Becoming Auntie

One of my greatest desires in life is to become an aunt. Both B and I have been waiting and waiting for someone to give us a little niece or nephew. I guess there’s just something so exciting and wonderful about being the “hero” to a little kid that you adore and never having to be “the bad guy” because they’re your own offspring.

It seems like it would totally be possible for me to become an aunt. I have 4 siblings and 2 sister-in-laws. Being fair, a few of them are too young to be thinking about babies. (Go to school, Caitlin!) My brother will also never have children. And then there leaves the last two couples. One is incapable of having children, now into their 40’s without ever having any success at pregnancy. The other couple has been our last shred of hope for Aunt and Unclehood anytime soon. They’ve been trying for years. One miscarriage, and then nothing but years of failure. This woman is amazing. She’s incredibly successful, has a fabulous career, and now two (TWO!) waterfront homes. She throws fabulous parties and is wonderful to my children and is so much fun to be around. And still, you can tell that there is something missing. It just breaks my heart to bits. I invited her to be at Rylan’s birth, and I was so happy to share it with her. She seemed so grateful to be there, but now I wonder if I had been insensitive and did more damage than good.

Last night B came home to tell me that she had miscarried again at 11 weeks. 11 weeks! One more week and they would have hit that “magical safe point” and they would have happily announced the pregnancy to the family. She was so close to the 2nd trimester…so close to having the morning sickness fading away. She went through 11 weeks planning, planning, planning. I can’t even imagine the pain. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to have all of the material posessions you want, to have the life you’ve always dreamed of, but to be missing the children. To be just watching the years rolls past and knowing that you’re only getting older–that soon it will be too late.

I know that this is her story, her tragedy, her pain. I know that it is my job to feel empathy, to give my condolences. And yet I feel myself grieving as well. I was so close. So close to becoming an aunt. Is that selfish of me?

There’s another thing as well. The past few years I have toyed with the idea of surrogacy. I can’t think of anything greater that I could do with my fertility, my healthy pregnancies, and my uncomplicated labors than to put my body on loan for 10+ months. And better yet, how amazing it would be to give that gift to a family member. Technically speaking, I only have a few years left to be considered for surrogacy. It makes me wonder if I should send this option out to my family member. And if so–how? Would she be offended? Would the timing be bad? When would the timing be right? Should I wait another year, wait for another miscarriage? I’m at a loss. Anyone’s thoughts on this would be appreciated. I’d especially like to hear from anyone who has experienced loss and how an offer of surrogacy would come across, emotionally. Thanks, everyone.

Estella

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