MicroblogMondays: Friendship Change

I have noticed something after the babies were born: some friendships aren’t the same anymore.

The most obvious shift is with my maid of honor (let’s call her MOH).  She is one of my very best friends.  Throughout this whole journey with infertility, she had been THE prayer warrior for us.  She was the one to whom I would send a text if there was any urgent prayer request.  Even though we were both busy, we often tried to find time to hang out once a month.  Bob often jokes that he doesn’t have to plan anything too nice or romantic for me for my birthday because this friend of mine would for sure take me to a fancy restaurant every time I turn a year older.  This year for my birthday she took me to this Japanese restaurant for a very nice Omakase meal.  We were joking that this would be our very last fancy meal together before the babies arrived.  It wasn’t quite the last meal since we also got together one more time in August for her birthday.  I took her out for ramen and a movie and we had a great time.  That was the last time we hung out before the babies.

I sent MOH a text with the babies’ pictures on the day of birth.  No response.  Being so busy with newborns at the hospital, I didn’t think much of it.  She didn’t write me any emails or texts in the next whole month.  I found it very odd that she hadn’t reached out to find out how we were doing or to meet the babies.  For the meal train that was set up for us, she signed up for meal delivery in mid-November.  Again, no personal texts, calls, or emails.  And this was somebody who would hang out with me at least once a month.  On the day the babies turned one month old, I finally sent her a text asking how she was doing since I hadn’t seen her or heard from her in a long time.  She wrote me back saying that she was looking for us at church but didn’t see us.  We exchanged a couple of texts.  She then said that she’d be coming to us in a few weeks since she was on our dinner schedule.

At that point, this whole interaction left me with an icky feeling.  This is one of my best friends.  Somebody who had been with me through thick and thin for over 15 years.  She stood next to me at the altar on our wedding day and later delivered a toast during the wedding reception so touching that made me cry.  All these years during the worst times of our infertility trials, her prayers and support lifted me up.  Even during the nine months of the surrogacy, she was there praying for us, Annie, and the babies.

I don’t like how distant it has felt with her.

The only explanation I have for this is that maybe she has had a difficult time processing the reality of me having babies.  My friend is a successful professional who is beautiful inside and out.  However, she hasn’t had a lot of luck with dating despite being open and proactive in meeting people both in real life and online.  She desires to be married and have a family but it hasn’t happened.  However, I never felt that it was a problem for her to witness my dating relationship and eventually my married life.  We still hung out like usual and I tried to support her as much as I could.  So maybe this time it really struck her that my life is truly really far from her single, professional life.  Maybe like friends who struggle with infertility, she also struggles with her singleness and the delay in her pursuit of a marriage and family?  Maybe she is having a hard time being there because it is a painful reminder of what she desires?

I really don’t know what happened.  But I miss our friendship.

Mid-November my MOH delivered a super yummy dinner to us.  That was two whole months after the babies were born.  She looked as pleasant as one could be.  She helped us hold the babies.  She kissed them on their foreheads and was tender and loving.  However, I don’t think I was being overly sensitive about this, but I could feel a tiny bit of distance from her.  It was a vibe that was difficult to describe or explain.  We chatted about her life.  She asked about the birth but interrupted me mid-story to ask about something else.  After another ten minutes, she had to go.  Again, something was different and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  And that was the one and only time she saw and hung out with our babies.

MOH and I crossed path at church yesterday in the beginning of the service.  She was on duty as a greeter chatting with someone when I passed by her.  She smiled and asked if I had already gotten a bulletin, then turned her head to continue to chat.  I didn’t see her after church.  Once again, we missed an opportunity to connect with each other and for her to see our babies.

I asked myself if I would ever tell her about my observation or to ask her about it.  I think I will wait a bit to see if she would seek opportunity to come see us.  I reached out with a text yesterday but haven’t heard from her.  Maybe she is really processing her feelings about this, but it makes me feel a little bit sad that there is an unexpected change in our friendship.  My thoughts and feelings during my infertility journey have taught me to be patient with those around me who might be going through their own difficult times.  I think about how I was when one of my best friends was pregnant with her second baby.  I saw her during her pregnancy once and hardly hung out with her after the birth.  I was hurting, so maybe my MOH is hurting too?  I will give her some time and space and hopefully our interaction will be more frequent and back to normal.  It does make feel sad though.  Infertility sucks, and resolution after infertility is not without its challenges.  I do realize that I can’t force things to happen.  Hopefully time and patience will pay off.

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14 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: Friendship Change

  1. It certainly sounds like she is struggling somehow with all of this…and that is why she has retreated a bit. I think treating her the way we hope to be treated as infertiles with pregnant friends: giving her space while leaving the door open for future communications…that may be the best way to navigate this unexpected change. I wonder, too, if all those years while she was a support to you – it may have come from a place of solidarity. Although she may not be infertile, you mention she wants children and isn’t in a place to have them – so maybe she was grieving with you for her own lost dreams…and now it might feel a bit like you’ve moved on and left her behind? I know I was surprised to learn a few years ago that people who don’t have kids due to their circumstances, are sometimes as grieved as people who can’t have kids…it’s something I had never thought of before, but I know a couple people like that and their grief is truly as strong as mine.

