Julia had an interesting response to my post about my seeing my sister hugely pregnant. I started to comment but (for a change) it just got too long, so here it is. I think it's helpful for me to sort this out, too.
shouldn't it be your decision to see or not see your sister? Is she trying to protect you or is she trying to not make it awkward for herself? Or did you tell her previously that it would be hard for you to see her pregnant? Even if that's the case, it should still be your decision. If you want to go, you should go, and she needs to do what will make you least unhappy.
It's really interesting that you pose this question, as my sister (being the oldest) generally handed down her "opinions" as direction. If that makes sense. I was easily guided and just followed along. Things have changed, though I am in a vulnerable state these days.
When she first got pg (with twins), we were able to talk about this stuff (it amazes me how much), and I told her that as things progressed it would be harder and harder for me. Especially seeing her. At the time of the bridal shower, she will be about 10 days beyond where I was when I delivered, likely looking hugely, gloriously pregnant. I believe, given our early conversations, that she thought it would be upsetting for me.
I was smallish my whole pregnancy (even though I showed at 12 or 13 weeks), even with twins, because I was sick the entire time. I gained no weight. I lost it, in fact. My sister, after 5 years of infertility, has not been sick once during this pregnancy. Not once. And she has said that she is constantly ravenous. I expect that she is showing, and plenty. Probably glowing.
The shower would also be the first time I see my extended family (only the immediate were here for the delivery). She will be carrying what is (now) expected to be the first (living) grandchildren, particularly poignant, as my grandmother is still alive and my mother (her daughter) died seven years ago. TONS of family weirdness. How do they be happy for her and sensitive to me at the same time? I'd say that's got to be impossible.
The bride's family will completely ignore the fact of my dead children. I have yet to hear from her since we lost them. (Talked to her once through my brother's phone when he was here before the delivery.) The bride's sister will bring her 3 or 4 year old, and who knows who else will be pg. We are not enthused about this match, if you couldn't tell.
At the engagement party, my sister and I got each other through. We didn't have a great relationship until a few years ago, and it was really cemented by enduring infertility. Part of the tears are not just about the party. I fear we are losing ground in our relationship.
When she said, "I don't think you should see me," I fell apart. Crying hard on the phone. But I think it was because she confirmed what I already suspected would be the case. And really, it would be hardest on me. The reality of her healthy pregnancy and my doomed one. The inescapable truth.
Just to clarify, throughout this pregnancy, my sister has been extremely sensitive to how difficult it is for me. And just as her announcement was couched in terms like "I've already told S about this." I think she will continue to be sensitive. It's going to be a ton of work. For both of us. I think it sucks for both of us. I hope to be up to calling and congratulating her when her children come. I hope to be able to visit, and spend time with her, and rejoice in her family, with her and the rest of my family. I like to think it will happen like that. The way it should happen. I hope we're both strong enough. I told C the other day that I thought it would be a year before we could see my family (with or without A) unless we have a healthy pg in progress. I hope it won't be that long.