Friends Forever (Or At Least Until You're Pregnant)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Last week, shortly before I wrote about starting foster care classes, I was having one of those nights where I just need to grieve my infertility. Thankfully, these nights are becoming few and far between, but they do still happen from time to time.

On this night, I found myself thinking of a friend of mine.

Now, I have had several friends who have had trouble conceiving (though they have all since conceived at least once), and she was one of them. We went through the struggles of failed cycles together, and having each other for support helped make it a little more bearable. We would have long discussions about how infertility made us feel, how sad we were that our husbands didn't get to be fathers, the little pangs of jealousy we'd feel when friends became pregnant without trying. We just got each other, and it felt nice.

Until she got pregnant.

I was happy for her, because I knew how badly she wanted it and that she had been trying. It made me hopeful that it would happen for me soon. I didn't think it would change our friendship.

But it did.

I was venting to her a few months into her pregnancy, because she knew better than anyone else at the time what I was going through. But that time, she didn't offer supportive encouragement; instead, she told me if I tried harder in other areas of my life, I would get pregnant. 

It was like a smack in the face.

Obviously, it's not that easy. And suddenly it felt like despite the fact that she knew what waiting was like, and knew how conception worked, that she didn't take me seriously anymore. And that hurt.

Honestly, it strained our relationship a bit (at least on my end), though I've tried to still be there and be supportive of her (though, as with many of my friendships, I could certainly do better). I love her kid, and I still consider her to be a good friend. But not once since has she asked me how I'm doing in regards to my infertility. It seemed like once she became pregnant, she didn't need to care anymore.

But the thing is, that doesn't seem to be too uncommon.

A friend of mine recently posted that people have stopped including her and her husband in gatherings because they don't have kids, and I've felt that way before. It's hard not to feel like you've been dropped just because you don't have children sometimes. While having children certainly changes your life, it doesn't mean that your childless friends don't want to hang out with you (and your kids, even!) anymore. I LOVE hanging out with my best friend's kids; Tom is pretty much her oldest's best friend, and singing her sweet little baby to sleep warms my heart. I would miss out on so much with her if she thought I didn't want to be around her kids.

Of course, there are some people who don't want to be around kids. But it's nice to extend an invitation anyway, just in case.

It's just nice to feel included.

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