Appreciation

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I would like to take today to thank all my friends who have moved beyond infertility to pregnancy and motherhood who still take the time to read and especially to comment. There are so many on my baby bump and motherhood list who I feel like have totally left the rest of us in their dust (and I go back and forth each day wanting to take them off my blogroll and still being interested in their stories), but then again, I don't know how tired you are when you're pregnant or how much time you don't have when you're a mom.

So anyway, to those who've stuck around here after they get their blessing(s), thank you from the bottom of my heart. Infertility is such an isolating time, and it feels great to have friendships that transcend that awful thing.

In general, I think infertility has hurt my friendships more than anything. It hasn't hurt our marriage, it doesn't hurt our dogs (on the flip side, they definitely benefit from it- in fact, I think Bert would still be at the shelter if we didn't have so much love to share!), and yes it hurts me alot some, but nowhere near as chronically as it has hurt my friendships. Friends that I thought would be there for me aren't, but luckily friends who I thought would leave me in the dust haven't. And then there are the gems who I knew would always be by my side. How has infertility affected your friendships?

25 comments:

Bridget said...

I feel the same way. I have some long time friends who I haven't heard a peep from since I started going through IVF. I'm not sure if they don't know what to say or don't care. I also have some newer friends who would do anything to help and have been so supportive. Strange isn't it?

JC said...

This was so sweet, it has me teary. And so true. It has affected my friendships the most also. It has hurt a lot of them. I definitely isolated myself so I'm to blame for some of it, but it was just too painful. I think it also had to do with the experiences of friends who weren't there for me and I felt like that would happen with everyone so why even bother.

Johanna said...

To be honest, I wasn't the "victim" in most of my damaged friendships. They were damaged because of me. I cut myself off from my friends with kids and now I'm reaping the effects of that. (Very few friends...mom friends or otherwise...)

I think the abandonment you feel might be someone's way of coping. They were able to move past infertility in the literal sense but they won't ever forget it. Nevertheless, they move on the only way they know how: by not reading IF blogs, etc. because it reminds them too much of the pain. I'm not saying that is the case with everyone--or even that it's a right and healthy response--but it's a theory.

Oh, I'll add my volunteering comment here: I volunteered with the local humane society years ago; it was so much fun! I'd do it again one day when/if I have the time.

Katie said...

It's affected my friendships a lot, too. It's affected my marriage, but in a good way. I find it funny that you wrote this today when I woke up this morning thinking about how many people I *haven't* heard from since they got pregnant, started IVF, had their babies, etc. It's painful, and it makes me sad. But I am incredibly grateful to those who have moved forward and resolved their infertility, but who still stick around to support me. It means a lot.

Melissa said...

As someone who has dealt with IF and is still dealing it and now a Mom I go back & forth too. I used to get so upset reading IFers who were pregnant & Moms and wondering "when will it be me?" to "why are you rubbing it in my face"

I needed a break from those blogs. I'd check back in on them from time to time but I hear what you're saying.

So, when pregnant/Moms wrote me, I'd get annoyed. I "get it" that they were trying to be there for me - but to me, I felt like they weren't.

I do want you to know, I think about you and all my IF buddies all the time.

Adam and Julia said...

I lost a lot of friends when I was struggling for 3 years. I don't know if it is because I isolated myself or if I was isolated, but I am trying to come back from it. I will always be infertile. It didn't just go away because IVF worked for me. I have also made a lot of new friends who are IF. They understand and care. You are not alone.

Emily said...

I felt the same way just a year ago. I am still following your story and still praying for you! I barely have time to blog anymore...none the less comment...but I am still following. I think infertility helps show who your real friends are. At least that is how I feel.

Bridget said...

I gave you an award- come over and check it out!

Ann - Building a Nest said...

I know what you mean. I never suffered with IRL friendships, but I did feel a distance from just a couple of bloggers who “crossed over.” At the same time, there were more who stuck around and seemed to be my biggest cheerleaders even though they had moved on. Now, that’s what I want to do for others because it meant so much to me. (Not that I’m a “crossover.” I’m one of those who won’t be until the fat baby sings. And I feel like it’s my unofficial job to pray everyone else to the other side.)

What Melissa said is what exactly what I worry about. If I leave a comment, I do not want to unintentionally cause harm. I decided to try and take my cue from others and if I see someone has left my blog entirely, I’ll try to distance myself out of respect. I haven’t noticed it yet. (Of course, I post once in a blue moon, so that may have something to do with it.)

Thinking and praying for you.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

It affected my friendships negatively for some time, but I came around. I try to take the lead in making plans with friends with kids, and try to see them kid-free sometimes which helps. I also became extremely vocal about my needs in friendships, and people did respond.

Trisha said...

I can't imagine not coming back to read! I still know and feel confident that God is going to do something to knock your socks off and I want to be around to see what it is! Praying for you sweet friend!

Leah said...

