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.