Thursday, February 2, 2017


It's so nice to have friends again.

Infertility was devastating enough, but to feel like I was losing the majority of my friendships took it to another level. I was so hurt, sad, and lonely.

I understand that, when going through infertility, friendships with people who have children will change. They just don't get it and it's not really their fault. They are busy with play dates and birthday parties, and I just wasn't on their radar screen anymore. But it still hurt.

There was one friend, a very very close friend. I went to her baby shower. I went to her kid's birthday parties from age one to five. I confided in her during my IVFs. She knew, or I thought she knew, how important her kid was to me. I was looking forward to her kid's sixth birthday, bought a couple of presents and everything. Then I saw pictures of the birthday party on social media. I wasn't invited. Because I wasn't a mom. Crushed was an understatement. My husband stays pretty rational in these situations and, although he's not one to talk and talk and overanalyze with me, he indulged me a bit on this one. He said that while my friend cares about me, she just doesn't think about me. It would be different if I had a kid. It would probably even be different if we lived closer. (We live almost an hour apart.) He's probably right. But it still hurt. So, instead of mailing the birthday presents, I used the toys and games I had bought with the underprivileged elementary school students I was volunteering with. That was probably better anyway. Those kids got to enjoy some brand new things, and I got to enjoy it all with them.

So, of course things changed between me and my friends with children.

What I really didn't expect was for things to change between me and my friends without children. Two of my longtime best friends weren't trying for kids. You'd think they would be good friends to have, right? I did anyway. But they could not relate to me and my intense desire to get pregnant and have a baby. The texts became fewer, we saw each other less and less, and the distance grew. I honestly still don't fully understand it.

But overall, I'm not surprised that every relationship in my life has changed. You don't go through trauma and emerge the same person. The best takeaway I have from my experience with infertility is better boundaries. So maybe it was time for some of my friendships to come to an end. I couldn't be who I'd always been for those people because I wasn't that same person anymore.

No longer having these significant friendships left a lot of empty space in my life, empty space that I was not rushing to fill. Good, healthy friendships take time and I was okay with that. Besides, my counselor mentioned I was about to go back to school and meet a lot of new people. Thankfully, she was right. I have made several new friends in this program and I am really loving it. In fact, it is probably my favorite part of the program: my new friendships.

My husband and I like to go out for a couple of drinks and some dinner on Friday nights. We spend a lot of time together and are always caught up on each other's life, so we don't mind if we text other people while we are hanging out. I was texting a lot this past Friday. Joking around with one new friend from school. Talking about assignments and projects with a couple of others. I looked up and told him, "I'm so happy I have friends again." He just laughed and said, "I noticed."

I am such a social person, though I am much more introverted now when before I was a total extrovert. It was so hard to go through that major transition in friendships, but that's life. That's how it goes. I'm glad I didn't get bitter and I'm glad I've met some new people and we all make each other laugh so much.

Who knows what the future holds. I plan on relocating after graduation and I don't know anyone where I am planning to go. But I will get a job and I have interests and hobbies and will eventually meet people. Life is unpredictable. And it's much more fun with friends. :)


  1. My infertility affected many of my relationships in different ways. I lost two friends completely - one because we were having fertility treatment at the same time and she got pregnant, and I think neither of us could face the other one again; another because I unfriended her on FB because of her smug pregnancy updates. I apologised and we met up, later, but she just didn't get it, and was so full-on Earth Mother that we'll never see eye-to-eye. My relationship with my sister has never recovered from that period; basically we fell out over the fact that she told everyone I was having IVF when I'd asked her not to. I sent her a very hurt message and she never forgave me: she screamed at me for an hour on the phone about it and nearly made me vomit with misery. We are alright now but it will never be as it was before. I had wobbly times with my other (parent!) friends mostly because I found it hard to accept that they didn't seem to think my IF was a big deal at all: they forgot it very quickly. While I was grieving I found that hard, hard, hard. I managed not to show any upset about this and we are OK now. Luckily when you come through the grief period and things start to feel better, your feelings of resentment start to dissipate and your relationships stabilise. But there are things said that I'll always be hurt by. It's funny what you say about your friends without kids. I have friends that are childless by circumstance (no partner) and others that decided to stay childfree because of mental illness in the family - I have had no sympathy or understanding from them at all! but I don't mind, I actually cherish them more than any others really because we live similar lives. 8 years on from my initial infertility diagnosis, I have come a long way since the days when the slightest bit of insensitivity from my friends could slay me, and I'm happy about that.
    And yes, new friends made through courses are fab - you instantly have something in common, I love that!

    1. Oh wow, Shores. I can relate to EVERYTHING you just wrote.

      My mom told people about my IVFs and, while I have moved on from that, I will never confide in her again.

      One of my sisters has said the most hateful things to me during infertility and, while we still talk, I keep her at a safe distance. Our relationship will never be the same.

      Nobody seemed to think my infertility was a very big deal either; everyone forgot about it very quickly. I am still shocked that no one seems to understand that, hello??, I lost my children.

      Thankfully, I have come a long way too from when every insensitive comment would hurt me. But, damn, people just really don't get it...

      Oh well, I suppose. I am enjoying my new friendships with people at school. And then when I move in a couple of years, I look forward to meeting new people. Life goes on. And I'm so glad it gets good again. :)

  2. I felt so sad when I read about the birthday party and you literally left holding the (gift) bag. We used to live near dh's cousin, who had two little girls, and they always brought them over for Halloween, and I always had special bags of treats set aside just for them. Then one year they didn't come, and they never came again. I don't think it was a deliberate thing on their part -- the girls were getting older & probably went out with their friends instead of being driven around by mom or dad. But I'll never forget how sad & hurt I felt.

    Anyway, I am glad you have found some new friends to hang out with!

    1. Thank you Loribeth. I'm sorry you can relate. That's why I don't understand the line of thinking that infertile women get to be the "special aunt" or the "fun friend" to other people's children because it will never be the same as being a parent yourself. Even my own sisters and sisters-in-law don't include me in their fun days at the zoo or the park or whatever. I have healthier boundaries and lower expectations now and keep other people's children at a safe distance.

  3. oh yes I can relate to this too! I have a group of friends here and we used to be really close and meet up loads. Then they all started having kids...and you know how it goes. They started meeting without me on days I was working and having play dates. And they started hanging out with another group of women who had kids. I understand that when you have children it must be nice to have other friends with them, but it made me feel really left out all of a sudden! And similar to you I was invited to the first few birthday parties of their kids but not any more. There was one girl in the group who had a kid but was still more than that and good fun and me and her would still hang out a lot, but then she moved back to the States. I also have some childfree friends who never wanted kids so don't understand what I've been going through. Anyway, I'm glad to hear you've found some new good friends on your course.

    1. I hate that the changing friendships situation is so relatable to all of us. It hurts! It's almost like I needed a book that would've prepared me for everything. Something like: What To Expect When You're Infertile (instead of What to Expect When You're Expecting). A heads up on everything would've been nice... Thankfully, it gets better once you emerge from the most painful time period, but, damn, that painful time period completely sucks!!