Since we started trying to have a baby, I’ve seen lots of friends get pregnant, received lots of pregnancy announcements and I’ve been there during some of my friends’ pregnancies. Only a few though because some people disappear after they get pregnant. Because they are busy of course. But also because they feel bad towards me and thus prefer not to talk to me.
This process has actually made me grow a lot as a person. The first pregnancy announcement I got since the start of my infertility journey hurt really bad. It was a badly done one, so harder to digest. But I didn’t handle it well and had all possible negative feelings: jealousy, anger, despair, feeling that I deserved a baby more, being mad because I wasn’t told before the 4th month, etc. I had tried my best not to react badly but I physically couldn’t pretend I was ok. I hold back the tears till I left my friend but I’m sure it was clear I wasn’t overwhelmed with joy for my friend. I still remember sobbing so much in the bathtub that my husband had to come get me out of there. My friend was disappointed in me and I almost lost her. I am not proud of this. But unfortunately I think I had to go through it to grow up and accept our infertile status better.
Now if a good friend gets pregnant I feel happy for her. Of course I wish it had been my turn too, but I don’t feel angry, mad, or in despair. I also quite like being updated on the pregnancy and hearing about the problems and issues. I understand some problems more than other and do not appreciate excessive complaints on aesthetic stuff. I don’t mind hearing about nausea, tiredness and other feelings. I have experienced a tiny fraction of it while being on progesterone in the TWW and didn’t even like it then. So I can imagine it must be tough to go through the first months. I also don’t mind hearing about fears and organisational issues since I can well see how these need to be dealt with.
What I have a hard time with though is when the pregnant lady feels uncomfortable in my presence. I do understand why she may feel uncomfortable but I find it is all too easy to let it show. I am very convinced (but please let me know if you do not agree) that it is easier for the pregnant person than for the infertile one. Same as it is way easier for someone who has a great job than someone who’s been unemployed and desperately looking for years. And if I’m ready to do my best to be there during my friend’s pregnancy, she should also do her best to not behave in an extraordinarily weird way.
My husband keeps repeating that it is though for them. I can see it is a hard, but really – what the heck – it is much harder for me! It’s like when you go see a sick person. It’s a tough thing to do but growing up you know you need to try and be strong, avoid pity looks and concerned questions and find ways to make your friend feel better.
Last night we went to my hubby’s best friend’s place. His girlfriend, who’s now a good friend of mine, is pregnant. I knew and was in a good mood despite this. But then she kept asking me how I was doing and if I was ok with big pity eyes. When other people asked her if she was feeling nauseous and other questions of the sort, she said yes but when I was there she kept repeating that it was good pain and that she was happy. Of course she was making an effort to be nice to me and that’s really sweet of her. But she did a bit much of it and it looked weird. The worst if that it showed she felt really uncomfortable in my presence and tried to completely avoid my husband.
Now I simply wonder what to do… do I talk to her telling her to relax and not to worry about me? do I write her an email trying to explain how I feel so that she understands? Or do I just let it go and pray that after vacations she won’t act so weird? Because if she keeps this up, it won’t be easy for me and I may have less straight to deal with it once I start treatments again…
Why is it so hard? Why am I such a pain? When people act like assholes, I feel bad. When people act too nice, I feel bad. But I know there are people who understand this and who can act great and with whom I feel great! It’s just they are not very many… I really wish there was a manual to handle friendships through infertility…