Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kicking myself

I feel like the person I used to hate. Well, not 'hate' exactly, that's a bit strong. Perhaps 'resent' or maybe 'want to be a million miles from me'.

Two things have happened this week which have made me question my sensitivity. One I don't think was my fault. The other is only down to me, and I think i just got it wrong.

The first relates to a girl I see regularly around the suburb in which i live. I met her through a local Mum's group - her little boy is a couple of months younger than B. The majority of the other mothers I socialise with are falling pregnant. I'd suspected she was one of them. We were out a few weeks ago and she was off the alcohol - along with most of the others. Only 2 were drinking - and one of them was 18 weeks pregnant (!). Of course i said nothing to her - none of my business. I'd told her my news, as the others in our group knew and I didn't want her to feel left out. She gave me a huge hug and seemed genuinely happy for me.

Anyway, last week, after my scan, i'd shared my news with some other friends who didn't already know. She was there and was very quiet. I found out 2 days ago (from someone with a big mouth who should not have shared it with me) that she'd been pregnant and had had her scan that same week. There was no heartbeat. She's waiting for a D&C.

And there i'd been, telling my good news and chatting about my flipping pregnancy and the great scan. Damn, damn, damn. My big fat mouth!

After i'd heard the news, I thought about it overnight, asked for Mr G's advice, and decided to email her to tell her I knew and apologise for last week. She came back and said she'd have told me after it was all over but was very cross with the indiscretion of our mutual friend. (I think I got that wrong too - perhaps should've protected the confidence and not blabbed) I said I was here if she needed anything. Poor, poor girl.

The second bad communication was today. A friend has been worrying about her fertility. She conceived her son (now 3) on her first attempt. (Literally) This time it has been a few months, and she's fretting. At 38, I don't really think she needs to worry just yet - it could take a few months. (I'd still said she might as well get everything checked out, just in case) Anyway, bearing in mind it's a bit sensitive, I wasn't sure how to tell her my news. I thought I had to say something in case she found out from elsewhere. I didn't want to tell her to her face nor by phone, as I thought that would be harder for her to react to if upset.

Soooooo, I decided to tell her by text. (I've just read that and thought - IDIOT!) I really did think it would be kinder. WRONG! She responded to part of my text about meeting up, but totally ignored the pregnant bit. Mr G told he thought i'd got it wrong, so i texted again to apologise and explain. She left me a voicemail saying she thought it was a bit direct as a way of telling her but she was very pleased for us. (We've a history of miscommunication over the years. She hurt me a few times when we were struggling to conceive and she was happily with baby as she just didn't get how I felt.)

Am I my own worst nightmare? I feel like i'm becoming someone I wouldn't like. I don't want to jinx the good luck we've had. Spose i'd better think a bit before I act.

I'm sorry for the vent. I hoped it would help. Not sure it has....


Bea said...

You can't get it right all the time, you can only try your best to be thoughtful and mindful. I have never been pissed off at someone for getting it wrong, only for being an arse. I think you'll be ok.

Yeah, in hindsight maybe since you "shouldn't" have known about her pregnancy or m/c, it might have been better to just say nothing but use the info to be careful around her in future. But that was a tough call. As for the other friend... again, probably I would have left it at the first text. Some people would prefer a medium like text or email, rather than phone call or face to face, so this one has to be based on the individual you're telling. I'm sure you'll smooth it out.

It can be equally annoying to have someone overcompensate for being the "have" against your "have not", it's a hard line to walk sometimes. I do think it comes back to intentions. If the intention is "world-look-at-me-I'm-having-a-baby-bow-down-before-me" then shape up. If you're just getting on with life and trying to get along with others getting on with theirs you should be ok. That's my opinion.


Kath said...

Dear Portia, I know how you feel -- I've asked myself the same question. It's really hard sometimes to say the right thing, especially when you are pregnant and the other is most decidedly not. How to reach out without causing more pain, being awkward or condescending or vapid or tongue-tied or guilt-ridden or abrupt? It's really tough. When I was pregnant for the fourth time, and an IF friend was pregnant at the same as me, a very big part of me was terrified that she would lose her baby and I would go on. I was so used to being in the other position, and I knew how to navigate that -- but how to cope with being the successful one in the face of another's adversity, I had no clue. It's so natural to feel the other's pain acutely, but so hard to say the right thing nonetheless...

Hopeful Mother said...

I've made some of these faux pas myself. It's so hard to get it right - and sometimes, the harder we try, the worse we do! You're not alone.

Betty M said...

In the first situation I think you did the right thing. You apologised for possibly causing her pain and you let her know, inadvertently I accept, that her friend has a big mouth. Say the big mouth friend had told her she had told you and you had said nothing at all - that would have been so much worse. As to email or not - when I was in that position an email was easier to deal with than talking about my m/cs - sometimes you want to have your tears in private.
In your second one I think maybe text was a bit too abrupt but thats probably cos I dont text much. I'm sure you will work it out.

Overall you have been through the mill in this arena - you have a better idea of the sensitivity needed that the vast majority of the world - you need to give yourself a break too and get to enjoy telling people your good news as well.

Soapchick said...

Okay I can't express myself any better than just to say that I agree with what Bea said. It's so hard to get it right all the time. There will always be times in life where you have something someone else does not, and vice versa. I'm one of the people who would have preferred a text or email, but others would not. It's impossible to know exactly what to say, how to say it. At least you tried and hopefully they appreciate that.