I’ve sent her messages letting her know I’m thinking of her and I sent her flowers. I know how to convey my sorrow for her and be a supportive friend, and I’m totally understanding of the fact that she’s no longer coming to my shower, but what I don’t know is how to proceed when I go into labor. I know she’s incredibly excited for me, but I also understand that hearing about a labor and delivery process, and being around a newborn, will likely be so painful since it’s coming up so soon. She was on my short list for my husband to update while labor is ongoing. Do I presume that she needs space and take her off the list, and let her find out from other friends when I’m delivering? Do I bring it up ahead of time to get her preferences and risk ruminating on an already painful topic more than needed? Do I just proceed as normal, knowing that she’s excited for me in spite of her personal pain? I just don’t know, and I want to try to avoid causing her any more angst. Very few of our friends are aware that she’s going through this, so I can’t poll a group of peers to see how I should proceed.
I’m hoping you can help me, and hopefully soon since I’ve reached that “could go any day” point in my pregnancy. — Due Any Day
I understand your temptation to protect your friend and it’s admirable that you’re being so sensitive towards her, but I think letting her find out about your eventual labor and delivery from someone else — someone who may not be privy, and therefor sensitive to, her very recent miscarriage, would add the insult to injury you’re trying to avoid. I say keep your friend on the shortlist of people to update when you go into labor (don’t ask her if this is what she wants as that might put her on the spot and she’d feel like a jerk if the answer was ‘no’), but, if your husband is planning to update the shortlist of people with every contraction change in dilation, maybe keep her on the even shorter list of those who get two updates — one when you go into labor and another when the baby is born (unless, of course, she is reaching out during the labor for more updates). Also keep in mind that, at 35 weeks, you could potentially have as many as six or even — gasp — seven more weeks to go until you have your baby. If, in that time, your friend expresses certain feelings or needs to you that prompt you to change whether or not she be updated when your labor starts, just keep your husband abreast of those plans. Good luck in your final days/weeks of pregnancy!
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