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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wasting My Time in the Bagel Line; or, More Messages From My Subconscious

On Monday, after much dithering, I mailed Clueless Preggo the book and card I had decided to send her to explain why I haven't been a very involved friend since she announced her pregnancy just about a month ago. It felt good. I love scratching another item off my to-do list, and I was glad to get these feelings off my chest and unburden myself to her. I didn't write the note expecting any particular response nor did I even want one. Or so I told myself.

Early this morning I had another one of my patented "Hello Sloper, Allow Me to Tell You How You Really Feel" dream messages from my subconscious. Such a pesky subconscious I have, never letting me hang out happily in denial.

I dreamed I was at Clueless's birthday party (which she didn't celebrate this year thanks to the pregnancy). We were on a rooftop balcony, her friends and family and I, but the only people I recognized in the crowd were her and her husband. She was pregnant, of course, and we were talking and the whole time I was wondering if she'd received my letter and what she thought of it and why she hadn't said anything about it and if I should bring it up. As she was called over to blow out her candles, I sheepishly asked if she'd gotten my note. "Oh, yeah," she said in an off-handed manner and walked away.

Later, she and her husband were giving me a ride home, and when we stopped at a red light, she got out to go stand in the median of the road for some reason (dream logic, remember). Alone in the car with me, her husband told me that Clueless didn't mean to hide her pregnancy for so long, but that she forgot that it would be a sensitive subject for me that needed to be dealt with delicately. Then I woke up.

It was about 5:30 am, and I lay there with that icky discomfort that follows an unpleasant dream, a mix of anxiety and frustration and restlessness. I realized that she either received my note yesterday or will have it delivered today. And I wondered what she will think and what she will do, if anything. And I didn't like wondering. I realized that I am incredibly angry with her, and for an incredibly unfair reason. I realized that she doesn't deserve to be pregnant when I'm not. That she hasn't earned this pregnancy the way I have (and, yes, this flies in the face of everything I've written previously about how we don't "earn" babies, but it was that kind of morning) through sadness and suffering and horrible, horrible waiting. I've been in this bagel line for sixteen G.D. months and she just cut right to the front. And now they're making her bagel and slathering it with cream cheese and piling on the tomatoes and I'm standing here eating my own fingernails I'm so hungry.

At that point, I realized I was crazy. Hungry and crazy. And then I did something very stupid.

You see, Clueless is an infrequent Facebook user and hasn't posted a single thing about her pregnancy, despite being 5-6 months along. On the one hand, I'm grateful to her for that, grateful to avoid the gut punch of logging in and tracking her progress week by week. And yet, knowing that she was going to learn the gender back in May and knowing the only way to find out the gender was to ask her and knowing that I did not want to ask her anything at all about being pregnant--well, all I can say is that being both incredibly nosy and incredibly passive-aggressive and avoidant makes life difficult for me.

But lying awake in the morning light, I suddenly remembered: baby registries! Surely she is registered by now, especially now that she knows the gender. And I can look it up and find out what she's having and never have to talk to her about it at all! Brilliant, right?

Wrong. But I did it anyway. I registry-stalked my friend at 6 am. I found out they are investing in primarily gray and red items--car seat, high chair, bibs and bath toys. But there, toward the bottom of the registry, were a little pink hat, a little pink onesie, and a lavender romper.

She's having a girl.

This doesn't make me feel good.

I am officially a crappy friend.


  1. there's nothing in this post that made me think that you are even remotely weird. maybe that means i'm weird as well, but i've had similar dreams, where i've woken up in the middle of the night and either googled someone/something, or logged onto facebook to catch up on someone in my dream. doesn't happen often, just a few times, but only when i'm particularly disturbed.

    your response is completely normal and even though babies aren't "earned", they really freakin should be!!!! you're not a crappy friend. you're human :o)

    sending hugs. i'm soo getting sick of this not-having-a-baby crap.

