Saturday, May 30, 2009
  When Out of A Doorway the Tentacles Stretch
I need someone to talk me out of being a jerk. We have a group of friends up here who are all Gray's childhood friends, so I inherited them as friends when we got married and then their wives as friends when they got married. And they're all pretty good friendships, like I go out with them sometimes without Gray and everybody gets along. There are four couples, five counting us. Four out of the five couples have kids - two have one, two have two, so half have already had a second child. The fifth couple doesn't have kids and they've been trying since the second they got married three years ago. Everybody in the group knows about their infertility issue and is sensitive about it, unlike one of their other friend-couples who got pregnant just by looking at each other on their wedding night and likes to tell the story of how freaked out they were over and over as the wife pats her round belly. So we're all mindful. When I found out I was pregnant I told the husband separately and asked him how to tell his wife, my friend, about it, and he goes, "Don't do it, I'll do it, and I'm so glad you came to me first." She's been known to avoid kids parties, and I'd heard that she cries when she finds out other people are pregnant. On the flipside, they've hosted a bunch of shindigs at their house since we've moved here and everybody's kids are always there and she seems to be fine.

So I kind of waited for her to send me an email saying hi and congratulations or something vaguely acknowledging, but after a month of silence I asked him if he'd told her and he said yes, so I know at least that she knows.

But now that two and a half months have passed and I haven't heard from her and she keeps ducking out of all the things that the whole group does together (last weekend big picnic, she didn't go and was "at home relaxing") I started to get mad. I didn't want to feel it and I felt like an a-hole for feeling it, but couldn't stop. To another friend in the group I said I was bummed that she seemed to be staying away from things because of me and my belly, and this friend said, "I might do the same thing. I wanted kids so bad and if I couldn't have them I'd probably need to be as far away from visual reminders as possible."

I'm still feeling mad. I'm feeling like if she can't say congratulations to me and be around me, when she knows I'm not going to talk about baby stuff and will 100% have her feelings in mind when she's in front of me, then we aren't really friends. And after the picnic I heard her husband invite one of the other friend-couples back to their house for dinner. But not us, and in the past we definitely would have been invited too.

Maybe this is all non-sympathetic whining on my part. It's just that even when we had a hard time getting pregnant the first time (granted, 10 months is not 3 years, but it felt like a longgg time) I never begrudged anyone their joy and never avoided them and would never have not said congratulations or made them feel bad for what's such a happy time.

I'm pretty sure that I'm not being understanding enough. But I'm also pretty sure that if this continues for the next 3 months I don't think I can be friends with her in the future. If anybody's got infertility experience and you think I'm being a jerk, let me have it.

Hi there-

I struggled with infertility for 4 years, watching all my friends have kids, and then second kids when I was the first of our group to even start trying. It was tough. I'm not sure I would have ever avoided anyone or not said congatulations to anyone in my circle, but I am also profoundly non-confrontational. I have read enough stories on infertility message boards to know that everyone reacts differently. Her reaction is not unheard of, and I'm sure she doesn't WANT to react this way and doesn't INTEND to hurt your feelings.

I think sometimes friendships ebb and flow, depending on circumstances. In this case, what is the point of you being mad? What will you gain by deciding that "she is not really my friend." Maybe if you cannot give her some space and understanding in this very difficult time, YOU are not really HER friend. If you could find it in your heart to let this go, and continue to be HER friend during this time with no judgment, I bet the bank that she will be so grateful. Please don't force her to say those words (congratulations, when are you due, etc.) Please let her just see you again when she can handle it and ease into that mutual acknowledgement of your pregancy without the words. Someday, somehow she will thank you and be grateful that someone understood and waited for her. She will remember.

(My twins still choose to read your book to read at night all the time)

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Location: SF Bay, CA
December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / November 2009 / October 2010 / December 2010 / March 2011 / May 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 /

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]