Any and all life changes come with a mixture of good and bad during the transition. Discovering I was infertile was a difficult transition, in fact there was very little about that phase that was actually good, most of it was painful. Surprisingly, when I think back on the almost 8 years of infertility, its the friendships I lost along the way that still hurt, not the other stuff, not the miscarriages, not the rounds of treatment and failures, sure those things hurt but as I made the transition from infertile to motherhood, my heart healed from those experiences. But not from the painful memories of lost friendships.
Becoming a mother is a similar experience. There are many amazing things that have happened during this transition, lots of happy happy memories that have touched my heart and will stay with me forever. But there is one very sore, very painful spot, the slow realization that as I transitioned into a new phase in my life, I’m loosing friendships along the way. I suppose the question really is if they were valuable friendships to start with. I thought/ think they are and I’m sad as I watch them slowly slip away but I suppose one has to recognize that the old expression – a reason, a season, a lifetime rings true. And I guess a lot of these were seasonal friendships.
I’m referring to fellow infertiles who became IRL friends along this journey. We supported each other, cried with each other, celebrated small victories together. Its one of the things that I will always look back on with fond memories during that phase of my life, the sisterhood that is/was between us, the love and support we offered each other. The sad part is that it lulled me into a false sense of belonging and a belonging I thought I’d still have even after motherhood, even after the amazing reception that we received on Ava’s arrival. But it would appear its not to be.
Its been a slow dawning on me over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed my IRL infertility sisters drifting further and further away from me and it makes me sad and it hurts to feel that I’m being systematically excluded. I first started becoming aware of it when I noticed in my blog stats that my IRL IF sisters were still reading my blog but no longer commenting and then slowly that changed too and even the visits to my blog simply stopped. The support and sisterhood that was once so freely on offer seems to have become very one sided and I sometimes feel like I’m talking to myself. My phone calls don’t get returned and the only time there’s an obligatory enquiry into our little A is doing is after I’ve sent a message to offer support or enquire how treatment and plans are coming along.
I suppose I’m coming across as a little bitter, and perhaps I am. I’m not even sure its bitterness really, just hurt, sometimes when I notice the blatant exclusion, it feels like I’ve been sucker punched, it literally knocks the wind out of me. I put a lot of effort into my friendships and I’m really hurt by how I’m systematically being excluded, like my support doesn’t count anymore, or like I don’t need the support anymore. Its very sad, but I’m slowly working through it and realizing that while I will loose some of these friendships, I will over time, gain other friendships of people who are now on a similar path to mine. There are 3 of my infertility sisters that have stood by me over the last 3 months. That still read my blog, that still comment, that still enquire how I’m doing, that still make the effort to keep in touch and ensure that we see each other on a regular basis and they have no idea how much that has meant to me, they are also proof that we don’t have to understand or know each others journey’s in order to love and support each other along the way.
But at the end of the day, this is yet another learning curve, I am working hard at harbouring no hard feelings and just accepting that the season in my life has changed and with it some of the friendships.