Friend who is still struggling with infertility — The Bump
Pregnant after IF

Friend who is still struggling with infertility

Hi there, 

I am 8 weeks pregnant tomorrow after struggling with secondary infertility for 19 months. I got pregnant unmonitored my second cycle of clomid. Over the last year I have been infertility buddies with a good friend who has struggled a lot for 4 years to get pregnant. 

I know as much as anyone how challenging it can be when people get pregnant and so many people we know are. I know she is happy for me but I do understand she may be resentful that treatment has worked well for us and she is still struggling especially when we already have one child. 

I am not sure if I talk about this pregnancy or not. I plan to ask her and just say "do you want to hear about this stuff or is it better if not because I am fine and get it either way." I guess just looking for any advice to help her and continue to support her with her infertility struggles and be sensitive to how that feels. 

Re: Friend who is still struggling with infertility

  • I have been on both sides of this. I think sometimes it just helps being there for someone. For me, it was hard to see friend after friend getting pregnant while I was struggling. What helped me was hearing the success story of a close friend who went through IVF herself. It gave me hope. When I got pregnant, I decided that I'd be careful sharing my enthusiasm, especially around someone who I knew was also struggling. But I didn't hide my pregnancy and I celebrated every milestone because I deserved to be happy also after all the heartache I went through. No one ever asked me if I wanted to hear about their pregnancy because they knew my situation, so I think you asking her is very considerate of you. I hope she will still be there for you even if she decides she doesn't want to hear every step of your pregnancy. 
    ***History & TW in Spoiler***

    ***bfp & child warning***
    TTC - since 2014
    7 rounds of Clomid - BFN
    IUI #1 - October 2015 - BFN
    IUI #2 - November 2015 - BFN
    IUI #3 - December 2015 - BFN
    IVF #1 - March 2016
    Retrieval #1 - April 2016
    FET #1 - May 2016 - BFP!!! DS - Born January 2017
    Trying for baby #2...
    FET #2 - January 2018 - BFN  
    No more embryos left; switched to a new RE
    IVF/Retrieval #2 - January 2019
    IVF/Retrieval #3 - March 2019
    FET #3 - April 2019 - BFP!!! - DD: Born December 2019
    Trying for baby #3...
    FET #4 - October 2021 - BFP!!! - Due June 2022

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  • That's super awesome of you to consider how your pregnancy may affect her, I think your direct approach is a great idea. Acknowledging you know she feels and asking her whether or not she would prefer you discuss the pregnancy with her or not is the best place to start, and more importantly following her wishes after that. I would let her know that you are still there as a sounding board for her infertility issues.she me really appreciate still having you to talk to you.  
    Me 39 DH44
    Married 8/2/14
    TTC 9/14
    Dx: PCOS, blocked L fallopian tube, suspect poor egg quality
    MFI (low #, poor morphology)
    IVF #1 9/15 Failed
    IVF #2 12/15 Failed
    1st DE FET  5/16-BFN :(
    2nd DE FET 7/18-BFP :)
    8/17 Baby HR 140/min EDD 4/6/17
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  • JWatt5JWatt5 member
    I agree with PP that it's great you are asking first and being so considerate - My best friend has struggled with IF and multiple losses, with one loss being right when I found out. When I knew I would see her at Christmas with friends I made sure to contact her first to tell her so she wasn't blindsided with my news. We talked about how it was great and we talked about how it made her sad - being able to talk about it first really helped keep things as "normal" as possible for us. 
    Me: 37 DH: 37 - Married 10.2015 ❤️ Canadian 
    DX: Endometriosis - Stage 4, DOR, RPL
    TTC #1 07.2015
    03.2016 - Natural BFP - MC 5w4d
    04.2016 - Natural BFP - Chemical
    10.2016 - IUI w/ Injections #1 = IUI Cancelled (cyst/no mature follicle)
    11.2016 - IUI w/ Injections #2 = BFP, EDD 08.2017 - It's a BOY!
    TTC #2 06.2019
    08.2019 - IUI w/ Injections #1 = Chemical
    09.2019 - IUI w/ Injections #2 = BFN
    10.2019 - IUI w/ Injections #3 = BFN
    01.2020 - IUI w/ Injections #4 = BFN
    08.2020 - Natural BFP - MC 9w5d
    11.2020 - IVF Retrieval - 3AB & 4BB
    05.2021 - FET #1 = BFP, EDD 02.2022 - It's a BOY!

