How to be a friend?

Every infertile or RPL woman has to go through the pain of being surrounded by pregnant women.  Sometimes it’s close friends, sometimes family members, and other times it’s just those random women you run into when you least expect it.

I’m fortunate that I have very few family members in general and the ones who are childbearing age I can just avoid when I’m not on Facebook.  I don’t have that sister or sister-in-law being pregnant in my face and expecting me to throw her baby showers to worry about, which I imagine is particularly difficult.

But I have several friends right now who are pregnant- 3 in particular that I care about still having a relationship with.  They have all told me via text or email, thankfully not in person.  But now I’m struck with wondering what to do to keep that friendship going.

I don’t want to be around pregnant women.  At all.  I can’t trust myself or my emotions- half the time I see them and feel this scary, intense hatred (usually strangers) and the other half of the time I just bust into tears and am reminded how much I hate my life and stupid body.  When I take Sweetie places that I know we’ll be seeing pregnant women, I totally focus on her.  I try to pretend that Sweetie and I are the only people in the room.  That’s not really conducive to going out for coffee with a pregnant friend or having her over for a playdate.

It’s hard because I still love these 3 women as people.  I don’t wish them bad things.  I know that there wasn’t some grand lottery where their babies get to live whereas mine get to die.  I do wish sometimes that they could understand better what I have been through-  I don’t get how in my entire pool of mommy friends that I only know of two who have had miscarriages before going on to have 2 and three kids (oh and the one who always makes a big deal about her chemical pregnancy before she had back-to-back-to-back children one each 12 months- um, don’t think you get it at all).

So I care, but I don’t want to look at them.  I don’t want to attend their baby showers or hear about their perfect OB appointments or be their shoulder to cry on about weight gain or being tired because of pregnancy.

I can’t stand it when I mentally compare myself to them sometimes-  Are they a better mom than I am?  Do they deserve this more than I do?  Why do they get to have 2, 3, 4 healthy babies AND a living mother who is their best friend AND nothing else bad that happens?  Why doesn’t any of this get spread around?

I look at their children and wonder- why do they deserve to have siblings and my Sweetie doesn’t?  Are they going to be more well-rounded than my Sweetie because they grow up with other siblings close in age?

I know, there’s no point in comparing or trying to understand.  But it really does impact relationships and I can’t imagine that ignoring that helps.

So I’m really confused as to how I’m supposed to be a friend anymore.  As if I didn’t need any more ways to feel bad, I feel bad because I don’t even consider myself a good friend anymore.  My mom always said that to have good friends you have to be a good friend.  I have felt so alone and surrounded by ‘bad’ friends because people don’t want to hear about my grief or losses.  But then I look in the mirror and know that I don’t want to hear about their pregnancies or happy family building escapades so I guess it goes both ways.

So what do I do?  What do you do if you’ve faced this?  Do I just tell these friends that I care about them but I don’t want to physically see them until after they have their babies?  I don’t see how that’s going to work well, because who knows how I’ll feel about their newborns (although, pregnant women seem far more difficult for me to see than babies-  but baby girls are still awfully hard).  Do I try to change our relationship to a phone one?  But then it’s not really fair to ask them to never mention pregnancy because I have found that often pregnant women end up feeling like their lives are consumed with the pregnancy and that’s all they can talk and think about.  Or is it fair to ask that?  Will any of this get better if my surrogate gets pregnant soon and I know I have a baby coming half a year or so after theirs is born?

I just feel like I’m destined to have no friends because I cannot be a good friend.  Just another thing Recurrent Pregnancy Loss has stolen from my life and another thing to feel like a giant jerk about.

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Yet another announcement

I told myself that I wasn’t going to write another blog post until I had something positive to say.  I try to read lots of other blogs now and I’m always loving on their wit and upbeat nature and whatnot.  Why can’t I be like that?  I’m just a downer and if I wait to be positive, I don’t think I’ll ever write again.

I got another email this afternoon-  the third in 2 weeks (but who’s counting) that yep, another friend is pregnant.  This one has three kids and was the person who made the worst comment about surrogates being crazy because she worked with a crazy one and she would never use a surrogate.  Then she proceeds to say that this was a ‘surprise/unplanned‘ but very wanted ‘little miracle’ .

First off, why the fuck do fertile people feel like it makes it better to hear that their pregnancy wasn’t planned?  Do they think that as an unfertile, recurrent baby-killer, I will take the news easier because they didn’t PLAN to have a baby?  No- actually it just adds a few extra layers of mindfuck to me.  I PLAN and spend THOUSANDS of dollars on IVF AND take endless injections in my stomach and ass AND STILL the only ‘surprise’ I get at the end of the day is a DEAD baby.  So tell me again how you PLANNING or not PLANNING and still getting a healthy baby should make me feel better?

Second off, she proceeds to tell me that she wasn’t using birth control but they thought they were being careful.  I DON’T CARE HOW YOU GOT PREGNANT.  Maybe I’m not being fair, but I don’t get how two 30 year old married adults can feel like they have a ‘SURPRISE’ pregnancy when they aren’t using any FUCKING form of birth control?  REALLY?  They have 3 other kids, they know how babies are made (at least for people who can have sex and get a baby at the end and don’t require doctors up in their business to get knocked up).  I will grant her that this may not have been planned, but if you aren’t using any form of birth control, PLEASE don’t pretend to be ‘SURPRISED’ when you get pregnant.

