Just after one of my best friends delivered her third child we got together for lunch. Her pregnancy had been totally unexpected and a complete shock to her and her husband. Her doctor had all but declared baby number two a miracle. That said, when her second child began to walk she and her husband donated their assorted newborn belongings assuming they’d never need them again. Lo and behold within a year she delivered number three.
It was bittersweet to see her gorgeous newborn girl. You see, my friend and I had finally reached a point after baby number two was toddling along where we could find a few hours each month to reconnect just us two old friends — no kids, no interruptions. She was no longer sleep deprived and with her life back under control she eagerly arranged to meet me for tea, lunch or a pedicure. We would talk about politics, books, you name it. I had my old friend back.
Enter the adorable newborn. She rocked my world, again. I had convinced myself during my friend’s latest pregnancy that the wounds from my five unsuccessful IUI and three unsuccessful IVF treatments had healed. Seeing my friend nurse her daughter during lunch was both beautiful and hard to bear. Watching tears form in my eyes, my friend understood immediately my difficulty.
We talked it out. I explained that, surprisingly, I was not yet ready to be so close to the newborn experience. Much as I wanted to convince myself otherwise, a wave of emotions had washed over me and was pulling me under. It was just too powerful and overwhelming to observe the mother/nursing newborn bond — too overwhelming and sad, I explained, for someone who knows she won’t ever experience it firsthand.
I told her it might be a little while before I could handle another get together where nursing would be involved. I apologized for not being a stronger, better person. Who knew the wounds could still be so raw? She thanked me for my honesty and said she understood. (She is a great and dear friend after all.)
I realize in reading other blogs such is No Matter How Small that I’m not alone in having the occasional hard time seeing or hearing about newborns. Hopefully some day reason will prevail over emotion.