The first in a series of articles about friends and infertility…
“We ought to be able to navigate this,” I kept thinking. It was my second child. It was her first, she was newly married and this baby was a suprise, a honeymoon baby. We were close friends so to be pregnant together was exciting. It was another commonality we had, one more piece of the foundation to our friendship. I remember being at a lakeside vacation house with her and we both ordered fried food for dinner one night to satisfy a craving. Our due dates were about a week apart so I was close to 8 weeks and she was going on 7 weeks.
About a week later Anna began to spot a little. I was afraid immediately because I had recently experienced a miscarriage and the circumstances felt familiar to me. I prayed for God to ease my fears, I prayed for this baby of Anna’s to continue to develope. When the spotting didn’t stop and the morning sickness did stop Anna told me she didn’t feel pregnant anymore. She made an appointment for an ultrasound and I prayed.
When the doctor told her that the baby had stopped developing and that she should have a d&c, I prayed. I prayed that God would show the doctor and the ultrasound to be wrong. I confess that I even prayed the He would give me the miscarriage and Anna the baby. It’s not that I didn’t want to be pregnant, it’s more that I wanted Anna to be spared the loss. It was unfair that she should suffer a loss while I already had a healthy baby.
Anna had the d&c, something I had avoided with my miscarriage because it happened “naturally.” At first we talked about our experience with miscarriage, compared the d&c route to the “natural” route, much as we compared pregnancy experiences. I tried to avoid saying things that used the words “God’s plan” or “Nature’s way.” I tried to be encouraging to her when she was grieving, acknowledging her feelings and standing close when she asked that of me. I tried to not talk about being pregnant anymore even though time and the growing baby I was carrying were a constant reminder, a blinking light in her face.
“We ought to be able to navigate this” was all that came to me, nothing more. I did not know what to say and what not to say. Often I chose to remain silent and she became more silent. I could see the grief on her face as the months wore on just as she saw the joy in mine as my due date grew closer. A wise mutual friend suggested that there had to be room in our friendship for her grief and my joy but I’m not sure we were able to arrange our emotional furniture enough to discover that room.