Friday, January 28, 2011

Finding Words

So, here it is. The confession:

I am at a loss for words.

My biggest pet peeve as I have struggled through infertility has been people making decisions for me. Family members telling me AFTER a baby is born that so-and-so was pregnant so that they "wouldn't hurt (my) feelings", that kind of thing. I told everyone so many times that often it hurts much worse to be left out than it does to hear the news (this is just about being TOLD information... spare me the details every 30 seconds, please!). I tried to explain that I never felt like someone was jumping in line in front of me, and they had stolen my chance by getting pregnant before me. Granted, we all have our bad days, but for the most part I have gotten to the point that my good days outweigh my bad.

I had one sister-in-law that "got" it. She never left me out of what was going on during her pregnancy, but she never flaunted it either. I never heard her complain (not that I would have minded an occasional gripe), she always honestly and sincerely answered my questions when I would ask, and she never pushed information on me. In other words, she understood that it was hard for me, but also understood how much it meant to me to be a part of things.

I want to be like her.

But here's the problem. I don't know everyone's limits. I have close friends that are still in the throes of infertility, who can't find a sturdy step to balance on and the last thing I want to do is push them over the edge. We've all had those days. You're feeling fine until you log on and see that giant ultrasound at the top of the feed. Or when you hear some lame-ass family member complain for the 5 billionth time this week that "this sucks" while simultaneously sharing a new belly pic of their 3rd pregnancy in as many years. Give me a break!

So, what do I do? How do I find the balance between too much and too little? All morning I've been fighting the urge to put on FB something mentioning the fact that I have made it to 12 weeks. This is HUGE for me, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't want to be the one that makes that struggling friend cry today.

My best friend is one that is struggling. She rarely complains, and is an expert at pasting a smile on her face and saying "congratulations" even when she's dying on the inside. She is amazing. She is one of only a few friends that has walked this path with me every step of the way. She is who I called when I found out about the ectopic, and she walked along side my bed as they wheeled me into surgery, and is the first face I saw when I woke up. She has cried with me, laughed with me, and complained with me. I could not have asked for a better friend.

For the last few weeks, we haven't talked much. Both of us have been super busy, and she's been spending time with a sister that just had a baby. (Told you she was amazing! She spent over a week at her sister's home taking care of the new baby and making sure everything was in order while her sister recovered. WOW!) I talked to her a couple of times while she was there, and it was clear that she was struggling, but I guarantee she didn't let her sister know.

When she came back, I know she was on baby burn-out. Finally, the other day I called her. I told her that I was issuing her a never-ending supply of rainy-day coupons. Here's how they work: It doesn't matter if we have been planning things for weeks... if she decides even 5 minutes before that she can't handle pregnancy/baby related stuff that day (which includes even seeing me), she can text me. All she has to say is "rainy day" and we can make arrangements to reschedule for a better time when she is more comfortable. This will work for everything. She doesn't want to take my call ('cuz we all know that sometimes all we have to do is HEAR a pregnant person, and we're over the edge!)? Rainy day. Can't stand to see a baby belly? Rainy day. Because I know how it is! It sucks so bad to see someone, even someone you care tremendously for, get pregnant when you are struggling so hard trying to reach the same goal. It has nothing to do with your feelings for the person, it's your feelings about the situation. It's hard. Sometimes soul-crushing. I get it. Hopefully, this "rainy day" thing will help. I don't want to force anything on her, and I want to protect our friendship as much as possible. If she just doesn't take my calls, but never says anything... I will panic. I will question whether I did something wrong. But if she tells me "rainy day", that's just as good as saying, "Meim, I love you, but I need some space today." I can TOTALLY deal with that with no hard feelings whatsoever.

So that covers part of the issue, but what about the rest? Sharing too little. I don't want to ignore her and make her feel excluded from this MAJOR part of my life, but I don't want to hurt her. I don't want her to mistake me waiting for her to ask me about something, as me not wanting to share with her.

So, that was a huge post that boils down to me asking for your advice. The same thing goes for this space. How much is too much? How much is too little? Help me find the balance. I don't know how to do this part. (which is a totally different post... and "this part" is sooo many different things. *Sigh*)


Mrs. Gamgee said...

I'm not sure that I have any good advice to help, except to encourage you to be as honest with her as you are asking her to be with you. There will be times when you 'need' to talk baby stuff with your best friend, good or bad. Maybe there could be some way for you to give her a heads up?

I struggle with this every time I get together with a very good friend who is fresh from a second loss and dealing with a dx of rpl. She insists that she doesn't want to dampen my happiness with her sadness/envy and I don't want to hurt her with my baby-centered life.

Like I said, I think honesty all the way around is the only way to make it work.

Michele said...

I dont know that there is good advice. There is only what works for you. You have to be honest and be prepared for return honesty. But, that being said, you also have to live each day like its your last. While I never wanted to flaunt being pregnant, I knew that it could all end in a heartbeat. That made me do the things that I wanted to do so that I would never have a moment of regret. So, post the FB update. If things changed tomorrow, would you regret not posting?

Ants said...

Your friend sounds like an amazing person, but so do you!The fact that you are concerned and thinking about her feelings so much speaks volumes and I'm sure your friend will appreciate this-and maybe find it easier to share in your pregnancy knowing that you've been there and know what it's like.I think the 'Rainy day' thing is a FAB idea too!
As for the facebook thing, I haven't been open on facebook with our struggles, but when I am finally pregnant, I've always thought I would 'come out' on that 12 week announcement, say it's been a long struggle, and acknowledge my friends who are still on their own journey. I guess I don't want to just forget where I've been and who those people are who have helped me along the way.
I have never minded seeing friends pregnancy announcements on facebook, everyone is entitled to their time in the pregnancy spotlight!
But I've struggled with the constant updates and complaining etc.But you know what-you've been there and you understand what hurts and what doesn't, so you'll know what feels right for you!

Annie said...

First, congrats on making it to 12 weeks! And I do think you should post more, at least here if not on FB. This is a good way to keep record of it for you, plus I'm sure I'm not your only reader who gets a little worried when you don't post for a long time! As for your friend, it sounds like you are both very mindful of each other's feelings right now and are already doing the very best you possibly can in a difficult situation. The rainy day idea is great!