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To not answer my phone...

(22 Posts)
escapeartist Sat 11-Jun-11 16:17:37

I have a friend I got quite close to the last couple of years (live in expat community, so opportunities for friendship can be scarce) when we were both ttc. They could afford to go down the IVF route and indeed after 3 tries they got pg.

5 months into her pregnancy I also found out I was expecting. It was lovely and we were both excited. We got quite close at that stage.

2 months ago I went for a scan to find that my baby had died 3 days before. I was devastated, understandably and friend was v sweet and gave us space (last thing I wanted to see was her pg wit twins belly).

She sent me a couple of emails which I found extremely patronising and made me cry (about how it will happen for us when the time is right and when we stop stressing etc... argh!) but I didn't respond.

As she was carrying twins she delivered early after a scan to show that babies were too crammed. Both babies are perfectly healthy, but have to stay in until they reach 2.5kg (also a private hospital, so think they are being over-cautious... but I'm no expert).

For the last few days she has called me upset about how she doesn't have her babies with her, how "this is not what was supposed to have happened" and how she feels guilty that she couldn't keep her babies in her belly for longer!!

In the end I emailed her saying I'm sorry she is sad, but her calls make me upset and that at least her babies are healthy and they will be in her arms soon. She replied to say "it is not natural to give birth and not be able to be with your babies" and that "why does everything have to be so hard for them?"

She keeps calling... and I am not asnwering my phone. Am I an arse? I really can't cope with her at the moment, though I do realise she might have PND and should be helping her??? AIBU??

Pumpernickel10 Sat 11-Jun-11 16:20:35

Your not an ass you need your own time, speak to her when YOUR ready
I'm am sorry sad

Panzee Sat 11-Jun-11 16:24:22

Do you have a mutual friend you can ask to listen to her instead? You are not being an arse, but as you sound like a kind person I understand why you might feel you are. Passing her over to someone who can cope a little better might help all round.
So sorry for your loss.

JaneFonda Sat 11-Jun-11 16:24:58


She obviously tried her hardest to be there and support you while you were going through an awful time, and even if you found her emails 'patronising' it can be very difficult for people not to know what to say in situations like that.

However, now it is your turn to be a supportive friend for her - and, as hard as it is, that means putting your own issues aside for a moment and helping her with hers.

To a new mother in her situation, the fact that her babies are healthy isn't the most important thing on her mind, so trying to make her feel guilty won't help at all.

maras2 Sat 11-Jun-11 16:26:12

Do you have a partner? If so let him answer and tell her that you're to upset to talk to her because of her selfishness.I'm realy sorry for your loss Escape. Mx.

PinkFondantFancy Sat 11-Jun-11 16:29:53

You sound lovely, you're definitely not being an ass. I think it's worth telling her how you feel too though - something along the lines of you understanding that she's upset but that you feel that you're not the best placed person to help her because you're grieving for the loss of your baby. I know you've said this sort of thing by email but maybe it's worth saying it over the phone. FWIW there's not a lot more patronising that someone can possibly say to you than "it will happen when you stop stressing about it" raaaaahhhhh. I wonder how she would have felt if someone had said that to her after her 2nd go of IVF?? Maybe suggest that she speaks to her doctor or someone about how she's feeling?

Sorry for your loss.

fluffles Sat 11-Jun-11 16:30:04

she had to have ivf to concieve but yet when she tried to support you in your grief you pushed her away as 'patronising'.
now she needs your support. it's not her fault you rejected her support.

i guess you'll just have to tell her you don't want to be friends with her as it sounds like you haven't got the emotional energy to either accept or give support.

escapeartist Sat 11-Jun-11 16:33:47

JaneFonda if trying her hardest was her leaving me alone then yes, she did. I do realise it is a difficult situation and people are not sure what to say, but telling me to stop stressing is a bit insensitive, I think. Or maybe I was being over-sensitive.

I guess I have not had a baby, so I cannot know how difficult it is to have your babies in an incubator - I do admit that. HOwever, I go by the reactions of other friends who have had similar situations (including a friend who gace birth at 26 weeks and whose baby was 400gr) they all seemed to be so grateful that their babies were alive and well. But again, I haven't been in her shoes, so really should't judge.

BTW we are offering her practical support in that we are taking care of their 2 dogs for the last 3 weeks, while they are getting used to everything. It's just that I cannot talk to her without getting upset sad

Also, maras2 I don't think she is beig selfish as such... just insensitive maybe. Or, I'll say it again, maybe I am over-sensitive.

Gastonladybird Sat 11-Jun-11 16:38:15

Can see why she needs support ( this has happened to a couple of friends with early twins and I know it's agonising and harder when you are away from home with limited friends . But think the suggestion of Saying talk to dp or anyone else is a good one .

angry to all those who say she should be more sympathetic . I am sorry but sometimes If you have had mc or pregnancy losses there are times when you dont have it in you to be give out compassion. I know I haven't and from your post your loss sounds quite recent. Also agree that just because her email was well
Meant doesn't make it hurtful in tone. That said I wouldn't necessarily say end the freindship , just reiterate that you would like to but can't offer support .

valiumredhead Sat 11-Jun-11 16:39:15

Not being able to hold my baby after giving birth and having him in an incubator was quite possibly the most awful thing that has ever happened to me. If I think about it now even 10 years on it upsets me so YABU. BUT YANBU to have the feelings you do and it must be extremely hard for you. Crap situation for both of you.

