Friday, 15 April 2011

The One Where I'm Being Childish And I Don't Care.

You know how on the show Friends, each episode was named "The one where......... ?" Well this post is being written Friend's style. If I like this new style of titling posts I may keep it for a while.

So here's the one where I'm being completely childish and I don't care.

I have a group of friends who I have met since living here in the UK. We are part of an alumni group for the sorority I was in back in college. We didn't all go to the same university, nor are we the same age. But we all joined the same sorority in our day and have all moved somewhere in Europe. So we get together from time to time to catch up. It's an amazing group of women of all ages and backgrounds. I really enjoy our time together and usually look forward to our get togethers.


But not this time.

Every spring we have a London theatre event. We pick a matinee show with a happy theme. We do lunch before and drinks afterwards. It's a really good time. Usually.

Last year there were two of us who were pregnant. I was due in September and "Jill" was due in October. So before the show we had a lunch that doubled as a baby shower. There were games, and presents, and cake. Pictures were taken showing us proudly displaying our baby bumps while holding some of our gifts. We both joked about how our babies loved the show and kicked the whole way through. It was a lovely day.

This year's plans are in the process of being made. The show is Shrek the Musical. But there is one big change. Instead of doing lunch at a restaurant, it will be at "Jill's" house. You see, "Jill" lives very close to the theatre and decided it would be fun for everyone to get together at her place. That way we can chat more and also save a bit of money.

I have two problems with this.
  1. Last year we did a baby shower as a part of this weekend so inevitably I will have some flashbacks about it. This will make the day difficult for me.
  2. If the lunch is going to be at "Jill's" house then there is a 100% chance that "Jill's" son will be there. A baby that I have not been able to even imagine myself meeting. This baby was going to be friends with my son. He is a living breathing reminder of what I don't have.
Here's where the childish bit comes in. I am not going to be attending this year's event.

Because I don't want to have to struggle through a reminder of what last year was and what this year isn't. Because I can't bear to sit in a house and watch everyone fawn all over "Jill's" cute baby. Because I can't bear to listen to all the questions about how he's doing, and what he's eating, and if he's sleeping. Because I think if I have to see "Jill" lovingly hold her baby and share him with the world, I may jump out of a window. 

Because I don't want to.

But I'm not brave enough to tell them I'm not coming yet. So I said maybe and now I am dodging phone calls trying to confirm my attendance.

See,,, I told you I'm being childish.

And I don't care!

I don't care if they get mad that I'm not responding. I don't care if "Jill" gets her feelings hurt and thinks I'm not coming because of her. I don't care if everyone figures out that I'm hiding from babies and reminders of babies.

I'm not going and you can't make me!

See,,, I told you I'm being childish.


  1. you aren't being childish, dearest.

    it is a perfectly acceptable reaction and you are entitled to it.

    after my miscarriage i wanted to punch all pregnant women in the face. there was a particular woman who was pregnant at the same time that i was and i wished it had been her and not me that had miscarried. i couldn't be around her AT ALL.

    i carried that icky feeling with me for a long time...but rest assured it will go away (or, at the very least it will soften).

    so don't force yourself. fuck 'em.

    you'll deal in your own way and in your own time.

    true friends will get that.


  2. I'm making lots of little kid meanie-head faces at "Jill" if she were to even consider having her FEELINGS hurt. Puhhhlease.

    If anyone, your feelings have been crushed and stomped on. I've blogged about something similar in the sense that if those "friends" I de-friended on facebook were to be offended, they'll quickly get over things and head right back into their happy-go-lucky life. You are left sad always... them, notsomuch.

    Don't go. Instead, plan another event. My husband's annual family reunion is in August. His cousin and her 4 month old son will be there. He was born less than 2 weeks after Andrew. We had a co-shower there just as you and "Jill" did. We won't be attending and we basically told them that since we have no baby, we cannot bear to be around their son. And can you believe they had the nerve to send us a birth announcement 3 weeks after our son died?

    People don't get it. We're not here to spare their feelings.

