Tuesday, 15 September 2009

That Friend

You know the one - I'm sure we all have one. She and her husband had only to decide that they might like a baby, and BAM! - there she was, up the duff. She sailed through her pregnancy, and since her baby was born every Facebook status update has said things like "That Friend is very proud of her little girl today", "That Friend thinks her little girl is just too cute" and "That Friend is glad her little girl is finally asleep". Every e-mail is full of how clever and amazing the little girl has been recently, occasionally interspersed with grumbles about tantrums and sleep problems.

You made the mistake of confiding in That Friend when it first became clear that it wasn't going to be as easy as you'd hoped for you to conceive, and she immediately advised you that you were trying too hard and should just relax. "Look at us," she breezed. "We never tried at all - we thought we'd just stop the Pill and start trying the following month, but by the following month I was already pregnant."

When you'd had the tests and she was still counselling relaxation, you felt like shoving your test results straight down her smug little throat. How could she still go on about how easy it was when you had a specific medical explanation (actually, more than one) for the fact that you weren't getting pregnant? Did she also breezily advise cancer patients that they should just pull themselves together and not be such wusses, because she'd never had cancer and she was sure it was just because she had the right sort of attitude?

But although your communications with her became less frequent, you still kept in touch with her, because, blind side concerning conception apart, she still had her good points and your friendship ran deeper than the hurtful little comments. And besides, she wasn't INTENTIONALLY hurting you - she just couldn't understand, because she had never been in your position. And you always knew she wasn't the most empathetic person on earth.

Well, guess what?! I heard from That Friend yesterday. And her great long e-mail was only 50% about her little girl this time. Because the other 50% was all about the fact that she's now pregnant with Number 2. And they've only just decided to start trying!

And before you ask, yes, she does know that things are a bit more serious at our end than just a simple need to relax - after telling me all about her symptoms, how exhausted she is with this pregnancy, how it compares to her first pregnancy, and how nervous she is about her 12 week scan, she did remember to say before she signed off, "By the way, how's the IVF going?"

So you can give me a serious pat on the back today, because not only did I not pick my laptop up, jump up and down on it and throw it out of the window, but I actually responded to her e-mail with suitable congratulations.

And I think you'll agree that for that alone, I deserve for the universe to reward me with some similar news of my own some time soon...


  1. Damn straight you do! And if I were you I wouldn't have been NEARLY so nice about it. Stupid woman! (Her, not you!)

    We started trying in September 2003 and finally got pregnant in December 2004. In 2004 two sisters in law, one cousin in law and a cousin's wife all got pregnant and had babies. At least one of them breezily said 'It'll be your turn next! Just relax and it'll happen" and I was, I must admit, angry about that. Why say that? You can't guarantee it. There's no magic button to make your blithe comments come true. Just don't say it! And to say it someone who is going through IVF is not just thoughtless, it's plain cruel. Especially when flaunting your own luck.

    However I do agree that your forbearance deserves a great reward, and I'm praying up a storm, and thinking of you every day. All our love XXXXXXXXXXXX

  2. I think you do deserve a suitable reward for your restraint! I am impressed!

  3. Wow, you are a much better person that I am. I would have totally lost it. Your response shows you are the bigger, more mature person and that you have a lot of grace. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to type that email. Seriously my stomach twists at the thought of it. Universe, you owe this girl one!!!

  4. Wow! What an inspiration you are! I don't know how I would have reacted to this. I have experienced similar hurtful & thoughtless comments but no one apart from immediate family knows our story so they are just thoughtless. This 'friend' sounds heartless. The universe owes you everything you want and more and not just for the grace you have shown this friend but for the strength and determination you have shown through every stage of your most difficult of journies. You have been an inspiration to me and I am sure many other ladies dealing with infertility. xx

  5. Thanks so much to all of you for your kind words. I hope the universe is listening...