Tag Archive | friends

#MicroblogMondays: Old Friends

Yesterday, we invited two old friends of mine into our home for a few hours. And by “old,” I mean that, with the exception of my cousins, these are my very oldest friends. I’ve known them most of my life. That said, I haven’t seen them in twenty years and we’ve kept in touch mostly through the magic of Facebook, which basically means not at all. I’m a naturally shy and reserved person and felt a mix of fear, nerves, anxiety, and sheer dread as I awaited the arrival of, essentially, two people (and their spouses) who were now strangers to me. And so it was a relief to realize that somehow knowing someone in your earliest, most innocent and precious years connects you for life. There was no awkwardness or discomfort; we talked for nearly four hours straight and could have kept going, if it were not for the bedtimes of my children.

As they walked out our front door to return to their hotel, it occurred to me that, had I not moved hours away from them before the start of middle school, we probably would have remained dear friends for all of my life. It’s a little sad to think what I may have missed out on.

Do you keep in touch with your childhood friends? Are you still close to them now?

 

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The Results Are In…

This week, I received two interesting e-mails in my Inbox.

The first came yesterday, telling me that the results of my 3-hour GTT were in. As I checked them online, my heart thudded and I felt almost sick. I had prepared myself for the possibility of gestational diabetes the best that I could, but really? I just wanted to pass the damn test. I long for a complication-free pregnancy on this third go-around, since my last two pregnancies have not been without their trials. But I’m happy to announce that, as far as I can tell, everything looks pretty decent. Three out of four of my blood draws were in the middle of the normal range. Perfectly average. The only reading that was flagged as “HIGH” was my 2-hour blood draw and I’m not surprised by that at all. I have taken this test before, while not pregnant, and also failed the 2-hour blood draw at that time. I haven’t heard from my doctor yet regarding the results, but I’m a big believer in no news is good news. They have always been quick to contact me when there was an issue, so the fact that my phone has been silent can only be a good sign, as far as I’m concerned. I did google it and it seems that some patients who have one abnormal number in the 3-hour test will be advised by their doctors to re-test later in pregnancy, but for now, I think I’m in the clear. And that makes me so  happy that I could do a backflip — except I’m pregnant and have never been able to do a backflip even when my womb is empty. But suffice it to say, I’m over-the-moon and tremendously relieved. I have exactly 11 weeks until my due date and I want nothing more than to just  enjoy every second of this long-awaited for pregnancy.

The second e-mail of interest arrived just moments ago. It’s from my friend Kat. Remember her? It’s been over four weeks since I poured my heart out to her in that long e-mail and I had just about given up on expecting a response. But it’s here now, still unopened because I’m too scared to read it. I want to wait until Honey gets home from work, at least. Maybe I’ll have him read it and let me know how bad it is. Tomorrow, we leave on a road trip to visit family in Idaho and I wonder if it’s wisest to wait until our return to open the e-mail? Do I want it weighing on me all weekend??? I’ve waited this long; surely I can wait a few more days. But I’m also curious. And I kinda just want to rip off the bandaid. I want to know what she has to say. But I don’t. It’s complicated. And confusing. I don’t know. I guess, for now, I’m just playing a game to see how long I can hold out. Kind of like I do when I want some chocolate cake.

Which, now that I’ve mentioned it, sounds really good right now. Thank goodness there’s none around to tempt me.

Odds ‘n’ Ends: Symptoms and Friend Updates

** pregnancy post **

I find I’m doing a lot more of these kind of posts lately because I have so many little things that I want tell all of you, but nothing that requires a post of its own. I guess that’s good? But maybe it’s utterly boring to all of you. Sorry if that’s so!

Anyways, on to the bullet points:

