My Dear Friend,
I’m sure that by now you’ve seen my pregnancy announcement online. I wanted to call you personally to tell you, but I also didn’t want to put you on the spot. I’m sorry if my silence felt uncaring, because it was quite the opposite. I didn’t mean to catch you off-guard. We are treading new territory in our relationship, and I’m sure we’ll make missteps along the way. I wanted to be sure to let you know a few things, though.
1. You are a dear friend, and I am still here for you.
I am going to follow your lead on what level of contact you can handle right now. I will not be offended if you ignore my emails, texts, or calls. Please respond when and if you feel up to it. I don’t want to completely disappear from your life, and I hope that you do not disappear from mine. But I know this is a challenging time for you, and the last thing I want to do is bring you more pain. I also know that while my pregnancy may be a reminder of what you don’t have, I am not the only reminder. I know that your children and hopeful children are always on your mind.
Please know that I am still here, still loving you, still hoping for you, and still praying for you and the deepest desires of your heart. Do not be afraid to call when you are upset and hurting. And if you need to tell me you need some time away from me, I promise to hear you and respect your wishes.
2. I understand if you need to un-follow me on social media.
I’m trying to be reasonable about what I share on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but part of my attempt to embrace this terrifying pregnancy and bond with this baby is sharing my pregnancy online. The reminders may be too painful for you, and I understand. I don’t take any jealousy or hurt personally.
3. I will invite you to my shower, but I completely understand if you choose not to attend and/or send a gift.
I don’t want to leave you out, because you are that dear of a friend. But, I know what a hole of pain baby showers can be after loss and infertility. I trust you to do what you need to do to protect yourself, your heart, and the memory of your precious children.
4. I will not make promises to you that are not mine to make.
As much as I hope (and I really, really do) you are the next person I know to get pregnant, have a healthy pregnancy, and bring home a beautiful baby, promising that to you isn’t mine to promise. It’s not fair, and I won’t say, “Your turn next.” I won’t tell you that “I just know” that your next pregnancy will be the one where you bring home a healthy baby, because I don’t know. We can’t know that. We can hope for it, but we can’t know it. I will try my best not to say stupid things. I hope that I can remember what it felt like to be the one struggling to get pregnant after the loss of her precious son and what hopeful, well-meaning comments were made to me that stung so much. I will try not to repeat those to you.
I treasure our friendship, and I hope that we will continue to be dear friends for many years to come. Please know I validate all of your complicated feelings about my pregnancy, and most of all, I love you dearly.
Your friend, fellow loss and infertility mom, Valerie