A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Biting the Bullet; or, Sending Out An SOS

After weeks of dithering, I finally decided what to do about Clueless Preggo (aka the Friend Formerly Known as Recently Trying). Every option I'd considered sounded both appealing and dismal. Getting together for dinner would make me feel like a strong, capable person, but would probably lead to days of weeping and self-laceration of emotional wounds. Sending an e-mail would be quick and direct but brusque, impersonal, and too open to interpretation. Calling her on the phone would allow for honest and open communication but could also turn into an all-about-me sob fest. And sending a card would show thoughtfulness but also might seem too much like a goodbye.

I didn't spend too much time thinking my way through any of the options in detail but let them rumble around in my mind, watching to see what seemed to attract the most stress and what attracted the least. The least stressful option was definitely sending a card, so that's what I decided to do.

Today I bought an adorable yellow card. On the cover is a baby clothesline and the word "congratulations", but as it doesn't say "on your new arrival" or "on your little one" or something like that I think it can work for a pregnancy congratulations card as well as a new baby card. I also picked up a mini-book of baby names filled with lovely photographs. And then, when I returned home, I sat down and wrote the following:

Dear "Clueless",

I am so happy for you and Mr. Clueless. You are going to be amazing parents, and this baby will be very loved. Your families must be so thrilled to welcome the new baby. I'm truly glad that it sounds like everything is going so well with your pregnancy.

Things with me have been hard, and I say this not to dump cold water on your happy time, but just to let you know why I haven't been as involved a friend as I would like to be. I'm still sad a lot, still wondering when I'll get to be a mom, and starting to consider seeing a specialist in the next few months.

It's difficult sometimes when I'm so down and disheartened to be excited and cheerful for other people, even when I want to be the same happy kind of friend I used to be. I need to take each day as it comes--sometimes I feel up for more, sometimes I need to protect my heart a bit.

I guess I'm trying to say that I care a lot about you even when it's hard for me to show it. And that I can't promise to be there for you in the same way I once could, but I can promise to do my best. Things could improve for me soon--I hope they do! This could also be a very long road ahead. Either way, I look forward to better times with you and your little family.

Secret Sloper

Clueless knows about the miscarriage and about how long ago we started trying, so I didn't see the need to spend much time explaining our situation. I also realized in ruminating on the card option that what worried me about it was the fact that I don't really know what I want from Clueless. I don't want to ask her to leave me alone and then feel in a few weeks like I'm capable of handling her pregnancy after all and have to backtrack. I don't want to make a big deal about how hard this is and how sad I am and then call her in two months with a "Guess what?!?!" and force her to pretend like this never happened. I don't really want anything from her other than space to feel what I feel when I feel it--and for her to know and accept this.

So the card is much more about me and my feelings than about her and her actions (or potential actions). It's trying to explain where I am, not asking her to do anything.

I'm going to send it along with the book next week after I get back from my youngest sister's college graduation. I hope she takes it well. I haven't a clue how she'll respond, and for now I'm okay with remaining the Clueless one.


  1. You are awesome and I am SO proud of you. Can I cut and paste parts of this letter and send it off to some of my own friends? Because it *perfectly* articulates where I am with many of them right now....why I'm a hermit....where I've gone....why I'm not happy & cheery like I always used to be.

    I hope sending it brings you some peace and gives you the space you need to take it one day at a time. B/c really, that is ALL we can do. xo

  2. This is very mature and thoughtful. I learned something from you here on how to better handle another friend I'm not blogging about. I'd feel very touched if I were Clueless, because you are a good friend to be honest and still supportive. Again, thanks for your kind words (we are now going to proceed to do the whole "you're great. No you're great" endless loop. So I'll add, "what lovely people we are and that we look especially smashing today.) Seriously well done!

  3. i, too, may have to plagiarize parts of this letter at some point soon. it is perfect. you didn't linger on the "how hard" part too long, nor did you mention "don't call me and complain about your morning sickness". she can interpret what she will from this, but i think and hope that it will have the desired effect.

    you were honest and that's all you can do at this point. i'm sure she will tear up reading this, and treat you with tact going forward :o)

    ps - thanks for you comment yesterday. what everyone wrote made me realize that guys are wired differently when it comes to spending money on babies :o)

  4. I think it's a great message. It's honest and fair, and still very much supportive of her and of your friendship. I think this is a good way to go. You're not ignoring your pain, not brushing it under the rug. You're telling it like it is.

    I really, really hope that you will be giving her a "Guess What?" telephone call, very soon.

  5. It's a great note, Sloper, well done. Very proud of you :-). I hope she understands and responds well.

  6. I think that this is just perfect. It is honest and heartfelt and places no expectations on your friend, just explains where you are in your journey. Hopefully, she will be able to understand and empathize with your situation a little better after getting your note. If not, it, will not be because you were not honest with her.

  7. I think you made a beautiful choice that balanced your need to be protected emotionally and your desire to be a friend. You are so very articulate and generous, and I hope that your friend appreciates your honesty and manages to find an appropriate way to respond in kind to your gesture. (And count me in on the hoping you can make the "Guess What?" call too.)

  8. Lovely! I think as long as you're genuinely not expecting anything from her (except some level of understanding of what you're up against), this should do the trick! And it does seem like your goal is to not have to see her if you don't want to or talk to her about her pregnancy, as opposed to getting support FROM her, so this seems like the perfect approach. I think if I got this I'd want to respond, so maybe you could give her some hint as to whether you'd like a response and if so in what medium? Anyway, props to you for taking action!

  9. I love your card. You said it's all about you, but I find it's a lot about your relationship, how you would like to be there for her but are not sure you can do it. Hope she understands -- and that you get to make the "Guess what" call soon!

  10. This letter is amazing. And perfect. I'm anxious to see how she responds. Please keep us posted Secret Sloper!

  11. Great letter. If I was Clueless, I'd rush right over and give you a big hug and try to give you as much support as I possibly could.

    I think it's totally perfect, and doesn't say anything about how the friendship should go from here on out. I am sure that will run it's proper course depending on the strength of your bond- and times like these definitely test those bonds. How Clueless responds will speak volumes about her strength of character. Because your letter is honest and open and totally leaves the door open for her to respond in kind. If she DOESN'T, it is all her, I promise. This letter, as I said, would make me (If I were Clueless) want to rush to your side and have that PBF talk IMMEDIATELY.

  12. That's a completely perfect, awesome letter. Great job.

  13. I think this is the perfect plan, with the perfect note that just says it all. I really hope she responds well, I can't imagine being in her position and not appreciating the heads up and honesty about the situation, ya know. Keep us posted!!

  14. Perfect! I think you chose the best possible way to go about things and the letter is honest but caring at the same time. Yay Sloper! Hope you feel some sense of relief. Have a great weekend.

  15. No idea if this is useful or not, but i saved it for myself "just in case".


  16. You are so brave and I am so proud of you for sending this, C.

    I know that communicating with people who just can't understand is scary and daunting, but you articulated perfectly how much to care about her, but that you have to watch out for you right now.

    What friend wouldn't respect that? XOXO.