  3. Uh, I do not think you are being childish at all! I would never go, and I probably wouldn't ever speak to those women again (here's me being childish). Not ONE of them has considered your feelings! That is unreal. It would be hard enough for you to be around Jill and listen to the baby stories, but to be faced with her baby?? No way. Don't feel bad at all for not going, and shame on them for putting your in that position. They clearly are not being respectful of your loss or your feelings.

  4. I don't think you are being childish one little bit! You gotta do whatever it takes to keep yourself sane and that get together would definitely push me over the edge.

    I'm surprised they haven't thought how this might make you feel. I really do believe that since we've been through this most difficult trial in our lives....some people are NOT our friends anymore. There are some "friends" who I will never talk to again because they did not support me in my time of need and they make no effort to understand what I'm going through.

    Fortunately I have lots of new friend- both in real life and in our amazing online community that make up for that. And as one of your friends I say do whatever makes you feel the best. Don't go- and if they ask why tell them it's because you aren't ready for that type of gathering.

    It's not our job to make people feel comfortable around us. We're not weird or crazy....we're grieving. Grieving the worst thing many of us will ever experience in our lives.

    So guess what? We get to do whatever we want to get through and if they don't like it- oh well.

    Sending hugs mama!


  5. I'd imagine that, by including you, they somehow feel that they are being courteous; that's all I'll say on their behalf. Against them? More than a tad myopic in not thinking that such a gathering might be incredibly painful for you.

    You certainly aren't being childish, not in the least but I'd drop a short note stating that you had another, important, engagement that you cannot pass-up. This way you avoid a telephone call and zing "Jill" in the process.

    Like Princess Andy well-stated...fuck em'!

  6. You are not being childish but sensible. Putting yourself in a situation that will upset you so much is unnecessary.

    I'd tell them exactly what the problem with their plans are. They will probably be mortified at their lack of thought and there may be a way you can get through it with them. If not you will know for sure that you are better off without them. If you make excuses and hide the reason you aren't going you may hold the grudge (I know that's how I'd feel)

    It's a cliche but the hard times really do show you who your true friends are.

    Hope they see sense.

    I've just found your blog today but I'm finding it very interesting.

  7. I call it self preservation. I evaded a lot of events in my "infertile" days, I forsee myself doing it many times in the future with my loss of the twins. Sometimes people just don't understant and its a shame.

  8. Well, add me to the list of wise women here who have commented that you are not being childish AT ALL. Taking care of your self, your sanity, your emotional health - that's all a sign of great maturity, in my book at least. Remember, the rules are different for us now that we're in this damn new normal.


  9. There is no way I would go either. I've been around a couple of friends with kids, but their kids are older (and the one closest in age is a boy, which makes it easier for me).

    The thing is, every single day is hard. There's no reason to force yourself to do something stressful. To tell the truth, I probably use my grief as an excuse to get out of doing MOST things I just don't want to do--whether it involves babies or not. I've pared my life way down for a while and it's a relief. FFS, I think we're entitled. There's no "bouncing back" from the death of a baby.

  10. Only you know what is best for you so if you don't want to go then don't and don't feel bad about it!! Good luck telling your friends.

  11. They never will get it. Impossible.

    Come clean and tell them the truth or just send your regrets. Sorry, cant make it. You do what is right for you. You are clearly on that path and I stand to applaud you for it.

    That is my girl.

  12. As everybody else has said you are not being childish at all. I would have the same reaction. Honestly, I can't believe they would even expect you to attend, but then again my own aunt wants me to come hang around her and her 8 month old grandson. She doesn't get it either so maybe it shouldn't surprise me so much. People just don't get it if they haven't been through it. xx

  13. Totally agree with every other comment left here and to reiterate...DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. You need to think of yourself now and I would not worry one bit about Jill's feelings.

  14. Not childish at all. I actually think it's rude of them not to consider your feelings or ask for your input. They may not realize it, but why didn't that ask how you felt?

  15. Its not anywhere near childish. You lost something that Jill has.

    I refuse to go to one of my best friends baby shower due to the fact that it is a trigger for me. A reminder of what I don't have and never got. You are more than fine to stay home and sit this one out.

    I hope this time around you can be gentle to yourself and not feel guilty for not attending.


