Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Healing Friendship

Shortly after M and I were married M ran into a friend he used to work with.  They made arrangements to hang out and I met M’s friend and his girlfriend (let’s call her T).  T and I hit it off instantly.  I have never made friends easily but I found it so easy to talk to T.  We became good friends.  T and I are the same age.  When we met she already had 2 kids.  Soon after she married M’s friend and had 2 more kids after that.  I love her kids like they are my own nieces and nephews.  We went to birthday parties and they shared their family with us.  T was one of the few people I told when we decided to ttc and the details of our fertility treatments.  I could tell her about my endometriosis.  Her sisters have endo so she actually wanted to talk about it and compare differences.   

T has helped me through some hard things in my life.  When she learned that our invitro didn’t work, and that we had decided to quit trying I could see the hurt in her face.  I wasn’t in a good emotional place and I didn’t think much about it when I didn’t see or hear from her for a few months after that.  I busied myself with long hours of work and didn’t care to see anyone.  About 4 months later M took to me lunch.  He told me that T was pregnant with her 5th kid, he told me how far along she was.  I realized she got pregnant about the time we did invitro.  I couldn’t stop the thoughts of jealousy, envy, and self-pity.  Thoughts about how she can have 5 kids, and I don’t even get 1.  M told me that nobody wanted to tell me because of the timing.  It was a surprise for them.  It was not a planned pregnancy.  I texted her congratulations, I know a text is pretty crappy, I should have called.  I just couldn’t trust my voice.  I only saw her a few times before she had her baby, mostly when she was picking up her husband from my house when the boys were working on cars. 

She had the baby, a perfect little boy, and after they had been home from the hospital for a week we brought our gift over to their house.  This little boy feels the most like what other infertile people have described as a ghost child to me.  I have never been pregnant, but my 2 embryos that were implanted during our invitro were the closest I ever came to being pregnant.  I watched T kissing her baby’s head.  Everyone in the room had taken a turn holding the baby and I realized that I would have to take a turn.  I held him for a short minute before I passed him back to his mom.  All I could think about was if my invitro had worked I would be home kissing my own baby’s head.  I held it together and we didn’t stay long.  I made it into the car before I couldn’t keep back the tears anymore.  M let me cry, and actually took an extra-long drive since we were on our way to his dad’s house.

This little baby turns 1 soon.  My friendship with T has remained strained.  When I see her our conversations remain on her children and what they are doing.  I probably spend more time talking to her kids than her.  Each time I see this little boy I think it gets easier.  He doesn’t look like a child M and I would have had.  His darker skin and hair isn’t a combination that M and I would have made.  If he had features like M’s eyes and my hair I think it would be harder.  He is growing and starting to walk so it is easier to see him and not think of my baby that never was. 

T came over Sunday while the boys were fixing a car.  She had no kids with her.  I was very surprised.  I haven’t seen her without a kid since she had the baby.  That happens when you have 5!   We started to talk and she bought up her pregnancy.  Tears filled her eyes when she told me about the guilt she had when she found out she was pregnant, and how she struggled with these emotions.  We talked about my infertility and she was struggling with our decision to not pursue trying to have a kid in any way (fertility and adoption) right now.  I explained to her how I lost myself and that sometime during our 7 years of ttc I started saving my happiness for a point in my life when it involved having a kid.  M and I are just trying to find our happiness again and discover ourselves.  We talked until the boys were done working on the car and I think we both left understanding more about each other.  I felt relieved after this conversation, and happy that I can talk to my friend again.  I had been hoping our relationship could return to what it was before.  I knew that I needed to work out some things emotionally.  I am so happy to feel like we can mend our friendship.


  1. thank you for sharing your story.
    It is a great thing that your friend did - that she visited you without the children.... so you could really talk.

  2. She's a keeper. : ) If only more people were like that, a lot of friendships could be saved.

  3. I just have to echo what Loribeth said. I'm glad you're going to get your friend back.