*Disclaimer: Names in this story have been changed for the purpose of this article*
When Rachel found out that she was pregnant, she was shocked! It was not part of her and her husband’s plans yet, but here it was!
One thing that was on her mind was her friend, Monica. Monica was a notoriously private person, but Rachel knew that she and her husband had struggled to conceive and had all but given up. Monica was a natural-born mother. Her eyes lit up when a baby came into the room and to all of her friends’ kids, she was hands-down the top “Aunt”.
It just wasn’t fair. The woman who had motherhood baked right into every aspect of her personality couldn’t conceive. The other, who was pretty ambivalent about the whole thing, got pregnant without so much as a thought.
Rachel knew that her friend would be happy for her - of course! - but also worried. Should she tell Monica separately from others? Was Rachel going to make Monica’s struggle harder? What if Rachel said or did something wrong and it messed up their friendship?
We read so often about how to handle trying to conceive when everyone else is pregnant. But what about the reverse? How can we feel good and excited about our pregnancies knowing that the people that we love are struggling?
There’s no rule book
While we’d love to say that there’s a magic wand that would make the whole thing less awkward, that’s not real life.
So, what can we do? Guess and hope for the best?
First, let’s give you some grace. You might put your foot in your mouth. But hey, we know you’re doing your best, and your friend does too.
Of course, because you love your friend, you do want to put yourself in their shoes and try and find some balance.
Experts also generally agree that you should let the other person set those boundaries. Be open and understanding. Your friend is dealing with a lot. If they can’t make it to your shower, be gracious. Just like you know your own limits, she knows hers.
On the flip side, don’t let that dampen your own glow. I know it’s hard not to feel guilty, but this is one of those things that you cannot control. You didn’t choose for things to be the way they are. Don’t feel like you can’t be excited just because that special friend isn’t sharing in it with you in the way that you want them to.
All relationships, whether it’s family or our very best friends, have times where they ebb and flow. This may be just one of those times where you aren’t as close.
One thing that is true as we go through pregnancy, and really through life, is that nothing is forever.
Fast forward to today...Rachel’s 4-year old son jumps at the chance to go to “Auntie” Monica’s, who dotes on him and spoils him endlessly. Rachel and Monica are closer than they ever were.
Got a similar story of your own? Slide into our DMs over on Instagram if you want to chat more about this hard, often unspoken about topic. Do you have someone in your life who is trying to conceive? How has that affected your pregnancy? Note that nothing is off topic for us. We're always here with an open ear and some guidance to share (well, only if you want to hear it).