An old friend and his wife have been trying, I know, to get pregnant. Since Burning Man, actually. He hadn't called for a few months, and I'd been sort of assuming they'd succeeded and he felt awkward about telling me.
A few days ago, he sent e-mail, trying to set up a time for a phone call, hinting there was news. To show the thickness of my armor, I wrote back: "So—is L. pregnant, or what?" and proceeded to gossip about mutual friends on the verge of partuition.
Return e-mail: they'd thought she was for a couple of un-ultrasounded months, complete with morning sickness, but turns out it was a blighted ovum. He went out of his way to point out that there never really was a fetus, and generally seemed, well, kind of flip about the whole thing. (E.g., jokes about volume of lost blood that were just, you know, jokey.)
So, I wrote as sensitive a note as I could manage. And today we finally talked.
And, you know, he really is sort of flip about the whole thing, and claims she is too. And I so don't buy it. Okay, so they're totally comfortable with there not really having been a baby. But, for two months they had believed. And it's gotta hurt to have that taken away...
So now I'm wondering if I tried too hard, because I've learned so much about how people can feel when things like this happen from bulletin boards. (Which I don't even dare link to, because I was so addicted during my cycles and can't risk going back. I'll write that rant someday.) That is, was I too sensitive because I was thinking of drama queens out there in the ether, and not trusting my own instincts about my friend?
But then again, other real-world friends who have lost pregnancies at various stages for various reasons have been deeply affected, even when it happened equally early.
I think one key element is that they don't feel at all discouraged about ultimate prospects for success. She went off the pill, and three months later, things seemed to be working. So, they'll try again. I suppose it is different when all you've put into it is a little nookie, rather than, say, a semester's tuition at an awfully good school and several surgical procedures...