Infertility can definitely be a relationship killer. I know I had a few relationships that really suffered. And then I also made some new relationships, who I know will be in my life forever.

I just wanted you to know that I don't comment on every one of your posts, but I'm pretty sure I've read every one of yours since I first discovered your blog over a year ago. :)

Infertility does hurt. Badly. I pray that life takes a wonderful turn for you.

the misfit said...

I think there are probably bloggers I last heard from within a month of their first BFP. It seems really strange to me, but I have heard many pregnant/mommy IF bloggers say that they don't want to appear as commenters and make the waiting IFers feel harassed. That has never bothered me (though plenty of other things do!), but it may be a reason some of them have disappeared. I assume others disappear because the IFers sound so "negative" and they don't want to feel that way, and have rapidly forgotten that that was exactly how they sounded themselves when they were here. Such is human nature, I suppose.

I don't know that I've precisely LOST friends IRL as a result of IF. I was a young married just settling into the community and infertile, and I guess what I see are more lost opportunities for friendships. There are people I spend time with whom I probably would rarely see if I had kids. Those friendships have become strong in the last few years. And there are people I'm fond of but rarely see, to whom I imagine I would by now be close if I had had kids like they do. So the "lost" friends are basically the group who went from single to married-plus-immediate-kids AFTER I got to know them well. Of necessity, that group would be small (the timing is pretty precise), but in every case I have been so upset I could (and even now can) barely speak to the ladies involved. One such young woman sent me a perfectly innocuous mass email about participating in a recipe exchange three days ago and I have not yet been able to open it. I probably never will. But I hadn't thought about her in terms of a class of friendships lost to IF before. Huh. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

Anna said...

UGH I have had a TIME with friendships throughout my IF. There was one in particular that chewed me out on my blog and said that I was "making my friends" feel terrible about being pregnant. I hope I didn't do that. It's such a horrible place to be, in that you feel like you have to stifle your own feelings in order to spare the ones of your friends. But I think that the ones who are TRUE friends won't expect you to.

Mrs. Lydon said...

I have to say that I have a few true blue friendships that wont ever be affected by my infertility...but a lot of my friends have had babies since we started trying and found out we are infertile...and most of them it has severely strained our friendships. I hate it. I hate that they move onward and upward and forget us down here. Or we are still friends but they take everything i say or feel the wrong way. I cant vent my bitter infertile feeling to any of those friends...Found that one out the hard way. But through IF I have made friends on these blogs woth women who are a good support...I wish more closely or through not only comments but emails and phone calls I am in desperate need of an if buddy i think. Maybe that would take some of the strain off those other relationships??

ventingvagina said...

i don't always comment, but i ALWAYS read. :)

and i understand the IF/friends thing all too well myself. i pushed everyone away from me (they may have helped in the pushing) over the last 3 years. only now am i starting to repair those relationships. i'm seeing a friend this weekend that i haven't seen in 1.5 yrs and we live in the same city! isn't that awful? IF is awful.

lowfatlady said...

I am glad your feeling support from the IF community even those who are pregnant/have kids now. It is important.

In regards to your last entry - I volunteered at our local hospital for five months and loved it.

Pez said...

I nominated you for a blog award.

You can check out the details on my blog.

Pez

Ashley said...

I can't speak for anyone, but myself, but I do still read your posts.:) I just have not been able to comment nearly as much I have been able to in the past. It's not the same kind of support...I know. Comments are more fun. :) But I'm still reading.

For me it was so hard to get out of my shell to meet new people. And my friends that already had children and were continuing to have children like it was no big deal definitely were hard to be around.

Whitney said...

I have SUCH a hard time when people forget. It is something I don't understand. It is something I never want to do. That is one of the reasons I LOVE the name of your blog. Someday, I hope you will be blessed with a sweet baby of your own. When that happens, I am certain that you will still use the empathy and understanding you have gained through this trial to reach out to those who struggle with infertility. It is something I want to do to0 (if I ever get the chance to be a mom). I want to always remember how I felt and reach out to those who share a pain I knew all too well.

AL said...

IF hasn't hurt my marriage, if anything it made us stronger, but it definitely hurt some of my friendships. Mostly because when I would try to reach out and explain how I was feeling, I would often feel dismissed or like people didn't want to talk to me if I wanted to talk about such heavy stuff.

Luckily, I found the blogging world and have connected with new people and made some new friends who get it as a result.

I'm still here, still rooting for you!

Adele said...

I've been surprised by some friends. A few, in not so nice ways. A few in very good ones. I'd like to say that it evens out. But, well, it's just tough.

Anna said...

I gave you an award too! You're a popular lady!

Kait Galto said...

Thank you for sharing your blog with me. Your words are the same as mine... I pray we both will have our miracle babies one day. Soon would be nice too. ;)
Cheers to new friends!
Much love,
Kait
www.lettinglovegrow.blogspot.com

Coco said...

You can't get rid of me that easily. Haha. :)