Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Confronting the Pregnant

Monday was still rough, but I decided to suck it up and text BF and ask how she was doing. She responded briefly stating that everything was the same. I asked a question or two and never heard back. I figured she was busy at work and she would probably call later in the evening when she got off.

After some time to digest I was feeling a little better. I was mostly upset about how the news was delivered. I do care about my BF very much and feel guilty that I’m not able to be the friend she needs right now.

When 9:30pm rolled around I decided to give her a call to check in. Selfishly I was hoping for a nice cathartic chat that would entail me explaining why I wasn’t able to fully show my happiness and her apologizing for the manner in which she broke the news.

I called and her husband said that she was already in bed and he would let her know that I called. I’m sure he could tell that I was a little upset because a few seconds later she called me back (she wasn’t asleep yet).

Our chat started out okay, I asked how things were and she said she didn’t have anything new to report, that’s why she didn’t call. I told her that I was just recovering from the shock and was hoping to talk a little. She didn’t seem to understand why I would want to and I got a little upset by her “whatever” attitude.

I told her that it had been an extremely emotional day for me, and that I wish it hadn’t happened the way it did. She said she had noticed by the look on my face when she came over that I was not pulled together. At that point everything came out, I couldn’t hold it in. I told her that I did not appreciate the way everything happened. How I needed more time and I wasn’t really able to digest the news and respond appropriately. I then told her that it was insensitive to show me the positives or to expect me to sympathize with her regrets of actually becoming pregnant.

She said she honestly didn’t think about any of that (?!) and she didn’t mean to hurt us. She also didn’t realize the amount of emotional turmoil I’ve been in and how difficult this would be for me. I know she wasn’t trying to hurt me. I guess it’s a case of you can’t know how much IF sucks unless you’ve been there.

I can’t even begin to explain how out of character this is for BF. She is a very sweet and compassionate person, she just didn’t get it this time. She apologized and said that she is embarrassed by her actions now. Of course I feel terrible, like I just ruined her exciting pregnancy news and strong armed her into an apology. Not the reason I called to chat.

The most horrible part is that now she won’t feel comfortable talking to me about the pregnancy, and I don't blame her. So I feel like a terrible friend for not giving her the support she needs. I really want to be there for her and be excited to see ultrasound pics, discuss her latest symptoms, and go shopping etc. I just don’t know if I can put my stupid self pitying emotions aside and step up.

At the end of the horrible phone call, we both apologized. I felt better for getting it off my chest and worse for burdening her with my issues. I decided to send her an email to apologize and explain things more clearly. I asked that she be patient with me, and understand that I am happy for them, but I need a little time after news like that. I also asked that she share future pregnancy related news a little more privately so that I won’t have an audience waiting for my reaction.

I know this might have destroyed a friendship and that it will be forever changed at best. I hate so much that this has happened. I hate so much that my IF has seemingly taken over my life.

What is an IF girl supposed to do in this sort of situation?


Kymberli said...

I think that you've handled things in the best way possible. It's hard when pregnancy vs. infertility throws a huge wrench in a friendship. I think that if your friend truly wants to be there for you, she will understand why her pregnancy is difficult for you. (((HUGS)))

While her pregnancy is an important time in her life, it shouldn't dominate every conversation you have with her. She should be able to make room for you and your needs, too.

soapchick said...

Stephanie you are not a bad friend, you are a human friend. It was clear that she didn't even think about your feelings at all. She was totally self-absorbed. I think the conversation you had was good and it gave you both things to think about. I don't think you've lost a friend, maybe you both just need some time. You are a great friend Stephanie, remember that.

sara said...

This is such a hard situation. I'm sorry that you've found yourself in the middle of it. I think that if she is a friend that is meant to be - the friendship will outlast this current struggle. The good thing is that the pregnancy is only temporary (even if it's a painfully 9 month time period). Hopefully she won't make everything revolve around the pregnancy in conversation either. Hang in there - you're a good friend. ((hugs))

Barb said...

