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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Grasping

Greetings, KuKd Strong Mommas and Inquisitive Guests!

Some of you may recall me mentioning N, one of my best prego buddies. I had two, really, and she was one of them. We were all due the same week in October. From the second I met N, I knew we were going to be not just friends, but really really really good friends. Here's why:

1) She had a loud and low voice. Most of my friends have loud, low voices like me. Teacher voices, bitchy voices, theatre-major voices.

2) She liked beer, steak, and bacon - which automatically raise a person's level of blue-collar coolness.

3) She laughed at what I said, which made me feel funnier than I really am.

4) We would go out together with other people, and then she would call me on the phone an hour later to "debrief." That's it. Not to say anything absolutely necessary, not to convey important information. Just to hash over what had just happened, what it all meant, what was UP with that chick's outfit, did I pick up on the rude undertones of so-and-so's comment, etc.

5) She was kind of paranoid about her pregnancy, which made me feel okay being paranoid. We were paranoid together.

6) She was pretty, but in a make-up-free, earthy way. Much prettier than me. It's rare to meet a pretty person who isn't obnoxiously full of their own prettiness.

7) Out of desperation, she had pooped behind a tree in an upscale neigborhood. Yet another thing to add to her likability factor.

8) And finally, of course, the number one reason: our kids were going to be born on about the same day. A notion loaded potential, with dreams of the future, with will-be's and can't-wait-to-be's.

Can't you see why I would become instant friends with N?

Now, of course, those will-be's and can't-wait-to-be's have turned into could-have-been's. There's a chasm that formed between us, and it is still the one thing - nearly a year-and-a-half after losing the baby, that frustrates and baffles and saddens me to no end. I don't know when it started happening, when I began realizing the cruel inevitible: that I would have to distance myself from N, that I wasn't as thick-skinned as I'd thought, and that distancing myself from her would give her a cue to step back. Which I did, and which she did.

And she's knocked up again now, which makes for an even wider chasm.

I want to reign it in, reenact the friendship we once had, reconstruct the reality that once was my bubble world, but how? I want to be there for her, but if I can't stir up conversations and questions about the ONE THING dominating her life right now - new parenthood and another baby on the way - how is a real close friendship even possible? How do you maintain a close friendship with someone when neither of you can relate (at ALL) to each others' life-altering predicaments, and when the main commonality that brought you together is such a source of pain?

Oh, we both still try, grasping fleetingly for friendship. A Christmas card here, a package sent there, an invitation to a dance party, a "what's up" e-mail. We try, and we always belly laugh and skillfully dodge any kind of touchy subject matter, like some kind of conversational snake-dance. It makes me wistful in the end, reminding me still of the could-have-beens, kind of like hanging out with an ex-boyfriend.

I'm waiting for the day when I can open my heart back up to how it used to be, and let her and her beautiful son inside. I hope that day comes soon.

11 comments:

Michelle said...

I hope so too! It is so hard to deal with losing a baby and then what inevitably happens with some of you friends. You have to do it to protect yourself and also to in some ways protect the friendship...or more so the friendship you hope to have in the future. It is understandable and happened to me as well. I have friends that I talk to infrequently but we are just at 2 different places. Someday I hope to be in the same place so we can have the friendship we once had and I hope it happens for you too.

Megan said...

When you figure it out, let me know. A good friend of mine who was contemplating divorcing her husband got pregnant "accidentally" a month after my miscarriage. I tried to be a good friend and listen to her concerns, but it was too hard.

Monica LeMoine said...

Michelle: Yes, I think you articulate it perfectly. When you each go to two different places, how do you find each other once again?

Megan: OK, I'll let you know. I have a feeling the two of us might be like the blind leading the blind, though, so don't get your hopes up.

Cara said...

Funny - my best friend when Emma died didn't have kids yet. She so didn't get it. She tried, but - no. I thought, "Oh when she has a baby of her own it will all make sense to her."

You know, the "what if I had to leave this hospital without her" feeling. But, things have never been the same. We play a good cover, that's it.

Melissa Griffin said...