Then we hear how she had already given away all of her baby things so this was ‘uncharted’ territory for her to start over.  UM, please, you send me an email trying to give me advance notice and pretending you are being sympathetic to the fact that I’ve lost 6 babies (and my fertility with the last baby) and then you put in that the worst thing that you are dealing with is needing more baby clothes?  Cry me a river that you gave away all your baby things.  Let’s talk about trying to START OVER after your BABY dies-  that seems a little more uncharted and challenging than having to go to a few garage sales.  Am I supposed to be the better person and offer her all of mine since I obviously don’t need them anymore?  Here-  Sweetie’s little sister DIED, so why don’t you take all her old clothes?

I’m just done.  I am too angry and bitter and nasty and I hate this world.  My Sweetie deserves better.  I can’t handle these cards I have been dealt anymore.

Friday nights

What do you do on a Friday night when you’re no longer pregnant and you have no friends left to hang out with when your kiddo goes to bed?

Mine will involve wine.  Probably lots of it.  Enough to forget that it has now been 9 weeks since I heard my baby’s heart beating beneath mine for the last time.

Red wine and Pirate’s Booty.  What is it with me and Pirate’s Booty? I swear it’s dusted with something drug-like and addictive.  I’m buying it by the case off of Amazon.  And the aged cheddar variety goes quite well with wine, I’m sure any great sommelier would agree.

Tomorrow we have a birthday party for one of Sweetie’s friends.  I’m thankful that’s the only time I have to go out in public all weekend.  And then on Monday Sweetie and I head off on a little adventure (because I couldn’t stand to sit home while my husband traveled out of the country for weeks on end).  Not sure how often I’ll be posting as I’m not taking my computer.

PS: Provera still not working… Sigh.

Silence of the Friends

Where do all the friends go when you have a major loss?  Have yours stuck by your side or do you feel more alone than ever?

I (thought I) had a great core group of friends who all knew I suffered from RPL, we were all first time moms with one child each about the same ages.  They were all excited when I told them at 12 weeks that I was pregnant, because they knew I had been through so much to get there.  Two of them were trying to get pregnant at the time (I was helping one of them with her questions about infertility as she wasn’t ovulating), one has an IUD (doesn’t want another baby yet), and the last one thinks she’s too old (has one tube and pretty bad pre-eclampsia with her only child).

I haven’t heard from any of them in weeks.  I texted them on that horrible Mother’s Day in a shock, because I was sitting there alone, had already texted my husband and just didn’t know what else to do.  Since that day, I have gotten a smattering of texts, two FB private messages, and one of them came over once for a playdate.  In 8 weeks.

On the one hand, I don’t blame them in the least.  I don’t want to be around myself- I’m depressed, angry, cry at random things at random times, etc.  I try to keep it in check when I’m in public, but I’m sure I’m not coming across as perky or over-the-top fun right now.  I know people don’t know what to say- most people don’t want to say the ‘wrong’ thing (or sound like an insensitive jerk) for fear of making it worse.  And the two who are trying to get pregnant, I kind of get that, too.  Honestly, I don’t know if I could take watching a swelling little bump on either of them right now (granted, I have no idea if either or both are pregnant yet).

On the other hand, I feel so dropped by my friends and alone in the world that it’s not even funny.  Aren’t your good friends the one who don’t care if you are crying at random times about your lost baby?  Aren’t they the ones who are supposed to ask how you are and if you respond with a lie that you’re ‘ok’ that they push for a real answer?  Aren’t they the ones who come over anyway when you’re sitting by yourself or make plans they know they can include you in?

I told at least 3 of the 4 via text or FB that I felt much safer with home playdates- I hate going to public places where I don’t know how many pregnant women I’ll see and I really hate the random trigger that makes me cry in public.  So I’m totally ok when they go to the public kids play gym and don’t invite Sweetie and me.  Then why do I see on Facebook that they all met at someone’s house for a playdate in the backyard and never invited us?   Ouch.  My husband says I should just be the social coordinator and invite them, but I feel like I have a majorly hard time reaching out right now- I just feel so freaked about rejection and so overwhelmed at trying to make plans for a group, that I just don’t feel like I can.  One more reason to shut down Facebook so I don’t have to see all my old friends having a fun summer without us.

With my head stuck in the sand

I’m coming up on the 8 week mark and the time that has passed really hit me today….when I looked at my dog.

I have a great little dog who was my ‘baby’ for over 1.5 years until I had Sweetie.  He’s a snuggler and I adore him.  But he is high maintenance on the grooming side, and I have religiously taken him into the groomer every month since he was a puppy.

Well, the last trip to the groomer was mid-April, when I told our regular grooming ladies that I was expecting my second baby (they know nothing of the other 5, but I don’t work that into the conversation often).  They have seen Sweetie grow up when I brought her in as we dropped my dog off each month.  They were so happy for me as people tend to be when they hear news of a new baby-to-be.

Well, with my loss in May, my dog obviously didn’t make it in to see the groomer that week.  And then I canceled his June appointment, too.  I just couldn’t bear going in there and having them happily ask me about the baby when I knew I would lose it.  I’ve been putting it off and putting it off, and now I feel horrible.

My poor little guy is so overgrown and matted that he is probably going to need to be shaved.  I’m an awful dog-mama, I was so stuck on my own grief and fear of telling others my sad news in public that I unintentionally neglected him.  I know, he’ll forgive me.  But this is a wake-up call that I can’t totally stick my head in the sand as much as I may want to.