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Has anyone else lost friends?


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#1 katiescarlett

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 09:13 AM

I just found out my best friend is pregnant. It's her second - she got pregnant two years ago, after I'd been trying for a year; and that time, although I was envious, I was excited and happy for her. This time, after two IVF cycles, I feel angry - not with her, but with the universe for making it so easy for her and so difficult for me. I feel suddenly very distant from her, and I no longer want to share my feelings with her. My congratulations email sounded stilted and fake even after several re-writes, and I'm dreading seeing her. I don't know what to do. How can I make myself more gracious? I'm an expat, and lonely enough without losing my best friend...


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#2 GraceM

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 09:28 AM

First of all, hugs. It's normal but I would go talk to someone.   I would go talk to someone.  

 

My best friend has several kids and had two pregnancies since we began this journey. I was fortunate I never felt jealousy towards her and she has been my biggest support.  She even offered her eggs to us in case we needed them.  We are going through a hard time again and she is always there for me.  Even though the universe has made it easy for her to have kids, she has other challenges and she needs support for that too.   

 

If your friend is a good support to you and you value the friendship, with the right help you can find a way to work through it.

 

As I have moved on in my journey, I have had other friendships change as I have had some success and they are still on the path.  It's unfortunate but I understand.


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#3 gibasgirl

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 11:57 AM

Hello Katie,

Welcome to the community and I am sorry that you are going through this. It is not easy.

It is a process and the feelings evolve and come and go in waves. In spite of the inner, and very real, pain you are extending support to your friend. It may feel stiff and stilted to you, but you are moving in the direction of being supportive to the extent of your capabilities at this time.

To answer your question about whether anyone/we have lost friends over the course of an infertility struggle (related to our feeling), there has been some distancing.

My husband has his struggles with our childlessness, and as our friends started having children while we kept losing ours, he found it difficult to be with our parent friends. I would make plans with our friends &at the last minute my husband would cancel, or just not be available if we were suppose to meet with a friend(s) and their children. It hurt his heart took much, but he could not bring himself to speak about it.

When a very dear friend of ours had a baby, we met her and her husband in the hospital the day their 2nd baby was born. She passed the baby to me and I fell in love and when she tried passing the baby to my husband he said no and said that he might cry if he held the baby, so he didn't.

I was better with it, but it was a big struggle for my husband. He got better when his brother became a father and dove into being a wonderful uncle, but it took some coaxing from me to get him to reconnect with our parent friends.

Our non-parent friends see more of us, though.

I think people probably assume that it is me, though.

My husband is getting better with spending time with our parent friends and their children. He is also great with kids and would be a wonderful father, so that is the other twinge of heartbreak that arises. It breaks my heart in a special way when I see him pay with children. They love him but he is not a father.

I think it is good that you sent an email to your friend; it wowed you to extend the congratulations that she needed to hear without putting you in a position of maybe not being able to speak joyfully.

I understand the need to keep certain aspects of your journey private. She might not understand, or have the capacity to offer the support that you need, especially under the circumstances, or she might unintentionally say something hurtful which will put more pressure in your friendship.

Grace made a good point about talking to someone. Your clinic may be able to connect your with a therapist that specialises in fertility matters and they should be able to give you pointers around things to do to help you support your fertile friends while pretectinf your heart and also the permission/strategies for setting effective boundaries.

You will make it through, though.

Wishing you better days ahead.

:wavey:
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#4 schlepp

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:06 PM

I think it is totally normal to feel that frustration and would agree that talking to someone would help. 

 

I think where I have distanced myself is when people are dismissive of the issue. Telling me about that one friend they have that was told they couldn't have kids and then had a miracle pregnancy. As if a sample of one person really helps and somehow I should make a miracle happen by being positive. Or another friend that said 'Well, we all have challenges. Some people have difficult pregnancies or trouble breastfeeding.' She is a close friend and I was really upset by the comment. I'm talking about just getting to the starting line! 

 

I realise a lot of the feedback I get that I don't like is a product of someone else thinking that it would make me feel better to hear these things. It just ends up feeling super dismissive of the issue we are facing. Those are people I've stopped sharing with because I don't want their feedback. 

 

That said, my identical twin has 3 children and had no issues getting or staying pregnant. It really hasn't bothered me as I see the challenges of 3 kids and feel comforted that I still have children in my life.

