Sunday, August 20, 2006

How Long Can You Put Off Meeting a Newborn?

Sunny asked this question perhaps jokingly in a recent response to a sibling's good news, and I'm hear to tell you all that avoiding a certain newborn has been easier than I thought.

Now it requires a certain unavailability on your part, but it is also helped along by the total obliviousness of the mother of said newborn.

In April 2005, H and I enthusiastically started trying. We decided not to announce this news to the world as a few of our friends had, just in case we had any problems. (Good thinking on our part, huh?) Well, my best friend calls me in June, in tears, that she is pregnant, accidentally. My thought, " Well, gee honey. Your husband has not been shy about how much he wants a baby and he has never liked to use protection, even before you were married. What did you think would happen?" Not that I said that.

Instead I said--"That's great! You know, H and I are ready ourselves. How great if we had little ones at the same time?"

This did not register with my best friend, who probably did not hear it through her self-pitying tears. Fast forward several months. Best friend, now fully pregnant and happy, never thinks to ask how my efforts might be going. I never say anything about it. Now I'm really convinced she never heard me in the first place.

BF has baby in January, the month I had optimistically thought might be "mine" when we first started trying. Turns out baby comes sooner than she expected, not because it was premature, but because she never knew when she had gotten pregnant for sure, and they couldn't exactly tell from the sonograms. The due date was always a major approximation. All she had known was that her period had gone missing for longer than usual and her breasts were sore before she finally took a pregnancy test. Can you believe that? She DIDN'T KNOW she was pregnant for two months.

Anyhow, with the new baby here, I am very excited to meet her. My BF is a mom! At this point, I know it's been taking H and me awhile, but I hadn't given up hope that everything was fine. BF turns down several attempts of ours to come visit because she feels and looks "gross." I tell her that I won't be looking at her, I'll be looking at the baby, but this doesn't seem to matter.

Months go by. I ask BF when the baptism will be, knowing that will be a solid opportunity to see the baby. "Oh, I'm not inviting friends," she says. "Too many family members will be there." I am now hurt. This is my best friend since grade school. I have known her for 25 years. I am responsible for her meeting her husband, and she mine. I once considered her a potential Godmother candidate for my babies. And I'm not even INVITED??

The month of the baptism is the one year mark for my ttc efforts. I now know I need to make a doctor's appointment. BF sends a mass e-mail the day before the baptism saying friends can now come since the family member turn out will not be as good as had been hoped. I decline as H and I already made other plans with a real friend.

BF starts asking when I'm going to see the baby. I give vague answers about my schedule being busy, and she never puts a solid invitation with a date and time out there. The next month I get another last minute e-mail from her saying a friend from out of town is coming to visit her (one I have a bad history with and no longer like, by the way) and would H and I like to come over then to see the baby and "kill two birds with one stone?" I say no--I already have plans. Because I did.

BF's 30th birthday was in June, and she lamented the fact that she could not go out drinking with her husband and friends to celebrate since there would be no sitter for the baby. I offer to have a party at my house for her birthday, and tell her the baby can sleep upstairs. Other friends have done this at our house with their babies. This is right after I received our bad news, but I figured I could handle seeing the baby. I wanted to get it over with as soon as possible, in a safe place like my house.

BF was very excited about the party, and about bringing the baby since so few of our friends have seen her. The night of the party comes, and BF shows up 2 hours late, with no baby. A relative was suddenly available to baby sit, and she felt she could drink more without worrying if she didn't bring the baby. B?@#$ !!!!

This avoidance continues up until today, 7 months after the baby was born. BF has invited me to a party being held by a grade school friend at which she is going to parade the baby in front of a bunch of former classmates. I never got the official invite from the person hosting the party, so I am declining. I am mad that BF cannot invite me, just me, directly over to visit her, and I am mad that she did not bring the baby to the party I held for her when I had specifically said how much I finally wanted to meet her.

Now, you might think BF is just being sensitive to my current situation, but she doesn't even know about the IVF or our diagnosis. And like I said, I'm sure she has not figured out for herself that I said we were ready, and hey, it's been a long time since I said that. Somebody who doesn't realize they are pregnant for two months probably doesn't even know that you are deemed infertile after the one year of trying mark.