  16. Haven't read all the other comments but you are SOOOOOO not being childish! This is so normal to me! I'm almost three years out and there are STILL some babies (now fully fledged toddlers) I haven't laid eyes on. And I've still never been to a baby shower since and you know what, I don't think I'll ever be able to go to another one. Do what you need to do to survive this, mama. Screw what anyone else thinks.

  17. are not being childish. Please be kinder to yourself and have confidence that you're doing what you need to do to protect your heart. There's no shame in feeling pain and sorrow. There's no shame in suffering and there's certainly no shame in knowing what you can and cannot handle.

  18. You are not being childish. I don't have any wise words that haven't already been written by the previous comments.....

    Take care of yourself and this will pass - for all of us in this situation.

    SSG xxx

  19. I don't think you're being childish at all.... it would be so hard to go to her place and I would be doing exactly the same as you. You've been through so much over the past year and you have every right to protect yourself. There will be plenty of other days in the future. Look after yourself and much better to keep happy vibes up for your cycle, rather than grin and bear something so difficult. I support you 100% xoxo

  20. So not childish. I carry a lot of guilt for not being able to go to birthdays and events where babies are concerned. I feel weak, yet people keep telling me I am strong. I have learned from my therapist that it is not my place to worry about anyone else, only me. We don't have to justify why we can or can't do something. A little white lie never hurt anyone. I have plans.. to wash my hair. I have visitors coming.. from outer space. You shouldn't have to feel childish because you want to take care of yourself. Love to you~

  21. I agree. Not childish at all. Very sensible, in fact. Good on you for taking care of yourself, rather than just ploughing through in order to avoid offense or awkwardness. Your friends should understand, even if you don't feel like talking about it.

  22. not childish, hon. You definitely should not be putting yourself in situations that will just be torture for yourself. They should understand that, and you shouldn't even have to tell them. It should be pretty obvious why this situation would bother you.
    My neighbours who were expecting have now brought their baby home. Of course I'm happy for them, but can I just not see the baby? Or can they at least have had a boy? I honestly don't know what they had, but it will hurt more if they got to bring home a little girl, when I didn't get to bring home my little girl. Now, I'm the childish one.
    Just go easy on yourself. That's what I'm trying to do, which is hard as I've had a ratty few days, really just need some Zen now.

  23. Really like what Missy said.

    You shouldn't have to feel childish because you want to take care of yourself.

  24. Stopping by from the hop, hope you'll come visit, too!

  25. I don't think it's childish to protect yourself, either. I think it's mature.

    I wouldn't take the call, either. I'd send a note saying, "I won't be able to make it. Maybe next year."

  26. You are not being childish at all- you are dong what you need to preserve yourself.

    I would have due in April. Next week. And if I could have it my way, NO babies would be born this month. I know that's "childish" of me, but I also know how painful those reminders are.

    Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. xxxx

  27. You are not being childish but whoever is calling to invite you could be. Because, they should get a hint why you are dodging the calls.

    My husband's cousin casually invited me to her baby's first birthday and feigned surprise when I said I may not be able to come. I would have felt better if she said some understanding words instead of feigning surprise.

  28. My love I found you through the Weekend Blog Hop and I adore your blog!
    I just wanted to comment on this post.
    Its called survival, not being childish. You have to do what you have to do to cope with your new "normal". The ones that don't understand are childish and are not worth your affection. The true friends will be there for you when you finally decide to go to one of their functions.
    Have a wonderful weekend and keep you head up.
    I can't wait to read more from you!

  29. I don't think you are being childish and really I bet that they know why you aren't coming too. It is fine to dodge their calls and not go, don't feel bad about protecting yourself, you have to put yourself first because no one else will!

  30. it takes time to heal. Do what you want. I now started feeling comfortable around people having babies and not crying. You are ok.
    Come follow me back !

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  32. Don't feel guilty at all! That was inconsiderate of Jill to have the lunch at her house. Sometimes I think having babies fries women's brains... My sister does crap like this all the time. So sorry but just wanted to tell you that you have every right to NOT go and to NOT feel bad about it!

