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Honest opinions - am I expecting too much from best friend during tough time?

56 replies

MRSE20 · 13/09/2022 22:16

I’ve been hurting over a situation between myself and a best friend

We were pregnant at the same time and I lost my pregnancy whilst her pregnancy continued. Our due dates weren’t far off. It’s been the hardest time of my life and for obvious reasons I have been a bit distant with her and with everyone if I’m honest. I’m now pregnant again and hoping this time we have a healthy baby.

I can’t stop being upset about the lack of support I’ve had from her. We do not speak as much as we used too but when we do it’s because I’ve asked her how she is. She never asks me if I’m OK. She never reaches out to me to ask how I’m doing. I texted her a few days ago asking how she is getting on and she hasn’t replied yet.

We all have our own lives haven’t we - we can’t text day in day out or put others first always and of course I understand how awkward she must feel being pregnant whilst I’m grieving my loss (our due dates are next month) but she’s literally hardly been there for me since my loss and I feel a bit confused and hurt

So am I being unreasonable to ask her why she’s not asked me how I’m doing or avoiding asking me or shall I just let it go?

OP posts:
Mrbay · 13/09/2022 22:57

I was in your position, my mate fell pregnant at the same time as me. We would have been due within days of each other. Sadly mine was not meant to be.

I took a few weeks to process my loss, it was after ivf so wasn't easy to get that bfp.

We muddled along talking about everything but her pregnancy and in the end, I was honest and Said I was upset that I was missing out knowing the details. It was hard to see go through the joy of pregnancy (well she did have extreme morning sickness so she can keep that!)
She broke down in tears that I was able to talk openly with her and almost wanted/needed my permission for her to talk about her pregnancy with me.

The next hurdle was her daughter was born on the day I found out my next transfer had failed. But I cried for a 24 hours and then met her daughter.

Thankfully, a year later I was able to finally hold my own daughter and we are both now even closer.

Bpdqueen · 13/09/2022 23:02

@Mrbay awww congratulations on your daughter im so happy for you 🥰

Vwswimmer1 · 13/09/2022 23:02

I'm so sorry for your loss.

I was in the exact same situation 18 months ago, although hadn't known the friend since 11 years old. In the end I found that I couldn't forgive how distant she'd been and messaged her saying we could no longer be friends.

Unfortunately I'm still not pregnant but one of my closest friends is at the moment and what I've learnt from the previous situation is to be really honest with her about how I'm feeling. It helps that she is super supportive and considerate too but I've realised is she can't guess how I'm feeling.

If I were you I'd message her saying how you're feeling, before she has the baby and clear the air. She probably doesn't know what to say and needs some guidance.

OnTheBrinkOfChange · 13/09/2022 23:05

If you were to write down the definition of a good friend one of the first things you would write is that she would be somebody who was interested in your welfare and was looking out for you when things were tough. She doesn't come into that category.

Luredbyapomegranate · 13/09/2022 23:12

It’s not great. I would bring it up at some point, but probably not when she’s 8 months.

As PPs have said, she may simply not know how to handle it, people can be really useless with bereavement. If she’s asking other people how you are she must care. It’s possible she’s been ill (high BP, sickness, or just knackered), also some people do go a bit bonkers in pregnancy.

All in all I think you have to give her the benefit of the doubt. In a year when you are both over the tiny baby stage you could talk about it.

CollieEye · 13/09/2022 23:23

OP, I have felt the same as you. My friend from Uni and I were expecting (first) babies within a week of each other. I unfortunately lost mine a few weeks before the expected due date, but gave birth to him.

We lost contact, and for me (not saying it's the same in your experience) it was because my messages showed I was so obviously in pain, she found it hard to deal with. I didn't intend that, but on re-reading them, I understand why she stayed quiet. Your pain is unquestionable. Her wanting to enjoy this stage of her pregnancy is also unquestionable.

In time, with hope, you will both be able to be close again. I am with my friend. We both have two children now. Her eldest's birthday is always a reminder to me of my lost one, but it really never was her fault that life turned a shitty deal of cards to me.

Your friend probably doesn't know how to help you at this time. Please don't blame her. As hard as it is right now, show her love. It will get better in time for you and not so damn raw.

