AIBU? Friend with fertility issues now pregnant (long)(35 Posts)
Background is my best friend for many many years has known since she was a teen that she could have difficulty conceiving. This is something we discussed in depth over the years. We spent most of our twenties partying together and were there for each other during the usual ups and downs of life and through various relationships.
Fast forward a few years and we have both since got married and I now have 2 children aged 3 and 1. After my friend got married she discovered that she did indeed have fertility problems and her and her husband started down the long and difficult road of fertility treatment. This journey officially started for them a couple of years ago and throughout this time I have supported her throughout her treatment and being a shoulder to cry on whenever she needed me.
I was the first person she told when she got a positive result and I am absolutely over the moon for her and her husband. I can't quite believe it still and my husband and I are so excited for this new adventure for them both and delighted to be part of it.
This is the part I find difficult to write down as I feel so awful and like a terrible person and friend for even thinking this.
My friend is in contact with me a lot about her pregnancy - asking lots of questions is this normal etc etc, completely understandable as I have been through it twice and it's all new and scary for her. Every conversation is about her pregnancy, again understandable as this is what she has been desperate for for such a long time and has gone through so much to get here. That I don't have an issue with in the slightest, however it makes me feel a little sad that I didn't get to share any of my pregnancy experiences and worries with her.
My children are my life, they are an extension of me and I am besotted with them both. My friend however has not really been interested in them since they born. When I was pregnant with DC1 I'm lucky if I saw her twice in the whole time, it was a very difficult time for me and I needed her however I was sensitive to how she would be feeling with the difficulties she facing and having to see me pregnant and perhaps complain about it would be extremely hard for her.
I have made a conscious effort to not talk about my kids and definitely did not discuss my pregnancies with her unless asked.
It's only now that she's asking me lots that I realised I had all these concerns too and had no one (apart from DH) to discuss them with. When her baby is born I'll be like an auntie to them and want to be part of their life and I feel sad that mine never had that.
I feel conflicted because I completely understand why she was detached during my pregnancies etc and I tried my best to protect her from further hurt but I feel wistful (and perhaps a little jealous) that she gets to discuss the ins and outs of it all with me and then all the baby's milestones when they arrive etc and I was unable to have that support/interest from her.
AIBU to feel like this?? I would never say all this to her but it's been playing on my mind
YANBU to feel it, but it is completely understandable on her behalf so I'd just let it go and enjoy the journey with her.
Of course it's OK to feel like this! Obviously it wouldn't be to say to her, but it is hard when you can't share details about your pregnancies/kids with someone close to you and perfectly understandable you'd feel sad about it. Luckily there is a lot more to come you can share with her
Yanbu but lots of people will say you are. Try to get over it though and share being mums. However if going forward she still takes no interest in your DC and only talks about hers then I don't think you'll be able to remain friends as it'll drive you nuts. And it would be crashingly selfish and thick skinned of her.
Your children are still very little so you will have loads to talk about in the future. You have loads of time now to share child related issues so try to let it go.
Yes, i was going to say there are a lot of years to go for both of you through your children's childhoods - more pregnancies even?
Did you have no one to chat to while you were pregnant? No one who has been close to your children?
I understand both sides of this. I've been the friend who was always there (even to the extend of giving a roof over her head for a year) for a person who then buggered off when things got tough for me in life.
I have also struggled with TTC, and know how unreasonable/selfish/bitter/twisted it can make you. And how you hope to god that if and when you come out of the other side everyone forgives you
YABU really. You were lucky and she was not. I think you are a lovely friend to have been so sensitive to her at the time, don't feel bitter about it now.
Could you say - I am so thrilled you are expecting and I wanted to ask if I could be like an auntie to your child and would love it if you would like to be the same to mine. This of course depends on how much interaction she has with yours. It lets her know you want to be close to her child and that you hope she now feels able to be more involved with yours.
I had a friend like this. She really was a friend to begin with, we'd know each other years. Then through all the years of infertility misery, the relationship became unbalanced and I was definitely cast in a support role. After her son was born she dropped me like a hot potato. It really hurt
So anyway YANBU. Friendship can only be friendship if you make time for each other.
But - now that she is having a successful pregnancy I think you can absolutely start sharing your things with her too. If she is totally uninterested and still doesn't want to see your kids then you have a problem, otherwise I think this is a pretty normal thing.
I didn't really think about the fact we still have so much to share in the future! That's a good way of looking at it.
I was caught unaware by these feelings and it's only very recently I've acknowledged them and realised why I was feeling like this.
Good point about me now sharing things with her. Will definitely start that!
You're entitled to your feelings but I think for the time being you need to try and let it wash over you. If you're that close then there may come a time in the future when you can say "I wish I'd been able to share with you more about my pregnancy" but now is not it.
FWIW one of my oldest, closest friend is out the other side of this now, but for the 3 years she and her husband were ttc their DS and during her pregnancy and early days as a mum she was like a different person.
I think it's very difficult to comprehend the levels of sadness and then anxiety that infertility causes unless you have first hand experience of it, and for the most part it's just a case of riding it out.
I don't think yabu at all. I've had to distance myself from 'that' friend too. It's awful. There's no winners. I did explain it, but I'm sure she was gutted.
