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Discussion Starter #1
I have three close friends who are pregnant, and I'm having a hard time liking them. Intellectually, I'm happy for all three of them, but emotionally I'm angry and slightly bitter. I want to be supportive and kind to them, but it's hard, and I worry it is going to permanently impact our friendship. Suggestions? Ideas? Experience? Thanks!
 

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<p>Take a break from them. Maybe keep contact through e-mail or phone once in a while just to check up on each other. Explain that it just hurts too much right now, that you love them and wish the best for them but you just can't take the constant reminder of your loss. If they are any sort of friends worth having they will understand that and be right there whenever you are ready. IMO it's more threatening to the relationship to try to be there for them right now; it's just too much strain to try to be kind and supportive when you are hurting so much. <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>This is a nice thought and all, but really, <em>they</em> should be worrying about being supportive and kind to <em>you</em>, not the other way around!<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>escher12</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281950/suggestions-for-dealing-with-close-friends-who-are-pregnant#post_16075531"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
I want to be supportive and kind to them, but it's hard, and I worry it is going to permanently impact our friendship. </div>
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<p>I'm so glad you started this thread because I have a similar problem - both my best friend and baby sister are pregnant and very happy and healthy and impossible for me to avoid completely. I'm still too raw (only 1 week after finding out about fetal demise and still waiting on bleeding to start) to like them much at all. I'm actually having an easier time with my friend than sister, because the circumstances of their getting pregnant was so different and my friend suffered an early loss so is very sensitive to how this must feel to me.</p>
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<p>I agree with Krista though, the first step is to try to explain your feelings to them. It helped that I wrote a massive email the day after finding out to all close family and friends, detailing what we need in the way of helpful support and also what we DON'T need in the way of well-meaning but hurtful comments, etc. For me this included saying something to effect of "If you are pregnant or get pregnant in the near future, please keep your pregnancy complaints from me. I sympathize but am no longer the person you talk to about that stuff. Please understand how much I would give/have given in a year and a half to be "miserable" the way you are with nausea/aches and pains/feeling fat/exhaustion/etc" If nothing else I felt much better and freer from getting it all out there.</p>
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<p>I think it also depends greatly on your friends individual personalities and experiences how they interact with you now, so perhaps you'll find you need to deal with each of them and see or have contact with them each differently. I think our anger and bitterness is perfectly ok and normal to feel, and it's important to allow yourself that and kind of embrace it for now or else it will fester. And like Krista said, if they are really good caring friends they will find a way to understand and respect that and your boundaries. But they can't be mind readers so first I think you have to figure out what <strong>you</strong> want from the relationships right now, how much you are comfortable seeing them or even hearing from them, and let them know.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for all your supportive replies. I had my loss in June--don't you think I should be over it by now? <img alt="redface.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif"><br><br>
Apmama07: I'm so sorry for your loss. It's a good suggestion to be very clear with my friends about what I need from them. I have had that kind of conversation with one of them, but not with the others.<br><br>
MovingMomma: Thanks for your support. Most of my friends are trying to be supportive and kind to me, but I wish I could be more supportive and kind back...<br><br>
KristaDJ: Thank you for your suggestions. Maybe I do need to take more of a complete break from them. That sounds hard too, but maybe it would be easier than what I'm trying now!<br><br>
Will this be easier at some point? Maybe when/if I get pregnant again? I hope so!
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>escher12</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1281950/suggestions-for-dealing-with-close-friends-who-are-pregnant#post_16077180"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Thank you for all your supportive replies. I had my loss in June--don't you think I should be over it by now? <img alt="redface.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/redface.gif"><br><br><br>
Will this be easier at some point? Maybe when/if I get pregnant again? I hope so!</div>
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Reply to the first question: No...I don't think I ever got over my first loss. It just impacted me so deeply. There is never a time period that is right or wrong for dealing with grief and loss. <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
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<p>Reply to the second question: Yes, for me getting pregnant again was the only thing that made it tolerable to be around my pregnant friends.</p>
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<p>I did not handle my first loss well at all. I was attending a church where I was literally the ONLY woman who was not pregnant or already a mother. Every church event was torturous for me. The day I should have been 12 weeks and announcing my pregnancy, I saw all my friends comparing their pregnant bellies, and I left the church in tears. I became so withdrawn, depressed, and bitter for the four months it took to conceive my son afterward. At the same time, my best friend at work got pregnant.  She was still there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, and I tried to at least pretend I cared when she was nauseous, but overall she and I sort of naturally withdrew from each other a bit because we both felt that tension on our friendship. When I did get pregnant, we went back to the way we were, and today we can talk freely about how hard it was for each of us. I think if you all know you care about each other but you just need a little distance right now because it's so hard for you, it should not permanently ruin any friendships.</p>
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<p>A week after my latest loss, my brother and his wife announced their pregnancy. I forced myself to send them a congratulatory card. When they came for Thanksgiving, I didn't say a word to them about their pregnancy. It felt mean to not ask her how she was feeling, but ignoring it was the only way I could control my jealousy and disappointment. She thanked me for the card and I felt stiff and awkward brushing that off. Part of me wants to explain to them that I need some time and space because of my loss, but I sort of instinctively feel that they would take it personally since this is their first pregnancy and they've never suffered a loss. So I guess I'm going the route protecting myself by putting distance between us on my own.</p>
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<p>It's so, so tough to be surrounded by pregnant women when you've lost a baby. Do what you have to do to keep yourself sane. Sometimes I would even hang out with my DH and the other guys just so I wouldn't be stuck in a roomful of preggos by myself. <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"> to you...I know how hard it is.</span></p>
 

