Changes – not mine….

My kids’ lives are about to change. My youngest will no longer perceive himself as the baby of the family, yet he always will be my baby. My oldest will soon be the oldest of five, not four – but not in my house.  See, the boys’ father and stepmother are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child together.

It’s taken me a long time to be able to sit down and type this post – and even after so many months many of my emotions still make no sense to me.

Months ago, my ex called me to let me know they were expecting, and that he was going to be calling the boys later that day to tell them. He wanted to give me a heads up.  I so appreciated hearing it from him – even though I was totally knocked for a loop. I managed to wish them both well before ending the conversation.

I went up to the KoD’s office to tell him, and I burst into tears. Actually, I sobbed my heart out. As KoD held me, and mopped my tears, he asked why I was so upset, and even to this day, I cannot verbalize it. My ex and I have moved on with our lives. While we may not exactly be friends, we are civil and friendly and I was happy for them. But still – my children were going to have a new sibling that would have absolutely no biological tie to me whatsoever. This baby will be their brother (or sister – I hadn’t considered that!) yet have no connection to me. That sounds so tremendously selfish.

But the tears were for more than that – and I am still not sure why it hit me so hard. I guess part of me didn’t consider the possibility that they would have a baby – it just didn’t occur to me. Not that it would have been my business either way. Was it a type of jealousy? I don’t think so – My baby making days are over, and I am beyond blessed with the children that I have. I love the independence that the KoD and I have these days with the kids being older and becoming more self-sufficient as time progresses.

Maybe part of me felt insulted that our 4 boys were not enough for him? (As I write that I know it isn’t true. He loves his boys more than anything – but feelings don’t always make sense).

Even as I write this I know that the real reason for the tears is just not explainable. My reaction was a purely visceral one – as if I had been punched in the stomach. And after months of soul searching I still don’t get it.

Now months later I am excited for them. The boys talk about the baby a lot. And I encourage this chatter. I have half siblings myself, and I know that there could be a great bond formed if all the parents are on the same page. But I wonder. When he calls to tell me the good news, how will I take it? Will I be able to wish him congratulations with a full heart, or will it reopen this old wound? I want to just be happy for them.

Have you been in a similar situation? Can you identify with anything I am feeling?

9 responses to “Changes – not mine….

  1. Maybe even though you are happy your gestating days are behind you, you are still mourning the loss of those days a little bit? A lot of women don’t want more kids, but still get a little pang when they see someone in maternity clothes. And the fact that it’s your ex’s new wife brings it closer than just a stranger on the street.

  2. I think that your reaction was very normal. Divorce brings with it so many complicated, conflicting feelings that it is often difficult for us to make sense out of them. For example, I was not at all upset when I heard that my ex-husband had remarried, but hearing that a long-ago ex-boyfriend had fallen in love with someone made me cry my eyes out, which makes no sense to me whatsoever. It is not so easy to truly “get over” a broken marriage or a lost love, and to still feel some emotion about it years later is perfectly understandable.

  3. Loss is loss. And you still feel that even though you’ve totally moved on. I don’t think you’ll have any trouble when the next phone call comes and I think you will truly be happy for your ex and his wife. You got it out of your system. And didn’t you feel better after that visceral crying?

    I appreciate the honesty of this post.

    • I agree, the honesty of this post is really the most amazing thing, Hadassah. You are always able to so clearly share your feelings even the most muddied up and confusing one. We’re here for you!

  4. I think you were just overwhelmed with the change in dynamics that this little bundle of joy will bring. A new person for your kids to love. (How are you supposed to feel towards him/her? How excited is ‘normal’?) Another person added to the larger family group… It opens up a whole slew of new questions and issues. (Nothing that you can’t all face together, as you know very well)

  5. All I have to add is <>

  6. You said it– feelings make absolutely no sense. When I was 22, my two sisters and my sister-in-law all had babies within two weeks of each other. Even though I wasn’t even married yet, I felt like they’d had a party and not invited me.

    I can’t imagine what it would be like for me for my kids to have a sibling that wasn’t my child. I’d probably cry too. Did you ask your mother how she handled it when it happened to her?

  7. I actually had this reaction upon finding out that I had a half-sibling my father never told me about and that my mother never knew about. My father had an affair with a married woman when my mother was pregnant with the sister after me.

    I was 13 when a close friend in junior high school remarked that I looked JUST LIKE her little cousin. She asked me what my father’s name was and she came back days later to tell me that that was her little cousin’s father’s name, too. And that I had, yet, a third sister, the first half-sibling I had ever been told about. “Would you like to meet her?” I remember being so angry, sobbing and sobbing. I remember not telling anyone, not my mother or my sisters. “No, I don’t want to meet her! And I’m sorry she’s got the same useless father!”

    It wasn’t until I was in college that I sought out this half-sister (online) and found out that I had about 6-7 MORE half-siblings from my father’s second marriage and other indiscretions. By that time, I was over 21 and able to handle it with WONDER (wow, I am the eldest of 10-11 kids!) and with a real need to meet these other kids who shared my father. I still haven’t met all of them and that truly pains me. And while it’s so strange meeting my half-siblings and saying, “Hi, I’m your eldest sister” and I’m usually twice their age or three times, it’s really nice!

  8. This is a beautiful post. YOu are so honest with yourself and us.
    Thank you

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