I have been trying very hard to prepare myself psychologically for the arrival of our friends’ baby. Their pregnancy has caused me to wrestle with heaps of difficult emotions. Their pregnancy announcement was by far one of the most painful events I have been faced with while on this infertility journey. We were invited to our friend’s birthday on the last day of our summer vacation. I wasn’t super motivated to go because my family was visiting and time with them is very important to me, especially with the distance (physical) that separates us. I remember thinking it was a bit odd that our friend had only invited four of his friends (including us) and that the majority of the guest were his family members. But he is a very family orient guy, so I just kind of brushed it off. When we arrived the guests were gathered downstairs for appetizers and drinks. People eventually started moving upstairs for the sit-down lunch. As I went to sit down, I glanced down and my breath was knocked out of me as I read “a new addition to the family” on the ribbons wrapped around the napkins. I forced my tears back and rushed downstairs to find my husband, my life vest. I pull him outside as discretely as possible, I needed fresh air and space that our friends’ decision on how to announce their joyous news to us did not allow. They had been together for less than a year and although I knew this day would come, I had no idea it would be this soon and announced in this way. I tried to pull myself together as we headed upstairs for lunch. My assigned spot at the table was directly across for our friends. I have never had to fight back tears and emotions that fiercely. I have never had to fight so hard to hold myself together. On several occasions I rushed to the bathroom and turned on the water full flow to cover up my muffled sobs. How could our friend who knew about our years of battling infertility put us in this position? How could they possibly think that this would be an appropriate way to make this announcement to close friends in the grips of infertility? At the end of the meal they rang a big gong, yes a gong, and made the official announcement. Cue another trip to the bathroom. And then right after that our friend opened his birthday presents. At one point just after opening the telescope his family had bought him, he said to someone “this is all so emotional” and I was left stunned when he followed up with “I’ve been waiting for a telescope for so long”. WTF, you just announced to your family and friends that you’re having a baby and you’re emotional about a telescope. My husband and I were finally able to graciously duck out just before dessert. Tears started rolling down my face as we stepped outside and by the time we got to the car they had transformed in to full out sobs, lasting most of the way home. It took me a long time to work through the hurt that was generate by how our friends chose to share their pregnancy with us. A couple months later, I finally managed to muster up the energy to talk to them about how difficult their pregnancy announcement was for us. I was dumbfounded when they told us that they had no idea it had been so hard for us and that they hadn’t noticed our reactions the day of the announcement. They apologized and said they were sorry they had hurt us. I genuinely appreciate and value their apology and their friendship. And I keep trying to remind myself that they were in their happy bubble and were just not able to think about anyone or anything else apart from their happiness, but it still hurts that our feelings were taken hostage and so completely overlooked by close friends who knew about the mountains we are climbing. Talking to them has helped with the healing, but I have had to work very hard to let things go and to nurture my happiness for their pregnancy and to make room in my heart for this little baby.
Today as I opened the text message announcing the birth of their daughter, I was ready for the emotions, but I was not ready to read the one name we have been holding in our hearts for all these years, in the hope that someday we will be able to share it with our child.