Dealing with pregnant close friend when your ... - More To Life

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Dealing with pregnant close friend when your infertile.


Hi, I've just joined. I'm struggling I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis 13 years ago. I had years of operations that caused serious complications to my long term health. 2 miscarriages, the end of relationships with the strain. 2 failed ivf courses and to be told I'm going through an early menopause with no chance of conceiving a child myself. My best friend became pregnant the week my last ivf failed. I've listed to her moan about morning sickness, back pain and hating her pregnancy. I've met her and other friends for meals only for the entire evening to consist of talk about babies and kids. I have nothing to add to the conversation and feel I no longer fit in with these people I once shared so much with. My pregnant friend informed me that she thought I should have a hysterectomy and adopt a few days after my fertility doctor told me I had no hope of being a biological mother. I was faced with attending the baby shower last weekend and for weeks I thought about how best to get out of going. It was our mutual friend organising it. I guess I'd have hoped my friend would have called and said your welcome to come but I fully understand if you can't face it. Instead I worried a lot about what to do... Should I just say I can't face it? Should I say I'm ill? Would it be best to try and go. When I'm in a room with all these woman talking about babies I feel like I'm being punched in the gut. I feel guilty for feeling this way. In the end I called my friend and advised that I had a virus. She was quite miffed at me for not going. Days later I still feel awful that I'd let her down. I also hate myself for feeling so upset around other people's happy news. I wish I could feel differently. It feels raw and I can only explain it to the feeling I had grieving for a family members death. Will these feelings last forever? Will I ever get my friendships back? Sorry for the long message.

7 Replies

Hi. Sorry to hear things are so hard for you. I'm recovering from a hysterectomy, followed 5 days later by emergency bowel surgery for a perforated bowel and sepsis. I had (hoping past tense is true) very severe endo and also had 2 unsuccessful rounds of IVF.

Seeing friends and family have babies is, whilst exciting in many ways, devastating for us to see. No matter how it's managed, a whole pile of salt is rubbed into our very raw wounds. I have lost contact with most old friends, as they have moved on and made new friends through their children. This is no doubt unintentional, but has been the reality for me. I have found out the hard way, particularly in the last few weeks, who really matters in my life.

I have a 'friend' who has everything. Lovely house, three children, doesn't have to work yet life is so awful for her, she's so stressed etc etc. She's not been to see me despite living very close, yet others have travelled miles to do so on a regular basis, and have done so much to help me. I also have a friend who at the start of my journey into the endo world, promised to support me!!!! Joke. Four kids later I've not seen her for years.

I've found endo so isolating, and I know I'm not alone in this. You made the decision not to go to the baby shower to protect yourself others need to be a little more understanding and sensitive to what you're experiencing

PM me if you want. I've found talking to those who unfortunately share the experience are the only ones to understand.

Good luck xxx

Hi Veronicamary

I can only echo the words of Welsh Barney-boy, do what you need to do to protect yourself. Friends with children do become obsessive and even if they try can't understand the emptiness of infertility.

Your infertility is very recent and raw for you. It will get easier with time, like other forms of loss, you learn to live with it, with some days better than others. I'm 58 now and usually fine, being genuinely pleased for younger colleagues having children. Occasionally I feel a complete outsider as my friends are now grandparents but am in a good enough place emotionally to be able to let it go.

A friend's daughter had a problem pregnancy last year, losing a very disabled baby. My friend said a few weeks later that her daughter needed to get over it and toughen up! I managed to keep my hands to myself and not throttle her!!

I had cysts etc from age 17 and surgery age 21 which left me infertile, years later explored IVF but it wasn't a realistic option, so I do understand your pain.

On bad days stay clear of pregnant friends, on good days keep in touch with them, but beware the screaming child in the supermarket or restaurant - I broke down more than once thinking "I wish I had a child to embarrass me in public"

There's lots of support on here, just knowing you're not totally alone helps xx

The joy of baby showers and listening to people talk about pregnancy, childbirth, children and feeling you have nothing to contribute. Whilst some people might be able to empathise with those of us who haven't been able to have children they won't ever really get it. This might mean the end of some friendships if there is very little common ground. Perhaps if there is a member of the group that you are closest to that you could confide in and suggest that there is some child free talk during social gatherings? It may be that they can't think of anything else to talk about.