    Just my two cents…it sounds very difficult and I am sorry you are going through this! I hope it is not taking away from your experience as a new Mom and hopefully, one day, she will come back to you.

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  2. I’m sorry about the situation. From what you say, yes it seems like she might be taking some space she needs for herself. Maybe the best way is to let her know you’ll be there so she can always come back to you when she can?

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  3. How truly disappointing & hurtful no matter her reasons. Maybe you should lightly enquirer after her reasons for the distance, focusing on her great value as a Christian sister & friend, and that you hope things won’t change long term. That life’s taken a shift yes, but you always want to support her wherever she is in life, as she did you. I feel like leaving it could convey a neutrality on her presence, when your post very clearly says you aren’t. You care & you should ❤️ Just my thoughts!

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  4. Yes…to me it seems she is definitely struggling. I think it is a bit like infertility in that..you know what might make you sad or jealous and try to stay away from those situations. So maybe she is just trying to protect her heart? I understand though how it would hurt you..especially since she was your MOH. Maybe she didn’t think it would affect her like it did and she wasn’t prepared? Everyone has different feelings and processes situations differently. So, I would give her some time…you have a special bond and I’m sure you will be able to talk through it when all parties are ready to do so. xoxo

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  5. It sounds she is sad inside. Maybe spare her from the babies and try to meet her just the two of you and not even talking much about the babies?
    So seh can experience to be safe and enjoy being around you so that you are not a constant reminder of her own pain?
    I suffer with infertility and it is very hard to be around babies even I like their mother a lot

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  6. That’s a shame. Yeah it does sound like she might be finding the change hard like others have suggested. Or I was wondering if maybe she assumes that you are busy with the twins and don’t have as much time for her and is therefore giving you space. I would try reaching out and inviting her to things. Maybe going out for lunch without the kids some weekend so they aren’t the main focus and she might be more likely to tell you then what’s been going on with her lately.

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  7. I think that just leaving it without acknowledging that something has changed might make you seem insensitive. Maybe asking gently if she’s ok with your current status, ask if there’s a barrier she’s aware of because you miss her… And offering to give her space if that’s what she desires, with knowledge that you’ll be there for her when she’s ready to jump back in.

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  8. That’s got to be so hard, for both you and your friend. Perhaps asking how you can support her, after all the amazing support she’s given you can open up a conversation? And as you and others have said, noting that you can give her space if that’s the support she needs.

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  9. I’m so sorry, that sounds like a painful situation for both of you. I agree with other commenters that it seems she’s struggling — I have friends who struggle to find a relationship and are seeing their window of fertility closing without the opportunity to have a loving relationship, and it is so painful. I think the suggestion of going out without the babies and asking what’s going on, that you notice a difference, and trying to focus on her and other parts of life might be a good way to address the situation. Maybe she’s worried all you’ll want to talk about is babies and she won’t be able to connect with you anymore. Maybe she’s just waiting for you to notice and ask her what’s wrong. I’m so sorry, when life changes friendships can change too, but it’s entirely possible some direct communication could help shed light on this distance. Thinking of both of you.

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  10. I think she’s hurting a little bit as well. Remember it’s very easy to get caught up in all things babies and if you aren’t in the same place it can be very confronting. That being said as a BFF it’s a bit weird that she wasn’t there. I was almost in the delivery room with mine 😂😂 and she was having a baby after I’d had m/c and should have had one first! Maybe organize a coffee date or some sign of appreciation for her support during the tough years and remind her that you still need her even tho on the outside it appears you have it all. She might need you to be her rock now xo

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  11. I agree about her hurting and struggling right now. Those are the same actions I did when my friends one by one became pregnant. I didn’t know how to interact with them any more. I’d go see my closest friend during nap time intentionally so I could see her without her kids interrupting us. I definitely suggest trying to make time with her without the kids, or at the very least explaining how you’ve felt a growing distance and even though it’s hard for you to leave the babies right now, you hope you can continue your relationship when it’s easier for you to get away. I’m sure with time, your friendship will grow again if you keep reaching out.

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  12. I try to give new parents a LOT of space. I’ll bring over food, but I feel really bad about over-staying my welcome and try to leave quickly. I worry that I’m imposing. I know how crazy things are with newborns, and some new parents don’t want to host friends over. I need a very clear indication from the parents that it’s not an imposition. If you’d like to spend some time with her, why not invite her over? Or plan an outing with her and the kiddos? Or maybe it’s something else, but reaching out with an invite would make it clear she’s not an imposition on you during a stressful time. Good luck!

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  13. It’s a hard situation for sure especially given your long-standing friendship. But I would give her space. If you go back and read this blog and the way you would react to pregnant co-workers, etc…it’s really not so much different. Imagine if she is struggling the same way that you were all those years…she has to deal with that pain and disappointment on her own and I don’t believe that forcing a conversation about it will help anything at all. I am very careful with my friends who are infertile and still struggling…and I don’t hold it against them if they are unable to be around me when pregnant or with a young baby around. Just my opinion…

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