Sunday, 24 November 2013

Does not compute

You guys are not gonna freaking believe this.

Remember when I blogged about my high school friend Calla, whom I'd suspected had been struggling to conceive and yet announced her pregnancy via posting an ultrasound pic on Facebook just a few weeks ago?  

In the comments, most of you advised me to drop her from Facebook.  I didn't, only because I knew that if I did, my two best remaining friends from high school (one of whom is pregnant herself) would have to deal with the fallout drama.  I didn't want to do that to them.  So I just resolved to ignore the whole issue and go on my merry way.

Then today, I received a message from her.  Just a "hi, how are things?", but it was so out of the blue I couldn't ignore it.  I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment.  I replied.  We exchanged pleasantries.  She asked for my mailing address.  A Christmas card I'll never receive, I thought.  Then, since I couldn't avoid the obvious, I wished her congratulations on her pregnancy.  Her reply (verbatim):

It's still hard to comprehend.  I honestly didn't think it could and would never happen.  I was beginning to accept that it wouldn't.


Obviously there was no closing this can of worms.  What ensued was an hour-long texting session during which she told me that it had taken them four years to conceive.  She and her husband had never done any treatments, I suspect for financial reasons.  But her cycles were totally wonky when she came off the pill, and she said she could never figure out when she was ovulating.  She said the depression got so bad at one point that she could barely stand to be around her nieces and nephews.  But she hardly told anyone.

Of course I told her about our troubles as well.  She knew (through our remaining mutual friends) that M and I were having difficulties, but didn't know the specifics.   I gave her the Cliff's notes version, and she gave me something I totally did not expect: a sympathetic ear.  No platitudes, no "it'll happen when you least expect it", no "just relax".  Just an offer to listen whenever I needed to talk, and a heartfelt expression of hope that things would work out for us.

I still don't think I've picked my jaw up off the floor.  So much of this just does not compute with me.  Why now, after so much silence?  Why bother at all?  And having been through something similar herself, why make a pregnancy announcement like that?  One that she must have experienced herself when she was still on the other side, and known how hurtful it could be?

 

I still haven't quite decided how I feel about it all.  It's a totally weird mish-mash of emotions.  It's nice that she reached out.  I doubt I'll end up talking to her much further about it, but the gesture is appreciated.  And then there's the inevitable pity party.  Of course she can reach out now.  She's all but past this.  She got lucky.  I haven't.  And I don't know if I ever will.  As much as it felt good to talk to someone I know about this stuff, I ended up crying as I texted her and relived all the disappointment.  The loneliness and isolation.  The fear that I'll never see the end of it.  

I guess more than anything, I'm just confused by it all.  Seems par for the course for our relationship, really.

22 comments:

  1. I guess, after all those years of ttc, Calla assumed that she was the only one with infertility issues. If I ever got pregnant, I'd make a FB announcement like that just because I couldn't imagine that anyone else could possibly have any problems at all. Just kidding; I wouldn't.....it would come so many years after all my friends's babies that no one would care anymore.

    --E

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  2. No advice, I am just so sorry you are having to deal with all of this.

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  3. Every single thing about infertility is hard. Thinking of you. Xoxo

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  4. The only thing I can offer, based on my experience with my cousin and some friends in England, it seems that if you have a spontaneous conception, then it revolks your infertile status. After all you got pregnant, on your own. I also think that if you don't connect with other infertiles as deeply as us bloggers do, then it's hard to understand the magnitude of infertility, if you only see it from your vantage point. I was astonished how easily my Co-worker (who got knocked up with twins on her third and final IUI before moving on to IVF) could feel that she got pregnant "just like a normal woman"... Sadly there are some who develop amnesia after their BFP.

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    1. Yeah, I actually wondered how "infertile" she really was. We didn't get into specifics, so I don't know if she ever used OPKs or just did 4 years of guessing. Maybe it would have happened a lot earlier for her if she'd talked to an RE just for timing advice.