 

I've also been an expat and it is really tough. Even now having moved to a city in my home country where I only have a couple of friends, it can make this journey seem even lonelier. But each friend I had when living abroad was precious so I know the loss feels devastating. I hope things get better.


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#5 nervus optimist

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 12:30 PM

I've lost some friends and made some new ones in IF world! But for the most part it wasn't so much a matter of losing the friend but redefining the friendship, or having short strategic subtle breaks. For years I wouldn't go to baby showers. Too much talk of nurseries and strollers and the games.... oh man they are awful! I would come up with a convincing excuse every time about why I couldn't go, and instead gave a gift after the baby was born, when parents are too overwhelmed for a big visit, so a quick drop off of a gift and hot meal are really appreciated from the friend, and are quick and painless for me. I also made a point of doing non-mom related activities with friends if family activities were too hard. Book club. Girls night out. I think a good friend who knows what you're going through will be understanding and not talk your ear off about pregnancy clothes and which car seat to buy (though honestly some of mine did not clue in on this, and it was pretty brutal). They are busy, so they tend not to notice if they see a bit less of you at this stage, and when things settle down and they are ready for a girls night out, and you are in a good head space to join them, a true friendship will pick up exactly where it left off.

 

The journey is hard. For so many reasons.

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#6 CatC

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 01:11 PM

I want to weigh in on this topic. My husband and I have TTC for 3yrs and this summer we will be going ahead with IVF. I have had to deal with a couple of situations where I did decide to end friendships. The first situation was a friend knew of my struggles gave birth last June to a baby girl, Christmas came around and she tells me she is pregnant again. I, congratulate her on her new pregnancy then she tells me she is going to have an abortion. I told her that I did not agree with her decision but she went through with it. At that point I decided not to continue with our friendship. The other situation was when a friend told me "you can always adopt". I find myself pulling away from old friends but on a flip side I have started making new friends that are not TTC or have children. I find with my new friends its nice to talk about other things that don't revolve around TTC and babies. I have also gotten off social media. My mental health has suffered and I do not wish to be reminded of my depression. My advice is do what is best for you, friends come and go. Surround yourself with positivity!
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#7 quandry

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 06:58 PM

We lost family over our infertility. My mil disagreed with the way I mourned our losses. Then she told me I needed to pray more. Then she called me a pagan. And then she started telling me how to get pg. and then my sil told us about her pregnancy as I was having one of our five mcs. And then they had a first bday party for their son and invited my dh and not me. Twice.

So yes. IF sucks and changes everything pretty much.

See about me page.

 

 


#8 katiescarlett

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 07:47 PM

Thank you everyone, and sorry to everyone who has had bad experiences. My friend is a very kind and sensitive person, and I know she will be anxious about the impact of her news on me. Maybe she will understand if I take a short strategic subtle break to come to terms with it. I also realise I should share more with my husband - I don't think he is finding it difficult as I am, but I should check in with him, and not be so self-centred... I feel like the constant monitoring of my body during IVF makes me over-focus on my emotions, too, and disappear inside my own head a bit. So it's great to hear others' perspectives.


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#9 Kayte

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 08:12 PM

We have lost friendships, and have suffering relationships with some family. (None of these people have struggled to have children.) If I could guess at what is going on and how it plays out over the years with these people....

 

1) we are in pain, feeling rough and devastated, constantly cycling 

2) many of those who know, "don't get it" - don't understand our devastation, the compromised lives, the mental and physical grief 

3) we become saddened and/or resentful over the lack of empathy, or even asking to know more or if we need help, support, someone to talk to, etc. and are scared of more discord by addressing this (especially if it hasn't gone well in the past) 

4) we withdraw from those who know what's going on, about losses, etc. and who haven't acknowledged or shown interest

5) we try our best to be around certain family members who haven't been empathetic (in my mind, they've been neglectful to our trauma) but we aren't good company because we are stressed, anxious, depressed, feeling emotionally distanced from these people

6) others likely aren't aware of all we are feeling and suffering, and their opinions of us and spending time with us change as well.

 

This isn't with everyone, but as this past going on decade now has progressed, we've seen it happen more. I would guess this is the writing on the wall. We expect people close to us to care more, want to show support, be able to consider how they would feel if they couldn't have kids or lost kids, and are surprised that this isn't instinctive. On the other hand, others might think that we have just changed, become more moody or withdrawn, are less enjoyable to be around, who knows. Maybe we just expect too much.  It seems others don't recognize infertility or pregnancy loss in the same way that we do.

