A while ago, I wrote about a good friend of mine who announced that she’d try for a second child. It was so unexpected to me because all along her husband had been adamant about no more children. Her potential pregnancy has been in the back of my mind. I have been thinking about how I’d react to her pregnancy, and I have considered how I wanted her to break the news to me. I will see her and two other good friends for dinner next Tuesday. The last thing I want her to do is to tell me in person or to call me on the phone. I had a feeling that I had to write her an email before the I saw her in person. This is part of my email to her:
“Last time when we came to visit you at your place, you shared with me that you were trying for number two. I thank you for sharing that with me. I have one request. When you get pregnant, could you please give me a heads up with an email before you announce it in person? I ask because I would love for you to get pregnant and would love to fully prepare myself to celebrate it with you. Given our situation, an email will allow me time and space to process the news and get ready to celebrate with you. I hope that this is not too much to ask. “
I woke up the next morning at 5:30am to take my basal body temperature. I checked my email and saw her response. This is part of what she wrote to me:
“Great to hear from you! Thanks so much for reaching out about this. I appreciate very much knowing your preference on these issues and I want you to know that I completely respect your wishes and want to be as sensitive as possible about your situation.
I was planning to give you a call this weekend before the dinner to talk in advance, so I’m glad your email came first. We are actually expecting now. I was hoping to share this with you ahead of time – there is absolutely no need to celebrate at dinner or have that be part of our conversation. I did email Chloe (note: another good friend of ours) just a few days ago to let her know the news and also to ask that we not talk about it at dinner. While it is mostly good news, we are having some mixed prenatal screening results that mean that the baby potentially isn’t healthy and that I’m at risk for several things down the line in the pregnancy. So in truth, I’m not celebrating just yet anyway.
How about if you let me know what works for you in terms of future discussions? I have been thinking about you guys a lot…”
After I saw the email. I was stunned. While I expected her not to have any problems conceiving, I didn’t think that she’d conceive pretty much right away at age 38. I thought that it’d at least take her a bit more than a few months. The fact that she told me in late September about trying and is already pregnant in December shows how unfair this is.
At 5:30am, I broke into tears. I lay back in bed and had this heart-wrenching cry that woke Bob up. My pillow case was all wet from all the tears. I was just feeling sorry for myself for once again facing a situation with a friend who conceived so easily. I was also feeling sorry for her for having to worry about herself and her baby. I just let myself feel and allow my emotions to flow because I don’t know any other way to get over this. I am not going to stop being friends with her. But I really needed that time to grieve watching others so easily achieve what we haven’t yet. I needed time to process the news and be ready to say congratulations. I didn’t write her back for whole two days. And this is what I wrote:
“Thanks for being so sensitive about my needs. It does usually take me a couple of days to process pregnancy news. So I am so glad that we touched base before we meet up which allowed me time to digest everything. I am so sorry that there aren’t all good news about this pregnancy. It must be worrisome to know that the testing results with the baby are mixed, and there might be health complications for you. I would like to know what is going on with you and the baby health wise. Would you like to talk on the phone today or tomorrow some time?
Love you girl. I want nothing but the best for you. I hope that everything will be fine in the end.”
We haven’t had the time to talk yet so hopefully we can do that soon. At least before our dinner. Bob told me not to go to dinner but I refuse. I don’t like avoidance behavior. And I truly love her and my other friends. I have mostly gotten over the news. I just really needed the time to cry. I thought that I wouldn’t be reacting so strongly and be so sad, but this is one of my closest friends so the news really hit me hard. It hurts so much. I am so glad that I wrote her an email ahead of time. Imagine her calling me out of the blue sharing her news. It would’ve been hard for me to respond sincerely without crying. I hope that this pregnancy doesn’t change our friendship, and I truly hope that things will work out in the end for her. I hope that I’d brave enough to talk with her without shedding any tears.