Friday, June 18, 2010

On Being a Good Friend

I don't think I'm being a good friend righ now & I'm struggling with how to be one.

I usually am a good friend. I'm there, I listen, I empathize, I take interest in what my friends are doing, etc., etc.

But somehow with infertility, I can't fully do it. At least not now. And I feel like I'm being a crummy friend.

My best friend has the cutest kid. In fact, I'm his "god-aunt". Yet, it's painful for me to hear about the cute things he's doing. And she's pregnant again.

Her pregnancy actually prompted me to do our 3rd IUI. She, like many of us, is a planner, and she was going to wait to 'try' in March because she didn't want another December baby but her husband was going to be gone in April & May and she didn't want to wait that long (to which she also said that she could really feel for me... she couldn't wait 2 months to try, meanwhile I've had this struggle for 2+ years), so they went ahead and tried in March... and it worked.

That was the weekend I asked "so, what's going on with planning for #2?" to which she answered "I'm a week late". That's when I knew I had to do something about me & scheduled my Day 3 appt to get started on another IUI, which ended up not working.

She feels badly talking about her pregnancy with me. We were excited at the thought of going through pregnancy together and it pains her to see what I'm going through.

It's hard on me to not be able to be a true friend to her. She's been my best friend for over 15 years. We're supposed to be sharing these milestones together.

Infertility is affecting my friendships.

I finally told her that I just need time away with her. We used to go on vacations, just she & I. And I need that again. So, that's what we're doing. July 10th weekend.

I can't wait to have my best friend back again... and be her best friend in return. I hope that can happen, if only for a couple of days in vacation-land.


  1. This post made me cry. I can relate to it all too well. As much as this hurts, I actually think that you're being a better friend by being so honest with her right now. You two will survive this. Your friendship may be different, but you'll get there.

    (((HUGS))) to you. Thanks for your supportive comments and for writing about this also. I think many women feel the same way but it's tough to be true to themselves and also to write about it.

  2. Sounds like you have a good friend there! I hope your vacation away with her is a good one! Vacation land is a great place to re-connect with those you love!

  3. I'll have you to know that I have felt the same way many many times... hell I'm the only one out of all my friends who is dealing with this infertility stuff so I find myself alone a lot... I have dreams of having friends who understand but so far .... no luck... all that we can be is honest with our feelings and the best friend that we can be from afar... it's too emotional and sad if we surround ourselves with those who already have what we are so desperately seeking... I think you're still a good friend and I hope she understands why you're so distant.... it's certainly not because you want to be... enjoy the girl time... that's awesome...

  4. I can relate, too. I'm sorry you're going through this. :( You're not a crummy friend. It's about self-preservation and she obviously gets that, since she feels bad about it. My best friend is ten years younger than me and has already had two kids. With the first, she got pregnant the same month she came off BCP's and she conceived number two less than 24 hours after her IUD coming out. It hurts sometimes!!

  5. I should add to that - my friend is also very gracious (like yours) with letting me be a part of her kids' lives and I'm so thankful for that. On the tough days, I can count on them to cheer me up. I hope your mini-vacation with your friend is fantastic. :)

  6. I love the honesty of your statement: Infertility is affecting my friendships. I often have to remind myself that even the strongest of friendships go through different seasons. But when you get through the more difficult times, you cherish that friendship even more, and you find you have created that much stronger of a bond to each other. I hope you and your friend have a wonderful getaway together.

  7. Infertility is affecting my friendships as well. I have a friend who lives across the country and is planning a visit which is an hour away, but I just don't think I can see her because I know she'll want to know about our progress to have kids and I just don't really want to discuss it with her. I really feel like I am shutting myself out from my friends who ultimately will offer support, but it seems to be on THEIR terms. I am feeling angry with one of my bestfriends at the moment because she doesn't email or check in with me...As sick as this sounds, I really hope when she tries for her #2, that she has a tough time because I need her to feel what I feel so she can learn to empathize. I said it and I am a horrible person for having those thoughts. I just wish my friends would act more like true friends.

  8. Thank you for posting this...I think many women dealing with infertility feel this way (I know I do!) It is not always easy to celebrate milestones or small everyday happenings with friends anymore. I feel your pain. It is not selfish but healthy to avoid those situations sometimes. As much as I would like to think I have trained myself in the past 2 years to just suck it up and put on a happy face...that is not always so easy to do.
    I wish you a wonderful vacation with your friend.

  9. Yes, thank you for this honest post. There is someone in my life right now who I know is angry/upset/hurt that I have been completely absent for her pregnancy, one that coincided with our last shot IVF with me. But I can't be there. She is someone deeply affected by others moods and I didn't want to put any negativity in front of her rose colored glasses. I thought I was doing her a favor (and practicing some self-preservation) but I'm hearing that's not the perception. You are so right - infertility affects friendships along with everything else.