 

I also must admit that I'm a very different person than I was ten years ago. I'm not always proud of feeling like energy and spark doesn't readily live in me as much as it used to. I'm sure this isn't easy to want to tap into.

 

We find we are now drawn to people with a high "EQ" - emotional quality. People tuned into other's lives and who make the time to be communicative and interested in what's going on, whether they relate to it or not. I would say this has always been hubby and I, but over time if others haven't been tuned into us, we've chosen to withdraw as it hurts too much to put out major effort for people who don't show engagement toward us. We realized over the years we had lots of friends who were a total blast to hang out with in a variety of settings... when the going was easy. It takes special people to want to put up with hormonal and stressed people juggling massive and recurring financial, physical, emotional setbacks and pursuits!

 

We also learned that some people take you by surprise! And that is a gift as well. Also, all of my friends have had kids, but that wasn't necessarily a wedge in the road. Although it can be hard, for me it was much easier to be around them and celebrate their babies and children, if they in return were sensitive and kind toward me, at various times. And if they were, it felt so much easier to stay connected, feel respected and like the relationship was truly mutual and a positive. We have struggled more with people who haven't been thoughtful to us.

 

This is not an easy road, and it's often a journey that isn't validated and can feel shameful. Talking to someone really does help. And can help with good strategies of what to say or how to handle relationships that have been strained. I wish you all the best in taking your next steps forward smile.png


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#10 EverHopefull!

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Posted 17 April 2016 - 11:14 PM

I lost friends.  I tried so hard to be happy for my friends when they were having babies, and I was, but of course my hurt still showed.  Once they started having their second babies they stopped inviting me out, or they made excuses to cancel lunch dates, or whatever plans we had (a group of 6 of us met every second week for lunch).  Then one day I bumped into one of my best friends and she was 7 or 8 months pregnant and she hadn't told me.  She said she was afraid of hurting my feelings and she hoped that someone else would have told me.  But no one else told me either, because they were all afraid of hurting my feelings.  Somehow it never occurred to her that it was even more hurtful to be excluded from their lives.  Yes, it would have hurt to watch them all having their second babies when I had no baby, but they were also my best friends and all of a sudden I wasn't a part of their lives.  My best friends and support system totally failed me.  It's not that I don't understand their point, I know they didn't want to hurt me, but they hurt me worse.  We tried to make peace with each other, but we never did.  10 years later I don't even talk to any of them anymore.  They just drifted away from me.  

 

 

I know you didn't ask for advice, but my experience is that an awkward friendship is better than no friendship.  You will learn how to talk to your friend again, and she will learn how to talk to you.  Let her know that you're happy for her even when you're hurting, and let her know how much you value her friendship.  If she's worth dealing with a little suffering for, then fight for it.  For me it was worse to be all of a sudden alone and with no support system then it was to cry in the car after I spent a day with my friends and their kids.  You just have to decide what's best for you. 

 

Good luck!


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#11 annatarz79

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Posted 18 April 2016 - 03:53 AM

i had a serious melt down when my sil told me she was pregnant! i couldnt understand why i had to go through this so many times and she got accidentally pregnant!! it took me some time to be happy for myself! i was happy for them but i was very conflicted. my niece was born last xmas i saw her in february and i couldnt remember why i was sad! it happens! my issue is with pregnancies happening, once babies are born i am very happy with them :) i cuddle and smell their heads and kiss them and everything you can imagine. they are a miracle that i pray one day will come to me too. Good luck and stay positive as much as you can!!



#12 infertilestepmom

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 05:33 PM

I completely understand and have been there. It seems absolutely everyone has no problem having kids and it's really hard when those close to you get pregnant, especially if they've commented in the past that they're unsure as to whether they even want kids.

 

What I really noticed though was that when I was going through my treatments (2 IUI's and 2 IVF's - all unsuccessful) that people I thought that would be there for me disappeared. I was too depressed to contact people and it seems the majority of my friendships fazed out. It was upsetting. I did see though that my true best friend was there for me through everything and was so supportive. So if anything it made my see people's true colours and made me appreciate the friendship I have with my closest friend.

 

Hang in there. This is such a tough journey so hold on to those that make you feel good.



#13 Kayte

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Posted 15 May 2016 - 10:07 AM

Hang in there!