I know this is such a bummer. I understand it all too well. I have about 6 friends pregnant literally right now - all begining stages. Its hard but I had to decide to I want to lose all my close friends forever and the answer was no...so I just deal with it and act like nothing is wrong sometimes. Am I saying that is what is right for everyone? No, but I have to remember they know whats going on with me and its harder for them to have to tell me their news and let me see their belly grow then it is for me...that is what one of them told me. That somehow gave me comfort.persi

sharonvw said...

Mon, I think I've told you my story before, similar to yours, 3 best friends all pregnant within 7 days of each other, all due within a week of each other. They had beautiful baby girls who're now best friends, I had a miscarraige. It was the most unbearable part of my infertiilty journey to date. They didn't/couldn't understand my pain, I didn't/couldn't participate in their pregnances and the friendships ultimatley ended. Very sad and I don't mean to sound callous, but I have been thinking about that reason, season or lifetime saying about friendship and the only conclusion I can come to is perhaps they weren't the lifetime kinda friendships. The people I've known forever are the people who I'm still buds with despite my shitty infertility and their children.
I also have lost of "reason" friends, friendships I've forged through my infertlity and those friendships help me through the rough times of my infertility. Are they lifetime friendships? I dunno, I'll tell you when I get to the otherside of this infertility journey.
Its sad but I guess its part of life right?

Monica LeMoine said...

Yes, it's sad. And yes, it's a part of life. None of this is the fault of the friend that had the baby - they are the innocent bystanders in all of this. It just works this way.

N is an important friend to me, someone I respect and cherish. So it's up to me to work through these issues - she's got a kid and a growing fetus to tend to. Sigh...

Anabelle said...

You know..my friend Ry and I have known each other for about 6 years now. I think the thing that holds us together is our rediculously similar humor.

We are both mom's now...but under totally different circumstances. I planned with the hubs... she got knocked up in the bahamas by a guy she'd been dating for a whopping 5 months.... and they are no longer together. She didn't plan to be a mom.. and I think deep down inside, she still doesn't want to be. She goes through the motions... but unlike my koolaid momness...she's more of a go out when baby's dady has the kid and get drunk as much as possible.. bar hop and hook up with fun guys.

We're night and day.... with very little in common anymore.

But our rediculous sense of humor holds us together...and we still speak everyday so that I may tell her about the poops I had today will taking Alli to lose weight, and she can tell me about the hot 24 year old guy that she took home last night.

It works... but it works because we choose to let it.

its a decision.... and it works. I need her fun life to give me hope...and she needs my mommy hood to inspire her.

*~*Lis*~* said...

It seems we've all been there - it's like a cruel joke or something I guess. With my first pregnancy my best friend in the whole world K had to tell me she was also pregnant and due about 10 days before I would have been (along with 6 (yes SIX) other friends). It crushed me. we had been friends for oh 5 or 6 years at that point and worked together - right next to each other. I lost that pregnancy early (ectopic) around 7 weeks - so I had almost 8 wonderful months of watching her belly grow. She was very considerate of my feelings, but since she was in the cube next to me I heard about everything while she talked with other people. She had horrible morning sickness her entire pregnancy - I remember thinking what a baby she was complaining about it, and how grateful I'd be for having morning sickness! She then went on to have her daughter 4 1/2 weeks early, and she spent 8 days in the NICU - I had the stupid notion that I somehow caused it. I left the job shortly after that and we kind of lost touch. Then when I finally had a pregnancy that stuck a few years later, who was there for me during my own 9 months of morning sickness? K of course.
It took a while and my own successful pregnancy, but we're as close as ever now - and I'm so thankful for that. I'm hoping that you are your friend will be able to get back there someday.

(K I know you read the blog, I'm hoping you also read the comments - you know who you are!)

Monica LeMoine said...

Anabelle, hmmm. I like your reasoning here. "It works because you choose to let it." I think you're right - perhaps it's about me making the conscious choice to let it work. I try, but I should try harder. N and I do share the same sense of humor, that's for sure.

Natalie said...

It is so hard to watch this happen in my own life. :( It just sucks, adding insult to injury... because everyone knows why the chasm is there, and it's not like you can blame the person, it's just yet another side effect of a really really crappy event. And that just makes me more angry. We lose so much already.

I hope someday you can reconnect... *really* re-connect.