Another One Bites the Dust

Monday, September 28, 2009

Don't you just love those Monday-morning emails that let you know that one of your closest friends from college is almost 16 weeks pregnant? My close friends are in the middle of a "reply all" firestorm of what is new with each of us, and I haven't replied yet... and after this one this morning, I feel like replying "Well, I'm not pregnant!"


I am "lucky" in that I don't have many geographically close friends who are expecting/have millions of small babies and/or children. I know several friends, struggling with infertility, who are seeing their friends in their second pregnancy while my friends' arms are still empty. I can't even imagine how tough that is.

But for me, the little group of college buddies (we're all spread over the midwest/eastern US) is my paradigm, and it was my comfortable place (until, I guess, about a year ago?) where I didn't feel so behind for not having kids. Most of us were married (more on that in a minute), but none of them were chomping at the bit to have kids- we were just enjoying being 20-something married young professionals. So even though Mr. A and I were trying and praying, it was okay within the confines of my college buddies that our efforts weren't being...fruitful. They weren't obsessing about pregnancies and babies, so it was safe for my heart around them. (They didn't and still don't know that we're trying.)

Fast forward to now, where 3 of them have toddlers, 1 (newly added this morning!) is due in the spring, 2 just got married last year, and 1 of them is not married. And then me. Married almost 4.5 years. All the moms continually send barrages of photo's and updates on what their kids are doing and apparently do not care about anything non-kid related because any time the non-moms send out any updates, it is like we sent an email about grass growing. I knew in my heart that I'd have to field another announcement before my own, but it just stinks.

I know in my head and my heart that I shouldn't compare the timeline God has for me to the timeline He has for them, but I find this news hitting hard this morning. Not only am I being left behind by almost 30's that I don't even know, but now I'm being left behind by the relationships that used to be my haven.

And yet, speaking of havens, my friend who isn't even married has been a rock to me in the last year when the email updates have become nauseating. As much as I feel left out becuase we don't have kids, can you imagine how she feels without a husband, compared to the rest of us who are all married? (Although, thanks to eharm.ony, she is now dating the love of her life!) We have had many uplifting phone calls to bolster each other in our separate journeys. She has been a HUGE blessing this past year. We are each missing something different from our lives, but I think the commonality of missing something validates the disappointment, sadness, and discouragement that we feel. I am so thankful for her- and I can't wait for her wedding!!

I am actually the most upset that I have been in a long time. I don't know why- it isn't necessarily that she's pregnant and I'm not- I really think it's because that whole reality is changing. Without me. It is really hard for me to deal with the fact that pregnancies change relationships- I haven't had one friend (edited to clarify "in real life" friend), who's now become a mom, seem even remotely interested in what's going on with me since they had their kids.

Through the tears, I'll try to hang on to the promise that God has for my life and my family. I pray He will sustain me through volunteering this afternoon, because I will not be able to do it on my own. I feel like pounding on the gates of Heaven: "SHOW ME YOUR FACE, OH LORD!!!"

A post-it on my computer has a verse from Job on it: "I know You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:2) That's what I'll be repeating today.


Anonymous said...

It's so tough when you get to the age that all of your friends are married...with kids.
My friends did the same thing with me before they just stopped talking to me altogether - they would only call or write about their kids. It got so that they would call and put their kids on when I'd answer, so I never got to actually talk to them.
Never mind getting to talk about anything that was going on in MY life...
Oh well.
So sorry you're dealing with the same feelings of being left behind :(.

Anonymous said...

*hugs* I'm sorry your having such a hard time right now. It is completely normal though. Thank goodness for your good friend who you have beent talking to through this. I hope you feel better soon.

K said...

It is surprising how your relationships change when you're dealing with infertility. I've watched a few friends and family members fade away, yet I've been surprised by the kindness, concern and understanding of others. Some days it just hits you harder than others, and pregnancy announcement days don't tend to be good ones.

Praying for Hope said...

Oh, I'm sorry you're feeling a little left behind. I know that feeling. I do think it's a shame when the lives of friends with kids suddenly revolve around all things children. Their lives are usurped by their children and they're happy to let it happen. I understand it, but it's too bad. Priorities change, you don't have as much in common anymore, and and you drift apart.

prayerfuljourney said...

Gosh...most of my friends have all had their children...and most of them are very distant from my dh and I. There is one couple who had a secret Lap surg soon after my own (they knew about mine but chose not to tell me that they were having one too..whatever!) and I'm dreading the day they call telling us they are expecting a baby. I dread it. Actually, I've been avoiding them. I'm working on healing and accepting God's will for me/us. As much as it is good news for isn't such good news for my own life...I just get the painful reminder that I'm childless...maybe for the rest of my life and I have no idea how it feels to be where they are at. Do these people really want me to rant and rave about how I don't have children...wah. wah. wah!!! a nutshell.I know your feelings all to well. I don't think there's an answer to dealing with the hurt or jealousy( I hope in time it goes away). I just try to busy myself and try not to think about it. And pray!!!
But you don't know what is going to have a new med plan awaiting if this month does not work out (soon you know huh?). You are young too. Me? Not so much. Praying you get your BFP and are no longer in the "joyfully awaiting to be pg" category. :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but after 7 years of marriage with suppressed fertility (not infertility apparently), and having adopted the love of my life 2.5 years ago and now expecting (WHHAAATTT?!) our second, quite by surprise, I NEVER mail updates of my kid to anyone. I don't really talk about kids to my non-kid friends - I mean, WHO CARES??
I doubt they give a crap that Junior got a new tooth or peed on the potty.
It used to be grandparents who sent out lame updates and couldn't bust out the pictures fast enough. And they were roundly giggled at for it.
Now parents do it and that's SOOOO annoying to both people who wish they had kids and those who hope they never have them.
In polite society, prattling on about how brilliant/beautiful/charming/athletic your offspring are would be considered rude.

