Sharing pregnancy with someone struggling to get pregnant — The Bump
October 2018 Moms

Sharing pregnancy with someone struggling to get pregnant

So with my last two pregnancies I’ve never had to tell someone who might be sensitive to the information. However, this time around i have a good friend who has been trying to get pregnant for years (basically since shortly after I found out I was pregnant with my 2.5 year old son). This is my third pregnancy and it happened pretty easily for us with all three so while I completely sympathize with her struggles it’s not something I have first hand experience with. I want to be respectful and sensitive but I’m just at a loss about the best way to share the news with her. I know there are some wonderful women on this board who have likely been in this situation or possibly waiting on their baby and have had to hear this news from a friend or sister and I would love your advice. Thank you.
BabyFruit Ticker}

Re: Sharing pregnancy with someone struggling to get pregnant

  • My advice is to tell her privately.

    I've had friends and family who announced at holidays and parties where you are surrounded by people and in my experience I have always had a happy/sad reaction all at once. Surrounded by a large group gives you no time to process your reaction and is in my experience stressful. 

    One of of my best friends knew about our struggles (5 years +) at the time and ended up emailing me before she made a general announcement. I really appreciated that. 
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    mytrueloveskiki75
  • I agree with @sphinx24 that you should tell her privately. It's a really tough emotional situation and I always appreciated it when my friends/loved ones extended the courtesy of allowing me to process in my own way and space.

    I would also suggest that you not wait to tell her last. That sucks because it feels like you've been ostracized even further, and the person you're trying to protect may be blindsided by others who you've already told.

    I think whether you tell her in person or over the phone is irrelevant, but that's just my personal feeling. 

    I would also suggest keeping a little perspective. She may not jump up and down and shout her congratulations for you. Don't get me wrong, she'll likely be happy for you, but it's tough to process that happiness for someone else while simultaneously feeling your own pain. Don't take it personally, it's not about you, it's about her sense of loss and frustration. It sounds like you really care about her and are sensitive to her situation, otherwise you wouldn't be asking, so I have no doubt you already guessed at some of that and that's why you want to be sensitive, and I think you're nailing that already.
    Me: 31 H: 35
    NTNP: 03/2015-05/2015
    TTC #1: 06/2015...
    Dx: MFI, ovulatory dysfunction
    IVF ER: 11/2017 - 6 on ice
    FET: 01/2018 = BFP - EDD 10/5









    pebbledamkiki75
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  • I agree with the above. Tell her in private so she has time to process. My best friend has struggled for 2 years, since I got pregnant with my first. She would always keep her feelings private from me, but her husband told me she's really struggling behind the strong exterior. I was extremely nervous to start trying for #2 knowing they were still trying for #1. Thankfully she is now expecting come August! (Yay!) I think just go in knowing that she will obviously be very happy for you but that a part of her is going to feel upset for her own situation. 
    olivemommakiki75
  • Thank you ladies for all sharing with me, it’s greatly appreciated. I want to make sure I tell her in a way that is really about her feelings and not my own - I kind of feel I’ve had my moment in the sun and while I’m thrilled about this pregnancy want to keep it more low key in terms of announcements and what not. I just think she has a right to know without finding out via a third party and I agree privately is the best way. You ladies rock and I’m glad you are all here!
    BabyFruit Ticker}
  • I agree with what everyone said above and I will add one other thing. Don’t presume to know what your friend is thinking. So, don’t say, “I know this must be hard for you,” or “I know this is upsetting for you.” Because you don’t know what it’s like or how she’s feeling. I actually had a friend announce her pregnancy to me at work, tell me that I deserved it more and she felt bad for me. Then she offered to opt out of a dinner with mutual friends a few months later because she was showing and it might upset me. These exchanges were awful for me and I still haven’t forgiven her for her comments. 
    olivemommajosie12367kiki75
  • I agree with all of the above. Personally, I had 2 friends text me about their pregnancies while we were still trying and I really appreciated having he heads up. It was nice because I was home and could process on my own terms. It can be really hard to put on a happy face when someone tells you in person, so I preferred to get just news in a text.

    Also I just want to say that you’re a really good friend to consider her feelings and I wish more people were as considerate as you are. 
    Me: 28  DH: 28
    Married April 2013
    TTC #1: May 2016
    DX: Unexplained
    June 2017 - Letrozole+ Trigger+ IUI #1 = BFN
    July 2017 - Ovarian Cyst, no IUI 
    August 2017 - Letrozol+Trigger+ IUI #2 = BFN
    January 2018 - IVF #1 = BFP!!
    EDD: 10/5/2018
    My Chart


    christina4436olivemommakiki75purplegoldfish2
  • halfanewthalfanewt member
    edited February 2018
    Previous posters have covered it really well! And kudos for being sensitive to your friend‘s situation :) The only thing I would add is to be really prompt to text her back when she does reach out.