  33. Hugs!! You are not being childish! You are taking care of yourself and many of us would make the same choice.

  34. Not childish at all.. good on you for doing what is right.. for you.
    This is "The one where she takes her heart into her own hands". because we all need to do that from time to time.

  35. You aren't being childish or selfish. In fact I will go as far as to say your 'friends' are being totally ignorant to your feelings. Of course you dont want to see the baby, its all still so new for you. You must do what is best for you and never mind what other people think, maybe your absence will allow them time to think on their actions.
    Take care and BE KIND TO YOURSELF
    Sarah xx

  36. You aren't being childish at all. Or, perhaps I am childish because I would be doing the same thing you are, until the event got which time I would lie and say that I have been feeling ill, hoped I would get better, but have realized I am not and I don't want to get Jill's baby or the ladies sick. I have no problem with telling white lies in the name of self-preservation, and I don't think that's childish...I think it is smart. Take care of yourself.

  37. You need to do what you have to to survive at this point. Don't feel bad. I didn't follow my instincts and went to a friends baby shower (best friend, or would totally NOT have been there). She would have completely understood having lost a son a few years ago at 26 wks. I said I'd go to take pictures, period. I was not playing games, etc. She was fine with that. Turned out that I made it through the shower, and threw up in the car 4 times on the way home, then didn't sleep that night at all. If you're not ready, you're not ready. They should understand. If they don't, then that's on them. Protect yourself. My friend was so sorry appalled at some of the things said to me at the shower. It's not worth your sanity. Take care of yourself

  38. I come to you today by way of Wordgeyser, and absolutely love your blog. (You know what I mean, I dearly wish you didn't have reason to start a blog like this, but now that it is here, it rocks.)

    Nothing childish at all about this. While none of your friends are trying to be hurtful, it's easy for them to forget what you're dealing with. Grieving, healing, going on, these are all things without a time table. Trust your instincts. Protect yourself. Save your energy.

    Most of all, I'll say a prayer for you and your angel, and hopefully another baby in your life. In the meantime, you (and your husband) know best. (And BTW, bless you on being able to remain so calm with your MIL. You're absolutely right, she can't/won't change and obviously is clueless about the impact of her words...)

  39. I've never been through what you have, but when we were TTC, I was annoyed by anyone who was easily pregnant, or who had their own adorable little kiddos to love on. I wanted to be happy for them, and part of me was...but another part of me was purely jealous and angry. We all have those sides. Maybe you are being "selfish", but you have every right to look after your own feelings and do what is best for you. "Selfish" or not.

  40. Nope. Not childish. I think it's completely reasonable that you would want to avoid the situation. I would!

    Sending you good thoughts from across the pond.

  41. Selfish or not (and I think not), you have every right to feel how you feel. Ignoring your feelings would be the worst thing to do. I don't think anyone can be upset with you not going. If they are, they're just being selfish.

  42. I don't think you are being childish- I think you are being honest about what you are feeling. I wish you could find a way to go. Can you meet them at the theater afterwards?

  43. I am so sorry. You are in an impossible position.
    I don't blame them exactly for not thinking their plans through, but at the same time it would have been nice.
    You do what feels right. Hopefully you will be able to meet back up with your friends soon.

  44. I was on the other side of that situation - the woman who was pregnant at the same time as her best friend. We were ecstatic. Our babies would be born around the same time and grow up together. Yet, I remained pregnant as my friend miscarried twice in the span of my pregnancy. She barely spoke to me for about 6 months, though we saw each other once a week at an event. It was painful on both sides. I gave her space, though I cried alot for her loss and for mine's (my best friend)- I felt guilty, even though I had no control over what happened. I lost my best friend over something I had no control over. We came together towards the end of my pregnancy, with understanding and lots of tears. She was going through a hard time and I respected that she needed her space and she realized that her situation was not my fault and felt bad for hurting me all those months in that way.

    No, I don't think you're being childish. Do what ever you need to to protect your heart. If it's too intense for you - don't go. It's fine. You're not there yet. You're still healing.

    However, definitely reach out to your friends too - help them to understand, especially "Jill". I can't imagine she isn't feeling a little guilty because her baby survived and yours didn't. Trust me, being on the other side is no fun either.