And yeah, I know how it feels to get those e-mails/announcements.


Lisa said...

I could have written that exact post. Most of my friends are "moving on" and having children and it is so difficult being the one that isn't "moving on". My hardest day through all of this was finding out one of our friends that we hang out with ALL of the time was pregnant after missing her birth control pill once. That is what prompted me to start the blog because I was so distraught that day. I was totally at peace with God's timing for MY pregnancy but I just couldn't grasp why we are trying so hard and they could get pregnant that easily. It is just one more friend to have their world revolve around a child and become less interested in anything non-child related. I have been avoiding them ever since and just can't be around them at this point. All to say, I know exactly how you are feeling in this regard and will be praying for you today.

Something that a friend told me awhile back that really helped me is that maybe our children need to be in the 8th grade in the year 20__ in order to lead someone to Christ. OR maybe our child's spouse has not been born yet. I have to keep reminding myself that God has a plan for my life and He also has a plan for our future children's lives!

Melissa said...

I'm right there with you. Reading that dreaded email or facebook status reading "I'm pregnant" always makes me cringe. (Until I do it of course.)

Then comes the question, when is going to be my turn? which means I'm in a funk all day.

And I agree with you. I think the part that gets me is the moving on, without me. It's like I'm left at the station, just bites.

{hugs!} to you my dear!

Hope said...

I feel for you. I know how hard it is to be on one of those email chains where you feel that you are shrinking every time you see another email. I had 26 announcements when we were going through all of our doesn't get easier. I know it is coming for you. I feel it! I will be praying for you!

Becky said...

I am so sorry! It is so hard to go through this. Before I became a Christian at age 27, I led a very different life so I have no friends from high school or college I keep in touch with. I guess in that way I am fortunate. I also have a group of friends who I met shortly after becoming a Christian who are almost all single and desiring to be married. I am so thankful for them because as you said we are able to support each other. Now that I am in my 30s, most of the friends I have made already had children - it is unusual for me to meet someone my age who doesn't. As a result I have had less real life pregnancy announcements to face. But when they come, they are just so hard.

I have actually been experiencing that "left behind" feeling with my blogger friends lately. Almost everyone I connected with when I first started blogging (less than a year ago) is now pregnant or parenting. It has been very hard.

Praying for you! ((HUGS))

the misfit said...

I'm sorry. I've been continually blessed to be one of the earlier-married folk from my college friends, and the only married one among my siblings. I know my days in that zone are numbered. I'm also hoping to move on from IF before the time on this runs out. They can have their kids after I've given up, and I won't care (er, I assume). But I couldn't lean on someone in my journey who was going to get pregnant and betray me (and it is a betrayal, because no matter how much they [say they?] care about you, they are going to make you listen to how they can't sleep and go to the bathroom all the time - not big serious things that need a friend, where you would feel close to them for helping them through it, but stupid things they could keep to themselves, because pregnancy fries your brain and they can't remember to be compassionate. Or so I've observed). So I am fortunate that all the gals I know with the many babies are just-close-enough friends that I don't care. Which also means that I'm not nearly as brave as you are. I've read about so many bloggers who've lost close friendships to this sort of estrangement - I guess I don't let them be that close until they've been through one pregnancy and I can decide whether they're going to behave! Actually, that may not be a bad general policy. Put them on gestation probation. If they pass, resume the friendship.

That doesn't make your day better, though. I'm really sorry.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

So sorry. I think we've all been there and know how trying it can be to feel left behind and out of the loop. Big hugs.

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain! I pretty much have zero friends where we live. All our friends that we had when we were dating and early in our marriage are couples we met at church. And all of them have at least 1 child now. My hubby is still friends with all of the guys and they play bball or football every week but I just don't feel accepted b/c I don't have a child I can go on play-dates with all the wives. While the guys are playing and the wives are on play-dates, I'm just sitting at home...every single time. It's so hard. It got to the point that I don't even want to go to church b/c that's all I see, happy families and babies and pregnant wives. Then there's me that I feel like everyone stares at wondering "what's wrong with them, why aren't they pregnant yet, they must not have a good marriage, they must not want kids". I just don't want to see or talk to anyone. But I know that's not the right thing and I should just trust in His plan, but it's hard. I find comfort in reading your blog though so thank you!!! ~JC

Hillary said...

I'm so sorry and send lots of hugs. Those pregnancy announcements never cease to amaze me in how tough they are.

I, too, have felt so much empathy for my single friends. Infertility has grown me in that area...

Praying for you!