After what transpired this weekend and over the past few months I’ve been forced to take stock of my friendships. Of which ones are for a reason, or a season (of which there are many) and which ones are for a lifetime. I walk away from my infertility journey with a large number of acquaintances, a large number of reason or season friends and a couple of lifetime friends, these are the ones I cherish the most.
The irony is that these lifetime friends, who I met on my infertility journey, are the ones who’ve had really heart wrenching histories. Both of them have suffered through multiple pregnancy losses, both of them have tried for a very very long time. But both of them have stood by me, they’ve encouraged me, they’ve helped me limp through the early weeks of parenthood where having a new-born was so daunting and so hard I thought were never going to make it. They were the ones who sent me little messages of encouragement and they are the ones who have been mindful of the our new circumstances.
The one couple sat us down shortly after Ava was born and told us how while they didn’t know all that was involved in being new parents, they did understand that the dynamics of our friendship and how we’d socialized in the past would have to change and that they wanted Walter and I to know that they understood that and that they wanted Walter and I to guide them through the new dynamic of our friendship. I so appreciated that, it meant so much to Walter and I. We still see these friends regularly because they’re willing to socialize in ways that do accommodate a small baby.
My other friend has not only suffered through multiple miscarriages and has been ttc’ing for more than 10 years but she has also suffered through the horror of a late-term pregnancy loss of boy/girl twins, but she has been there for me every step of the way. The day she came to meet Ava was emotional and heart wrenching in ways I had not expected. She’d peered over the edge of the cot at Ava, all of a week old, sleeping peacefully, put her hands over her face, stumbled backwards and just sobbed. I remember so clearly, my mom was there and she’d started to cry as well and I’d thrown my arms around my friend and had begun to sob as well and all I could say was I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, in the face of her extreme pain. It meant so much to me that despite everything, she was willing to put herself directly in front of the pain for our friendship. She’s also been the friend who had, during those really tough first few weeks with a new-born, arrived unannounced at our house, with a pots of food to warm on the stove for Walter and I to eat, who’d made sure we’d eaten a warm bowl of food while she paced up and down, rocking and soothing Ava so that Walter and I could have a break.
Those two friends mean more to me today than words can ever express. They have shown in the tiniest detail how much our friendship meant, how much I meant. How I was worth more than just the support I could offer. These are the friends who I hope will still be around when we’re all old and wrinkly one day. These are the friends I hope to be sitting in the old age home with. These are the people who are worth my tears.