Dear friend,

We both went to the doctor seven months ago.

My test showed two blue lines. Again.

Your tests told you that two blue lines would never be yours.

I held you when you sobbed. I cried with you. The grief you carry, I feel it, too. You are my sister. You are my friend. I love you.

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I know my anticipation is nothing compared to your own, but I’ve been eagerly awaiting your baby, too. I have been totally prepared to bring you warm 7-Up and Gatorade when you have morning sickness. There is a tub of baby clothes upstairs waiting to be handed down to your little one. I have been longing to hold your precious, long-awaited child in my arms. To see the exhausted, elated smile on your face has been my dream.

Everything I think of to say rings hollow in my head. No expression of my sorrow seems like it carries enough sincerity . . . because I’m pregnant. And you’re not.

The joy when my baby kicks is tempered by grief because you will never feel it. Every time I want to complain about my sore back or my upset stomach, I stuff it down. What right do I have to complain?

I’m grieving what this means for us. So far, we’ve shared everything. We landed at college far from home, knowing no one. We started dating our would-be husbands around the same time. We both moved from our homes to live here as transplants in a deeply rooted community. We married just four months apart, and you moved in six blocks away.

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I helped you paint the walls in your new house. We went shopping at thrift stores finding just the right things to make our houses homes. You helped me fold laundry when postpartum depression and mastitis had me housebound and hopeless after my son was born. I went home with you when your mom needed you and your hubby couldn’t take the time off work. We had plans for play-dates and babysitting and our kids growing up best friends.

Tonight, when you looked at me, I could feel a change. We were at a friend’s house, and I suddenly had a pang of discomfort. I tried to walk it off, but my sweet daughter did not want to remove her elbow from my bladder or her heels from my liver. As my baby brought unbidden tears of pain to my eyes, you looked at me with disdain. I tried to convey all my feelings to you with a glance, but it was hopeless.

There are simply no words to tell you of my combined grief and joy when I think of my baby.

Will we still be friends in a year? Will you still be able to be here through thick and thin after I bear a second child? Will I be able to put aside my identity as “mother” often enough for us to still have things in common? Will our friendship survive concurrent pregnancy and infertility?

I hope so. And I promise I’ll do everything I can to make it so.

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I’m convinced, there are nights your tears fall from my eyes.

I am so very sorry for your loss, my precious friend.

Kathryn Libel

Kathryn Libel is a Midwestern mother to a boy who loves books and a girl who loves dirt. A lover of words, coffee, and good food, if she isn't reading, writing, or speaking words . . . it's probably because her mouth is full of something delicious!