  2. You are not a bad friend. You are simply a friend who is going through a rough time. If you two are close and she truly cares about you, she is going to understand why you have distanced yourself from this situation. It's only natural for you to do. What would be better: for you to do this, or for you to force yourself to call her, be cheerful, and gush over her pregnancy--even though it hurts you to do those things? In my opinion, it's better to be honest and to avoid situations that may make you emotional, say the wrong things, or generally react in a way that isn't healthy for you or for your friendship. You are only protecting yourself, and that's what you should be doing.

    Please don't be so hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can given the circumstances. We all understand and we are all here for you. Sending hugs.

  3. You are doing really well. I love your bagel analogy and will use that from now on. Yes, she hopped right up front. I wish I had insight here, but it just seems like this relationship is evolving. I hope that she'll get your card and realize that your pain is real, and that she'll be that much better of a friend for it. You did take a high road approach. Let's hope she cones up to meet you there.

  4. Oh, Sloper, I am so so sorry you have to deal with this AT ALL! I understand being ashamed of your stalker attitude, but I think we've all been there. I routinely scrutinize fb pictures for baby bumps, etc. It's all so so so so not fair. We have a tough time getting pregnant, and then when we do, we can't even enjoy it. It is an awful situation, and I just don't see how any of us deserve it. I STILL can't believe this is really happening...

    I was talking to my dad last night, and his best friend is waiting to go in for a few weeks for a cancer scan. He's on chemo, and waiting to see if the tumors are continuing to shrink. It must be a very similar situation, but with even more terror involved. But of course cancer is another thing that you don't think will happen to you.

    If the universe is AT ALL fair, going through infertility should at least exempt all of us from getting cancer, don't you think? Or am I just making things worse by mentioning this possibility?

    I guess finding out that life is cruel is a part of growing up-- at 33 I suppose I should be ready for that, but somehow I'm not. But I'm still pouty-little-girl enough to hope that these shamelessly fertile types will have other tribulations of equal proportion at some point. And along those lines, I'm a HUGE children's book fan, so will look up that author you recommended.

  5. 1. "Bitch stole my bagel!" I think will be the new expression I use when I find out yet another person beat to it.

    2. You are NOT a bad friend. It was very kind of you to send the book and the card and your message was very sweet. If she's a true friend, she will understand why this is hard. You're human, you're normal, and this is a hard situation. You guys will get through it.


  6. You are not a crappy friend. You are handling this the best way that you can with what you've been through-- it's as simple as that. If Clueless Preggo was in your shoes, she'd react the act same way.

    You don't give yourself enough credit, C... Watching other people (infertile or not) get what you so desperately want SUCKS. And you handle your frustration and disappointment with poise and grace. Always.

  7. I think you should stop beating yourself up -- you are not a crappy friend and are pretty much doing everything possible to be considerate of others' feelings. It's ok to be stressed about telling someone else how you feel (and I think perfectly normal!) and it's ok to be ambivalent or even jealous about your friend. You are doing nothing wrong, and many many things right.

  8. Oh, this makes me sad. I Google/FB/registry stalk my friends too, and I could feel my secret shame come to the surface when I read your post. :(

    I don't think you're being a bad friend, by the way. You're refreshingly honest with her about you feel. Me? I'm still calling and chatting up M about her pregnancy with a big ol' fake smile plastered across my face because I'm too chicken to tell her how much the situation is gutting me. So I applaud you, really.

  9. I love how honest and in touch with your feelings you are. It's to be commended, and not something for which you should be ashamed. Seriously.

    It's great that you sent her the book/letter and, hopefully, she'll give you some sort of response.

  10. You're so not a crappy friend. You're someone who has been through the wringer, and while we might logically understand that we can't earn babies, there is a very large emotional reaction in each and every one of us at the unfairness of having to just stand there as Janie-come-latelies get their bagels schmeared the moment they walk into the joint. I'm thinking good thoughts for a decent, thoughtful response from your friend.