To my Pregnant Baby Sister: I’m Here for You

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Today is the day. She’s next to me in the car right now, rubbing her big, pregnant belly and staring out the window into the early morning dawn. I glance over at her and she glances back at me and we both smile a half smile and let the silence continue to invade the air around us.

There are so many things I want to say to you, my baby sister. Are you scared? I’m here with you. Today changes everything. Today you become a Mom, a mother, a provider, a caregiver. These are your last few hours, minutes, seconds, being alone in the world. I feel like they are the last few seconds of you being my baby sister. I should have been first, I should be telling you it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t scary, that the baby will be okay, that you will be strong. But that isn’t how it’s working. That isn’t how life turned out. This wasn’t the plan, my plan. You’re going first and now the roles are reversing. You’re growing up and one day you will be coaching me through this same thing. Oh, baby sister, I’m not ready for you to grow up.

I feel like there’s still so much we haven’t done yet. We didn’t get to go out on your 21st birthday. We won’t get to go to as many concerts. We won’t be able to drop everything and drive to the beach for a weekend again, just you and me. We won’t be able to meet up at IHOP at 1am for pancakes and lemon slices anymore. We won’t have sleepovers at Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve, snuggling in your old bedroom and giggling about presents, boys, and life.

I feel robbed and I feel angry. But I feel happy and I love that little baby inside your belly as much as I love you. And that’s a whole lot. The emotions are conflicting.

Is part of this my fault? You know I can’t help but to think it. If I wouldn’t have moved away, if I wouldn’t have asked you to live with me because I was so sad and I was so lonely at the time, then you wouldn’t have met him. I know you’ve made your own mistakes and learned your own lessons, but did I teach you? Have I been a good example?

It’s funny how life works. How everything is connected. How one small decision I made turned into something else that happened to you, in a much, much bigger way. You can’t control life. I didn’t know that moving to a new city would result in you having a sweet baby boy. I didn’t know my decision would affect the rest of your life. I didn’t know. I didn’t know the father would be a drug addict and I didn’t know he would hurt you, hurt my precious baby sister’s heart. I don’t know if he will be a good father. I don’t know how much more he will hurt you in the future. I don’t know how much he will hurt my sweet nephew in the future. I’m sorry, sister. I didn’t know.

It’s okay to be scared now but I know that the little baby in your belly will be such a blessing for you. And for me, too. He will teach you so much about life and about love and about growing up and about selflessness. Try not to be scared. You are so strong.

A tear rolls down my cheek as we pull into the hospital but I quickly wipe it away and take a deep breath. Be strong for her.

We’re in the hospital now and they’re about to take her into the operating room for her cesarean. She has on that ugly hospital gown and the cap over her hair. I kiss her on the forehead and tell her I love her more than anything and that I’ll see her in a few hours, when her precious baby has come into life. They roll her down the hall and as they push through the white double doors she turns her head and looks back at me with frightened and anxious eyes. I smile at her the strongest smile I can muster. It’s okay sissy, you will be okay, it will all be okay. I’m here for you.

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