  • I’ve had some symptoms weirdly resurface over the last week or two. Like, I’m tired. All the time. I was doing well with one nap a day, but now I’m back to two most days. Also, I’ve had 3-4 periods of nausea and one morning of vomiting recently. Um, I thought my 1st trimester was over??? And I’ve been surprised to find that I am breathless after a short walk down the street and can no longer comfortably tie my shoes or get up after sitting on the floor without a significant struggle. This is all par for the course, I suppose, but I never had any of this discomfort so soon while preggers with Cupcake. I was lucky to get to about 38 weeks then before I felt hugely pregnant. Now? Not so much.
  • I also think my pregnancy hormones are in full swing. I’ve been so irritable lately. Everything makes me cranky. And I’ve been terribly weepy. I’ve cried five times over the last week or so, all for pretty silly reasons. Yesterday, it was because my husband couldn’t meet me for lunch. On Sunday, it was because my coupon at JoAnn’s Fabrics had expired the day before. I am a bit of a mess. And poor, poor Honey. I pity that man for having to put up with me.
  • Remember my friend Lillian? Her little babe has a heartbeat! She is due Feb 6, about four months after Skittle should arrive. Yay!
  • I also learned another close friend, Linn, is pregnant. Supposedly. I say that because, while I love her to death and her intentions are always good, I cannot always trust what she says. She has a long history of embellishing the truth and telling stories for attention. For example, six months after my miscarriage last year, she miscarried. And six months after I was diagnosed with PCOS, she was too. And now here we are, almost six months since I got pregnant, and she just learned she’s pregnant too. And the way in which she learned she’s pregnant? By the doctor just feeling her cervix, and no urine or blood tests to follow? Um…yeah. That is super believable. So only time will tell if she’s really pregnant. I kind of believe she is (maybe because I’m just an idiot myself), but I just cannot believe everything that has led up to it. Call me a bad friend if you must.
  • I still haven’t heard from Kat. Maybe I never will, after all. But even if I do, I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes her another week or two to get back to me.
  • Sometimes my sis says things that irritate the heck out of me. To be fair, she never says them to my face, but her recent Facebook posts have really gotten under my skin. A month or two ago, she posted something like, “Just spilled a day’s worth of pumped breast milk all over. Worst. Feeling. Ever.” And last week: “Have to return to work in a few days after a long maternity leave. Leaving my daughter will be the hardest day of my life.” I get her point and I do know being a new mom is tough, but really, sis? I mean, seriously??? Worst feeling ever?  Hardest day of her life? Good grief. I think she’s had it way too easy if that’s the worst she’s ever experienced. Maybe she should try walking in one of our shoes for a time. Know what I mean, friends?

Okay, that’s it. Sorry for the complaining. I’m in that kind of mood lately. Hope all of you are well and good. Wishing you a pleasant end to your week and a fantabulous weekend to follow! xo

Left Behind

Another friend is pregnant.

But she’s not just any friend. No casual acquaintance or Facebook psuedo-friend. Lillian is a very close  friend and the one who has helped me along through the last nine months. She’s 36 and, in many ways, she’s one of us. Technically, she doesn’t have trouble getting pregnant. She has trouble staying pregnant. She has a daughter now who will be three in April, but before conceiving her little lady in 2009, Lillian suffered three miscarriages over the course of nine months. She knows the ins and outs of charting and temping. She’s all-too-familiar with the pain of wondering if she will ever hold her precious child in her arms. She understands why pregnancy announcements and baby showers are hard for me, why it’s difficult to see or hold a newborn right now, without explanation.

When I lost Teddy Graham, Lillian was there like no one else could be. At the time, she was one of only two people whom I personally knew who had experienced the loss of a pregnancy, and she was the only local one. No other friend even knew I was pregnant. Lillian had guessed just by looking at me, and I feel that must have been something orchestrated by God, because she was the best one to turn to in my loss. She guided me through all of it. She invited me over for playdates and out for ice cream so we could talk. She offered to watch Cupcake if I just needed to be alone in my grief. And I give her all the credit for this blog. She may not have written the words for each post, but she is the one who encouraged me to do so because that is how she navigated this when she was facing RPL. Because of Lillian, I have all of you.

Last night, Lillian and I had dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Because we both started TTC at the same time after my miscarriage, and have spent many hours in the past sharing the nitty-gritty details of our cycles, she knew we would be discussing the most personal things over our curries. And she did not want to lie to me, so she sent me an e-mail last week to break the news, an e-mail because she remembers that’s what I wanted from my sister. She did and said all the right things. She treated me with the tenderness, gentleness, and sensitivity that my sis never has (which, until now, has been my barometer to judge all of this). She gave me the option of canceling our dinner date and she welcomed me to express to her how I felt about her news. And when I did, completely and truthfully, she responded not with hostility, bitterness, or condemnation, but repeated thanks for my honesty. I did not know it was possible that someone like this existed.

Last Wednesday, when I read that e-mail first thing in the morning, it crushed me. I cried until sundown. I felt more defeated, more hopeless, than I ever have since the start of this journey. I could not respond to Lillian’s e-mail at the time. I was not a pleasant person to be around. This one little pregnancy announcement from someone I love and respect felt like the end of the world. And I said things I am not proud of and did not mean, things like how much easier this would all be if life just didn’t continue. That was a very dark day.

Let me be clear: I have no ill will towards Lillian. None at all. She has done everything perfectly. She has treated me exactly the way I hope I would treat someone else if I was in her shoes. At dinner, she did not go on and on about her pregnancy, but apologized whenever she did mention it. She let me talk and worry over my journey, and sympathized with everything I said. She is the friend I have always wanted. I would be lying if I said I was not jealous, but that jealousy does not lead me to anger or bitterness or ugly thoughts. It only makes me weepy, and thankful that she understands.

