Not everyone is lucky enough to have a badass sister in their corner during their pregnancy. Some are only children, others have brothers (ew!), and let's face it, some sisters kind of suck. But for the fortunate, sisters play a key role in preparing for parenthood. For many women, a sister is the person who has known and will know them the longest. Whether that sister is biological or chosen family, there are certain things the best aunts do when their sister is having a baby.
My sister is my "person," but we weren't always the best of friends. Our childhood games tended toward the sinister (if anyone asks, you do not want to play "hostage.") As adolescents, we barely got along. Now that we're grown, though, we've realized that we're better together. With our powers combined, we're like one fully functioning person. All kidding aside, it really is a symbiotic relationship. So when I found out I was expecting, I had no doubt that my sister would be a central person to my pregnancy.
She didn't disappoint. From the second she discovered my pregnancy to the moment she held her niece in her arms in the hospital, she was a freaking rockstar. Like other sisters before her, she showed up for me in the best ways possible:
Roughly two days after I had a positive pregnancy test, my sister texted me the following message: "Are you pregnant? I'm getting a message from your ovaries."
That's right. The best sisters have extra-sensory sister perception so powerful that it will detect your baby when it still has a tail. It's nice because, if you haven't told anyone else, they can be supportive of you from the beginning.
My first trimester was a goddamn nightmare. I suffered from constant sickness and vomiting and the fatigue was like nothing I'd ever experienced. My sister, however, wasn't about to let that get in the way of our Disneyland trip we'd planned for her bachelorette party. Drinks and Splash Mountain were out of the question, but nothing was stopping her from entering the Enchanted Tiki Room with her nauseated sister.
It might be annoying at first, but when sis drags you to the movie theater or new restaurant in town or, yes, the Happiest Place on Earth, you'll probably end up thanking her for the distraction.
My sister got married when I was about 10 weeks pregnant and in the midst of the worst of my morning (read: all day) sickness. She knew I was chugging peppermint oil in an effort to stay upright, so when I had to leave the festivities after throwing up my entire reception dinner, she didn't hold it against me.
The best aunts-to-be push you when you need it, but are full of sympathy and understanding when what you really need is a night on the couch.
If your sister lives close, you may be lucky enough for her to come over and hold your hair back, rub your feet, bring you a meal, or nap in solidarity with you. Even if she's far away, though, a sister worth her salt will make the effort to support you.
My sister lived about three hours away, but she constantly checked in and asked for pictures of my growing bump. She even sent me a new winter coat when I got too big to fit into mine. Although, in typical sister fashion, she dubbed it my "sorry you're going to get fat" coat.
I didn't show for quite a long time, so when my sister saw me at my baby shower, it was the first time she'd really seen my belly. The second I walked in the door, she started to tear up. When I asked her why, she said, "That's my niece in there!"
Honestly, there's nothing better than an aunt who's obsessed with her future niece or nephew. Plus, who else is going to supply you with juice so she can feel the baby move?
For my woodland-themed nursery, my sister bought her niece a legit fox skull. You say macabre; I say freaking awesome. Baby girl was also the recipient of a felt doughnut cat whose hipster creator whispered in its ear that it would be very happy with its new family.
I mean, a bottle warmer is a great present and everything, but you know you'd be seriously disappointed if your sister got you something from your registry.
My sister was speaking at an environmental conference when I went into labor. When she wrapped up her presentation, she hustled up to my house to join my husband and me on our way to the hospital. She was there to make me laugh (the best was when the nurse busted her for digging around in the medical supply drawers), run interference with visitors, and hold me when the contractions got to be too much.
I love my husband and was grateful to have him by side for the birth of our child. However, those who are close with their sisters know that there's something special about that relationship. It was a turning point in my life, and well, she had to be there.
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