ALL of my Catholic friends are fertile. I mean - ALL. Wait...that was misleading - not just Catholic ones. Any random denomination of Christian (or not) you can imagine…they’re ALL fertile. Which makes it pretty difficult sometimes to exist in my circle of friends. Now, they’re absolutely wonderful people. And any single one of them is there for me in a heartbeat if I ever need anything. And I know they try to understand what I’m going through. But honestly, trying to understand infertility when you’re fertile is like saying you know what it’s like to fly to Mars. It’s just impossible to really “get it.”
And I don’t help. It’s not like I really open up that much about my struggle because, really, who wants to hear all that depressing stuff?!? They tell me I handle it really well. (To which the voices in my head reply, “Yeah. Tell her husband that!!”) I think most of them, even if they know we’ve been TTC, don’t even realize that I really....“struggle.”
That is, until………….one of them gets pregnant.
THEN – all bets are off. I’m a different person. I surrender. I retreat. They might as well assume that I was abducted and will be living on Neptune for 9 months, because I’m certainly not going to concede that they’re pregnant!
In fact, some of them are even afraid to tell me they’re pregnant, for fear of…well, I don’t even know what they fear…I just know they approach me with a certain fragility when they have “news.” I’m sure they’re just trying to be polite and sympathetic.
But dangit…I hate being that person. I really do. But I seriously haven’t figured out how to deal with it gracefully yet. I haven’t figured out how to at least feign happiness! I’ve never been much of an actor and Lord knows I’m not good at hiding my feelings. That must be obvious to my poor friends!
I do tell them congratulations and that I’m happy for them. And, newsflash: I AM!!! It’s not that I think others don’t deserve to be pregnant! I just can’t bring myself to talk about all the mushy pregnancy, birthing, and baby stories. I can barely even ask them how they’re feeling and how far along they are! What kind of friend is that?!?
Recently a couple of good friends contacted me to let me know they were praying for me, God bless them. I know it can’t be easy (see…I told you they are wonderful!). The first one texted and let me know she found my blog. She was shocked at what she read because she had no idea about all the trials, doctor appointments, and procedures I’d been going through. And she apologized for having been so “clueless” (her word) about infertility. And this is pretty much my closest friend! That’s how little I talk about this in the real world.
The second wrote to tell me about one of her favorite authors who, in a book called Cold Tangerines, apparently opens up pretty honestly about her own struggle with secondary infertility. My friend thought of me and also admitted that she had been totally “clueless” (also her words) about how much pain and suffering went along with it. She also sent me the author’s blog. Ummm…yeah…I could have written that! J
God bless my friends, they do try to understand. And I’m so thankful for both of those friends opening up and honestly telling me they didn’t before fully comprehend the trial of infertility. And I know they each have their crosses too – I’m fully aware that I’m not the only person on God's good earth with problems! But in this particular situation, I don’t have much of a support group here in the real world (which is why I’m so thankful for my blogland virtual support group!). So it was a tiny relief to know that maybe my friends are beginning to understand just a little bit better.