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Insensitive Christmas present

(112 Posts)
Biscuitsforbribes Sat 05-Dec-15 22:34:35

Hi, I think I just need to vent/get a kick up the bum really!

Tonight I've been at a really lovely Christmas meal with a best friends since childhood. They're aware that were trying and failing to conceive and that we will be starting treatment in January.

My best friend brought us all a gift to open together. It was a baby grow with "I ❤️ my auntie" on it and a little card asking us to look after them until her little one arrives in the summer. She is twelve weeks pregnant.

I feel like I've been hit with a tonne of bricks and I feel SO selfish and awful for feeling like this! It's never been mentioned that they've been trying ( conceived naturally on their first attempt). I'm absolutely over the moon for her but a part of me is absolutely devastated for myself.

I just feel like it was an insensitive thing to do to me in such a public place, knowing how desperate I am for a family and everything we've gone through. I'm being selfish and childish aren't I?

I could never tell her how I feel as I'm so happy for her and don't want to rain on her parade! It's their first baby and she's absolutely glowing.

How do I get over myself, and quickly?


duckfilledfattypuss Sat 05-Dec-15 22:50:44

Sorry to hear of your troubles, OP. Infertility is a hard and heartbreaking thing to go through, and very difficult for anyone who hasn't been through it to appreciate.

Having said that, your best friend should have enough common sense and humanity to realise you'd struggle with her news. You finding out in private would be difficult enough, but expecting you to to paint on a smile in public really takes the piss IMO. You are neither selfish nor childish - in fact if you'd burst into tears then and there you still wouldn't be.

Sadly for you, pregnant women can be pretty thoughtless and self obsessed so there's probably not a great deal you can do (unless you want to lose the friendship), apart from rant away on the internet and to sympathetic friends. Cry all you need to - you can feel sad for yourself and happy for her at the same time.

Wishing you the very very best of luck for January. The infertility boards on MN are great, though I was a lurker when going through it myself.

FlatWhiteToGo Sat 05-Dec-15 22:59:39

WTAF? Your friend is being disgraceful! How insensitive. I'm really sorry sad. I think I would have just burst into tears.

Giving her the benefit of the doubt:

1. people that conceive easily just have no clue how awful this is for us and how painful it is to see everyone around you get pregnant (and get pregnant easily); and
2. if she realised how much you were struggling (which she should have), maybe she thought this would be "fun" for you and a little bit of baby-related excitement while you wait for your own baby. Obviously this is COMPLETELY wrong, but people are pretty clueless (eg when I told my mum I couldn't face going to my cousin's baby's christening 2 days after we'd been given some bad TTC news my mum kept insisting that she didn't understand because she "thought [I] loved babies" and "thought [I was] broody"). People are just so bloody clueless!

I am so sorry she has been so insensitive. I really hope she doesn't continue like this. You may want to stay quiet and not say anything, which is totally fine. Alternatively, if you do say something (tactfully), if she's a good friend she'll understand. It's difficult though when you don't want to rain on someone's parade x

DeltaZeta Sat 05-Dec-15 23:02:12

That was insensitive of her. Sounds like she was very thoughtless. It's ok to feel upset.

Highlove Sun 06-Dec-15 07:33:37

Oh you poor thing. No, you're not being childish. It was a very thoughtless thing for her to do (not to mention naff and embarrassingly self-obsessed) but as others have said, people just don't get how dreadfully painful this is for us. A good friend of mine always used to send me loads of pics of her baby - I think she thought it would cheer me up. It didn't, but I didn't have the guts to say anything.

Very best of luck for January.

Biscuitsforbribes Sun 06-Dec-15 10:02:19

Thank you everyone. I managed not to cry when I opened it, I am genuinely thrilled for her and it was lovely news. I'm surprised at how blind sided I am though but naturally once the whole suprise wears off I'll be fine smile I'm so grateful for people understanding.

I'm trying to stay positive and focused on getting to January and beyond and I'm looking forward to meeting my friends new arrival this summer. It's going to get easier isn't it?

The baby grow is going to live with one of the other friends who received one last night as I can't bear to have it in the house, and now I know how keen my pregnant friend is to share those weekly bump photos and "what size fruit is the baby this week" things aswell as when her scan dates etc are, at least now I can expect them and mentally prepare myself.

Thank you all again.

Chattycat78 Sun 06-Dec-15 11:01:09

Hi- yes I get it too. If you managed to hold it together then we'll done you. Your friend is thinking about Her own situation and not yours unfortunately. As others have said, I think you have no appreciation if you have never been on the other side of the fence. Really, she should have told you privately and possibly even over email so you could digest it. Whether you chose to say anything now is up to you.
I was undergoing IVF in April 2014 and during that time, I had to plaster on a happy face for about 8 pregnancy announcements. I also confided in a friend at work that I was doing ivf. The friend was pregnant herself at the time. The day after I told her, She set up a team meeting to announce the sex of her baby after Her 20 week scan. She also sent round an email making us all vote on what we thought the sex would be. I was gutted at the insensitivity of it. People just don't get it.

sparechange Sun 06-Dec-15 11:07:13

You don't need to prepare yourself for receiving the emails and scan pics...
You are perfectly within your rights to tell her (by email or text if it is easier) to say that while you are really happy for her, you aren't the best person for her to send scan pics and updates to at the moment.
You can elaborate if you want to, but she should have enough decency to be able to understand and respect that you don't need blow by blow updates.