It is still early for Lillian. This pregnancy is very new. She is only five weeks along. She is scared because she does not know if history will repeat itself. I am scared for her. And happy for her, too. And sad for me. But most of all, I feel left behind. By everyone. My Reader is full of bumpdates and positive peestick photos, but that is the very least of my heartache. Every one of you deserve this. I am happy and hopeful for all of you, my friends. But there are pregnancy announcements everywhere I turn. I was *lucky* enough, while TTC my darling Cupcake, to know only one person who was pregnant…and I didn’t learn about her pregnancy until two months before my own BFP. I did not have to wade through any of this kind of pain. In this moment, I have cousins, old and new friends, acquaintances, and a sister who are expecting or have recently given birth. Some of them are first babies, but many are second or third or even fourth. And now, my own in-real-life ally has crossed to the other side, too. I will be the only regular in our mom’s group who does not have more than one child. It is not fair of me to feel abandoned because I know Lillian will be there for me whether she gets to have this baby or not…even whether she has ten or twelve or a hundred babies. But I do. I feel utterly alone.

But this is not all about me. I know that. Lillian is worried about and fearful for what these next few weeks bring. I want to support her like she has supported me. I will be checking in with her frequently. And I have offered to watch her daughter if she just needs some rest or has a bad bout of morning sickness. This is what friends are for. She has given me permission to pull away, to take time off from our relationship, to not feel any joy about her joyous news, but I will not do any of that. I pride myself on being thoughtful and selfless in my friendships, on being everything my sister has failed to be to me. In my relationship with my sis, I have been there for her in other ways. I have really tried to be the kind of sister she wants. I have made gifts for her and I spent way too much money on a baby that hasn’t even been born yet. But in my relationship with Lillian, I want to do better. This is my opportunity for redemption. This is my second chance.

Old Wounds Reopened

I’ve been having a hard time lately. In the last few days, I have faced sadness, disappointment, and this pervasive feeling of worthlessness. And strangely, none of it has to do with infertility or loss.

Instead it’s because of two relatively minor things that took place last week:

  • I am a part of a mom’s group here in our suburban town, a group filled with mothers of all ages with kids of all ages (but mostly under 5). While it took everything I had as a shy, new mom to seek this group out, over the last year and a half, they have become my friends. All of them, but two in particular. They are the only local friends I have. But while at a playdate last week, I learned that many of these moms are going “cabining” together on November 17 — that is, they’ve rented a bunch of cabins in a nearby forest and will be spending the weekend away, moms, dads, kids, and all. I was never invited. Many other moms weren’t either, but I am one of them, and I’m a group regular. I can only assume this is because I declined their offer over the summer to go camping and they thought (probably rightly so) that we would say no again. Or perhaps they don’t even realize I wasn’t invited. I don’t know. All I know is that I never will know exactly why I was excluded.
  • I am in the process of planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. We have invited a large handful of close friends and family to our home for cake and ice cream and fun. So far, more people than not have declined. Many more. So many more, in fact, that our party is turning out to be quite, quite small. Nearly everyone who came to her party last year will not be there this year. They already have plans — a play to go to, a baby shower to throw — things that have been in the works for months. See the first bullet point for why a few of my daughter’s friends (and mine) won’t be coming either. And while Cupcake probably couldn’t care less who comes to her party, I do care. I want to celebrate the life of my girl, a child I once believed would never exist. I want everyone in my life to celebrate with me and to believe that she is worth it. I am immensely grateful to those (including my sister) who will be at her party, but it still hurts that others will not.

Now, I will be the first to admit that I am ultra-sensitive and it does not take much to hurt my feelings. If you cross your eyes at me, I will somehow convince myself that you are making fun of my (improving) acne. If you ask if I’d like a glass of water, I will believe that you are trying to usher me out of your home because, otherwise, you would have offered me a cup of coffee so I could stay and linger for a while. It’s pathetic and pitiful.

I am trying not to take these two things — the cabining and the lackluster birthday party — too personally. I am failing. While I am less broken up about it than I was over the weekend (when I cried, many times a day), I’m still crushed.  I feel discouraged and let down. I know some of you may be rolling your eyes. I know, in the big scheme of life and with infertility weighing on all of us, that these are two very insignificant things. I know I need to buck up and get over it…or thicken my skin.

But that is not me. I have been this way most of my life and, while I have matured and grown, I have not stopped feeling pain, however small it is, very deeply. And so my most recent happenings have done nothing but make old insecurities resurface. Once again, I feel “less than,” undeserving, unworthy, inadequate, and rejected. It makes me want to curl into myself and hide. To stop putting myself out there and risking my heart. To stop giving others the opportunity to hurt me.

But that is not me either. I may be timid, shy, reserved, quiet, and a wallflower, but I do not hide. I do not run away if there is a chance I should take. I don’t stop loving, or letting myself be loved. So I will go on. I will still meet with my mommy group. I will still try to build upon the friendships I have made. I will throw my daughter a fantastic party and thoroughly appreciate those who care enough to come. And next year, I will do it all over again. And hopefully, along the way, there will be other moments that build my confidence, strengthen me, and show me that others believe I am a person worth knowing, and a friend worth having. And I will hope that it’s true.