Any repercussions of infertility on my friendships have been relatively slight, compared to what I've heard from others. (Although you, my IRL friends, may have a different story. Which you can kindly keep to yourselves, because it will ruin this entire post. I appreciate it!) Shortly after we got married, DH and I moved away from all of our friends and landed in beautiful St. Louis, Missouri. During those first few years, we were both working full time, attending graduate school in the evenings, and recovering from the four years we had a long-distance relationship in college (read: lots of smoochy smoochy). So although we made new friends with some awesome people there, we didn't really have the time to be as social as we should have been. And I did keep in touch with friends from high school and college who were scattered everywhere from San Diego to Boston, but again the time factor plus my undeniable and totally uncool aversion to using my cell phone meant that contact was sporadic and mostly via email anyway.
Then came our infertility. In the "old" friend category, the baby bump fairy was busy. I was of course thrilled for my friends when they started reproducing, and as a bonus, I had a built in buffer of distance so I could share their joy without being overwhelmed by reminders of my personal pain. I didn't have to watch the bellies grow, listen to constant pregnancy chatter, or pretend my heart wasn't wilting at baby showers. Meanwhile in St. Louis, although we finished our degrees, DH and I were just too spent from our frequent doctor visits to grow any sort of social life. Something about pouring all of your money, energy, hopes, and dreams down the treatment toilet doesn't really make you the best company for happy hour after work. We kept up the friendships, but we hid at home a lot more than we would have wanted otherwise. And when we finally did get our BFP, it was time to move again: we were Seattle-bound.
One of the hardest things about a major relocation (aside from finding out your new grocery store doesn't carry Count Chocula or caramel apple Toaster Strudels) is missing your old friends and having to start over in building a social network. Finding people who
Now let's just pretend that I don't get really nervous when meeting new people and say things that may sound humorous in a blog but come across as awkward, confusing, and esoteric in real conversation. (Hell, let's also pretend I'm 15 pounds lighter and a couple million richer, too, while we are at it!) Now that this thin, wealthy, hilarious, confident version of myself is meeting lots of other moms through various activities, I worry how secondary infertility will affect our ability to find a new crew of friends.
So far, none of the local moms we hang with has announced her next pregnancy. A handful are done multiplying altogether, in fact. But I know a few are trying, and it's just a matter of time. What happens when DH and I are heading back to the RE and descending into turkey baster madness again, and the women around me are giddily making room for their newest additions? My bonds with them are still fragile, and I'm afraid I'll pull away to protect my heart and end up alone with Bean at the mall every day. (Okay, so that doesn't sound entirely bad now that I say it out loud...)
While, in a way, it's comforting to have IF as a scapegoat for any lack of new friendage after our move (certainly it's not us! we are witty and charming!), I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. If anyone on either side of the IF fence has any thoughts, I always love to hear. Just be sure to type your response via comment or email, as I don't answer my cell phone.