Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Good Friend

When I got a text from a friend last Wednesday, I just knew that she was pregnant. Kate* and I have been friends for over 3 years now, and she's a keeper. I knew that she and her husband were 'trying,' and they have never had reproductive challenges, as I refer to them.

I wanted to give her as much space as I could, since I'm going through a rough time in the wake of the termination of our infertility treatment heroics. And it was a good thing, for when she broke the news to me, I handled it really badly.

About 20 minutes into our lunch, I said 'you're going to really laugh at me when I tell you this. I thought you wanted to have lunch with me so you could tell me you're pregnant.' A relieved bit of laughter from me couldn't cover her response of 'I am'. Oh shit.

I bumbled around for something to say, and it wasn't congrats. I scraped through my rice and beans and cut up the rest of my chicken burrito mindlessly. My appetite was gone. As I swirled the food around on my plate, I hoped the check would come, SOON. I wanted outta there.

Tears filled my eyes. Here was the one person I could turn to in my journey who was now ripped from my hand. She said many good things like, I have been thinking about you so much lately and I feel the closest I ever have to you here recently and I love you and I could never hurt you. But my mind couldn't take it in then.

You may say, the one person in your journey? Well, I have distanced myself from so many acquaintances during our years of failed IUIs and failed IVFs and miscarriages that people have stopped trying to be my friend. And while I know you have to have a friend to be one, I haven't done so well on that one. I am just trying to survive here, and making nice just isn't in the cards.

Enter Kate. She came along in my life right after my first miscarriage, right at the time that her mother died. We had a kinship right away. She wasn't trying for a family then, and I was so grateful. It was too good to be true. A few years younger and a schoolteacher, Kate had her feet planted firmly on the ground of work-church-hubby. And I liked it that way.

I knew this day would come, and on one hand, I am grateful. Walking through infertility with a friend would suck. Watching her highs and as for me, mostly lows, on this road would scrape against the skin of my soul leaving wounds only the Almighty could heal. On the other hand, the dreams of us being pregnant at the same time are gone. The dreams of me being the mother first have been gone, but I could have helped her through some of this.... if only. My first child would be 2 and 1/2 now, and what advice I could have given! What joy I could have shared!

I want to be the friend to walk down the road of pregnancy with her, but I can't be. I want to be the one...... I can't even finish this thought, it hurts so much.

But I told her today, I don't want to know anything. I can't know what's going on. Of course, I'll nearly die if something bad happens..... but Lord willing, it won't.

So, dear Kate, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm going through infertility and that I can't share the sweetest time in your life with you.

*not her real name


  1. I'm so sorry.

    My daughter would be 3-1/2 now. I'm finding it doesn't get easier. The doc's wife in the office where i work got PG unexpectedly. They weren't trying. I've never understood Cain & Able as clearly as i did then, much more than i want to. I love her, she is a doll, but i wanted to pop her little head off. It hurt so much.

    I hope that things will change for you, in a wonderful & positive way.

  2. I pray that your friend knows and understands that her friend is hurting right now. I know it seems selfish to distance ourselves when going through IF and treatments and loss, but I truly don't believe that makes us bad friends in general. That being said, sometimes I do feel pretty crappy about not having been to any baby showers in years and not feeling able to support my pregnant friends who haven't been where I've been. It's tough.

    I'm hoping that your friendship will stay strong through this. I truly treasure my rare, dear friends who haven't allowed pregnancy to change anything about our relationship. They are priceless indeed.

  3. This is one of the worst aspects of infertility is how it affects relationships. My heart goes out to you!

  4. I'm so sorry for this.

    I can completely anticipate having a similar reaction when my one friend who isn't trying or already a mom starts trying...I constantly worry about how I will handle her pregnancy.

    This stuff is so hard. SO HARD.

    I'm sorry.

  5. Hey Rebecca, just want you to know I gave you an award on my blog. :)