    But on the other side, there are people who HAVE offered strength and love that I never expected it from. And those are some of the most kind and wonderful surprises.

    How great that you and your friend are going away together, just the two of you. You BOTH sound like pretty great friends to have, IMHO.

  10. Oh god!!! How I have been in that place of late, to the point where a friend's 'surprise' (in other words getting pregnant whilst still living with family, young father, 3 month relationship, no job) has split up our friendship: mostly because she could not understand my hurt over her happiness.

    So thankyou! I am so glad that I am not alone feeling this way: a lot of the time, I feel like the crazy one among my (pregnant) friends.

    Jo from ICLW

  11. I've lost many friends over the last 11 years, mainly because THEY weren't understanding of what I was struggling with.

    A good friend will be there for you through thick and thin, no matter what. You're actually being a great friend by recognising the fact that you need one on one time with her and telling her.

    Enjoy your break away.

    Here for ICLW
    Rach @
    #26 The Gal Who Wants to be Anywhere But Where She Is
    #27 Miss Ruby

  12. You're right, everyone in the IF community talks about losing friends because the friends don't know how to be good friends to an infertile, but we also have to be careful of losing friends because we are absorbed by our own woes and have little left to give emotionally. Very interesting point. This is something I definitely notice in myself as well. Sounds like you are doing a great job just by having it all out there, though!

  13. Its so true, its so hard to be a good friend to those of our friends who have no trouble conceiving. I am jealous of your little vacation! I hope it brings you two even closer together :) xxx

  14. I totally understand. Currently in my life I have a babyshower every month from this saturday until January 2011. I am surrounded! 3 of them are for my sister in laws. Family get togethers are hard for me. That's all they talk about. I can't stand it. I feel terrible. I love them, but I'm so jealous that it makes me bitter.

    Have fun on your vaca, and at least you've been honest with her. I wish I could say that. I just hide behind my blog.


  15. O.M.G. I TOTALLY GET THIS POST. My best friend is due in August, and she was totally sad to have to tell me (we have been trying for 2 years,and she knows all about our struggles). She actually told me before she told any of her family b/c she wanted me to hear it from her.
    IT SUCKS- b/c my IF affected her ability to be truly joyful. She admitted to me later that she cried for thirty minutes the day she called me b/c she felt so guilty and sad for me. It has been hard for me- but 'luckily' she now lives 6 hours from me going to CRNA school and has very little time for chitchat, etc. I talk to her about once a week- and, as much as I love her, it all I can handle.
    It has been better lately since we have our plan, but still.
    I remember last january when she told me they were going to start trying around Thanksgiving that year, I thought "oh, that is 11 months away- I will totally be pregnant by then".
    Sigh. I am not.
    I hurt, but my love and joy for her blessing is more than my hurt (overall). I have a peace about it. Thank God.
    Luckily it sounds like you have great friend that understands like mine does.

    You are right- you do need time alone. O think that is important.
    Good luck sweetie!!!
    Happy ICLW from #22

  16. Infertility impacts every aspect of our life. It's horrible the way that it taints our views and breaks our hearts, especially when dealing with people we truly love. I have found the best way, for me, was to talk about it. Not always with the friend, sometimes with my husband, but to not let the pain fester inside.

    It sounds like you are doing a great job and, really, that is all we can ask of ourselves.


  17. Infertility can ruin friendships. One of my best friends doesn't understand our journey and no matter what I say or do to try and explain it.

    Over the years we have drifted closer and further apart depending on where we are in our lives. I have decided that this is one of those times when we will drift apart, and down the road I know we will come back together again!!

    Right now the most important thing is for us to take care of ourselves!

  18. Oh wow, yes I definitely see myself in this. My best friend decided to try for #4 in september '08, and was so excited to tell me that she was going to have her first *planned* baby. "Hurry up and get pregnant so we can be pregnant together" she tells me. By that point, DH and I had been trying for 2.5 years. Needless to say, her youngest daughter is almost a year old... and DH and I are still trying.
    It sounds like your friend is similar to mine - she means well, and she tries to be understanding and sympathetic. But it's hard, even when you know she has the best of intentions. I hate that I can't be happy for my friends, or that I can't stand to be around their kids or pregnant bellies. It's self-protection, but it can be so lonely too.
    I hope that you have a fantastic vacation! It sounds like some girl-time might really help you reconnect and remember why you're been friends for so many years. Enjoy!

  19. A girls weekend away is the best medicine. Having kids, trying to have kids and everything in between makes it hard for us as women to connect. This time together will allow you both to focus on each other without all of the distractions and stresses of life. Enjoy this time together, share your stories, listen to her stories and find that connection again. You both are in different stages of your motherhood journey but you might be surprised about how close you both really are. I know I was. My best friend of 15 years is also pregnant with baby #2, and I at times struggle. But I know she loves me and I her. We can only do our best and believes me my best varies day to day. I guess I am saying not to be so hard on yourself. I hope your weekend goes well.