I have a cherished photo of me holding my dear friend Jane’s 15-month-old son on my lap in our apartment in Brooklyn, circa 2006. Jane was the first of my closest friends to have a baby, and her son (who is now 13 years old, OMG!) was doted on by us all. His curly mop of brown hair and darling grin stand out in the photo, and you can tell that I am totally devouring his cuteness.
And yet, underneath it all, I know there was a pain I was hiding. A pain that was eating me up inside.
You see, Jane and I had both started trying to get pregnant at the same time, starting around 18 months before the photo was taken. Each month, we checked in with each other, sharing the news of our latest pregnancy test results. For the first three months, we both got to share our depressing BFNs (“Big Fat Negatives”).
On the fourth month, Jane had a Big Fat Positive. I was over the moon for her, and although I was naturally a little disappointed I wasn’t pregnant yet, I expected it would happen soon.
I was wrong. As Jane’s belly grew and she shared with me all the nitty gritty details of morning sickness, sonograms, swollen feet, and everything else, I was trudging through what ended up being 18 months of trying – and failing – to conceive. I didn’t get even one BFN in those months.
Jane, of course, listened to my disappointments – and as the months dragged on – my fears about where this was all heading. I could tell she was careful not to dwell too much on her own excitement about her pregnancy and upcoming birth. But we were extremely close friends and neither she nor I would have wanted not to share in these special moments together.