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<p>Oh Escher, doesn't it just SUCK? I feel like it's a whole other level of loss and grief - of COURSE I want to be excited for my friends, of COURSE I want to be right there with them picking crap out for their registry, etc etc etc. And I can't. So it's like a loss on top of a loss. On top of the isolation that NORMALLY comes with m/c! It's like a quadruple serving of CRAP!</p>
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<p>I don't actually have anyone too too close who is preg. I do have several, um, proven fertile friends who are trying, and I avoid them like the plague. I just don't want to hear that they are pregnant.</p>
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<p>Honestly this is one reason I had to leave the Queer thread - it got so exhausting to congratulate people, to be excited for them, whatever. And that sucks because it is such a supportive bunch, but I just couldn't do it.</p>
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<p>Oh, and the "shouldn't I be over it by now" - um, you sound like all my unsupportive friends! Haha! Of course you don't have to be OVER IT by now, but I know you know that. It sucks, and some days it sucks less, and some days it sucks more. For me, it sucks when I consider that we may not try any more, and just thinking of all the mourning is exhausting!! But living childfree is definitely not an option, so I know that there IS a child in my future, and yours too. I hope they find us freaking soon. <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>Edit to say, I don't think I really answered your questions. Yes, totally agree with talking to them about it, getting clear on what you do and don't need, and doing what you can AND NO MORE. Sorry, I am way rambling today!</span></p>
 

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<p>Yeah you won't ever "get over it". Several months after my second loss, when I was pregnant again, my friend conceived when she did not want to. Listening to her sob on the phone when the test was positive and hearing her complain about how her belly was going to huge again and all that stuff HURT SO BAD. Even though I had a baby in my belly at the time (who is dead now :-( ) it still hurt to be reminded of how pregnancy is just taken for granted by most people and even unwanted by many. So no, being pregnant doesn't make it all better. It will make it easier to hear that others are pregnant but it will forever change how you feel about it and you will never be able to totally relate to a mama who has never had a loss again. <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></span></p>
 

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<p>milletpuff what a great way to explain it - yes, that's exactly how I've been feeling too! My baby sister is pregnant for the first time and this should be such a special sister-bonding kind of time....She's joining the "club"! I should be excited and gabbing every day and all with her. This will be my first time becoming an aunt! And I couldn't be more angry and depressed about it. I can't imagine right now EVER wanting to talk to her about her pregnancy or see her getting bigger or even be around this kid. How awful is that?! I mean, I'm seriously thinking I don't ever want to see my only niece/nephew.</p>
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<p>Of course I know that this too will probably pass but I also know that I'll never be able to participate in her pregnancy and birth and motherhood as I would have, as I <strong>should</strong> have. And that is a really really sad loss on top of all the other loss.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You all are so wise. Thank you.<br><br>
Mom-to-jj: It's good to know both that it may get easier to be around pregnant people once (if) I'm pregnant again, but also to know that the loss may be something that I never totally "get over." It's so hard when we want to be happy for someone and interested in their pregnancy but we feel too jealous and sad to do it. I definitely know what you mean about it feeling awkward not to ask how it is going, even when that is what we have to do to protect ourselves. Thank you.<br><br>
Milletpuff: It totally sucks. And the awful thing is that it doesn't just suck for a day or a week or a month, it just keeps on sucking. Ugh. <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"> It's useful for me to think about not being able to be excited for a pregnant friend or family member as being a loss in itself. It's definitely true--I know I'm missing out!--but I hadn't thought about it in that way. Thank you. I definitely hear you about avoiding fertile friends who may be ttc. I'm frankly tempted to avoid all people who have young children, since who knows which of them is about to announce they're expecting a sibling. <img alt="orngtongue.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif"><img alt="greensad.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/greensad.gif"> I hope too that our children find us soon. <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"><br><br>
KristaDJ: Isn't it crazy that pregnancy can be such a blessing, something for which we work so hard and wish so much, or it can also be a disappointment, something someone doesn't want? Even though I get that there are times when having a baby is extremely inconvenient, at the moment it still feels unbelievable that someone wouldn't be grateful to be pregnant. Clearly the ttc process is causing me to lose perspective. <img alt="redface.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/redface.gif"><br><br>
Apmama07: I'm sorry that you're missing some of the excitement of your sister's pregnancy. That is a loss. I hope that somehow things get easier for you soon. <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif">
 
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