The thing I need to come to terms with is that BF hasn't really been my best friend in a long time. Not since she got married. Her world revolves around her husband and her family, and she has little need for friends outside of that circle. I kinda knew this when she told me she was engaged and that she didn't know if friends, including me, would be in the wedding party. She wanted to have her sister and 3 cousins in it and that would leave too many friends to have to choose from since she only wanted 6 bridesmaids max. Hmm, if you have four family members that still leaves room for your best friend without exceeding six. I knew then that I had no special ranking as best friend, even though she still calls me hers. I did end up being in the wedding, only after one of the cousins had to drop out, allowing her to have 3 friends and 3 family members.

So, now when BF makes comments that she hopes I will see the baby before she starts walking, my response is, "eh." I really had wanted to see her in the beginning, but given all the slights and now the pain of IF, I just don't see the point of making the effort. I think I need to let this friendship fade away for once and for all, and focus on the real friends in my life. It's hard to walk away from 25 years, but she's given me no reason to hang around. So, how long can I go before seeing the not-so-new born?


Motel Manager said...

Your friend's behavior is definitely annoying. (As an aside, I always find it irritating when people disappear from their friends' lives once they get married - I mean, I understand that when you have kids you've had a major lifestyle change, but that shouldn't really be the case after just tying the knot, in my opinion.)

In any case, this is a tricky situation. I think distancing yourself is totally reasonable and probably healthy. Of course, you could also initiate a discussion with her if the friendship is valuable to you, but, frankly, that isn't worth it in every situation - sometimes, it's better just to let yourselves grow apart. Obviously, if you have a heart-to-heart with her, you'd have to reveal your IF struggles, and, frankly, not everyone is a worthy recipient of that information - for me, it has sometimes been MORE painful to have to deal with having a friend who knows the details and doesn't understand than just to have a blithely ignorant and inadvertently insensitive friend.

I feel like my entire post here should have a big "IN MY OPINION" splashed across it, since I'm sure others will have different, better ideas. In any case, good luck in avoiding the newborn!

GLouise said...

Wow- your friend sounds totally clueless and self-absorbed.

Sometimes I have to cut to the chase with people like this, and tell them exactly what I want.

"xyz, I miss you and would like some 1:1 time to catch up."

then- the ball is in their court, so to speak.

It is still very hurtful though, when it seems like I value a friendship more than the other person does.

I hope that you are maybe able to rekindle that friendship, though your friend may make it very difficult.

PS. how close by you does she live? Maybe you could just try the "dropping in" unexpectedly visit. :-)

tbonegrl said...

It's such a shame that she can't pick up the clue phone and figure things out. It sounds like you're really handling it well, and hopefully the time won't come when you have to have a "come to Jesus" meeting with her and say "HEY! I would have liked to be involved with your baby, but I need to you respect all that I am going through too."

As I struggled with IF, I found being around babies and PG women harder and harder. I ended up hating them, even if it was irrational.

Hope548 said...

I have friends like that. They used to be my best friends. They still refer to me as one of their best friends. I was the only one making the effort to get us together. Two of us threw a wedding shower for the other last year and I was miserable being there with the usual group. It's just not my crowd anymore and I'm content to let those friendships fade away. The only thing we even have in common now is our past (26 years). It's just part of life and I totally understand where you're coming from. I'll always care about them, but don't really want to hang out with them anymore! Good luck with your decision.

Alli said...

What a beeeooootch! I cannot believe she would be so selfish and insensitive. I, too, have had friends like that and just like hope548 said, I can let go without too much trauma. It's too hard to be around people who make you feel like crap all of the time and who aren't interested in a give and take friendship!

Hope all goes well for you and that you have your OWN baby to show off to your real friends soon! {{hugs}}

Lara said...

I have a friend just like this. It's really annoying and just shows me that she's very self centered. A BF Divorce sometimes is the only way to go. Have you (besides the party) ever said HEY lets go to lunch on this date at this time, just you and me and the baby? Still sometimes its not even worth the effort. Hell are you worth it to her? The way people act sometimes it makes you wonder!

Sunny said...

OH MY GOSH! Drop her this very minute. She isn't a friend at all. Seriously. Who doesn't... I can't even type I am so ticked at your BF. I wouldn't go see the baby for the life of me ever again. HA! I would wait until she is in grade school. :)

I agree with you, let this one fade away.