And even more so, I can't relate to someone who loses their child mid-pregnancy. I don't know what it's like to get the high of a "yes," and begin planning and hoping and wishing only to find out that those dreams for that child will remain only dreams forever.
I don't know if I will ever experience these things and I may, certainly, but thus far I can't relate to my friend's pains. I've read many an article on how to respond and while they are helpful, I'm not sure it's possible to go well when telling someone in these situations that you're pregnant - even when using all 10 tips. It's hard when you can't truly relate to someone - when you have what they so desperately want, and you got it easily, without even wanting it.
When I became pregnant, I had to tell a handful of friends who were struggling through infertility and miscarriages that I was pregnant. Me, the girl who wasn't planning on having kids for a few years. The "safe" friend. The one that didn't have the baby on my hip that's a constant reminder of what they can't have. I didn't do it right with any of them. I thought it through of course, knowing I wanted to be delicate and careful with their hearts, but blundering and fumbling through it all, stepping on pieces of their broken heart without meaning to, wishing I could take back each step and take a different path, but it's not easy to mend a trail one has already blazed.
I've known too many women affected by infertility and miscarriage, and my heart is heavy with much I wish I could say. But it's hard in the moment because hearts with infertility and miscarriages in them are already so delicate and fragile that often I'm fearful my words would only damage them further - and again, I don't know exactly what is appropriate to say, because I've never been there.
But thankfully, most women who go through these trials have offered me more grace than I deserve for my oversights and mistakes. Many of them have handled my gaffes with dignity and poise and I have been amazed with how understanding they are of me, when I'm the one who should be understanding of them. But I also find that there is a misunderstanding for women on the other side, the women with babies who haven't had to wait for them - we can often be seen as insensitive or unloving to the situation because of things we say or even don't say. But that couldn't be further from the truth.
I am so sorry. Sometimes I wish I could hide my baby from you so seeing him didn't hurt you. You will tell me that you are happy for me, and I know you are, but I also know that happiness comes with a greater pain. And I don't want to be any cause of that. I don't know what to say and I cannot relate to the way your heart has been shattered into a million pieces. I don't know if you know this, but I feel guilty that I'm the one with a child. I don't know why it's you and not me. I wonder that all the time, just like you. And I don't think it's fair that I have a baby and you don't. I have cried for you, when you told me another treatment didn't work or when you told me you lost your baby. I cried when I found out and I cry when I remember. I genuinely hurt for you.
I know sometimes you want to just be "normal" with me and other times it's hard to be normal and you don't want to talk about anything related to children. I get it, but sometimes it's difficult to discern which one it is at the time. I will try to talk with you, but I know you are sensitive right now and I'm nervous to say the wrong thing, to unwittingly hurt you and so I stammer and stutter and sometimes say nothing at all out of fear. I know that I should say something, anything, but can you see why I hesitate? I am truly sorry when baby stuff slips out, especially when we're in a group. It's hard because that's what my life is right now, but I know it causes pain for you, so I am sorry when I make a mistake. I'm just dense and slow and yes, sometimes so self-centered that I forget your pain for a moment. But know that I eventually remember, I always remember. I later kick myself for the things I said or the things I didn't say. I worry over semantics and interpretation and I wish that I could explain away anything I've ever said that may have hurt you. Forgive me for the things I unknowingly say that cause pain for you.
I know this experience is changing you. No one goes through a fire like this without being burned. You're different and I know that probably makes our relationship different, but I hope you'll still give our friendship a chance. Please let me be there for you. But if you need a break from me for a while, I'll completely understand. It will be hard for me but as long as I know I'll get you back someday, I can deal. Just tell me what you need, don't just distance yourself and not say anything. I know it's probably hard to say to me, but I would rather know than wonder if I did something to drive you away.
I've said it already and I'll say it again. I am so sorry. Your pain matters to me, and I want to do right by you. I am here for you. I won't always say the right things or know exactly how to help, but I'd like to try. Please grant me grace as I will probably fail you on more levels than one, but I won't fail you where it counts. I promise I'll be here each and every time you need me - trying to support you, encourage you, hold you and love you, mistakes and all.