Friday, May 07, 2010

Sadness

This morning, I opened my email inbox to find a message with the subject line, "Baby!" Yes, a birth announcement, from the husband of a friend I hadn't even known was pregnant.

The email brought up all sorts of complicated sadness for me. First, the difficult feelings I have toward this friend, M. I met M when Bat Girl was just a month or so old. Her daughter was six days younger, born in the same hospital as BG even, and we met walking the paths of our neighborhood park with our newborns bundled into baby carriers. We were each other's mainstays through those foggy newborn months, bonding over breastfeeding difficulties and sleep issues, putting together a little moms group for other neighborhood women with newborns, sharing a babysitter, meeting up in the park on summer weekends (once we both went back to work) to marvel at our girls' chubby legs and attempts at crawling. We got to know each other's husbands. We celebrated our daughters' birthdays. I really thought we were good friends. We were good friends.

Then, when our girls were about a year and a half old, M got a job on the other side of the country, and she and her husband and daughter packed up and moved. They had a goodbye party, which of course we went to, and M and I said heartfelt farewells and promised to keep in touch.

And I never heard from her again. Not one email or phone call or text. I sent her a few emails asking how she was doing, but never got a response. At first I thought maybe she was too busy to keep in touch, but then a few other neighborhood moms mentioned hearing from her. Then I thought maybe she didn't have my email address and my emails were going into her spam folder, or something like that. But then I started getting occasional mass emails from her husband--notes that they were looking for a new subletter for their Big City apartment, announcements about a new project he was working on--and I had certainly never given him my email address. So I knew that she had given him my email for his "New York Friends" mass email list, yet somehow never found the time to write me a single word personally, after all that we had been through together. And that hurt.

So of course, seeing M's husband's name in my inbox brought up that hurt all over again. She was pregnant--and I hadn't even known it. I had to find out through that impersonal mass email to everyone they know, after the baby was born.

Then there's the fact that she just had her second baby, and her first is exactly the same age as BG. See, my bitterness about other people's pregnancies/babies is very specific now. I feel no resentment toward people having their first, even if they had no problems getting pregnant. (We've had a LOT of first babies in our lives lately--one born last month, one due this month, two more due this summer. Two of those are to friends who had miscarriages last year, so for those I am especially happy.) Maybe I still resent people who have super easy, robustly healthy first pregnancies--but only a little. I also feel little or no resentment toward people who have two kids under two--I was not ready for another baby when BG was that young, and would not have wanted one at that point.

But people with children roughly the same age as Bat Girl, who are pregnant with or have just given birth to their second? People whose second babies were conceived during the period last year when we were going through treatment? Those people, I resent the hell out of.

Last weekend I ran into the mother of a friend of BG's from daycare, whom I happened not to have seen for several months, and who was obviously, gigantically pregnant. I'd had no idea--and yes, her daughter is just a few months older than BG. I felt like I'd been socked in the stomach. And I ran into this woman and her belly again at daycare drop-off this morning.

AND this morning I got my period. I'd been spotting or bleeding basically every day for about 5 or 6 weeks, and I finally called my clinic last week and got a prescription for Provera. Took the damn prescription, and you'd think that after bleeding for 6 weeks straight there wouldn't be anything left in there, but as it happens, there sure is.

So there I am this morning, feeling terrible because of my period, which had to be artificially induced thanks to my eternally fucked-up ovaries, unemployed with no way to pay for IF treatment and no insurance that covers it, feeling sad and resentful about not being pregnant and not knowing if I'll ever be pregnant or have another child, feeling bitter about someone I know with a kid the same age as mine who's having another baby, and oh yeah, dealing with some more relationship crap that I don't really feel like getting into right now. And then I get a birth announcement from the husband of a friend who basically dumped me.

So yeah, not the best morning.

But dumping it all out on the Internet helps. So thanks.

PS I did write a very nice short email back to M and her husband (he sent the email but she was cc'ed) congratulating them and telling them how adorable the new baby was and how beautiful and grownup their daughter looked and how they both looked great too (they sent a lot of pictures). Because, you know, everyone deserves congratulations when they have a baby, and I'm not an asshole. At least not in public.

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17 Comments:

Anonymous After Words said...

You're a better person that I would have been.

10:18 AM  
Blogger May said...

