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The New Baby Situation

When I started writing yesterday I actually intended to ask your advice about something, but ended up reflecting on my pseudo pregnancy instead. So I’m going to get back to the advice-asking, after a quick detour. 

Detour: It occurred to me that one of my thousands (perhaps millions?) of faithful readers might have been taken aback when I admitted to having been sorta pregnant once. That reader might have thought, Don’t you realize there’s a huge difference between never having seen even the faintest of lines on a test and having seen that nebulous sign of the ghost of a baby? If I’d ever seen such a thing, I’d get enormous comfort from it, knowing that the possibility of achieving pregnancy exists. How can you be so cavalier about the fact that you’re in a whole other category of infertility? You totally deceived me and I’ll never read another post. You might think with millions (perhaps billions?) of readers I wouldn’t care about preserving that one person, but I wanted to offer an explanation. In case I was insensitive, but more because I want to figure out what my deal was. SO. I didn’t think of myself as someone who has been pregnant before because I never had the experience of testing and seeing a positive and having hope. (I’m enormously grateful I was spared that experience.) Instead my experience was having hope and testing and having no hope, much like every other damn month. That experience was not so bad, though it turns out it was more psychologically significant that I gave it credit for. I mean, I never even told my husband about it. Can you believe that? After writing yesterday’s post I was like, HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T TELL HIM THAT! So then I did last night and we talked about what it meant and I cried. Good times. And thank you, as always, for your kind thoughts. They made me cry, too. In a good way.

Advice: Does anyone have any thoughts on how best to approach the New Baby Situation? I’ve been thinking about how to manage my desire to be there for PBF/BFB as she goes through this amazing experience, my desire to meet her daughter (whom I anticipate I’ll instantly love with that I’d Give My Life For You kind of love one reserves for family members–unless she’s ugly, in which case I’ll be like ewww) as soon as possible, and my fear of what it will do to my heart to see BFB her holding her child. I know nothing will protect me from the pain, but if any of you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. I think you have to give yourself some "back doors." As in, you go and see BFF and meet the baby and you feel joy and say all of the wonderful things that are in your heart of hearts…but then you have an exit strategy all ready to go in case your heart feels like it's breaking. Like, let her know from the get-go that unfortunately you have to be X place so you can't stay long this time but you just wanted to drop by and give her all of your love. Then you leave and feel whatever you feel.Something like that? I haven't had this exact experience, but I used that "out" with a baby shower and it helped me tremendously.

    February 4, 2010
  2. JB #

    There are infinite different categories of IF, none of them necessarily any less difficult than any other. I (sort-of) know a woman who had 3 kids without issue and now is trying for one more with IVF….part of me winces a little at this (because, really, you have 3!) but I can only figure that for HER, not being able to have one more may be just as bad as any of us not being able to have our first. And so it goes for anyone who has seen the coveted second line, seen it disappear, or never seen it at all. There's no appropriate time or place to preface an IF observation with "well, at least you…." It all sucks. Now, about that (hopefully attractive) baby…from my perspective I guess I've been okay being around the new babies of close friends; not so much with coworkers or strangers. You may have to test it out once and see how it makes you feel; if it's too hard, tell her so matter-of-factly and give it some more time until you try again (or not). Any friend worth her salt will understand.$0.02 *plink, plink*

    February 4, 2010
  3. I had a similar dilemma when my SIL got pregnant. I didn't know how to appropriately celebrate her joy and keep my feelings to a minimum. I eventually had a conversation with her about it. I told her exactly what was going on with me and asked her opinion about how to handle the situation. It worked out really well and we have had a stronger relationship since.

    February 4, 2010
  4. I am also wrestling with this horrible monster of a situation. And there are moments where I am not impressing myself with my generosity of spirit. I think suchagoodegg made a good point about giving yourself an out. For myself, I'm going to be there for my friend as much as I can. And the "as much as I can" part is the key. Just like a situation involving flying shrapnel, I need to take a certain amount of cover. Otherwise, my heart would break. I'm going to be glad for my friend that her road has been easier, because I love her and because I am glad. But when the sad creeps in, I'm going to make my excuses and go. And I'm going to know that if the shoe were on the other foot she would have to do the same for reasons of self-preservation. And I'm not going to feel badly for it.

    February 4, 2010
  5. I am no expert in this category. Sometimes it's really easy for me – I love all my nephews and my niece so much, and I just enjoy being around them. And with certain friends it's the same, but with others, I can barely stand to email. I take comfort in believing that a) I'm good at faking it and that even if my heart's not in it, by all appearances I'm being a supportive friend, or b) I suck at faking it, but they understand and one day things will be different. No advice, except to say you're probably doing better than you think. (Remember a certain kick-ass shower complete with homemade mobile??)

    February 4, 2010
  6. There is nothing horrible about not saying you had a chemical pregnancy. It's something you went through and it sucks that it didn't stick around. I'm sorry you didn't get to see the two lines and enjoy it for a bit.

    February 4, 2010
  7. Al #

    Ugh, I wish I had some fantastic advice on the new baby stuff. I've been petrified of meeting my SILs new baby (due in April) for a long time. I'm afraid of how I'll react how I'll feel. I agree with egg, give yourself an out if you need it and try to ease yourself into it. Don't be too hard on yourself, it's a crap situation and it's not easy. Your friend knows and will understand if you have a hard time at first, so just be open and honest about things.

    February 4, 2010
  8. JC #

    I don't have a lot of great advise. Fortunately, for each of my SIL's pregnancies she hasn't lived here so I haven't had to go through that. But I can say that with her first baby she was so busy or in awe of the experience we didn't talk for weeks, maybe a month or so. Just a warning if she's distant. I'd try to do it quick. And you don't have to hold the baby if you don't want to. I've said "no" before, just weeks ago too. I'd rather not hold a 3 week old baby. Do what you feel most comfortable with and don't push yourself to do any more than that. ((hugs))

    February 4, 2010
  9. Haha "unless she's ugly…" funny.It's so hard to deal with these situations. I think you'll know what to do, and of course, it will totally depend on how you're feeling that day. Just take it as it comes and do what feels right to YOU.

    February 5, 2010
  10. [Nodding in agreement with other commenters.] Have get-away car idling in the driveway, in case you need it, speak to your friend, who no doubt will want to make it as easy for you as possible, go easy on yourself, and who knows? Maybe it won't be as bad as you think – it is often the way with The Most Dreaded Things. I hope so.

    February 5, 2010

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