Standing on the edge of a knife

“I want to know it’s possible…”

I remember watching her cry nine months ago when we sat at Panera. Her eyes filled with tears and she told me, “My sister is pregnant.”

There was silence. Then hugs and quiet “Oh honey’s”. She was my best friend. She’d been married over two years. And she wanted desperately to be a mom.

Her sister had been married less than six months. And both couples lived together. I was the only person who knew just how hard this was going to be for my friend. She would have to watch as her little sister got all the first-grandbaby love and adoration. She would watch the pregnancy. She would watch the baby. And it would quietly kill her a little inside. But she would be so happy for her sister, and she would be supportive and helpful and caring as she always had been. There wasn’t an angry bone in her body, but this… This hurt.

Flash forward to Toby, sweet, cute, five-weeks-early Toby. The tiny baby with a LOT of hair. He is alive and good and my friend’s very first nephew. She’s helped buy cribs and set up the nursery, clean the apartment that the two couples share, field phone calls from extended family and post facebook pictures on behalf of her exhausted sister. All for the baby that wasn’t hers.

And then… A week after Toby came home… My friend’s test turned positive.

Finally. After trying for years and seeing multiple doctors and being told that hormone imbalances will keep her from having easy pregnancies and all the scary thoughts and fears… Finally. She and I feel very similarly about two very different things:

I want to know that there is a possibility of me having someone to spend my life with.

She wants to know there’s a possibility of her having a baby.

So when that stick gave her a happy little plus sign, she naturally panicked. Doctors were called. Appointments were made. Everything was going to be checked and taken care of. She knew her family history with pregnancy was rough. She wanted all her bases covered.

And then she bled.

And oh… How that crashed things. Headlong. Into a wall. Because she had to be strong and caring and helpful. She was helping her sister with a complicated premie baby after all. But she was so scared. Doctors were called. Hormones were prescribed.

And now she waits. Because either the baby isn’t as far along as they thought and there are complications… Or the baby isn’t as far along as it should be, and there are scarier complications. No one knows she’s pregnant. She hasn’t had the happy grandbaby love. Her husband and I are taking shifts to make sure she is resting and not panicking. Because everything she’s ever wanted is standing on the edge of a knife, and if it falls she will have to watch her sister with a newborn, while she lives in the same apartment…

Knowing her, she will be happy for her sister and continue taking care of Toby and she will take hundreds of pictures and still field phone calls. But inside it will continue killing her just a little more each day to help with the baby that isn’t hers.

And as her best friend, It will kill me a little just to watch.

–LS

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2 thoughts on “Standing on the edge of a knife

  1. Your friend is so very lucky to have a best friend like you. I could only hope to have that kind of support, but my best friend is awkward and standoffish. I don’t blame her at all, but it still hurts inside when she changes the subject or brings up someone else’s pregnancy.

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  2. She’s very lucky to have a best friend, like you. I hope she doesn’t miscarry. I’ll keep her in my prayers. I had 2 miscarriages and went on to deliver 4 healthy babies. Take care.xx

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