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.