I should have known from the moment I walked in the door that something was different about her. From the minute I met her, she always wore very stylish clothes, and when I saw her, she was wearing a black shirt, A-line with a tie in the back. I thought, "Man, that shirt makes her look pregnant." From that moment, I just prayed I was wrong. Oh please, let me be wrong. This isn't the proper order of things. It is my turn. It has to be my turn.
We got all lined up for pictures. It was a cold day so all 14 of us were crammed into the grand entryway. I was on the floor and my cute husband was on a chair behind me. She kept saying, "I want one normal picture. Just one normal picture first." I didn't think anything of it. We are a large family with a large sense of humor, so her saying she wanted a normal picture didn't phase me at all. All lined up, looking our best, the timer set, she ran back from behind the camera to take her spot in the back. And then the announcement shouted from her husband, "Amber is pregnant!!!!" My heart sank. My fears were confirmed. They had been married two years, us four. Everyone knew we had been trying, trying, miscarrying. Why this way? I stuck through it...well, some of it. I said my congratulations. I took a few more pictures, and then tears began to well in my eyes. Of course, I am so happy for them. I am the proudest aunt you will ever meet, and I am excited to add more to that, but I just wasn't ready, I wasn't prepared for the heartache it would cause.
I wanted to run outside, but with 13 people blocking the doorway, there was no way I could get out safely. So I went to the back of the house and just stood there crying, sobbing uncontrollably. I know it wasn't long before my mother-in-law came in and just hugged me. She always has the sweetest words that seem to soothe the suffering heart, and this time was no different. But I could not get myself under control. I wanted to scream. Of course, I'm happy, but it wasn't supposed to be like this!
I never really calmed down. I can fake it really well, even now. I'm infertile. I can't give my husband the one thing he wants more than oxygen, more than anything else. And so I put on my happy face, I don't let anyone around me see the pain inside. I have worked my entire life stuffing away my true emotions, and this time is no different.