Writing this post is going to be hard.
It’s going to be hard because my friend reads my blog. So does her husband. So do our mutual friends. So do many of her colleagues in fact.
I thought about NOT writing it, or censoring myself. But that wouldn’t be honest. I started this blog promising to explain the realities of how a woman feels when trying to conceive. Through the good and the bad.
That includes when one of her closest friends gets pregnant.
This isn’t new. In the past 18 months I’ve witnessed many people I know – some I know well, some not so much – announce their happy news. Every time my heart permanently breaks a little bit. It’s another reminder that it’s not me.
Let me make this very, very clear. It is not that I am not happy for them. It’s just I am sad for me.
If I wasn’t so desperate to be a mum myself, I know 100% that I would be jumping for joy and singing from the rooftops with happiness that my friend is pregnant. I would be ecstatic, beaming, thrilled, excited – every happy emotion going.
And I feel them all, I do. I really truly do.
I just can’t show it.
My heart aches. My eyes are tired from crying. My body numb and empty.
My friend knows how happy I am for her and her husband. I know the difficulty of her first pregnancy and birth. I know the pain and lasting effects she has endured since. I know the difficulties she is experiencing the second time around. She deserves this happiness. She deserves this blessing. She is such a wonderful woman, a beautiful human being, and a truly amazing friend. I am not being insincere in that.
She had the grace and sensitivity to privately tell me a few weeks back that she was pregnant. She was worried about telling me (it makes me cry that she is the second friend of mine to feel that way – I wish they wouldn’t). I really appreciated her compassion. And I was genuinely concerned for her health and happiness because she was so poorly. The last thing she needed was to be concerned with my feelings. But that’s her – selfless.
She and her husband went public about it yesterday which is why now is the time for me to write this. I ‘liked’ their separate posts but didn’t publicly congratulate. For the entirely selfish reason that I didn’t want to be flooded with notifications from people who had also commented. But I privately messaged her to explain that. Of course she understood. Because she’s brilliant. And she apologised. Because that’s her.
She’s part of a trio – I’ve written about them before. Me, E and R. We met 7 years ago at a school we all taught at and the shit we have gone through together is ridiculous – you can’t make it up. But we laugh about it. We support each other . We even threaten to beat up enemies who have wronged one of us. They are amazing.
And they GET IT.
They get what I’m going through.
They get that I often don’t reply to their WhatsApp messages when it’s to do with their children because I’m not in a good place emotionally.
They get that I’ll come back when I’m ready. And laugh at their parenting anecdotes. And share in their joy at their children’s milestones.
They get that things are often left unsaid, by me and by them.
And they don’t forgive me for anything – because they know there is nothing to forgive.
(Apart from my choice of tea… inside joke!)
I couldn’t have got through the past 7 years without their friendship. And I would never desert either of them.
I may be absent at times – physically and emotionally – but I will always come back. Always.
And they will be constantly by my side for however long it takes for me to get my happy ending. There will be a million tears shed by all of us when that happens.
And E – I will always be thinking of you and your sweet precious baby, even if I’m not directly asking you all the time. You know that. And I’ll be first in the queue for cuddles when he or she arrives.
I have to keep believing it will be my turn too one day. It will. It has to be.
I saw this quote on Instagram yesterday, like a fortune cookie that was opened by the right person at just the right time:
Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can.