Friday, April 30, 2010

In and out of the closet

Several of my close friends know that I have been unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant. But they don't really know what to say, so it's either nothing or not so helpful things like "how's the babymaking going?" (while their toddler is screaming in the background).

But I can't rely on my husband all of the time, and I don't really love the support group I found here (through RESOLVE. More on that another time.)

So I emailed my best friend, my friend who moved away last year because she was pregnant with her second child and their apartment was too small. My friend whose entire life (since she stopped working) is related to her two kids. My friend who was just in town and knew I wasn't drinking b/c she brought wine and I politely demurred, but didn't pry as to where things were in the process.

So I emailed her yesterday and said "hey, are you around? I've had a shitty week and could use some help getting out of my bad mood." Not very IF specific, but since it's the biggest thing going on, you might guess that's what's up.

This is what I got back:
"Of course. I’m hoping that today I will actually get both children to nap at the same time. But tonight I’ll be around and more easily freed of childrens."

Is it bad that I no longer want to talk to this friend about this? I'm trying to find people who I think will "get it" but it's more and more clear to me that really no one does.

I'm just feeling very isolated, and while some of it is self-imposed, I don't know how to bridge the gap with my friends who were lucky enough just to get pregnant and have kids.

I'm willing to hear ideas. What did you do to explain to your non-IF friends how you were feeling?


  1. this is sucky and we've all been there. i rely mostly on my 2 sisters. the oldest is married and doesn't want kids. the 2nd just had her 1st baby. but both have been sooo understanding and supportive in the last year, as they know more than anyone that i've been wanting to be a mom since i was about 5 years old. of my close friends, only 1 girlfriend knows. she's great at calming me down or making me laugh when i'm hysterical about all this, but at the end of the day, she's still single and her clock isn't ticking yet, so she doesn't really get it. the only friend who *truly* understands is my best guy friend. he knows how truly neurotic and baby-crazy i am, and being both a doctor and a seriously RATIONAL human being (which i haven't been in the last year), he gives me perspective in addition to good advice. all other friends and i have just been having awkward conversations of late. "how are you?" "i'm okay." "what's going on with you?" "nothing". "how's richard?" "fine" ... you get the picture. BORING.

    i totally don't blame you for not wanting to talk to this friend anymore. maybe she doesn't realize you want to talk to her about lack-of-baby, but she's managed to used the word "child" one time too many in her response to you. perhaps you'll have a *tummy ache* later tonight and can't talk to her??

  2. Well, my situation is different in that I do have a hard to avoid the friends with kids. But I have been pretty selective about who gets to hear fertility rants and who doesn't, based on a few trial runs. The people who mention adoption... they're off my list. It's *this* community that I rely on for the "I get it" kind of support.

  3. I struggle with this, as well. And the reaction you have to that message is the same I would have. I think I've realized that friends with kids can only see what's on their own plates. Whether because of stress or lack of sleep or some strange chemical that kicks in during pregnancy. They're just not thinking about mine. Which is normal. But does occasionally bite.

    Even before our "troubles" it used to drive me crazy that I could not have a conversation with certain friends without it being hijacked by kid talk, whereas some people aren't like this at all. Now that I'm smack in the middle of the troubles, I'm especially sensitive to it.

    I don't know if I'd recommend my tactics, because they're pretty avoidant. I really limit the amount of contact I have with those friends for whom all roads lead back to THEIR kids. And I don't know that it's really the best thing. Like you, I'm stuck in a rut where people don't know (even if they know the facts) and so they can't understand.

  4. I have only "come out" to one of my local IRL friends. Otherwise it's very hush, hush. If I need support, I rely on my online friends, and my college friends - 3 of whom had trouble TTC. It's hard to get them on the phone, as they now have kids. I also have an aunt I can talk to. She understands. She tried to adopt back in the day. It took too long and gave up.

  5. yeah, I would have managed to miss that later phone call. A couple of times I've made a small move to reach out to someone only to be turned off by some element of their reaction. I'm so sensitive to it all it's ridiculous.

    I would go bonkers without you all. This really is my emotional safe place to wallow and find comfort. I'm pretty alone otherwise on this topic.

  6. I completely understand.

    I went to lunch with a friend who was very sympathetic and listened to my vent during a lunch date at the mall and while we were walking around after, she wanted to go in every kid store within walking distance to get matching bathing suits for her two daughters. It was the absolute LAST that thing I wanted to do. I had a hard time not screaming "YOU THINK THIS IS MAKING ME FEEL GOOD???" But, she is a nice person and meant well and did ask me if it was ok if we did that and I said it was, but I wasn't telling the whole truth.

    This is so hard and I second the comments is *this* community that pulls me though again and again.

  7. I always like the comment... "Are you sure you want one? We'll give you our's for the night and then you'll see." Yes, we are sure and yes, we would take your kid for the night and have a great time. Just stalking by...

  8. My friends all know, but really there is no one I can talk to except my sister. Everyone else is sympathetic to a point, but I generally just get blank stares or uncomfortable silences, followed by assurances that it'll happen soon, or offers to be my surrogate. So, yeah, I just stopped talking to them long ago about anything fertility related.
    It does suck to feel so isolated, but there is no way to make them understand how it feels. They all have kids and an entirely different life.

  9. That's my reason for starting the blog. I tend to tell people IRL (at least if they ask), but there isn't much of a reaction beyond "Sorry" and "Sure it'll work out soon". Most of my friends that do have kids got pregnant accidentally, several others want to enjoy their lives as couples for now and are not trying yet. This means that there are not too many happy "We're expecting" news from them, but on the downside, even less understanding of our situation...

  10. Thanks for the birthday greetings! Wishing you a wonderful birthday, too!