The List

Dr. Bro & Me in the Late 70's

I have this habit of making lists. Maybe it’s the John-Cusack-character-from-“High Fidelity” in me, but I just like trying to mentally put things in order.

Now, these types of lists aren’t your typical “grocery” or “To Do” lists … these are the type of lists where I can grab information from various sources and disseminate them into some sort of order.

For instance, I can take all the concerts I’ve been to in my life (too many to count) and come up with the top 5 concerts I’ve been to thus far. (INXS 1986, Depeche Mode 1988, Sisters of Mercy 1991, Underworld, and the Pixies 2004).

Or I can take a project I’m working on and come up with a fact-driven list of pros and cons to making a change to a particular work process. Either way, making these lists helps me organize my thoughts into some functioning and working order.

Yeah. I’m that much of an uber-geek.


Dr. Bro & Me in the early 80's with Muffin

Last night, I received some incredible news. One that I’m – without a doubt – very excited about.

Last night I received the news that Dr. Bro and Dr. SIL are expecting.

I’ve honestly been anticipating this news for quite some time now; as Dr. SIL and I have had conversations about this same topic in the recent past. And, genuinely couldn’t be more than ecstatic for the two of them.

As I spoke with Dr. Bro on the phone last night, he oh-so-gently asked me if I was okay with this. Especially since he has been known to read my blog, and may have some idea of the subsequent reactions I’ve had with previous pregnancy announcements and birth.

Dr. Bro & Me on my Wedding Day, 1996

Without hesitation, I answered that I was perfectly okay with the news. But I also cautioned him that there may be days where I might be more snarky than usual. And if I was … then he should know that it is in no way directed at either him or Dr. SIL. I also told him that if I got too much, both of them had every right to smack me upside my head.

After hanging up with Dr. Bro, I sat quietly and let the news sink in … which, as any infertile should know, is never a good thing. As all these thoughts and emotions came at me fast and furiously, I found myself writing them down.

When I was done, I discovered that I unconsciously wrote down one of my “fact-based” lists. Except it wasn’t a “Top 5” list; nor was it a “Pro/Con” list. No … this list had me separating my negative emotions/thoughts about Dr. Bro’s recent announcement from the positive ones. And afterward, I put this list away hoping to revisit it again this morning with a clear head.

So this morning, I re-read my list. And what I found from my list was that I had more “positive” emotions than “negative.” I had more reasons to be “happy” and “excited” about this pregnancy than I had reasons to be sad.

Dr. Bro & Me on his Wedding Day, 2006

While this might not seem much to someone who has never experienced infertility … this was a major breakthrough for me. Because for once in my infertile life, I somehow know I’ll be able to survive this pregnancy (and hopefully with my dignity still intact afterward). Seeing my fact -based list will help me through this time.


So … what did my list look like? What thoughts ran through my head after finding out about Dr. Bro and Dr. SIL pregnancy? Well, in case you were interested …


  • Yet another pregnancy that I’ll never experience.
  • When my Dad goes to the Philippines, he’ll be “rightfully” bragging about it. Which will inevitably bring up the question about whether Hubby & I have any children.
  • There will be moments where I’ll unexpectedly feel blue. Or empty.
  • This will be a gift to my parents that I’ll never be able to give.
I've never seen my brother SO happy than on his Wedding Day


  • I’m actually going to be related by blood to this child.
  • Although I’ve been “Auntie Em” to Hubby’s nephews and niece … I’m officially going to be “Auntie Em” to this child.
  • Part of my genetic makeup, even though it’s not my DNA, will be passed on to this child.
  • I’ll finally get to see some of that “Nature vs. Nurture” from my side of the family.
  • I’m in a much better frame of mind (not to mention acceptance ) in where I’m at in my Infertility Journey than I was back at the end of 2008.
  • Although I feel “close” to Dr. SIL, we’re not as close – nor do we have years and years of history – as Hubby’s sister and I do.
  • After all is said and done, the fact of the matter is that Hubby & I have our own future to look forward to.
  • My parents will finally get to be grandparents.

So, Dr. Bro and Dr. SIL – if you’re reading this – just know that I cannot wait to be this child’s “Favorite Aunt” … well, at least from Dr. Bro’s side of the family!

8 Replies to “The List”

  1. Congrats to your brother and his wife! Congrats to you too!!! Words cannot express the pride and awe I feel for you. You have come a long way, and I know it’s a difficult road, but you are such an inspiration to many. For me, not knowing the infertile side, you have given me such insight and sensitivity to this ongoing problem with many couples. Thank you for opening up my eyes.

  2. Congrats to Dr. Bro and Dr. SIL! But more importantly, congrats to you for making it to this point! I am with Ev in cheering you on — you have come so far since you started blogging, and your list is just more wonderful proof of how you’ve grown. Seriously, I am so proud of you, and you better be proud of you too! Frame the list! It’s a wonderful milestone.

    Keep strong.

  3. OK, I’m jealous. ; ) My only sister is childfree by choice. I adore our nephews (BIL’s two boys), but you’re right, I think there is a special bond you share with your own sibling’s children.

    Anyway, even if *I* will never experience that, I am so glad that YOU will!! & that you can see the positives of the situation so clearly! You are going to be a fabulous Auntie Em! Congratulations to you & to your brother & SIL!

    (Love the photos, by the way!)

  4. Congrats to Dr. Bro, and good for you for being the awesome über-geek that you are and finding a great way to work through all of the emotions that come along with hearing a pregnancy announcement! I still wonder sometimes how I’ll feel when/if my brother ever decides to have a child with his wife. He is the Golden Boy and I have no doubt that his children will be the Golden Grandchildren. I already feel very petty about the whole thing, because even though they are specifically waiting to start a family, my only consolation in this whole matter is that I miraculously managed to reproduce first. And that’s stupid. I wish I could be mature enough to just be happy with whatever cousins my children eventually end up with. It’s not any easier for me, even being on the cusp of becoming a parent, and even though they haven’t even said for sure that they want to have children themselves.

    Of course, I guess we’re lucky in this way that H is an only child and we don’t have to deal with any of this on the other side of the family. That naturally means that we had to deal with a lot more pressure to *hurry up already* and start a family in the first place, but I’m thankful every day that there’s not another brother or sister in play with whom we have to compete… one is plenty!

    So yes. Congrats to your brother, but MAJOR congrats to you on being so perfectly, wonderfully even-keeled about this event! Congrats on becoming a “real” aunt!!!

  5. Congrats to you Auntie Em! I know in my case as well – I feel much closer to my sister’s children rather than my hubby’s siblings kids. I hope you get to see the little munchkin often so that he/she knows you as the favorite auntie right away! You are amazing Emily, don’t ever forget it!

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