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Advice | Ask Amy: My friends are not supportive of my pregnancy


dear amy: I am experiencing an unplanned pregnancy with a stable, loving and supportive partner. We are in our late 30s and for myriad reasons we have decided to go through with the pregnancy and become parents.

We don’t make much money and we live in a small apartment, but we know that all things are possible and we choose to stay positive. However, some of my best friends react in a way I didn’t expect.

Some of their responses seem rude at best and terrifying at worst. I do my best to be empathetic. I understand that everyone has the right to feel a certain way about unplanned pregnancies – do you have any advice for me on how to get past their reactions?

Mixed: Yes, people’s differing feelings about an unplanned pregnancy are justified. What I mean is that people are entitled to their own feelings. But when it comes to someone else’s pregnancy and her choice regarding that pregnancy, people should keep their opinions, concerns, or doubts to themselves.

When a woman announces her pregnancy, the response should be positive and supportive. If someone responded to you in a way that was less than positive and supportive, then that person should get it together and get back in touch with you to listen, talk, feel sorry (if it comes down to it) and give you to provide support.

The empathy should flow from them to you; this is a situation where you shouldn’t have the burden of empathizing with them. If you need support that you don’t get, you have to ask for it boldly. The way to get past these reactions is the same way you will experience this pregnancy: one day at a time. Experiencing pregnancy can be like marking time according to a slowly deflating “hourglass” that lasts for nine months.

Every day brings new realizations, challenges, joys and excitement – where it is important to focus more on yourself and your household, and less on the opinions of others. This is great practice for experiencing the first year of your baby’s life, where “day by day” is the wisest way to go, and where the hours sometimes drag, but the year seems to fly.

dear amy: I’m going through hard times. I’ve always been strong and independent, and I think I’ve been a good friend too. I know my old friends care about me, but I need more now, but I don’t know how to ask for it. Do you have any suggestions?

Feeling down: I’m posting your question as a tribute to a friend of mine (we go way back), who recently reached out via group text with an update, followed by a statement saying she could really use her friends’ support right now. She received it right away.

When I spoke to her, I thanked her for giving us the opportunity to work together. I told her that her transparent “question” was a tribute to our very long friendship. She said her (very wise) daughter reminded her that asking for help is giving people who care about her a chance to be of service.

For anyone in pain, please understand that asking for help is not only an act of courage, but an act that honors your relationships, by providing an avenue for people who care about you to be helpful, and a chance to express their love and compassion.

I hope you can make this “question”.

dear amy: “Neighbor upstairswondered if she should tell her downstairs neighbor that she snored loudly at night. My “vote” is a resounding yes!

I live in a mansion and my bedroom is adjacent to the bedroom next door. My neighbor told me that he could hear me snoring and that I might have sleep apnea. I was tested and he was right! I started using the prescription “Continuous Positive Air Pressure” (“CPAP”) device.

As a result, I no longer wake up with a raging headache that stays with me for hours in the morning. So yes, the upstairs neighbor should put aside the thoughts of embarrassment and encourage her downstairs neighbor to see her doctor. A sleep test seems in order.

Equipped: It is so helpful when readers contact me to share their own personal experience on a specific topic. Thank you for offering yours.

© 2023 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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