A close friend told me she was 12 weeks pregnant less than 2 weeks after our 1st BFN. It was really hard for me, I knew how much she wanted a baby and she hoped our treatment would work. Some other friends organised a baby shower for her, she didn't want it. I couldn't go, as we were away, but I could have told her that it was too much and it would have been OK. She has been one of our best supporters through the tests, treatment & ceasing treatment, checking up on us when others didn't ask. I suppose you find out who your true friends are when you go through challenges.

Thank you all, it just feels a great comfort that I'm not alone in how I'm thinking. I feel very guilty about it as it must come across as bitter to people looking in from the outside. I don't find it easy to discuss my situation with people. My close friend who is pregnant was one of the few people I confided in. I feel that I can't do that anymore. I don't feel I can tell my family how depressed I'm feeling or why I feel that way. Reading your replies you're all really strong brave woman. I'm extremely greatful for all your kind words and advice.

I can relate, as I have groups of friends who all a children and all they talk about is child rearing. It can make you feel very alone and left out. Sometimes I find it insensitive, but I guess they don't realise how painful it feels.

I did confide in a small group of friends ( who all have children). They were really supportive and compassionate, but the conversation did revert back to child rearing again!! . There is one girl in the group who I have opened up with and cried with and she has been really supportive and great. She doesn't judge me as I felt bad initially for ' stopping trying'. Other friends had said they'd pull out the stops if they couldn't conceive, ie, IVF, etc and I almost felt judged for not going down thenIVF route. I did not feel I could cope physically or mentally with IVF due to other health issues.

It will get better over time. I really enjoy seeing my friends children now and my nieces and nephews, but I certainly do feel it sometimes .

You are not alone VeronicaMary x

Hi Veronica. I have also found myself in a situation where am with friends and the only discussion is babies and kids. I usually feel very uncomfortable and out of place. I have also felt as if they are being insensitive but I guess they don't realise that. People that have kids don't really understand how painful it is. They just expect you to get over it and move on but this is something that can not easily be forgotten. I lost our baby when I was 5 months pregnant. My womb ruptured and I lost so much blood and went into shock and stopped breathing so they had no choice but to remove the womb because it was going to still be a risk to me later on and the bleeding could not be stopped at the time.

It was really painful and I feel none of my friends really understand what I went through. They can sympathize with me to a certain extent. I feel so alone sometimes but it's comforting to know that am not alone.

So I understand what you are going through.

Hey lady,

Everything you’ve put in your post will have been felt by 99% of us on here. It’s hard. Friends that you expect to be supportive and sensitive, who you have known your entire life even, can turn out to be the least helpful or understanding, and it hurts.

But you must let go of everything that no longer serves you, and find things and people that do. I spent 18 months clinging on to my group of oldest school friends because of the history and my sense of loyalty and guilt, but the reality was they didn’t care very much about me anymore because I didn’t fit into their circle as they all became mothers. I was excluded from things when my grief after two miscarriages was too much for them to be around, none of them even came to visit. And when I finally got the balls to tell them I needed them to be more sensitive and they needed to carve out time for me and my husband when it was adults only so we didn’t ALWAYS have to be around children and happy families (note, I made it clear I loved all of their children and didn’t want to stop spending time with them, just wanted people to make more of an effort to fit in with our lives too rather than just expecting us to fit in with them every single time), I got told “I struggle with childcare so that’s not going to happen.” This was my best friend of 20 years saying this to me. I was shell shocked. She has a husband who is perfectly capable of looking looking after her kids so we can go for a coffee occasionally! She just didn’t want to.

The last straw was an insensitive pregnancy announcement by the same friend.

I ended my relationship with her then and there and told her all the reasons I was doing so. It was very painful. But I feel much better for it now. These people never stepped up when I needed them & they never prioritised me over themselves even when I was at my lowest, yet repeatedly I prioritised them. I now spend my precious time with the people that are there for me and love me and try to be sensitive and understanding, even if they don’t truly get it.

Don’t feel guilty about the baby shower. It’s self-preservation. And if your mate doesn’t get that well then she’s not that good a mate!

Find some people in the local area going through what you’re going through. Join a support group. It will help even if you just make one friend that you can occasionally meet up with and talk to that really gets it.

Don’t beat yourself up. Infertility robs us of so much. Xxx

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