how lucky we were to have each other during such a trying time. I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful people for family!