This has gone on for YEARS and it just became unbearable. She was flaky and unreliable. She was awfully distant during bereavements, child related events etc. We all went out to dinner when I was pregnant. It wasn't acknowledged. Then I had a mc. Also not acknowledged.
Reading it back I sound awful, but my own sanity was at stake. I let it go on for far too long.
My user name came about when my friend was ttc and struggling with it.
It was all consuming to her and she seemed to shun discussions about other people's DCs or pregnancies. I think it made her so sad to see mums.
Then she got pregnant and the questions were endless, the worries were constant and the stress on our friendship was obvious. She still avoided spending any time with my DD or asking after her.
She now has a gorgeous DS and is a changed woman. She has more interest than ever in her friends' DCs and is more sociable than I have ever known her to be.
I think fertility problems can be all consuming and it can make people appear very selfish but really they are just sad and desperately trying to keep going.
Be there for her now and hopefully she'll come back to being a great friend soon.
My oldest friend was totally uninterested in my children until she had some of her own. We had drifted apart (still enjoyed each other's company but we're on different tracks) and it brought us back together.
I'm not quite that bad, but my friends all started their kids 4 years ago. I was told years ago that carrying a pregnancy could be an issue. Sadly I lost my first one a week ago.
I've never not been interested in them. But it's hard to be the friend without kids when all your friend talks about is them. You're besotted, of course, but don't expect anyone outside of that to be the same. It's life and how it progresses. In some ways I lost that side of my best friend. It sounds harsh and dramatic but in a way it's true. I was ecstatic when both my best friends have announced all their pregnancies over the last 4 years. And they are still a big part of my life. I love all the boys dearly. Even though it was and now will be a bit painful in a selfish way. Not to sound rude but you sound almost martyr-like by saying "I didn't discuss my pregnancy because of her feelings but now I'm sad" you made that decision without speaking to her about it. That was kinda your choice IYSWIM?
When I found out I was expecting I was so excited. I was excited for my baby, and I was excited to finally be able to share the same thing as my friends did. I spent 10 weeks randomly asking if things were normal, asking other questions. Why? Because I was looking for reassurance. I was told I'd have trouble with it. My friends didn't ask me. It's never crossed my mind that they didn't, because how could I answer when I had no experience.
Just support your friend. Don't reply for a bit if you don't want too. She won't mind. She's just sharing her long awaited journey with you. And if she's had problems she's probably just nervous.
Unless she's texting you way too much. In which case I'd say "sorry caught up at the moment,ask the midwife?". That's a totally acceptable thing to do if she's driving you bonkers!
I hope you don't read my post as rude btw. But I've been your friend more than once
Wombat I'm sorry for your loss And I didn't find your post rude
I can imagine my pregnancies and subsequent changes in lifestyle hit her twice as hard IYSWIM. Apart from me being pregnant when it wasn't happening for her, she also lost the party girl that I once was as my priorities shifted and I was no longer able to stay out all night or spontaneously go out for a liquid lunch etc.
I'm very conscious of not dragging on about my kids in whoever's company as I may find them the most interesting beings ever, I'm well aware others do not
I will continue to support her, that would never change.
Interesting reading other people's similar experiences.
You make it sound like she is the only friend in the world. She couldn't support you through that stage of your life but there was no reason you couldn't find that support in another friend. It's not really her fault or responsibility that you didn't make a new friend and haven't gotten close to any other person who you could share these things with.
God yeah we hate it when we lose our drinking buddies. Damn! But she'll come around. If she gets too much, tell her. I wasn't too OTT (they'd def have told me). But if you're friendship is strong, you'll be able to tell her to calm down. Now you're not preggers, ask her out for a liquid lunch to tell her that ;)
I was the one with fertility problems. It took 4 years to concieve my ds..
I found once I concieved I then felt maybe extra anxious if something happened in this pregnancy when would I ever conceive again...Once my pregnancy continued.. I loved stories of births and breast feeeding....
I can understand your feelings but everything you are going through with esp a 1 year old is all coming up for her...
It sounds like you have been a great friend but equally when I did conceive my closest friend didn't have children so the only thing I really discussed with her was shopping.
I've also been your friend OP. And I think you're lovely. Yes it's normal to feel a bit sad that you couldn't share things with her in the same way when you were pregnant. But she wouldn't have been able to cope with it and you were a really good friend by realising that and being sensitive to her but still supporting her and staying friends.
I'm really glad that you're seeing the positives now and how much lovely stuff you have to share in the future. I'm glad you came on here to have a vent and work through your feelings. You sound like an amazing friend, I think she's lucky to have you.
Wombat Ha! She's already said her birthday plans will need to change now because she won't be drinking. I replied with well YOU won't be drinking but I will!
I've also been your friend, and perhaps my own friends felt the same way as you, but they certainly never said anything - I shut myself off from as much of their children's milestones/ lives as I could without being rude for the several years that I was suffering through infertility and miscarriage. I know they may have been hurt but to be honest I was so wrapped up in my own pain and laser focussed goals (and fucked up with hormones from the treatment!) that I didn't care..
I think you should just try to enjoy your friend's new phase of her life, her child won't be much younger than your 2, they can be buddies! She is lucky to have you there to advise and reassure her.
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