LongLostTeacher · 13/09/2022 23:32

I think the best thing would be to reach out to her and be honest with her, whilst keeping what you hope are her motives in mind. What I mean is, say that you understand it might be difficult for her to open up about the excitement of pregnancy with you in case it hurts you, but that you want to hear about it and miss her. I think if she’s asked others how you are then there’s a good chance she’s thinking of you. Not that excuses ignoring you, but she may be feeling a great deal of guilt.

As another perspective, perhaps she has had a tricky time after your loss. Obviously this does not compare to your feelings on your loss, but I wonder if seeing someone close to her losing their baby may have brought it home to her that nothing is a given.

Mumtofourandnomore · 13/09/2022 23:40

I would suggest that you have an open conversation with her before her baby arrives. From experience, I would say that it may be actually harder for you seeing her with a newborn than seeing her pregnant. I would be honest with her about your feelings - it sounds like you have a strong friendship. I also think she feels guilty and awkward and may be trying to be kind by keeping her distance, misplaced I know.

I also think that as your new pregnancy progresses (fingers crossed), you will naturally become closer again as she will want to share tips with you, and intimately as time goes on, the gap between your children will be small and they too can be friends.

Musti · 13/09/2022 23:50

The problem is that you’ve always been so close but now she’s obviously going to have to hold back, both if she’s excited and if she’s struggling.

Im sure you’ll both soon get back on track.

Pepperama · 13/09/2022 23:52

I had a period like that with one of my best friends when she found it much easier to get pregnant than me and it was hard on both of us and we spoke only little during that time. It resolved when we both had families and we’re really close again. But for that period, I just couldn’t be a good supportive friend for her nor vice versa.

AlwaysAuntie · 13/09/2022 23:58

Maybe she's scared to ask you how you are because she doesn't want to upset you, and because it's been awhile since she did ask she feels like she shouldn't pry.

Ask her, let her know that you're ok with having conversations about her pregnancy, that she doesn't need to distance herself.

goldfinchonthelawn · 14/09/2022 00:00

escapingthecity · 13/09/2022 22:23

Perhaps she's finding motherhood very hard and doesn't want to upset you by sharing this? Are you sure she's doing OK?

This is a possibility. I had a lovely friend who had to abandon hopes of having children after several failed IVF attempts. meanwhile, I had severe PND. I couldn;t bring myself to tell her and wer drifted apart. I tried to find her on social media years later but she seems to have vanished. I still miss her.

ManateeFair · 14/09/2022 00:49

I do think you’re being a bit unreasonable. People can’t help the way they feel. When my colleague was pregnant she had terrible, terrible anxiety over the thought of baby loss and had to walk out of the room during a presentation that briefly touched on the topic. Pregnancy can have all sorts of different emotional impacts on people. She may be having a really difficult time mentally and just not able to cope with providing emotional support to someone else. I know you keep saying “If I can be strong, why can’t she?” and “But I’m the one who’s grieving, not her” and I understand why you feel that way but it’s really not a competition and I think you need to accept that you simply do not and cannot know what your friend be feeling, and she probably doesn’t feel able to tell you because she is fully aware that whatever problems she might be having, at the back of your mind you will (understandably) be thinking “That’s not as bad as what I went through.”

You have had an awful experience and I’m truly sorry you went through it, but your friend just might not have the emotional capacity to offer support right now.

mycatisannoying · 14/09/2022 01:04

Oh, you poor thing. That sucks. She's maybe just one of those people who's a bit rubbish in difficult situations ... doesn't know what to say or how to react. And she'll probably want to downplay her pregnancy so as not to hurt you. And that's difficult for her too, as she's no doubt excited.
I wish you well with your pregnancy Flowers

Stopthebusplease · 14/09/2022 01:20

So sorry for your loss OP. Can I ask, have you actually spoken to her properly, face to face since you lost your baby? Only if not, could you perhaps give her a call, and arrange to get together for a coffee or something? If she makes an excuse, it maybe that she has a kind of 'survivor's guilt', and if you think that's the case, tell her that she has no reason to avoid you, you're happy for her that her pregnancy is progressing well, and feel that maybe she's been avoiding you, perhaps because she's been feeling awkward, but you really want, and need the closeness that you've always shared, that you want her to hold your hand when you're sad, and smile with you as your new pregnancy progresses. Just talk to her, communication is absolutely key, as with all human relationships.