    I had a friend announce tactfully (she knew we were struggling) but then she ghosted for the next few months. I still don’t know if that was because of her own thing or to avoid dealing with an awkward situation with me, but it certainly put a damper on our friendship.
    pebbledamefavell02olivemommakiki75
  • I agree with all of it, especially @kiwi2628 about the text. 
    me: 30   dh: 31
    dx: unexplained
    TTC since May 2016
    MC November 2016
    Summer 2017, started IUI
    IUI #1 - natural, BFN
    IUI #2 - clomid + trigger, BFN
    IUI #3 - femara + trigger, BFN
    IUI #4-6 - femara + follistim, BFN
    IVF #1 January 2018: 11 retrieved, 7 fertilized, 1 transferred day 5, 1 frozen embryo
    5dt Jan. 18, BFP 9dpt, EDD 10/6/18


  • lrlybbertlrlybbert member
    edited February 2018
    My cousin and I were pregnant at the same time when I was pregnant with DD. She miscarried and hasn’t been able to get pregnant since. I think I will text her or send her a letter/card so that she can have time to process the news before we announce to the whole family and Facebook.
    kiki75
  • My sister and I both have endometriosis really bad. Hers is worse, in fact they told her she’d need a hysterectomy by age 30... she turns 30 this year. I found out I was pregnant 7 months into trying and was terrified to tell her... mostly cuz I knew it would make her sad and frustrated.

    i wrote her a letter. It was very personal and I explained to her that she can take all the time she needs to process it. And also I told her what I wanted her role in my kids life to be (so much more than auntie) and then after she read it.... we just sat and talked. I didn’t want her to process it alone and so the time together after I think is what helped us both the most. 

    I agree with everyone above... don’t reveal in a big group. Do it privately, and just sit w that person and help her process all of the emotions... even if they arent the ones you’re hoping for. 
  • My cousin has been trying for 2 years Invetro for #2. I'm praying she will announce she is pregnant by spring. 
  • i'm not sure when you planned on announcing your PG widely, but it was most difficult to hear when someone was "newly" pregnant (i.e., under 6 weeks) and was making a big show of it so early. (or generally making a big show of it on social media, etc).

    i've never experienced a loss, but i know many women do and it seemed uncouth to announce so early. one interpretation is that she wanted lots of attention... but another, through the eyes of someone with infertility, was that she was so confident in the viability of her pregnancy to announce so early -- that's a sucker punch to a woman with infertility.

    women struggling with infertility can absolutely be happy for your pregnancy, but realistically, they're dealing with another reminder that it's still not their time. personally, hearing of new announcements always made me initially sad and even jealous--but it was always about my stuff, not the friend. i was glad to have time to process on my own or with my DH before having to face my friends/acquaintances. I felt comfortable participating in their showers, but not every IF woman will.  

    more than anything, dealing with IF is very isolating... most women feel too ashamed to talk about it with others, but i would have been thankful if more of my friends had asked how I was doing emotionally and just listened -- not tried to solve my infertility or told me my time would come. most people are trying to respect boundaries by not asking about it, but i think it perpetuates the stigma that you have to treat women with IF with kid gloves. 
    me: 37 dh: 42; TTC since Jan 2016
    dx: PCOS, low progesterone; 2 MMC
    Sept FET 2018 Spreadsheet
    3 failed IUIs (clomid + ovidrel), unresponsive to femara
    Jan 2 2018 - 1st IVF cycle - 9 retrieved, 7 mature/fertilized, 1 5d transfer + 5 untested snowbabies
    Jan 19 2018 - Fresh Transfer #1 one 5dt; BFP 1/25/2018; EDD 10/7/2018; MMC at 8w3d; D&C 3/6/2018
    May 16 2018 - FET #1 one 5dt; BFP with 4 betas (6.5, 24.3, 165.5, 2250) - EDD 2/1/2019; MMC at 6w; D&C 6/20/18
    Sept 17 2018 - FET #2 one 5dt; BFP 38.9 7dpt, 167 9dpt - EDD 6/5/2019  
    (3 untested embryos remain)


    chyvie
  • I am really struggling with when to tell me really good friend. She's a neighbor and we're close, but she just had an unsuccessful IVF transfer and found out literally the day before I got my bfp. She's trying again this month. Do I wait? Do I tell her now? I feel horrible keeping this from her, but I also don't want to mess with her emotions right now. Does anyone have any insight on this particular situation? 
    DS  12-1-2014
    DD 10-29-2016
    #3 due 10-13-2018
  • Hi @hellopartyof5 we just completed a successful round of IVF, and I can’t speak for your friend, but if it were me I definitely would want you to hold off on telling me. Failed infertility treatments are so devastating (haven’t had a failed Ivf personally but lots of other failed treatments) and she’s probably in a super sensitive place. I would tell her before you announce it to the world so she’s not blindsided though.
    me: 30   dh: 31
    dx: unexplained
    TTC since May 2016
    MC November 2016
    Summer 2017, started IUI
    IUI #1 - natural, BFN
    IUI #2 - clomid + trigger, BFN
    IUI #3 - femara + trigger, BFN
    IUI #4-6 - femara + follistim, BFN
    IVF #1 January 2018: 11 retrieved, 7 fertilized, 1 transferred day 5, 1 frozen embryo
    5dt Jan. 18, BFP 9dpt, EDD 10/6/18


    pebbledamhellopartyof5kiki75
  • I agree with @efavell02. Wait until you’re further along but before you make a big public announcement. It’s possible by then that she may have had more success with her second cycle. 