That's happened to me too. The way that seems to work for my cousin (and has worked for me when I remember to follow her example), is to do the apologizing, then get on with your relationship and act "normal" again. It will seem weird at first, but now she knows what you wanted her to know, and hopefully if you just keep calling for updates and show your consideration, things will ease into more "normal" mode. That's worked for me with my closest friends. It still changes, but I didn't lose the ones that really mattered.

I know if you'd told me, that I would feel badly that I hurt you, but that I would understand and worry that YOU would be worried too much about what YOU said (just b/c I know that's how you are), and would try to make you feel comfortable about it thereafter. have I been any help or made ANY sense? sheesh. it's late. i should go to bed. :)

Kathy V said...

When my sister delivered my niece a very short time after my miscarriage I was torn. I was very happy for her yet sad at the same time. It was a difficult postition to be in. What made it worse is nobody else could understand why I was torn. They all expected me to be jumping for joy for my sister and niece. While part of me was, part of me wasn't. I know it is slightly different but here is what helped me. I called my sister and I laid it on the line. I told her I was very happy for her but that I needed to embrace it in my own time. I also told her that while I was excited, there may be times when it was difficult to fully embrace. She sent pictures and marked on the envelope as such. I couldn't open them the day I received them but was able to open them a few days later in my time and not because everybody else expected me to be happy about it. To this day, even when nobody else understood about being upset later, my sister called and asked how me and dh were doing. She called the first time we saw the baby, she called and asked if I was in a place to hear about certain milestones, and she treated me a little more carefully while sharing good news. I really appreciated that and it all came from the honesty on my part. If your friend is a friend, she will come back. She is just happy and sometimes it is hard to perceive how others view things sometimes especially if she has never been in your shoes. The best thing I can say is embrace her when you are ready and take a moment for yourself when you need to also. I hope all this helps.

Anonymous said...

OMG I'm glad I found your blog. I am going through something similar. Both one of my BFF is pregnant, and my SIL who is 5 years younger than me is pregnant. My infertility and their pregnancies has totally thrown a wrench in our relationships. I'm honest about my feelings with them but I am not insulting. I've felt like God is running me over with a truck with all of this happening.

I think you handled your friend very well. Don't force yourself to do preggo stuff for your friend if it makes you feel bad. Try a code word if that helps. If my SIL talks about pregnancy and I don't want to hear about it I say "pineapple" and then she knows that she needs to stop because I feel uncomfortable.

DCat said...

Just stopping by to offer my support. This is just so tough. When my BFF told me she was pregnant I just cried. I couldn;t offer her anything other than tears. I felt awful but couldn't do anything other than cry. You are truly doing the best you can and sometimes it's just too tough to be so strong. Your friend wll understand.
Hugs to you!


Ellen K. said...

Here from Connections -- I went through something similar with a very good friend a couple of years ago. The juxtaposition of one friend's easy PG and another's infertility is not easy to handle. I think you did a fine job and quite honestly you don't need to do anything more or feel badly about not being "there" fully for her. Your shock, although it has embarrassed you, is a way of setting boundaries. It's good for her to know that you need a little space and sensitivity, as it will (hopefully) prevent misunderstandings down the road.

When my friend told me about her pregnancy and said how fun it would be to plan together, and that she didn't have anyone else to help her, I took an evening to cry alone and consider my response, and then I told her (gently) that I just couldn't be that person right now. She was distressed at the idea of upsetting me, she promised to be sensitive, and she behaved extremely well by not shutting me out completely. In return, I made a big effort to check in, ask a few enthusiastic questions, and travel to her baby shower with an awesome gift. Our friendship survived those 9 months.

Good luck to you!

Sunny said...

Big hugs to you. That is a tough situation. I find that once my friend lets me know about their news I back away. I try really hard to forget they are pregnant. I just ignore the whole situation. We don't talk bellies and all that jazz. You have to just find what you can deal with. If she is a good friend she will understand and be sensitive. Many times the only way I can show I really do care but just can't talk about it is by buying little gifts.

I hope you find your way through this without having your heart broken. HUGS!