Saturday, November 17, 2007

I've become the person who...

...people avoid when the subject of pregnancy comes up in conversation.

I really never wanted to be "that person".

I am so sad right now. Jamie and I took Elise to a birthday party at our friends Mark & Erin's house today. We met them through another mutual friend, and they are great people. Their son Ethan *loves* Elise and they are friends. Ethan turned 3 today, so we were really excited to take Elise to the party.

When I walked in, I thought Erin looked pregnant. She is starting to show. But of course, I didn't want to say anything just in case she had just put on some weight. She is not a tiny woman anyway, and a few extra pounds could make her appear pregnant even if she is not. So, we came in and the guys started hanging out and talking sports and such while the ladies played with the kids and chatted. I glanced at her refridgerator and saw an ultrasound photo. Now I felt pretty darn sure that Erin is pregnant...but still no one said anything, so I didn't either.

After we were there for a bit, I started noticing the other women going over to her quietly whispering about the fact that she is expecting. Jamie also overheard some of the guys talking to Mark about it. It began to become obvious that everyone else at the party knew...and still no one said anything to us. I felt so incredibly awkward and on the verge of tears. Was I supposed to just act like I didn't notice? Should I pretend that I can't hear people whispering? Do I tell her congratulations, even though she did not share her happy news with us? I didn't know what to do, so I just went outside with the kids and tried to enjoy the party. What I wanted to do was leave...right away. I was so hurt, and I didn't know what on earth to do. But Elise was having a great time and really wanted to stay to see Ethan open his presents and eat some cake. I couldn't leave without letting her enjoy the party first. Plus, it was Ethan's day, and he really wanted Elise to be there. So I did my very best to suck it up.

I knew that they were shielding me out of concern for my feelings. They are all such kind people, they really are. But what they did to us hurt my feelings so badly I can't even begin to explain it. I know we are going through a lot right now. Trust me, all I have to do is look down at my swollen, scarred belly button to remember. But I am still genuinely happy for Erin. She is a wonderful mother, and I am so glad that she is expecting another baby. It hurts so badly that she didn't think she could share it with me.

I acted as normally as I could, and the second we got out to the car I started crying. This is the most hurt I've felt since all of this began. I think it hurts extra badly because my friends feel uncomfortable talking to me now. It's hard enough struggling to conceive, but now I feel the relationships in my life changing too. Sometimes it even feels like Jamie doesn't know what to say to me or how to act around me. I just want people to treat me the same as always.


NesrstaFamily said...

Ok....I know this is going to sound funny or strange, but I feel the same way about my weight. (I cannot believe I am talking about this...) but I feel like people stare at me or maybe are uncomfortable at times and the worst part is whenever food comes up, people try to not say anything or ignore it, as if to spare my feelings--like oh that poor girl has a problem with food, lets not talk about it. So, I am not sure if it is the same thing, but what I do know is, this too shall pass. I just keep my head up and try to make the "other" people feel comfortable about it. In conversations, I just started talking about food in the most positive way I could and even went so far as to tell people that I am ok with talking about it. Eventually people start to feel more comfortable about talking and then there are times when they forget that you had a "problem" at all.

I don't know if that helped except to say that I understand. Some people just may not be able to handle any sort of crisis or abnormality. I know you will overcome this...that which does not kill us only makes us stronger.

Ashley said...

One more day until your follow-up with Dr.Dunn!!! You're in my prayers Melanie and I hope your appointment goes well. Hopefully you will hear nothing but good news! Take Care

Melanie said...

Thanks so much for sharing that, Jennifer. I had never thought of how this same type of thing could affect other people too. I think I might see Erin again on Saturday at another party, and I decided that I am just going to approach her and tell her congratulations and hopefully make her feel more comfortable sharing. That just caught me so terribly off guard, I did not know what to do!

Ashley - Thank you! I won't really get the big news for 2 more weeks, but it will be cool to see the pictures and get to ask some questions.

Heidi said...

I'm sorry! It can really suck to find out about a pregnant friend, and then to know they're tiptoeing around the issue is so hurtful and insulting sometimes. I have no words of wisdom - just that I understand the twisted way things like this can make us feel!