First, thank you all so much for your comments and thoughts on my post about our tentative birthing plan. Someone suggested seeing the movie, The Business of Being Born, and I had forgotten to mention that movie in my post yesterday. We actually borrowed it from a friend this past week and just need to find the time to watch it. I will be sure to keep you all informed as we hash out our plan more specifically. I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions and opinions - it really means a lot!
I hesitated in writing the following post because it's Friday, and, well who wants to read a Debbie Downer post on a Friday? But then I thought getting it out in writing might be a little therapeutic for me so I went ahead and wrote. Here's what's been going on recently. Oh and if you don't feel like reading a bummer post on a Friday, feel free to skip this one and come back Monday for a (hopefully) more upbeat post!
I've been noticing that I'm a bit more sensitive than normal. Someone may say something that I take a little too harshly, or take it personally. This led to me bursting into tears yesterday, calling Ian at work, and continuing to cry for another 1/2 hour in the parking lot of the grocery store until I had calmed down enough to go in to get some food.
I've been feeling overwhelmed, alone and sad the past few days. I think it is a combination of things that are causing me to feel kind of weepy. Law school is kicking my butt this semester. Also, being in an environment where very few people are married, and even fewer are starting families is further causing me some stress because I'm just at a totally different stage in life than a lot of the people there.
Many people have trouble relating to me now that I'm pregnant and this doesn't just apply to my law school friends. I don't want this read that my friends aren't excited for me - I certainly felt their excitement when I told them we were expecting. But I think being the first of your friends to go through this journey means that most of my friends don't understand it and haven't had a lot of experience in how to be a supportive friend during that time. Three friends in particular, have been asbolutely spectacular, even though all three of them are at very different stages in their lives. They call often and want to hear about all of my pregnancy stories. I am so, so lucky to have them in my life, and to be a part of theirs. I have also been surprised by the unexpected support I've received from friends - for example, two of my bachelor guy friends call and ask all these questions about the baby, how we're doing, and other pregnancy related questions. And a couple who have their first baby, who we don't see often, have checked in often to see how we're doing. That surprising kindness is so refreshing.
But over the past week or so, I've realized that I'm disappointed by more than few friends. To announce the news to the majority of our friends, we sent out an email with pictures of the sonogram, and a picture of Ian and I in "Mommy 2010" and "Daddy 2010" t-shirts on. We've heard from almost everyone at some point since then. But some people, who I consider pretty good friends, haven't even picked up the phone or emailed me. I realize that everyone is busy with their own lives, but I can guarantee that when one of my good friends emails me with exciting news about a big move, getting engaged, a job promotion, or announcing their pregnancy, I pick up the phone to call and congratulate them and want to hear how everything is. The fact that I haven't had the same care in return makes me incredibly sad. Is it that they are just so in their own worlds that they don't notice? Is is that they don't care? Is it that I value their friendship more than they value mine? Or can it really be that they just don't know how to relate?
Regardless of the answer, it makes me incredibly sad. I certainly don't expect that my friends thoughts should revolve around me. But we announced the news over a month ago and I would've expected some type of response from every single one of them (other than a simple congrats in a response email). What would I be doing if the situation was reversed - checking in with my friend, seeing how things are going, because holy crap, expecting your first child is a momentous occasion that is exciting and scary all in one. I'd want to be there for them during that point in their lives.
I guess with all other big events, you kind of figure out who your close friends are. This is another occasion that is proving to be a rude awakening. I think it's further exacerbated by some family issues we're having that it's making me feel like our support system is smaller and smaller.
I don't know how these so-called friendships will work out. I'm taking some time to sit back and reevaluate some people in my life. But I do know one thing: I am so incredibly grateful for the man who is next to me, holding my hand through it all. He is so supportive, understanding, and caring. He knew when I was sobbing my eyes out yesterday, that it likely was a result of the pregnancy hormones, but he also knew not to say that to me. He just waited patiently, offered support, told me how much he loves me, and let the sadness pass. We bought a plaque recently for our bedroom that reads, "When I count my blessings, I count you twice." I do when it comes to Ian - I count him over and over again.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer on Friday! Actually, to try to help me through this sad phase, I am heading out now to get a pregnancy massage. I'm hoping it will help melt away some of my sadness and help me sleep well tonight. We have a busy weekend and I'll be sure to let you know how our cesarean section prevention class is on Sunday.