MicroblogMondays: Feeling Silenced

My guy best friend is currently in town from out of state. Whenever he’s around, we always get together.  This time he came one week before his wife did so he could visit his parents with his 7-year-old daughter.  When we were making plans for dinner, my friend alerted me that I’d have to be prepared to explain to his little girl why I had babies coming without having a big belly.  Apparently he hadn’t told her our news yet.  I said I’d be ready to explain. And then he told me that he hadn’t had the talk with little girl about human reproduction yet.  When she asked questions about how babies came about, he told her to ask her teachers.  I guess he was uncomfortable talking about it and really didn’t want to do it at this point.  I told him that 7-year-old is not too early to learn about where babies come from.  He said he’d think about how to talk to her.

Fast forward a week later.  In the afternoon right before our dinner date, my friend called to finalize the details.  Then he asked, “Is it okay if we don’t talk about the babies tonight?”  Honestly I was taken aback by this request.  He went on to explain that he still hadn’t told his daughter about our situation, and he still didn’t know how to explain human sexuality to her.  So he thought that it would be better for us to simply not to talk about our pregnancy or anything that had to do with our preparation.

I don’t know.  I was sitting there with my phone in my hand feeling a little disappointed and sad.  I know that he wasn’t ashamed of our situation.  I know that he does want to celebrate our babies with us.  I know that it was solely his problem of having a hard time with this talk with his daughter.  It is simply his choice of parenting and it is a decision that has nothing to do with me.  But why did I feel that I was less than those who could achieve a pregnancy and proudly present their bumps?  Why did I still experience sadness and disappointment that my best friend could not rise above this situation and use this opportunity to educate his young child about unique ways of building a family?  If I were pregnant with a big bump, this wouldn’t have been an issue for him because then he wouldn’t have to explain how our embryos got transferred into the surrogate.  I know that I am not less than others who physically carry and give birth to their children, but my heart still ached that I could not just proudly talk about our excitement and our future.

Dinner was weird.  Bob and I sat there and talked about everything but our babies and surrogate.  Our life recently has been so engrossed by the preparation for the upcoming birth of our babies that I felt choked by this enforced avoidance of the topic.  It felt so unnatural and tiring to have to consciously watch our words.  When I handed my friend a thank you card for his gift, his little girl asked what it was.  Bob was so smart that he quickly changed the topic to distract the little girl.  And my friend finally asked how we were doing with everything, but it was done in our native language so his daughter couldn’t understand it.

It just made me sad that our joy and pride had become so hush-hush that night.

When we said our good-byes in front of the restaurant, I asked my friend how he was going to explain the sudden appearance of two babies in our life.  He said he’d wait to see if school would teach about human sexuality and go from there.  I know that his choice does not mean that he isn’t happy for us, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth for a few days because we could not openly celebrate this newest chapter of our lives with one of my best friends.

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24 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Feeling Silenced

  1. That’s very sad. I’m sorry you couldn’t share your happiness with him and his daughter. Do you think he realised what an impact it had? I hope you’re feeling better now. I am getting excited every post thinking it’s going to say the babies are here!!!

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  2. I had a similar experience. My sister hadn’t told her daughter anything about pregnancy yet, so I had to sit there with no explanation for my huge belly. It was awkward and difficult to entirely avoid the topic. I’m sure she wondered why I was suddenly so fat! I’ve made the choice to tell my children in age-appropriate ways where babies come from. My mom wouldn’t tell my siblings how babies could be born naturally. My brother was 16 years old when DH finally told him some of the finer details of human reproduction, simply because it was getting far too awkward to pretend the babies just “appear” in the belly and are born through a “door”. *sigh*

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  3. This is so strange and unnecessary! A simple explanation… ‘my Binky moongee and Bob can’t have a baby and so a kind lady is having their babies for them and there are twins, how exciting is that ‘… Would have been just fine and I’m sure the little girl wouldn’t have thought anything more of it! I’m very sorry that your friend made this choice, I can imagine how hard and awkward that must have been for you.

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    • That’s what I’m not getting. She knows babies grow in bellies, right? So why not just tell her that Isabelle’s babies are in someone’s belly for now? It’s not like she’s never seen pregnant bellies, right? Or Isabelle herself could have told her she has babies waiting for her in someone else’s belly. i don’t understand… And yep, it’s not a nice feeling for an excited soon-to-be parent to have to avoid talking about the most exciting, dream-fulfilling aspect of their life for such an odd reason.

