Monday, August 22, 2011

Sighs of Relief

I told my mum we were starting a family.

It took me months and about two targeted attempts, but I finally did it. My grandmother was in town from Britain and my brothers, their wives and all the grandkids headed to my parents in various forms two weekends in a row to visit with the grandmother. 

It's tough to get my parents on their own now, especially because they now live out of the city and it's a trek to get over there, and the chances of being alone with them are slim to none. I've also waited for it to come organically, and of course, it never would. There were some opportunities like when we told them we were thinking about going in on a house with friends of ours. I said it would be great for them to have someone to hand their kid over for 10 minutes when they go to the shop. She responded that it would be great for us too, for someone to look after our cats when we were gone. I wanted so badly to say, "Yeah, it'll be good when we have a baby too," but I kept choking up on my words.
I felt strongly about letting them know before we started trying. I feel as though if we'd just shown up pregnant, it would've been a big slap in the face, somehow. But at the same time, my best friend had a good point: "I didn't call up my mom to tell her I was going to start having unprotected sex". True, but for whatever reason, this felt different. 

In another post, I will perhaps go into the intricacies of my relationship with my mother, but not today. We have only become close in the last 6 years. And my "close," I mean I call her every few weeks and we can mostly enjoy our once-a-month-or-two visit. She's a difficult and complicated woman, who never showed her love until well after I was 25 years old, but she has changed, and somehow our relationship just works. Through everything, if I dig deep enough, I realize that she does adore me - she just doesn't know what to do with that emotion.

I'm closer with my dad, but didn't feel right about telling only him (my mother would have killed me). I wanted to tell them both at the same time, but the opportunity didn't come up. After a long visit, my mum had to drive me and Devon somewhere, and when I got in the car, I just knew that this was my only opportunity.

"Mum, I really want to tell you what's going on for Dev and me. We're about to start a family."

BREATHE.

Her response? "Well of course you are! How could you not? You're both so amazing with kids, and Lex - you've wanted to be a mum since you were two years old. That's all you cared about."
RELIEF.

I just smiled. And then she went on about how I'll have to move closer to her so that she can "take care of me". You need to understand that this comes from a woman who never really took care of me (other than the bare necessities), so it was a little overwhelming. 

It was interesting: she wasn't that interested in my mental health. All she wanted to know about was the donor - what does he look like? what is he good at? etc. I didn't expect her to focus on that, but all things considered, I was delightfully surprised with her reaction. 

I haven't had a chance to tell my dad yet, and though I imagine my mum said something, he's probably feeling a bit left out. But we have time, and now that the initial word is out, I imagine that will make room for many more words. My mum basically said she wouldn't inquire until we told her we were pregnant... which I think she probably said out of respect for us, but I actually do want to talk with her more about it.

Anyway, that's that. I feel so incredibly lighter and am continuously amazed with my family's support. We told my sister-in-laws (who I am way closer to than my actual brothers), who are both thrilled. It was funny, when I was having trouble with telling my mum, one of my sister-in-laws suggested we just let the kids tell her, so she had a little chat with her 6-year-old in front of us:

"Would it be great if Auntie Lex and Auntie Devon had a baby? Would you like another cousin?"
3 second look of confusion followed by a, "Yeah! I hope they have a boy so it evens out the boy and girl cousins. Hey... is that a hornet??" as she ran off into the garden, following the buzzing.

In pressing news, AF came yesterday. As soon as I saw it, I just couldn't get over the fact that this *could* be the last time I see it in many, many months. Hopefully!

7 comments:

  1. So glad it worked out better than you thought. All that worry and it was not needed. Usually not when worry is concerned. Try to just speak your peace. Also, tell your Dad even if you have to over the phone. So happy for you and Dev.

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  2. Glad to hear that your mom reacted so positively.

    I've also had a somewhat strained relationship with my mom, but thankfully she has been supportive of our family... maybe it's just because she was so desperate to have a grandchild and my brother and sister are in no rush... but whatever the case may be I'll take it!

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  3. Hurray for good reactions! I remember feeling so relieved when I finally broke down and told my parents we were trying--it was starting to be strange that I just mumbled something about being vaguely busy and then had nothing to talk about when we spoke because all we were doing was TTC stuff. Glad your mom is so completely on-board!

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  4. what a wonderful response! its so great to have everyone excited. Lots of luck as you begin.

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  5. Previous mom issues aside, that was a really great reaction. I'm sure you feel such a sense of relief now.

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