What to expect when your friends are expecting

This past weekend was a bit trying for my steadfastness. One of my best friends told me she was pregnant. She really did it in the best way possible. I already had suspicions, so it didn’t completely throw me off, but it always is still hard to hear. This year it’s already been my cousin (who is like a sister), my sister-in-law and countless other friends.

We were on a walk and towards the end she told me and said she was nervous to tell me, but I really was happy for her. Let me tell you a few things she did right:  She told me alone. If she had told me with a group of people I definitely would have felt ganged up on. She told me side by side. I can’t quote research articles, but I know that hard things are always easier to talk about when not facing someone directly. I’m sure it’s “better” to face things directly, but not for me. That way I didn’t have to hide an expression or tearful eyes. We were also wearing sunglasses, so it was actually helpful to avoid eye contact to be able hold in my emotions. She told me she won’t bring it up again unless I do. I really appreciated that part. I really am happy for her, but it doesn’t mean I can’t wait to talk about nursery designs, names and morning sickness with her. She told me she knows it must be hard for me. She didn’t pretend like my “condition” didn’t exist, she didn’t patronize me, she just let me know that even though she is one of the lucky ones to get pregnant quickly, she gets me. She followed up with an email. She sent me an email later in the day thanking me for my reaction to her news. She was able to say a little more “mushy” stuff without the risk of me sobbing in front of her. I think she had built it up in her head that I would break out into a sob and throw things at her. There was a chance for that (and I did sob later in the car on the way home), but because she told me graciously, I was able to react graciously.

I had been digesting that news over the weekend, having some bouts of sadness, but overall, just being happy for her. We were having dinner at her house last night with our other closest couple friends and she had obviously since told them as well. I was very glad that it didn’t turn into a big celebration for her and do nothing but discuss baby things. Either my pregnant friend told them to be sensitive around me, or they instinctively didn’t discuss it. Either way, it shows I’ve got great friends. I heard a few hushed conversations between the 2 girls in the kitchen where I’m sure they were talking baby while I was in the other room, but it didn’t bother me. The other couple already has a baby and there were a few points in the night where my friend (the already daddy) made comments about the impending baby for our friends. Commiserating. I won’t lie- It hurt. I want people to make those comments about me– I want to commiserate about pregnancy symptoms. I suddenly felt alienated from my best friends. They have (will have kids), we don’t. They now automatically have something in common and we now have less in common. I know this alienation is self-inflicted, but there’s no way to explain it. It’s just hard.

It really made me start to think about my single friends and how they must have felt when everyone around them started getting married and talking about couple stuff all the time. How irritating I must have been! Socially, I bet they experienced the same alienation I am feeling now. Feeling that your friend group is moving on to the next stage of life and you are staying still.

We have actually started thinking about who our friends will be when we move back home to Minneapolis. Most of our previous friends now have or are having kids. Do we slide back into that group knowing there will be more play dates at the park than nights out; constantly being reminded of what we don’t have but ache for? Do we try to find new friends who are in our same situation? Do we try to find friends who are younger and not yet at that stage in their lives? Or do we try to make friends with older people who’s kids don’t run their lives anymore? I’m not sure what the answer is. Probably all of the above.

So, that’s what I’m feeling today. Happy for my friend, but sad thinking if we continue to struggle with infertility for a long time to come how our relationships will have to change. Whether it’s the same relationship changing into a different stage, or making new relationships to make our lives work.

And on top of all of this I have my HSG today. Pray for good results and minimal cramping!

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