Good luck in January. Hope you'll be able to make your self-centred pregnancy announcement very soon wink

Goztepe Sun 06-Dec-15 11:16:04

OP: I was welling up for you reading this. In all honesty, I would tell her how this has made you feel. Her parade is no more important than your parade. She shouldn't have made it into a big public deal knowing what you're going through. Her fertility status doesn't excuse her from basic thought, sympathy and respect for your predictable reaction to this.

Good luck for your treatment beginning January flowers

Chattycat78 Sun 06-Dec-15 13:00:45

Agree with Goztepe- that hits the nail on the head. Knowing what is happening to you, there is no way she should have made such a big deal of it! Especially if she is such a good friend. Perhaps if you can find a way of telling her this, she will be more thoughtful for the rest of the prwgnancy and not make it excruciating for you having to listen to baby fruit size updates every week! I'm sure there is someone else she can send that stuff to.

Wharm14 Sun 06-Dec-15 13:07:36

That was really insensitive of her and really hard for you to hear in public. Lots of us on here have gone through similar things and when you are trying for a baby and/or had losses and someone else announces their pregnancy, it is like a stab to the heart. I've had many times when I've sobbed to my DH, saying I'm a bad person for being upset/jealous/peed off etc when friends or colleagues announce their news. I hope you have lots of lovely support in real life and perhaps turn off Facebook notifications for a while from this friend so you don't have to deal with scan pics and updates etc as well.
All the very best of luck for January as you continue your own journey, like someone else said, the fertility boards on here are really helpful if you need to talk about anything xx

SauvignonBlanche Sun 06-Dec-15 13:10:56

That was incredibly insensitive, you did well to keep it together.

goldiesoxx Sun 06-Dec-15 13:24:13

I really feel for you, it was very insensitive. We are having IVF in the new year and in the almost five years it's taken us to get to this point I've seen every one of my best friends have two or more babies. I've even been used as a shoulder to cry on when one considered aborting both her babies (her choice, no judgement but why chose the desperate infertile woman to confide in?) so I totally get this. One friend tried to tell me really sensitively but they sounded so depressed and miserable that it actually annoyed me more, didn't help that I'd had a CP that day. I guess there's no easy way to announce a pregnancy to someone struggling to conceive. I really hope you are okay and I wish you all the luck in the world.

Biscuitsforbribes Sun 06-Dec-15 17:21:40

I'm welling up for how much you have all been through, it breaks my heart. I hope everyone gets the result they're looking for, it really brings it home to you especially this time of year!

Thank you all so much for your words it means so much especially when there's no one in my life I can discuss my feelings with. Thank you, thank you!

Fugghetaboutit Sun 06-Dec-15 17:49:02

What a stupid gift anyway. At 12 weeks she seems very sure everything will be just fine to give such a gift.

Sorry op, I really hope you get your baby soon X

FlatWhiteToGo Sun 06-Dec-15 18:51:09

Bless you Biscuits, you sound like such a lovely person. I hope things go well in January. I know it's not a consolation, but when you DO become a parent (whatever way that may be) you will be a more understanding/better person for everything you have been through. You won't be as insensitive as your friend!

Anyway, the real question is: who gives another adult a baby grow for their own baby as a gift? I hope she's got you a proper present as well. You know, a present for YOU not for HER! grin x

IHazANewName Sun 06-Dec-15 19:06:50

Oh OP I really feel for you. It was very insensitive of your friend. I agree with the other posters - she's unfortunately only seeing it from her perspective. I would say that if you are really close friends and you feel comfortable, maybe bring it up or at least tell her you don't want to be updated - if that's what you want.

A colleague of mine said to me recently that new mothers generally end up living in their bubble and don't realise what they are saying. This was off the back of having my best friend tell me that she's envious of me and my free weekends to do what I want and added "I know you're dying for a kid...but I want to say really enjoy your freedom" and added that she loves her kid but sometimes questions what she's done having a kid.

I welled up at that email...I couldn't believe what she had written - she knew exactly what we're going through...but she thought that it would be appropriate to share her perspective (as she called it)!

I wrote back to her and told her that she has no idea what I'm/we're going through...tried to explain and eventually said to her not to say that to anyone else who is struggling to have a kid. To her credit, she did apologise - whether it makes her think twice is yet to be seen.

When this same best friend told me she was pregnant we had a day or so of emails and she asked me how I was and I was honest with her (didn't tell her I was bawling my eyes out!) But was able to say how it was bittersweet it was - that I was ecstatic for her but sad I wasn't there with her.

It's hard, I hope you're ok OP. Good luck with your treatment in January, I'm hoping to start then too!

