Sunday, May 6, 2012

How to tell your *infertile friend you're pregnant...

I starred infertile because I don't like the word.  I think the word infertile is part of the reason that infertility still holds the stigma it does.  How can I really call myself infertile when I'm spending so much time trying to have a baby?  If I'm infertile, I might as well give up now.  Fertility-challenged yes.

Anyway...every group needs a nice simple term.  And I guess this is the one we're stuck with.

*     *     *     *     *

As many of you know all too well, one of the hardest parts of this process is that we're not going through it in a bubble.  A bubble would be nice.  In my bubble, I wouldn't compare myself and my life to other people.  But I don't live in a bubble and people are getting pregnant and having babies everywhere I turn.

All of this stress is multiplied during IVF.  It just is.  And it just so happens that I have learned of at least 6 blogger and internet friends and 2 real-life friends that are pregnant in the last week or two.  Seriously.  I might talk about the pressure of knowing that not everyone of us can get a BFP in the same month later.

This post is about how to tell your infertile friend (me for example), that you are pregnant.

The following is a Facebook message I received from one of my good friends from college.  The last time I saw her was a few months ago and I told her about what was going on and the fact that I was about to try IVF.

Hey Sarah,
I have some news, and I definitely wanted to tell you this personally (although is a facebook message really that personal? - I don't know) before I did a public announcement in the next day or so. The Mr. and I are pregnant, around 13-ish weeks along right now. I actually found out a week or so after I saw you and had no idea, or else I definitely would have said something to you then.

I really really want you to know that I don't want you to feel like you have to respond to this right now, or in a week, or ever, if you don't want to. Or, if you want to, I'm all for that too. Seriously - whatever you want. I've been following your blog pretty much daily, and although I haven't said anything, I do want you to know that I am one of your faithful web (and real life) supporters. I read a lot of your back posts too, and I have to say, you have a way with words. Not just in that "I'm an English teacher so I write well," type of way, but you have a way of conveying a thought in a clear way that makes the reader understand exactly what that thought is. Your 103rd post re: Shakespeare definitely made me chuckle. I know that you are struggling with the idea of going public, and I can't say that I would be brave enough to do it if I were you, but if it does happen, I think that so many people would benefit from reading your blog.

Anyway, that is my news. I truly truly am hoping that you and Mr. GG. also get good news soon. 

Of course I responded immediately because it was such a sweet message!

And I knew that I wanted to publish it because I think it's a great model for others.

So if you need to tell your infertile friend that you're pregnant:

  • First, tell them.  Right away (i.e. immediately if it's your best friend or sister that would tell the second your POAS, or after the first trimester if you're not telling friends until then).  Right before the public announcement is so much better.  It takes the shock away.  
  • Second, be straightforward about what's going on with you.  
  • Third, acknowledge that you know your friend is struggling and that you are supportive.  Don't skirt around the issue.  Don't make promises like "I know it will happen for you soon."  Just show support.  
  • And last, don't disappear.  It might be hard for me (i.e. infertile friend) to make the effort, so if you really do care - call every once in awhile.  Ask questions about what's going on with me and that will make it easy for me to ask about you.  
Not that hard, right?

Auds, I wish you all the very best.  Thanks for supporting me!


  1. completely 100% agree. Two years ago I had a friend not tell me till she was 24w pregnant because she didn't know how to tell me. Much much worse. Instead I rocked up to a lunch to find her halfway through. I was a mess and really hurt.

    Best way is when people send you message personally before they break the news, especially if they know you are fertility challenged.

    good luck for the beta (I also know the feeling of every man and his dog scoring a finite number of BFP's but it will happen xx)

  2. Your friend is a rockstar. That's the way to do it. I've had so many relaxed casual announcements that have kicked me in the guts, it's so nice to have a good one that you can genuinely enjoy hearing about.

    Hugs x

  3. Her message made me a little teary. What a great friend, and a good way to share news that may feel a little bittersweet. Thank you for sharing this.

    I hope you're feeling well today; I am keeping my fingers crossed for you Mrs GG!

  4. Very nice!!! I've had a friend or two get pregnant who really did NOT want to tell me they were...but um yeah not like i'm not going to find out! haha. :)

    Your friend is awesome for letting you know in such a manner!

  5. Yes! I hate the false platitudes. "You're next!" or "I'm going to try in six months, let's get pregnant together!" (Because surely I will be knocked up by then...?)are two examples that I've had directed my way.

  6. :) I'm there for you!!

  7. Your friend definitely gets an A+ for her sensitivity and thoughtfulness. I too received a similar message from my best childhood friend, and I was very appreciative of her approach. I like your 4 part "list." I have a few, less considerate, friends who could use that for future reference!

  8. Your friend sounds extremely compassionate and sensitive. You are both lucky to have each other in your lives!