My sister flew here from Brazil to be with me in my inception as a mother. She has two children of her own – children she left in Brazil to be here with me, focusing 100% on my needs.
The process we went through together shed a new light to the meaning of sisterhood. Just like the realization that came upon me of my relationship with my husband, my sister’s stance through the intensity of my birthing process opened my eyes to the meanig of being a sibling.
We have always been very different in so many aspects. She is practical, I am idealistic; she is organized, I am chaotic; she plans her life, I let mine happen. Still, I think we both nurture for each other a deep affection that isn’t always evident to the naked eye.
Our differences became oh so clear when I brought to the table the choices I made for birthing my baby – especially when it came to medical interventions.
And that’s when I saw the love flow from her. Her first movement was share her experience and make suggestions, talking to me about accepting medical help to speed up labor and manage pain. I was against both. And quite frankly, I was disappointed she would try to change my mind.
Once she realized I was firm in my position, however, she shifted so completely I was moved by her flexibility – a trait I had not known her to have. She joined my husband in massaging me, helping me cope with the pain I did not want to kill artificially. She brought up alternative pain management solutions, such as using warm water. She kept the outside world at bay, filtering the phone calls, text messages, and the like, while still informing the family of the state of things.
This change in her attitude and the support she showed me were to me proof of the deepest love – love that is the root of respect even for ideas that differ from our own.
I hope she realizes I nurture the same affection for her. I hope it shows through as clearly as hers did to me in the days she’s been here taking care of me while I learn to be a mother to my baby, sometimes following her steps, sometimes veering in a different direction, but always nurturing the deepest respect for her experience, her opinion and her self.