Maurice169 Sun 06-Dec-15 20:32:58

Biscuits, so sorry to hear this news. I know people can be so insensitive. I'm half way through a donor egg IVF and I've had some crackers?!
But you hang in there, you WILL have your day! X

Biscuitsforbribes Sun 06-Dec-15 20:39:10

Thank you so much everyone, i feel so much better knowing its not just me in this boat,your words mean so much tonight!

The baby grow has been dropped off at our mutual friends who swapped it for a hug and a bottle of wine, so I'm having a little glass with my husband. The sight of it sitting on the table in its opened wrapping paper is going to stay with me for a while I think! But you're all so right and we will all get there! Bittersweet is Definately the right word Ihaz!

wine to you all

katienana Sun 06-Dec-15 20:43:02

That's just awful op I don't get how your friend could fail to anticipate that this would hurt you. I think the lack of thought makes it worse.
I've been lucky enough to conceive easily twice I do however have enough tact not to ask childless couples if they want kids, ask when number 2 is coming etc.
Even if you weren't about to embark on treatment I think the announcement is tacky and crass.

Hyland Sun 06-Dec-15 23:14:14

I read the post yeaterday but after thinking about it.

All though i agree it was insensitive and i probably would have broken down and cried as others have said.

I now also realise that she perhaps just wanted to make you feel apart of it all. Rather than avoiding you and that whole awkward not knowing what to say to you.

So whilst it would have upset me for sure, i also know how some people have avoided me, perhaps coz they feel guilt about their pregnancy.

Your friend perhaps knows your struggles but also knows their is little she can do and knows you would be happy for her but also sad for yourself so mistakenly thought she was helping by involving you.

Hey perhaps im talking rubbish lol

Maki79 Sun 06-Dec-15 23:40:53

I actually agree with everyone and Hyland.

I've been incredibly lucky and have 3 children. In my close friendship group 2 of my friends are having unspeakable pain conceiving/carrying. One is now about to adopt 3 children which is beyond wonderful news after such a hard slog. The other has just experienced her 6th late mc.
I found it so so hard to tell them of our third very much wanted pregnancy but equally I did not want them to hear it from anyone else. I wanted control how they would hear the news. I decided to send them each an e mail before we told anyone else in the friendship group so that they could digest the news in their own time. I have no doubt they shed tears over the brutal unfairness of it all but they both individually said how grateful they were to feel included in the news before anyone else. Since then they are the 2 friends that ask most about the children and want to be included in any news (we are going through a bit of a hard time with our eldest).

Although I think the babygrow was totally the wrong way to announce her news to you, I wonder if perhaps she had been struggling to know how to tell you and wanted to make you feel special/thought about and got it totally wrong.

Really feel for you though and am not surprised you got rid of the babygrow!

All the best for the new year and the treatment. X

sparechange Mon 07-Dec-15 08:15:34

Sorry, Hyland, I completely disagree

The OP's friend wanted to make an 'original' and 'funny' pregnancy announcement.
It's not enough anymore to phone people up and tell them you are pregnant. You have to post a staged photo on Facebook of the DW hugging the toilet while the DH does a thumbs up, or give your parents a 'best grandparents' mug - see the thread after thread on here for people asking for inspiration.

So the friend had this great idea of bulk buying these baby grows and handing them out to all her friends in order to surprise them with her happy news. The priority for her was her announcement, not what OP is going through. It is self absorbed, not inclusive.

Chocogoingcuckoo Tue 08-Dec-15 12:20:04

That must have been hard. I think no matter how she told you it would have been hard. My brother and partner came to my house to tell me of their pregnancy at 6 weeks and my cousin/best friend avoided me like the plague to eventually send a text to let me know she was 13 weeks pregnant and was just so tired to have a phone conversation. I don't know what's worse folk walking on egg shells around you or treating you normally like other friends and family?!

Biscuitsforbribes Tue 08-Dec-15 13:34:09

Thanks everyone smile I hope/ know whole heartedly that there was no malice behind it, she's absolutely entitled to be as excited as she is, it's fabulous news and I'm so happy for her.

I just wish she'd thought it through a bit more. We had met for coffee the day before, and I wish she had quietly told me then. I'd have been no less thrilled for her, and would have been able to anticipate the whole baby grow debacle.

I called her yesterday as I have a few gifts for her ( non baby related, nice pyjamas etc and flowers, she'll appreciate them) and she was quite awkward and said that she's concerned that by us starting our treatment in January that it's going to take the shine off her pregnancy, and that she feels that as myself and my husband bought our house first, and are married that becoming a mother first should be "her thing" and that she feels that if we were somehow pregnant at the same time (low chance) that she would feel like she was in competition with me.


I'm so confused and hurt! And very sad that she feels like this! She assured me that it's nothing I've said or done and that it's just how she feels. I just tried to reassure her that that would absolutely not be the case from my point of view. She's agreed to meet tomorrow, but I have absolutely no idea how to handle this! I'm so sad that she has these insecurities and that I'm the cause of them!

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