Friday, March 18, 2011

A fabulous fertile friend (they do exist)

I feel a moral obligation to write this post for all the times I bitch and moan about fertile people.

Back in January, when my co-worker Annie told me she was pregnant, she and I weren’t very close. She only knew about my situation because last summer she mentioned to me that she dreamt I was pregnant, and I said “we’re doing infertility treatments so I’ll take that as a good omen”! (obviously not a good enough omen!)

Like I wrote back then, I was really impressed with how thoughtful she was when she told me she was pregnant. She handled it as well as anyone could hope. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard for me – in fact, it was the hardest pregnancy announcement I’ve dealt with because I didn’t see it coming AT ALL. I cried a lot that night, but her sensitivity went a long way.

Since then, we’ve gotten very close. I mentioned in my last post that her future-sister-in-law has been trying for three years. Not surprisingly, Annie’s pregnancy has driven a huge wedge in their relationship. The SIL is in a tailspin and Annie, of course, has no idea how to deal with it.

It has been such an interesting experience. Annie tells me all the news about her SIL (she found out she has a blocked tube, he has low motility), tells me her latest actions (she won’t attend her mother’s birthday because Annie will be there) and asks for my advice on it all. It’s been fascinating getting the fertile perspective on all this. And it’s been nice to be able to advocate for this girl I don’t even know.

Of course we’ve both said things that have hurt each other’s feelings. I told Annie point blank that it’s devastating to her SIL that Annie gets to give the family the first grandchild. Annie cried when I told her that. She has said things in passing that she obviously doesn’t realize are insensitive. We have such a good friendship now that we can gently correct each other and point out the other person’s point of view.

I told Annie that we should be poster children for the infertile-fertile relationship. Since she told me she was pregnant, we have only gotten closer. Yesterday she found out her baby is a boy. She told me about the appointment a few days before and warned me that she’d probably bring in cake afterward for the girls in the office. Then last night she texted me to say that she hopes the celebration wasn’t too hard on me.

I can’t explain why it’s easier to be around her than my pregnant friend J. Annie is just so transparent and honest. There aren’t years of baggage because she’s a new friend. We are even planning a shopping trip together next weekend and I asked myself if I would be able to shop for baby stuff with her. I think I can. It won’t be completely painless but the acknowledgment of each other’s feelings is constant. There’s always a sense of checking in: “is it going to upset you if I talk about this?” which makes everything so much easier.

It doesn’t mean that it will always be easy to be around her – if my next IUI fails who knows how I’ll feel. But for now, I’m so appreciative to have this friendship in my life.


Drevas said...

What a fabulous friend indeed! That is so great that she is so thoughtful and careful with your feelings. It sounds like she will be a great support person for you when you are pregnant! :)

Kerrik said...

I wish I had this relationship with just one of y fertile friends. I have a friend who hasn't starting really TTC yet, and she has been incredibly supportive, but otherwise I feel like my fertile friends just say wrong thing after wrong thing :(

bodegabliss said...

She sounds like a great friend. And how wonderful that you can help her with her SIL. She's very luck to have you, and it's obviously she values you!

Alex said...

Wow - she sounds amazing! I love how both of you check in with each other - what a great relationship. She should teach lessons... said...

Yes! It makes it SO much easier to be happier for them when they are understand and caring about our own situations. You are very lucky to have her.

Marissa said...

My SIL (brother's wife), while not as good as your friend, is pretty understanding. It means the world to me. I find I'm able to deal with her baby MUCH better than I can with others, and this baby is the first grandkid, etc etc. Just knowing I can say "I can't do this tonight" and not have to explain makes it that much easier to try, you know?

Still A Guest Room said...

She sounds like a wonderful friend, and I'm sure she's thankful to have you around.

Anna said...

Wow. Awesome that she gives you a heads up on things (like her doctor's appointment).

None of us (fertile or infertile) say the right things all the time, but sensitivity goes a long way.