There’s Nothing Like Getting Together With Old Friends…

…to highlight how little your life has changed in the last five years.

My friend R is coming to town, and that means grabbing some food with her and a couple of the women we used to work with.  It happens about once a year, on average, but this year, I’m not exactly looking forward to it.

It’s not like my life completely sucks (contrary to how it may appear on this blog), but we’ve been standing still for so long, it’s hard to celebrate the good when we’re so busy lamenting what isn’t happening.

By contrast:

R just got engaged and is finishing her PhD.

G has a two-year-old and her own business.

A has a newborn and recently bought a house with her husband.

Everyone has something going on, and I have nothing new to tell.  I’ve  been recounting the same tales of woe regarding Hubby’s employment situation on an annual basis, and as much as I get sick of telling that sad story, I’m sure they’re even sicker of hearing it every time we see each other.  On the other hand, the only reason I’m still around to see them is because Hubby hasn’t gotten a job somewhere else.

R is the only one who knows about our infertility and the fact that we tried IVF.  I was stimming the last time she was in town and had to schedule our dinner date early enough that I could get home and shoot myself up.  I’d like to talk to her–and maybe the rest of them, too–about the fact that it didn’t work and how I feel about it, but I don’t think the day I meet her fiance is the appropriate time.

So…what to talk about?  Or do I just let them do all the talking?  I’m perfectly happy to listen to wedding chatter, but life with a newborn?  Baby pictures?  Or worse, what if she brings the baby?  That’s a panic attack waiting to happen.  And simultaneously makes me feel like a shitty friend.

This is why, even though we live in the same city, I never see or spend time with G and A.  Except when R is in town.

Between now and Saturday, it’s time to put on the big girl panties and prepare to talk extensively about our upcoming trip to see Hubby’s family and how awesome it is that surviving a failed IVF cycle has only brought us closer together.

On second thought, I’ll stick to the trip.

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12 thoughts on “There’s Nothing Like Getting Together With Old Friends…

  1. Infertility and IVF is so isolating! Even when I am with friends I feel very alone. This has resulted in my not going out and hurting some of my friends feelings. I am trying to work on this. I hope you are able to have a nice time with them.

  2. It’s always tough to decide how much to talk about and when. On the one hand, IVF is a huge part of your life right now, as huge as a newborn, new house, wedding, etc, so it makes sense to talk about it. On the other hand, talk of infertility and failed cycles can get pretty heavy and sad, which is not what we usually want when we get together with friends. Obviously, you need to do what feels right for you, but I hate that you even have to consider not saying anything about this big thing in your life, just because it’s not all puppies and rainbows.

  3. I’ve also battled with this and its such a double edged sword. My approach (for better and worse) has been to take a few people into the inner circle about IVF. A few people who you can talk to about it openly…because I really needed them. Oddly enough…I’ve also appreciated having friends that do not know about our IVF and infertility because sometimes it’s nice to not talk about it…and feel “normal”. Everyday…I just think….”I’m doing the best I can”.

  4. Standing still- when you wrote those words, they hit close to home for me. I completely empathize with you when it comes to standing still while everyone else continues to change and expand…but I encourage you to go be with your friends.. disclose only what you want to..nothing more. I have been reading your blog for sometime and can tell you that if you were my friend meeting me for lunch-you would have lots to say. 🙂

    Also, I too have a group of friends that I get together with about twice a year.. we were all friends before marriage and babies.. which all of them now have.. sometimes I think it will be hard for me to be with them, with all the baby talk.. but I just embrace it and they encourage me and are some of my biggest cheer leaders …and I am always so happy to have spent the time.

    Remember people show up in our life..sometimes when we need them the most.

    hugs

    KSS

  5. I so feel for you. I don’t even like to think about the (self-imposed) shrinking social life that has become a part of our struggle to start a family, or the fact that the social activity I do have tends increasingly to be limited to quite superficial topics (like travel!). I feel sometimes as though I *should* talk more about it if I want to break the stigma and end the feelings of isolation that too many of us feel. But the truth is, I am just too sensitive and self-protective about it all. People say so many clumsy and trying-to-be-helpful things, and it’s so hard for me not to feel stung, or bitter, or both. I hope your dinner goes ok and you find a way to be yourself and share what feels comfortable.

  6. I have been in the same situation so many times the last couple of years. Nothing in my life is all that exciting or newsworthy except for my IF treatments and journey to have a baby, and it is such a heavy and private topic that I’m just not ready to share with some people. But it can make it feel isolating, especially when everyone else seems to have plenty of news.

    Hope you find a good balance where you are comfortable at dinner with what you’re sharing or not sharing. And have fun!

  7. I’ve been in this exact situation and all I can say is it’s no fun. IVF is so isolating, and you genuinely feel like your life is at a standstill and you have nothing else to talk about until it’s all figured out one way or the other. I recommend alcohol and a plan to talk mostly about other people and avoid yourself, as hard as that is. There’s better venues to talk to your close friends one on one. Thinking of you.

  8. Oh wow… I know this feeling all too well. I lost touch with many, many people while ttc because of this exact situation. I agree with Aramis- bring on the alcohol, and if you have to, fake extreme interest in the lives of others. Thinking of you…

  9. *Sigh* Boy, do I know exactly how you feel. Last night I had dinner with two friends, one is pregnant. Between them they now have five kids, with one on the way. The talk was all breast feeding, stroller preference, and how very hard losing the post-baby weight always is (both women are half my size, size 2 and size 4). I wanted to say “Pardon me that I don’t need to ask for a tissue after your pathetic sob stories”. haha, but yeah…it sucks. But you just get through it, if you want to keep your friends. The only alternative is to find other friends who can’t have kids or who don’t want them. And that seems to be a rarity in my neck of the woods….

  10. I can relate, too. I avoid pregnant friends entirely now. I just can’t deal with it. Same with our friends who have small children. I just can’t sit there and pretend that my heart isn’t breaking. I’ve definitely become much more isolated. Some of it self-imposed, as I know I’ve pushed people away. Thank goodness for the internet and finding like souls!

  11. Oh Lordy welcome to my world. Only last night I had to sit surrounded by 3 cousins, 5 babies. I actually left the room and tidied up their kitchen after the christening party just to escape. While before we would have chatted about anything and everything, now it’s all creche talk and I just don’t have anything to say about that. One of them even said “wow is it really three years since your wedding?!” And I felt like replying “yes! And still no babies!” Thank you for sharing your own story, because reading it I don’t feel as alone as I felt yesterday. Hugs.

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