I had Liam's 9 month letter prepped and ready to post today (yes, it's over 2 weeks late) but I felt the need to post this instead.
About six weeks ago, I wrote this post, about needing to tell a good friend of mine that I was pregnant with Baby #2. She's been struggling with infertility since before we started TTC. It was hard to tell her I was pregnant with Liam. It was even more difficult to tell her about this baby. I've now had two pregnancies before she's had one. And I can't imagine how difficult that is for her.
This is a friend who I consider to be very close (sorority sister, college roommate, bridesmaid) but not someone that I keep in touch with as often as I’d like—especially over the past several years. I really didn't want to tell her at all, but I didn't want keeping the secret to damage our friendship either, so I decided to keep it short and sweet. I sent this email at the beginning of June:
I feel like it’s been ages since we've talked!! Our schedules seem to be opposite and we're always playing phone tag. I hope that things are great in XX and that you get to spend some time at the beach when you travel to XXX with XX. We're going down to a friend's beach house in Panama City over the 4th of July and I can't wait!
We're doing well-- It's really hot here already. I read the other day that it's about 15 degrees hotter than the average for this time of year. Luckily, my parents' neighborhood has a pool & I think we'll be living in it this summer! They're doing great and really enjoying keeping Liam on Tues & Thurs while I work part time. It's a great schedule-- I get a break and get to get out of the house and make a little money, but we aren't paying for childcare and Liam gets to spend time with his grandparents. It's worked out awesome.
Now for the news... I'm pregnant.
As you know, we struggled to get pregnant with Liam and were so happy to finally be successful with the help of our fertility specialist. This baby was a complete surprise. Since we had so much trouble having Liam, we really figured we'd struggle again-- we were not trying to get pregnant, but we were not taking any precautions against it either. Rob's sister Barbara, who delivered Jack about a week before I had Liam, called me one day to tell me that (surprise!) she was pregnant. After we got off the phone, I just had this nagging feeling that I should take a test, based on some of the symptoms she mentioned. I pushed it out of my mind for a few hours, but later, took a test and it was positive. (Sadly, Barbara found out at 14 weeks that the baby had stopped growing around 8 weeks. It's been very hard on her and hard on us.)
Hon, when we were trying to get pregnant with Liam, it just about killed me every time someone announced that they were pregnant. While I couldn't wait to share this news with you, I also know that you guys have been trying to start your family for some time now. We haven't talked in a while & I would love to hear about where you guys are and if you've made any decisions about potentially seeing a fertility specialist? It was a really hard step for Rob and I to take, but it was ultimately, what brought us Liam.
I miss you and think about you often! I'm sorry we're not in touch more, but I would love to hear all about what's going on with you guys.
I love you!
I waited. And waited. And waited. I never got a response. I thought, “Maybe she just needs some time to process this and she’ll respond later.”
But a response never came.
I’ve been thinking about her a lot. Saturday morning (over a month later), I sent her a text and said, “Not sure if you got my email and a month or so ago, but I’ve been thinking about you a lot.”
I asked Rob what he thought I should do & he thought I should just pick up the phone and call her. So, I did. After I put Liam down for a nap today, with shaky hands, I called her. It rang once, then I was forwarded to voicemail.
It was hard not to cry as I left her a message… “Hey honey, it’s Stef. I’ve tried to get in touch with you a few times over the past month or so, but haven’t been able to reach you—I’m a little worried. If you can, please let me know you’re ok. I love you.”
I realize, as I write this, that I’m being selfish in my need for a response from her. I want her to tell me it’s ok & maybe I want to hear that she forgives me. But maybe it’s not ok. Maybe my pregnancy announcement is the one that finally broke her fragile heart—and as much as I want to make things ok, I can’t. I can't change our circumstances. Perhaps my repeated attempts to make contact are hurting her more and pushing her further away.
I don’t know.
Please help, friends. Do I just stop? Is there something else I can do? I want our friendship to continue…but more importantly, I don’t want to hurt her. I'm afraid that I already have.