We’re supposed to go see our friends this weekend, the ones who had the baby a couple weeks go. I scheduled the visit so I can’t blame anyone else for it. It’s entirely my fault.
The thing is, I THOUGHT I wanted to go. I really did. When I made the plans I was excited. It’s been ages since we’ve seen our friends. I want to meet their new addition.
And then today I came across the mom’s new Facebook profile picture, of her family at the hospital on the day their son was born. Everyone looks so happy. The scene is positively idyllic. It really pierced me to my core. It put me in a sour mood and every time I scrolled past it I felt worse and worse. By the end of the day I was curdled milk.
The thing is, I don’t really understand WHAT upsets me about the photo, about my friends’ good fortune. I mean I’m pregnant, right? Shouldn’t this kind of stuff not faze me anymore?
And yet it does. It fazes me. A LOT. It still hurts, really bad sometimes. It still makes me feel like crap. It still reminds me of what we went through and all we still have to get through to bring our own baby home. Seeing what they have just shines a hot spotlight on all the pain and heartache. It just makes it raw and tender and achy again.
I can’t say that I totally understand it. It still surprises me, how much the families that grew while we remained stagnant manage to hurt me. Luckily there aren’t too many of them, only five that have children my daughter’s age or much younger than her with second children already born, some already walking and talking. Luckily there aren’t too many that happened to have children my age or younger who then so easily conceived and birthed their second babies. Their children are 18 months or two years apart. Mine will be 3.5 years apart and I know how crazy lucky I am for that, what so many SIFers would give for such an abbreviated spacing. And yet seeing the families that thrived while we suffered, it still hurts me.
I don’t want it to. I want to have moved on. I want to have complete faith in this pregnancy, in the future arrival of this baby safely into my arms. I assume that certainty would quell the jealous that rages deep inside. I want to feel confident that all will end happily. But I don’t. And seeing these families is a reminder that this is it, our one and only shot, or final chance at having the family we always dreamed of, or at least a version of it. None of our friends understand what that’s like. None of them can know the desperation of letting go of a dream and then having it tentatively handed back to you. They can’t possibly fathom what this means to us, and how fragile it all feels.
These friends, the ones were supposed to see on Saturday, have proven time and time again that they just don’t understand. They’ve exposed their ignorance of our experience at almost every opportunity. They are not unkind or insensitive, they just DON’T GET IT. And how could they? I know if we see them they will be all smiles about my baby bump, gushing about the possibility of our second child as if it were as certain a presence in our lives as the son they cradle in their arms. And why shouldn’t they? They’ve never seen a negative pregnancy test. Never lost a pregnancy so easily achieved. They know nothing of that pain and so they have no reason to fear it.
For some reason I just don’t know if I can be around that right now. I’m just not sure.
I’m not stressed out about canceling It’s easy to get out of a newborn visit with patient zero in our home; we can easily say that Isa fell sick and we don’t want to expose the baby. It will be easy to bow out and I don’t worry about disappointing them. Disappointing myself, however? Well that will be very easy to do. In fact, it’s already been done.