PinkFondantFancy Sat 11-Jun-11 16:40:12

escape you're grieving, you're not being over-sensitive. You need to protect yourself first and foremost, so if having contact with her upsets you, you need to explain that, maybe help her find someone else to support her, and then give yourself some distance. Surely she has other friends she can lean on apart from you??

clam Sat 11-Jun-11 16:40:41

JaneFonda have a heart! The OP has recently had a miscarriage. Of course she's going to find it hard to be around someone who's given birth at a similar time. It wouldn't take a massive amount of empathy for the friend to realise that!
escapeartist YANBU. All the best to your and your DH.

Gastonladybird Sat 11-Jun-11 16:41:11

I wouldn't say it's not hard in her position to leave her babies- obviously it's not quite the same as with a 26 week baby but I don't think there can be any time
You want to see your children in hospital let alone a scbu. That said I don't think there is anything you are doing wrong here.

Ps have you discovered the mc and conception threads here as that has been an immense source of support to me.

escapeartist Sat 11-Jun-11 16:44:44

valiumredhead thanks for the insight - it really is, i guess like mc, one of those things that you can't know how much it hurts until you go through it. I guess it's not PND then and it is normal to feel like that (because I was thinking of suggesting that she speaks to her dr, but don't want to sound like I think she is crazy for being sad... again hard to know if you haven't been there).

Her mum is here, as is her m-i-l as is the birthing group she was with. I realise that they are all sort of involved and I might be the one person who is not, hence why she might be looking for my support. I am just scared of saying something insensitive (which by the sound of it I have already done when I said "at least they are healthy and will be in your arms soon".)

escapeartist Sat 11-Jun-11 16:47:05

glastonladybird I have discovered them and they were a lifeline when I needed them most. Thanks. T

Thank you for your wishes clam

escapeartist Sat 11-Jun-11 17:39:12

I answered my phone and she spoke to me for about 15 mins about how hard it all is again. I said I am sure things will get better soon (but again now that I write it I know it sounds patronising...) and that if she needs any practical help DH and I can help.
She asked me to go to hospital with her on Monday as she still can't drive (C section) and her DH is busy at work. I agreed... but now dreading it! sad

NeedMenInWhiteCoats Sat 11-Jun-11 18:30:25

I am being heartless here but it is for your preservation! I would plan the trip carefully - plan something to do while she is at the hospital so you don't have to go in with her (and to give her time with her children on her own). You visiting a hospital full of children is not what you need now and you must make sure you take care of yourself too. Is there something you can put on to listen to in the car to take her mind off everything? Loud music, a pod cast on another interest of hers? Anything that will limit her chance to talk too much.

If all else fails you will just have to be frank - personally I would prepare the least agressive way of phrasing 'I can't help emotionally, I am still going through my own form of hell' possible before you meet with her to stop you from saying anything even more awful. (Obviously please don't use that phrase!).

It is a nightmare situation for you both but you must take care of you first before you can take care of anyone else.

hairylights Sat 11-Jun-11 18:30:39

Yanbu. I have lost three babies and it astounds me how on this subject people lose their ability fit tact and become incredibly patronising and insensitive.

Gastonladybird Sat 11-Jun-11 18:40:03

Agree have a plan to get through it and some treats to look forward to/ focus on to block out the pain.
[ hijacks and waves to hairy]

alphablock Sat 11-Jun-11 19:30:31

My daughter was born 6 weeks early and I didn't see her for nearly 24 hours. She was in scbu for 3.5 weeks and it was hard emotionally and logistically as I could not drive after a CS. This was not the same as the anguish people go through when their baby is very early or sick and I always believed my daughter would be fine.

My experience was also not in the same league as the pain I felt after my 2 miscarriages.

YANBU, but unfortunately your friend probably has no idea that they are being unreasonable as to them their current experience seems like the end of the world.

My thoughts are with you.

jeckadeck Sat 11-Jun-11 19:30:33

I can totally understand why you feel as you do and on this issue I think she is being a tad selfish -- she is understandably overwrought and upset but as you point out her babies are healthy so expecting to be able to offload on you about this now under the circumstances is unreasonable.

I have to say, though, and for perfectly understandable reasons, that it sounds like you may have slightly over-reacted to her emails. Its very difficult to judge the appropriate tone when you're dealing with a situation like this where you have what someone else dearly wants and she probably agonised over it. She may have got it wrong but at least she tried.

If you don't want to speak to her now she should respect your feelings: but if I were you I would take the time to write a letter or an email explaining why you feel as you do and saying that although its difficult to talk to her now you value her as a friend etc. I think you may regret it if you make her feel too bad about the way she has behaved. She's tried -- and failed -- to calibrate her response but its well-meant.

escapeartist Sat 11-Jun-11 19:46:39

Thank you all so much for the responses. I do want to help and to bge honest what I worry about most is me saying something inappropriate or crying, when actually I should be happy for her and strong.

NeedmeninWhiteCoats that is very helpful and I was thinking about the trip actually. It's quite a long way (especially if we get stuck in traffic) and in fact I might get a yoga podcast for us to listen to as it is a shared interest (and will keep conversation neutral). Some treats also good - was thinking wine gums (as she has been telling me how much she misses wine... I know, not the same, but still yummy!)
alphablock thank you - it is hard to know what she is going through, I realise that. But I also just wish she could count her blessings -if nothing else it will help her too.
jeckadeck thanks for that - when you are in a situation like that it is difficult to know when you are being oversensitive. In fact you are right in that she did try, even if things came out wrong, which a lot of other people didn't. So, I guess I might have been a bit harsh.
I really don't think I havemade her feed bad though. I haven't said anything bad or said (albeit I have thought it) "at least you have a baby at the end of the day" or anything. All I ever said was, trying to make her feel better, that they are healthy and they will be with her soon, which is now apparently 6 days smile

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