Wishing you all the best for your new pregnancy.

Smineusername · 14/09/2022 01:41

Yes, I think she may feel that because of what has happened she is not the right person to support you at the moment, just as you are not best placed to support her, and I would tend to agree you are torturing yourself somewhat by focusing on this friend

Chilesstanton · 14/09/2022 03:04

I had a friend who was extremely “triggered” I guess you could say by any mention of pregnancy loss during her pregnancy, even though she had never experienced a loss herself. I wonder if this might be it - perhaps she has anxiety around loss after your experience and has distanced herself as a result? Not a great look for a friend obviously, but I was surprised at my own friend’s reaction to it.

Movingsoon21 · 14/09/2022 03:15

OP I was in your friend’s position. I pulled back for a number of reasons:

I felt guilty and didn’t want to rub my/my baby’s existence in friend’s face.

I felt anxious about my own pregnancy and couldn’t deal with hearing about someone else’s loss, especially with their due date so close to mine.

This one might not apply to you (and might be difficult for you to admit if it does). When she announced her loss I could sense her bitterness that my pregnancy had continued and hers hadn’t. I didn’t blame her for feeling that way but honestly it kind of ruined a couple of months of pregnancy for me and I didn’t want any more of that special time ruined. I would never have said that to her but I felt I deserved to enjoy that period and it simply wasn’t possible for her to enjoy it with me.

maybe now is just not the best time for you to be close friends but things can improve with time when your loss isn’t so raw and she is not in such a vulnerable position being so pregnant/ with a newborn.

best of luck with your new pregnancy

miltonj · 14/09/2022 03:30

So sorry for what you've gone through.

Posters have made some valid points about her not knowing what to say snd trying to give you space.

However I also think that she could be very anxious. First time pregnancy it could be extremely hard for her to welcome conversation about baby loss. With my first pregnancy I couldn't bare to even see threads on here about still births, I'd hide them all because they'd send my head in a spin. It's hard because she'd probably love to be there for you, but your two situations have been almost incompatible with support and closeness for each other. It may just be a funny season for your friendship but good friendships can withstand these things.

Hope you're doing ok now and all the best for your new pregnancy, hope it all goes well for you x

cottonbrain49 · 14/09/2022 03:40

You sound like you want to talk to her just so you can talk about your grief. Your posts aren't actually talking about her and how she is, they are still about you.

I am sure that sounds harsh right now but I hope you can see in time how hard you may be to talk to.

Rosehugger · 14/09/2022 03:45

I don't see some old friends for months, years at a time, or even text each other very often, but it's still the same when we meet up.

She probably feels awkward and doesn't know what to say, plus is caught up in the third trimester of pregnancy. You'll probably see/hear a lot less of her when she has the baby, that's generally how it goes.

Marvellousmadness · 14/09/2022 03:59

You've been distant
Those are your own words
So no wonder she hasn't been asking you if you were ok
Pregnancy loss is a tough subject to touch on for some. So cut her some slack. Or bring it up with her if you wanna have your friend back

MRSE20 · 14/09/2022 06:56

Thank you to everyone who has commented and shared your stories / own perspective

I think I’m going to wait until after her baby is born and settled to speak to her face to face

I have realised reading these posts that although we are both on different paths and naturally have no idea how each other is feeling.

I can understand that maybe she doesn’t want to ask how I am because she’s afraid of me talking about baby loss. I get this in a way as I’m worried about losing my second pregnancy because I’ve had a couple of friends lose 2 in a row and worry that it will happen to me. Perhaps she feels the same, she’s worried it could happen to her and it’s too hard for her to talk about it.

I also agree that she knows I’m struggling around pregnant woman or babies right now - she probably feels uncomfortable knowing that I’ve felt jealous around her pregnancy which is natural feelings after loss but I can see how hard that is on the other person.

We have always been true friends and I’m sure we both know one day in the future we will be how we was before but right now we are both going through our own different journeys and that is OK xx

OP posts:
Runaway1 · 14/09/2022 07:15

She’s got to manage her own feelings and look after herself for now. You need support but not from her, for now. This happened to me with my closest friend. We were distant for a while and now are back to being really close. The situation is very hard on you both and I’m so sorry for your loss.

Stepstepmother · 14/09/2022 07:21

How many weeks were you when you lost your baby?

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