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  4. I am so sorry you were silenced, that is completely unfair to you and Bob. And, how sad that a friend with a child didn’t want to hear all about your babies!! Gosh, I’d be so excited to sit down to dinner with you and listen to you rattle on about your amazing little ones!! 🙂
    I’m also sad that that someone is choosing to avoid telling their child about human reproduction – it’s a fact of life and as far as I’m concerned children are smarter then people often give them credit for.

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  5. Most schools don’t get to the penis-vagina portion of human sexuality until the 4th or 5th grade, so she’s going to be wondering for a while. I’m sorry but I feel disappointed in your friend. That was a total cop out. She’s at the age that you can be vague on the details about how the babies are in someone else’s tummy (even claiming magic is accurate as it is pretty magical) but his total avoidance was really insensitive

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  6. Fascinated. Child is 7 and has not seen a pregnant woman at her preschool followed by a classmate having a sibling and heard about the connection. Has never heard of family by adoption. Probably has never heard of child having only one parent, or two dads, or two mothers. Dad likes ignorance. OK.
    NONE of that dynamic is yours. You did the friendship thing of avoiding a topic that he said would cause HIM discomfort. Let the rest go as: not your circus and not your monkey. His chickens/monkeys will roost in time.
    AND DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN GROW UP IGNORANT.

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  7. Oh jeez. Your friend really needs to talk to his daughter and get over the squeamishness. He doesn’t need to go into all the details; just give some basics. Sorry that your visit was so embarrassing and awkward as a result.

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  8. So sorry a teachable moment was lost. At age 7, a simply explanation of all families are different and babies can join families lots of ways would have been enough of an explanation. Likewise, never in my 15+ years of teaching 7 year olds, has a child shared news of a sibling arriving followed by peers questioning how the baby got there, etc.
    Regardless of that friend, I am super thrilled your babies are almost here!

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  9. I’m really sorry too. For you, and for the seven-year-old, who has a father too scared to do what is necessary and right, who puts his own discomfort before his child and his friend. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but this was cowardly.

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  10. I’m so sorry, that sounds just awful. This is such a big part of your life, to put a gag order on it at this point in the game seems just cruel. And what if you did have the big belly? Does he not allow pregnant people to talk about their babies, because he’d have to explain where they come from? It’s so not right on so many levels. I can see how it would leave a bad taste in your mouth. I’m sorry for this silence in your friendship, I’m sorry that he doesn’t feel comfortable discussing human reproduction in even basic terms with his daughter. That’s so sad for her, too… it makes it seem like something to be ashamed of, and seven seems too old to have absolutely no clue about bodies and that part of life. What an upsetting experience.

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  11. Hmm. I’m sorry that happened. I don’t have any kind words to say about your friend’s failure as a friend so I won’t but will say I admire your loyalty to him and wish he had the wisdom to see how unfair and hurtful his request was to you and Bob.

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  12. I’m not sure what to say that hasn’t been said. I realize that can be a difficult topic, father to daughter but burying his head in the sand is just asking for disaster. If he or his wife don’t have that talk, it’ll be her friend’s who have it with her. I’m so sorry what was supposed to be a fun dinner was stilted and awkward instead.

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  13. You already know that you’re stronger than the average woman because you’ve survived all the heartbreak to get to this point. Because you’ve put aside your pride and arrogance and accepted help to have a child. I’m sorry that he made you feel less than or invisible, but his confusion of mind in no way diminishes who you are and what you’ve experienced.

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  14. Wow. Seven is a little older not to know. I think I knew when I was five. I mean, I didn’t know the technicalities, of course, but I had seen pregnant women and I kind of “knew” how babies were made from a scientific POV and definitely knew that babies grew in ladies’ “tummies.” And I don’t even have younger siblings! As previous posters said, a simple “Ms. Isabelle and Mr. Bob can’t have babies so another lady is helping them. The babies are growing in that lady’s tummy” is good enough for a seven year old, I think.

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  15. I am so sorry that his discomfort of the “where babies come from conversation” made it so awkward for you. Very unfair for you and his daughter. I hope you’re feeling better.

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