  • byrnemebyrneme member
    I come from both sides. When I had my MMC I was pregnant with my best friend, we were due two days apart. It was really hard for me to hear her talk about all of the joys/pains she was experiencing. And it was harder for me to FEEL that way b/c I was happy for her but still sad for me. I was jealous for sure. I finally had to take her to dinner and tell her how I was feeling - that I'm incredibly happy for her but I was grieving and had to get past this before I could fully be ready to hear about every little thing. That was hard - we share everything. And we were both so excited to be FTM's together - I know she lost that as well. It did take some time but, eventually, I got through it and even threw her shower. 

    This time around I was going through treatment at the same time as another close friend, our transfers were 10 days apart (and we both only had one viable embryo). We did a bad job of talking about the 'how will we handle this if it works for just one of us' and thought we dodged a bullet when we both had positive betas. We started talking about joint showers and how much fun it was going to be to be pregnant together. However, at her 6w u/s the baby didn't have a heartbeat and I was devastated for her. So i planned for us to go to brunch and just told her how I knew exactly how she felt having been in her shoes and I wouldn't take it personally if she didn't want to be around me/talk about this until she was ready. I was also very up front with her about how there are times that just SUCKED - like when my friend started to show, that was a gut check. We are still close and her and her DH are exploring options, I was even asked to be a reference for her for embryo adoption. I want nothing more than for this to work out for them. 

    All that being said, I commend you for being forward thinking and recognizing this could be hard for your friend and just encourage honesty. We all know how hard it is when it seems everyone around us is getting pregnant and your body just isn't cooperating. We also know that, deep down, we are happy for these people but so damn jealous! And that's hard to deal with b/c you don't WANT to be jealous. Keeping the lines of communication open will be key.

    Sorry for the book.
    *** TW**

    Me: 37, DH:39
    Met: 2002 | Married: 2004 | TTC since January 2014
    July 2015: MMC @ 9 wks | August 2015: Chemical
    March, April, May & June 2016: Medicated IUIs | BFN 
    August 2016: Started Stims 8/22
    September 2016: Egg Retrieval 9/4 | 13 Mature Eggs | 10 Fertilized | 3 Blastocytes | 1 PGS Normal Embaby 
    November 7, 2016: FET - BFP!
    EDD 7/25/17
    Zoey Alexis born 7/25/17 @ 12:39 PM | 7lbs 14oz | 19 inches
  • baevnbaevn member
    Thank you so much everyone for your responses. I know it is hard and so many women in our friend group are pregnant. We were united against all of it for a long time. I don't want her to feel stranded. I told her pretty quickly after we found out via text so she could process on her own in private and didn't have to be outwardly happy for me if she just wanted to cry. I didn't want her to be blindsided and I wanted to give her time before it was all over and given how many friends are pregnant I know it will be tough when everyone is together and talking about pregnancy and babies. We also did like check ins every month usually. 

    Her road is much tougher than mine and it is hard every bit of her is meant to be a mom. 
  • I also had secondary infertility and got pregnant after IVF this time. A good friend is still struggling with a worse prognosis. We're in a close group together where the girls get together often, so I called her on the side to tell her in case she didn't want to come to our girls night. She didn't and missed the next one after too.

