I have this friend…

August 15, 2008

In my real (non-blog) life, there a woman that I know solely because of infertility. We met in a fertility doctor’s waiting room, but we also engage in our respective hobbies at the same place, so I’ve seen her there too. Whenever I see her, we chat, usually about other stuff but occasionally about fertility issues.

We have a lot in common, and we would get along if we had met in an entirely different context, but infertility is our biggest connection.

Last week I ran into her and her husband at one of my regular lunch joints. I’d never met her husband before. It’s strange to know details about someone’s reproductive organs before you meet them.

The whole time I talked to the two of them, we didn’t say a word about fertility, but I couldn’t think about anything else. Blahblahblah…(wow, I know a lot about his sperm)…blahblahblah…(hmm, they’re considering adoption)…blahblahblah…(ICSI)…blahblahblah…

My other infertile friends were my friends long before I knew about their infertility (and in most cases, the friendship long preceded TTC). I’ve never had a friend before where infertility was the basis of the friendship.

In the blogosphere, it seems like people are genuinely happy when a fellow infertile successfully obtains a child (through whatever means), but that sometimes it is too painful for the people who are left behind to maintain close contact. Belly shots and baby clothes are too much to handle sometimes when they’re still eluding you. Is that what happens in real life too? If one of us gets pregnant, does the friendship dissolve? If so, is it even worth starting a friendship?

I wouldn’t be using her for support. I would be trying to make a connection because I enjoy talking to her and she happens to understand a part of my life that many people don’t.

Is it worth pursuing a real friendship, rather than a whenever-I-run-into-her acquaintanceship? Do I call her up and invite her for coffee? If we go, do we talk about infertility, or something else?

I’m not always this incompetent in human interactions, really. Infertility has stolen my ability to function like a normal person and turned me into a second-guessing lunatic.

4 Responses to “I have this friend…”

  1. Nity Says:

    I’ve been thinking about friendships a lot lately. You and I must be on a similar wavelength!

    I’ve realized how I have a hard time relating to most of my friends who don’t know I’m struggling with IF. I’ve become extremely introverted and don’t tend to call or pursue anyone to do other things. I have run out of things to say even. What else is there to talk about besides my cycle, how I’m feeling, etc. I don’t like it. It feels like all I think about is me, me, me. But at the same time, this whole journey has recently become what defines me. It occupies my thoughts all the time and I cannot help but wonder what life is going to be like if we ever move on.

    I do think it’s worth pursuing a real friendship. If you both have a significant amount in common, go try to do other things that give you opportunities something else (take a walk, go do your hobbies somewhere, etc.).

    Yes I think it’s hard sometimes to see people get pregnant and you’re not yet. But I think I’m SO much happier when I see an IFer get pregnant. I haven’t wanted to stop reading or supporting anyone who has. But that might be just me. I know that some people really struggle to be left behind. You need to decide what your boundaries are.

    That’s my 2 cents. Take it or leave it. :o)

    **BIG HUGS**

  2. Marie Says:

    WOW, I so feel the same way. Not in blogs though but in real life. I am a shell of my formal self. I can’t thrown a dinner party and I am having a hard time even planning a birthday party for my son.

    I feel like I am turning into a recluse and I can’t seem to stop it.

    Right now I can only seem to connect on here.

  3. Nity Says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the really lovey part when hubby comes home. Now I have something even more to look forward too. :o)

    Hope you can get a lot done too!!

  4. I have a friend, we met during a support group. We got pregnant w/ our first ivf cycles w/in a few weeks of each other. That was great for our friendship. We have stayed friends. Until recently. Her new pregnancy with twins, has made her too tired and, dare I say, unsupportive, of my recent losses. I think sometimes, the pain of IF is so great, that when you are not there, it is too hard to “stay” there for someone, you know? That said, I have another friend, and we were friends first (through association), not we are really good friends b/c of IF. I hope we can stay friends no matter what happens. But i also hope I get pg first.

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