It just never really goes away, does it? I have my two hard-fought-for children, bedrooms in house all full, we should be done, really, and yet knowing I cannot have another, that my uterus is a deathtrap and no responsible person in my situation would attempt another... Suddenly everyone in a three-mile radius is having a third child.

Good luck. It sucks.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Yo-yo Mama said...

Did she know about your IF? Was she "ashamed" of being pregnant?? Then really, she's the ass. Lucky, sure, but an ass all the same.

And they are the worst. The ones that try to "protect" your feelings by avoiding you...it's immature. You are a better person than me also, because I know I couldn't have replied with a congratulatory email after being so obviously avoided. But you are also a better person than her.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

And that is why we have blogs--so we can be polite as society expects but have a place to share the truth of how much IF sucks in every way to those who understand. That hurts tremendously, especially when the person isn't someone who you're sure you really want to keep in touch. It's like "Hey, here's something wonderful about me...but I can't be bothered to find out about you." When it's a baby, it's both selfish of that person AND intensely painful to you. I'm sorry...I've been there and it bites.

10:25 PM  
OpenID antropologa said...

I certainly wouldn't have written back, but good for you!

It's weird when people don't keep in touch.

I don't have a big issue when people have their second, except when it was around my due date from my miscarriage. My circumstances are so different. We're supposed to try to get pregnant in a few months but I just have no idea what will happen. I have my usual problems plus a new one, so.

Anyway.

2:02 AM  
OpenID sacredandscarred said...

Hugs.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I am much impressed by your generosity in offering congratulations. I've been dealing with many of the same issues now that I'm returning after almost a years absence and figuring out which friends have obviously 'replaced' me in their circle. Also got another "I'm 2 minutes pg today!" announcement which I will not honor with a reply until they have baby in hand. Oh well, not much to be done about other's stupidity.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Kath said...

Oh, dear Electriclady, that just sucks. What puzzling and painful behavior from your (ex-)friend! I'm so sorry, cookie. And I understand your sadness so well...

10:05 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Sigh.

I have a hard time giving people the benefit of the doubt in situations like this. I mean, no one is THAT busy.

But I'm kind of a bitch.

My blogger word verification today: tatorude. A very impolite spud.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

{{Hugs}}

9:43 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

I would probably not have written back, and if I had, I wouldn't have written so much. So kudos to you for being the better person.

I'm sorry about the overall situation, though. That totally sucks.

8:50 AM  
Blogger caramama said...

That's just a big ole pile of SUCK right there. I'm so sorry about all of it.

You are a really great person to send that congrats email. Even if you are stewing inside and don't mean a word of it! Ditto @Erin: sometimes we blog our true thoughts so we can be polite in public.

Hugs to you.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

I think After Words summed it up pretty damn well.

Sometimes I wish that I had stayed anonymous on my blog so that I could open us as personally - as you do. What you're going through sucks beyond beyond. I really hope things change soon.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Jillian said...

It's hard not to read that as:
You don't have the pregnancy you want. I do!
PS - You also don't have the friend you thought you had.

Too bad she didn't stick around to find out you got laid off. She could have thrown that in as well. (Congratulations on the new gig!)

11:18 AM  
Anonymous SE said...

This does suck. I have been there. First it seems like infertility never leaves us. It hopefully is replaced by babies and wonderful little blessings and happiness. But going through it myself and having beautiful twin boys I find myself still somewhat jealous of people having babies and even pregnant women.

I feel it never truly disappears.

For the so called friends. I have been there. People only think or care about themselves. They sound like they are bragging with pictures. Why don't they reach out if they truly care about people aka YOU. And don't give me that bullshit line "We are so busy". Seems like everyone is too busy to be a decent friend lately or even a decent human being.

6:01 PM  
Blogger ms. c said...

"But people with children roughly the same age as Bat Girl, who are pregnant with or have just given birth to their second?"
Goodnes gracious do I hear you on that one. It's like an avalanche of such cases around here. And very hard to take.
It's rather lovely that you are not an ass in public. Your friend doesn't deserve you.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I was trying to talk to someone the other day about the weird "club" you are in when you've had such problems getting pregnant/staying pregnant but then have a child (or 2 as in some cases). It's a strange club to belong to because you do feel happiness for those people who have babies, but sadness for yourself, and it sucks when other people can't seem to understand that it's ok for us to have these feelings! It's ok to be human and feel jealousy, it doesn't mean I'm not happy for you...to a degree :o)

12:51 AM  

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