    I reached out and said I'm here if she wants to talk and just how shitty this is. It's largely male factor for them and her husband has shut down and won't talk options so it's extra shitty, she's really quiet too now. Anyway no good answer, I'm still excited for my little family but certainly don't flounce it and if she comes to a girls night I'll hope she talks but understand if not. Makes you just want happiness for everyone :) 

  • I've been on both sides too and it is really sweet of you to think of her like that.  You know your friendship better than anyone, and I always find it's so hard to give advice like this, because each friendship is its own, specific, weird thing, and what worked for me with my friends might not work for others, and what worked for me in some friendships didn't work in others. 

    That said, I think your instincts are good, although I don't know that I'd ask her straight out for a "do you wan to talk about this, yes or no" (although like I said, that may be the type of friendship you have).  Let her take the lead on talking about pregnancy stuff; if she asks, I think you can assume it's safe to talk about it at that moment, but if she doesn't ask, she might be having a bad day or something and not want to hear about it.  I know when we were struggling and my friends were pregnant, I was always happy they'd talk about other things when I was around, but also I'd often ask them how they were doing, how things were going, because I still cared, I just appreciated that they talked about it on my schedule.
  • PNW12RNPNW12RN member
    I'm dealing with this.  We just had our daughter a few days ago after a 4 year journey to get her--starting with a cancer diagnosis, then chemo, failed IVF and surprise pregnancy.  My friend just had her 3rd unsuccessful IUI and got the results literally the day before my daughter was born.  It is awkward talking with her and her husband (our husbands have been best friends for over 20 years), because we know they are happy for us, but also so sad/frustrated with where they are.  I've been pretty open with her and she says she appreciates the acknowledgement that things are tough for her, but she's also so excited for us and wants to hear all our joy, too.  I think it's just a matter of both of us acknowledging that the situation is difficult.
    Me: Age 40  Husband: Age 41
    Chemo killed my ovaries (along with a BRCA1 mutation, which causes DOR)
    4/30/13 ER just prior to chemo: 8 embryos frozen at 2pn. 2 survived to blasts/1 PGS normal

    4/16 ER cancelled on CD7: 1 follicle on L/ 0 follicles on R
    FET #1  7/13/16  BFN

    Super shocker +HPT 9/19
    Baby Alyce arrived 5/8/17

    Went forward with donor eggs from my sister for baby #2
    ER 4/24, 5 eggs fertilized/1 survived to blast and was chromosomally normal.

    FET 2/15 (my sister/donor's birthday!).  Beta 10dp5dt:172; beta 12dp5dt: 425

    My TTC/Cancer/Random thoughts blog:
  • It's so hard. For some reason during our 6 year fertility struggle, I unfollowed all my Facebook "friends " who were pregnant except for my fertility warrior friends. For me it made me so happy most of the time to hear updates and pics. Maybe it gave me hope, or joy to know someone who desperately wanted a baby had one. I wasn't close friends with thease people however.
          I neglected a lot of my actual friends who were having babies. It just hurt too much. 
  • I'm just going to throw this out there... I think it's especially good and important @baevn that you are thinking of how your friend might feel considering how far down the path of IF you each had to go. I had a friend who was going through IF with me, and I have to say that it stung even more when she got pregnant on a round of clomid, while I had to go through much, much more and still hadn't gotten pregnant. I know we all have faced different IF obstacles and we've all suffered, but I think that how far down the path you have to go and how long you struggle with IF does matter - it makes it harder to bear in a lot of ways. So kudos to you to being especially sensitive to your friend's situation. Also, congrats on your pregnancy!
    *** Trigger Warnings ***

    TTC #1 since March 2011
    Dx = Unexplained IF
    1 medicated TI cycle & 4 clomid IUIs = all BFNs
    June 2013 IVF #1 = 6 frosties + BFP!
    DS1 born 2/14

    TTC #2 since December 2014
    May 2015 unassisted BFP ended in m/c at 7wks
    April 2016 FET #1 = BFN
    June 2016 FET #2 = c/p
    August 2016 FET #3 = BFP!
    DS2 born 4/17
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