I'm going to send my IVF friend a letter explaining my absence as she officially enters the mommyhood. The act of sending this really does go along with the old adage, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." (Ahha!....so this must be what self-preservation feels like).
After a lot of mental anguish, I've decided that being around her negative outlook is not good for me right now, but perhaps with time, we'll be able to be friends again on some other level (i.e. when my life doesn't revolve around Lupron, stims, and IVF cycles).
Maybe. (Needless to say, L. has his doubts about that.)
Here's my letter:
I hope this finds you all well and very happy.
I'm writing to you because I want to express to you why I can't be more present right now. It is my hope that as my friend, this will all make sense to you and that you will somehow be able to understand my position.
L. & I are experiencing some difficulty with our IVF process, and things aren't going as smoothly as we had hoped. Thus, I've been very down about things and have really been struggling emotionally. All of these things have transpired simultaneously with this joyous event in your life, and it is simply too painful for me right now to be a more present friend.
I know that you might find it difficult to empathize with me, and that you would probably approach things differently. My pain is very real to me, however, and it is my hope that you can stretch your understanding to somehow make sense of this. I hope that you will also recall the times I have been more available and supportive and that this will mean something in the longevity of our relationship.
We pray for you daily,
Many of us seem to struggle with self preservation, and I often think that much of the reason IF is happening to me is that I need to learn how to prioritize myself. (After all, there must be a reason for IF that goes beyond an unfortunate biological coincidence!) IF is definitely the most difficult chapter of my life so far, and I am realizing that I have a right to care for myself in the middle of it. We all do.
I suppose the letter will either catalyze the next chapter in this relationship or it will end it.