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:
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.
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.
I'm back, and it's hopefully not a once-off!!
2 months ago