When I started IVF I talked to most of my friends about it. I suck at hiding things. My friend’s support got me through IVF #1. They shared my excitement, my fears, listened to me, supported me… But IVF didn’t work and people often get tired of bad news and problems. Then most of my friends started TTC and got pregnant within a few months (I’m surrounded by super-fertiles). In most cases they disappeared: they stopped calling and often answering to emails. I called or emailed every now and then to get news but they either didn’t answer or it was clear that they felt uneasy talking to me. So after a while I gave up.
I can imagine that it takes a lot of organisation to get ready for the arrival of a baby. But it is a bit weird to disappear for months or even over a year. People do not disappear because they are busy but because they are uncomfortable around me. I know the reasoning by now: she can’t have babies so she won’t be happy to have us around or hear from us. Truth is, I would much rather not be cut out of my friend’s life. I know some people prefer to be left alone. But not me. At very least, I’d like to be asked and given the option.
I’ve been feeling very lonely this year. In fact if it weren’t for this blog and my friends abroad who read this blog I don’t know how I would have coped. But, funny enough, just as I got used to being lonely, lately there’s been a massive come back phase. After months with hardly any communication these same friends are coming back to ask THE question: “So, how’s it going with your things?”, “Do you have any news?”, “Has it worked yet?”, “Have you tried again?” or, worst of all “But how are you?” (add worried tone and pity eyes).
The problem is this question can come at any time, since they do not have any idea of what is going on in my life. They don’t know whether at that moment I’m ok or I’m stuffed with hormones; if I’m calm or recovering from bad news, if I’m simply taking a break and do not want to talk about it or if I’m open to talk. They don’t have any idea of what is going on because they completely disappeared without even finding the time to send me a little text with a nice word. And I don’t like that.
But let me give you two examples of why I’m annoyed at this come back phase.
A friend from work stopped talking to me right after she got pregnant. I tried to be there for her and ask about the pregnancy but I gave up after it got clear that she didn’t want to talk to me about it. A few days after the end of my chemical pregnancy, she came to ask me how I was doing (accompanied by a massive and beautiful baby bump). I couldn’t just pretend all was ok and I told her I found it hard to talk to her after she disappeared for months (I swear, I said it nicely!). She immediately started sobbing saying that she was sorry but she avoided me because she didn’t want to hurt me with her pregnancy, she felt guilty about being pregnant in my presence and she didn’t know how to handle things. Last thing I want is to upset a very pregnant girl, so I comforted her and said everything was ok and that I understood. I know all this happened because she was worried about me, but after all, I am the one who ended up cheering up a pregnant woman about the fact that she shouldn’t worry to be pregnant in my presence, and all this right after losing that tiny bit of pregnancy I had. Why on earth do I have to bear with stuff like this? Why don’t people grow up? Why do they cut me out and think it’s ok to come and cry to me? I don’t need this unnecessary drama. I have enough of it already! If they feel they’ve made a mistake, they should come apologize but normally, not sobbing!
Another friend, and this one was hard because he is a very very close friend, disappeared after his wife got pregnant. He called me to announce that she was pregnant, I was honestly happy for them. When I called to get news I realised he felt uncomfortable so I wrote him an email to reassure him that I was ok and that I wanted to be there for him. But he never replied. He got in touch with me after over a year because he needed help with moving to the city where I live. Of course I helped but I wasn’t too happy. When he moved here, I met up with him, his wife and little daughter. After a while they asked about treatments. I really didn’t want to be asked then, in the middle of the happy reunion to meet his daughter and with his wife there, with whom I had never talked about my problems. And this was also right after the transfer, during a TWW. So I lied saying we weren’t trying anymore. A few days later I felt bad and called to tell him what was really going on. He said he had been wondering how to reconnect, after he had realized he had been too absent for a long while. He felt very guilty about disappearing for so long, for not answering my messages etc, etc. I’m glad we’re talking again and I’m glad I said things in the open so there is no tension anymore. But why does it have to be so complicated?!?!?
Maybe I’m missing something. Truth is that I resent them. I don’t resent them for having babies or for getting on with their lives. I understand that the show of life must go on without us. I also understand that people need time for themselves and that often they don’t have extra energy for others. But I was there for them even when things were hard or very busy for me. And disappearing for like a year is a bit much. I guess it would have been ok if the came back had been a bit softer, like “Sorry I haven’t asked in a while, but I’ve been thinking of you while I was busy. How are you?”. But the nonchalance “So, you knocked up yet?” really doesn’t do it for me…