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  5. Her choice of announcement does seem rather baffling for someone who struggled for so long. But I also think that being part of this community makes all of us even more aware of just how many people have to go through hell to start and/or grow their families. Maybe she just doesn't have that awareness. I'm glad you were able to talk to her about it, even if it was just a one-time thing. Still, seeing others' success when you're not there yet i hard. Really hard. Sending you hugs.

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    1. Agreed, it's possible that blogging has just made me hyper-aware of the insensitive things fertiles do. And yeah, seeing others' success is probably one of the hardest parts, when you're not there yourself. Amen to that.

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  6. Confusing for sure. Glad she offered a sympathetic ear, though - that was REALLY unexpected!

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  7. I agree with jAllen & Daryl, being part of this community opens our eyes even more to the impacts of infertility. Maybe whenever she saw a pregnancy announcement like that on fb she probably just wondered to herself if she would ever be able to post something like that. Maybe she couldn't wait for the day when she could post an ultrasound photo, who knows?

    Mostly I think some people are just plain clueless sometimes.

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    1. I think it's probably a little from column A and a little from column B there. Both sound right for her.

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  8. That's tough for you, and I'm sorry. I felt even before I was very far into infertility that I would never announce my pregnancy on Facebook. I knew how painful it was to me, and I didn't want to do that to other women--even if I didn't know anyone else was struggling. But my best friend recently got pregnant after three years of trying, and she posted an early baby bump photo. She told me she'd spent years looking at everyone else's ultrasounds and bumps, it was her turn. I guess it makes sense, but it still was painful.

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    1. I still don't know if I'd announce it on Facebook or not. I think if I did, I'd include something about our infertility so that maybe other people will think twice about asking things like "When are you having kids??" to someone else.

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  9. I had a similar situation, except it was a former coworker who stumbled upon my blog. She told me that she'd been through two IVFs. One ended in a miscarriage that cost her a pint of blood and one created her beautiful son. She told me to call whenever I needed an ear because she understood. I know she does, but like you, It felt great and sad. I mean she's already on the other side so it's easier for her to talk. This infertility thing is so strange.

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    1. I actually wondered if she'd maybe found my blog...I've only told one friend about it, and I really don't think she would have passed it on. And given what I've said about Calla, if she found my blog she'd probably never speak to me again.

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  10. I think that people who keep their struggle to themselves are often the ones who can magically feel like a "normal" pregnant person once they're pregnant. I agree with the others who are saying that connecting with other people dealing with infertility & loss can heighten your awareness & your sensitivity toward others. She probably thinks she's one of the only people dealing with IF and couldn't wait to post her own ultrasound pic.
    Whatever it is, I'm glad she was at least supportive of you at this point. I know it's painful for you though. It sucks.

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  11. It's so hard ... I hate all the confusing feelings. :( Infertility makes things so much more complicated.

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  12. Some people, despite having trouble, I think just want to be like a normal pregnant woman instead of an infertile pregnant woman. Maybe your friend falls into that category? Even before infertility, I would have never posted an ultrasound picture on FB- it's just so weird.

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    1. I agree. Our other pregnant high school friend seems to feel much the same, and hasn't posted any ultrasound or belly pics or anything. I wish Calla had followed her lead.

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  13. That does sound confusing for sure. What a strange friendship that she has offered through the years.

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  14. I've made that experience with several people (though thankfully overall easier to handle than Calla) -- they only talked about their struggles once they were pregnant. And yeah, I understand how it is nice to find a sympathetic ear on the one side, but tough because you're still waiting for your BFP, your baby.
    Maybe she's been waiting to do a facebook-announcement all these years, and was so happy now that it finally is her turn that she didn't think about how it would be hard for those still in the trenches?

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  15. I think that not everyone who has experienced infertility would have the kind of awareness that we do. I am happy that she reached out and didn't give you any platitudes. She's unlike my infertile pregnant friend who also struggled for four years before she got pregnant without any intervention. She gave me the exact platitude that you mentioned about (It'll happen when you least expect it) and shared the news with me by asking me to guess why she had gotten so sick. From her example, I really think that some people do not have the awareness to be sensitive to others' feelings, even when they had experienced the same struggles themselves.

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I'm needy and your comments validate me. Help a sister out!