    me: 37 dh: 42; TTC since Jan 2016
    dx: PCOS, low progesterone; 2 MMC
    Sept FET 2018 Spreadsheet
    3 failed IUIs (clomid + ovidrel), unresponsive to femara
    Jan 2 2018 - 1st IVF cycle - 9 retrieved, 7 mature/fertilized, 1 5d transfer + 5 untested snowbabies
    Jan 19 2018 - Fresh Transfer #1 one 5dt; BFP 1/25/2018; EDD 10/7/2018; MMC at 8w3d; D&C 3/6/2018
    May 16 2018 - FET #1 one 5dt; BFP with 4 betas (6.5, 24.3, 165.5, 2250) - EDD 2/1/2019; MMC at 6w; D&C 6/20/18
    Sept 17 2018 - FET #2 one 5dt; BFP 38.9 7dpt, 167 9dpt - EDD 6/5/2019  
    (3 untested embryos remain)


    efavell02kiki75
  • I've been in the same situation both on the receiving end and telling end. Alot of girls who have miscarriages or fertility issues confide in me for comfort **TW I've had 4 total miscarriages (1 before my son and 3 consecutive ones last year) leading to d&c and 1 cp last month. Beforw my son was born , I had a pretty horrific miscarriage and then it took 13 months to get pregnant with my son.  That was a very hard time. *End TW

     The approach depends on the girl. I've seen two types : one who  is joyful for others and others who will avoid you after you do tell them you are pregnant. In the end, both girls will feel somewhat sad deep inside.  I'm the type who is very joyful so people  are pretty open with me but deep inside I get sad and jealous. If you've seen that she gets emotional when others are pregnant, then be gentle about the approach. One on one is good. If she's the joyful type then texts are fine.  Definitely make sure that the pregnancy is solid and tell her before you announce it to everyone. I still know people who have gotten very upset when they were told so try not to be hurt on your end. Give her time to process it. 

    One big advice : try not to tell her when she gets her period or is on her period. That is the worst time! You're emotional because of the hormones and the period is a reminder that you failed that month. 

    Hope things go well! 


    hellopartyof5
  • Thanks everyone! I hate that we talk every day and it almost feels deceitful, but I know she's really trying to be positive about her next transfer and don't want to mess that up either. I will definitely wait :) 
    DS  12-1-2014
    DD 10-29-2016
    #3 due 10-13-2018
  • I just dealt with this with my friend. She has issues getting pregnant. I chickened out. I was telling her about something else and then threw it in at the end. I've had some losses so we've had talks about this for a while. We discussed it and then I asked her if she wanted to hear about the baby-pregnancy/ be involved in the future or would rather not. Told her that I didnt want to be rude. 

    MC 10/23/2015 Iris Giana due 10/23/17 Born and Passed 5/23/2017

    Double Rainbow due 10/23/2018

  • Probably redundant at this point, but yes I’d wait till you’re a little farther. My H’s best friend told me the day she peed on the stick and it made me irrationally angry. Not at her necessarily, but it definitely was directed towards her. She gets pregnant so easily and loss isn’t even a thought in her mind.

    Also, just a heads up that it might cause some distance between you two. I isolated myself from anyone who was pregnant. Some of those relationships never recovered, although that was in part because I’m so socially awkward and didn’t know how to fix things once DS was born. Hopefully that won’t be the case if there is some distance for a time. 

    E will be 18 on July 24th
    Z was born October 16, 2016
    #3 Due October 9, 2018

    MC - November 29, 2012
    CP - November 15, 2014
    D&C for MMC - October 13, 2015




  • As someone who dealt with infertility for over 9 years, please please please, tell her privately. In fact, I would even recommend going so far as to text her or email vs in person her so she can process it. She may break down in tears (which I did numerous times) not because she's upset you're pregnant, but upset at her situation. BUT, their infertility does not diminish the joy they have for you in most cases. As hard as it was, and as sad as I've been about our situation, anytime I someone I knew got pregnant, I was always happy for them.

    Also, give them grace if they take a little time to process and make sure they know that you understand they may need some time. <3 I think it's super sweet of you to ask advice like this. So many people just blow of infertiles, which makes it hurt even more. She's lucky to have a friend like you!
    pebbledam
  • A good friend of mine announced today that at 21 weeks they have lost their baby due to heart defects. I feel terrible for her. And all I can think about is how she will take our news. A mutual friend who knows I'm expecting reached out and recommended I talk to her privately prior to announcing publicly. Thankfully we don't plan on announcing for another 6 weeks, so hopefully it won't be as fresh when I tell her.
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