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Old 09-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #1
justhat
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Telling friends you're pregnant

Okay, 4th kid, I've done this before, no issues. However, this time around, different story.

A really close friend has been struggling with infertility for over a year. I'm her closest friend and she just confided in me last month about the struggles she has been going through trying for a baby, how much it hurts because she feels like she is a failure, how everywhere she looks someone is pregnant or has a baby, people keep asking her when she's going to have a kid, and she is just super depressed about it. Her 37th birthday was last month and her husband was out of town and she planned to just hide in her house, but I convinced her to hang out with me so she wasn't super depressed. I spent hours with her that night, and several other nights that week, while she cried about not having any kids and getting older and all that.

Well, I struggled to conceive my 3rd so I vaguely know what it is like (vaguely in that I had 2 kids already, so I did feel blessed, but still had that strong desire for a baby), and told her all that I went through, gave her all my old stuff (like my fertility monitor, BBT, prenatal vitamins, etc.) and talked with my husband about fertility docs (he's a physician so he has a better idea of who in town is good).

Yeah, then 2 days later I found out we're expecting our 4th. She will *know* this baby wasn't planned as I made it clear that after what it took for #3 I was done. We had tried for a 4th on and off, but never as seriously as #3 cause I wasn't sold on 4 and figured if it was meant to happen it would. I had *just* told my husband that I was totally, completely done, and if for no other reason didn't want another baby simply because I have too many friends with infertility issues and I remember what it felt like to hear someone was pregnant when we couldn't have #3. (In addition to this friend, I have 1 friend who is adopting, 1 pregnant after years of fertility treatments, and another with 1 kid because of 2ndary infertility.)

But I think because I'm really her only close friend, and she just told me how much it hurts that everyone she knows is pregnant, I almost feel like I'm betraying her. Dumb, I know, but I just remember what every month was like while trying for my 3rd, and then how much it hurt to hear a friend/relative was pregnant, even though I was happy for them at the same time.


So for those who have been there, how would you bring it up? I'm 7 weeks now and have known for 3 weeks, which makes me feel worse, like I am lying, but then I have never been one to share with people IRL when the stick turned pink. But I see her 5 days a week, text her daily, go to yoga with her weekly, and we hang out on weekends as well. So not like the opportunity hasn't presented itself, I just dread depressing her further (though I know she'll be happy on one hand, as she LOVES all of my kids). She's coming over tomorrow, but her husband is leaving for another work trip in the morning, so then I feel badly that she'll be alone and depressed again.

Any other timing and this situation would be totally different. But a big part of me can't even enjoy this pregnancy yet cause I feel so badly for her.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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I have no advice I just wanted to say how good a friend I think you are for just putting so much thought into her feelings . Good friends are few and far between as we get older and I think she is blessed having you and she will understand .
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:24 AM   #3
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Congratulations! I actually lost a friend due to this very subject so i definitely feel for you. I would wait until at least 12 weeks just because that is more the norm of telling others in general. Gosh I hope it goes smoothly for you. I still miss my friend and I almost wish I wouldn't have even told her until I was showing. Hope you get some good advice and Best Wishes!
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:43 AM   #4
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I'm someone who has dealt with infertility for many years. My only child was conceived through fertility treatments. All other treatments failed. I appreciate you wanting to be as sensitive as possible in telling your friend. Some thoughts:

Do it in private. I still can't stand a big announcement with many people around because it's hard for me to react appropriately, which I want to do. Let her know that even though you can't understand exactly how she feels that you know it may be difficult for her. Give her permission to not be over the moon for you right away. Ask her what her comfort level is in you talking about the pregnancy. Ask this periodically throughout your pregnancy. I'm at a point now (I began struggling with infertility in 1996) where I'm ok most of the time hearing other people, but sometimes it's still hard. I really appreciate when people take my feelings into account. On the other hand, don't NEVER talk about it. I can't stand when people completely pretend they aren't pregnant for my sake. I feel guilty on top of sad. Avoid platitudes like "your time will come", "God has a plan", "there are so many other children in your life", "take a couple of mine", etc. Each one is hurtful in its own way even if that's not the intention.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:19 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone! I feel like a crappy friend at the moment (though logically I know I did not do this to cause her pain), so thanks for making me feel better about it. She is seriously the sweetest person ever, not a bad bone in her body, and I *know* she would be the best parent ever, hands down more patience than I ever have, so I think that makes it especially hard.

Runsandjumps, I really kinda fear that. I know I'll still have to see her at least 5 days a week during the school year (she's a preschool teacher where my youngest goes to school and she might even move into her class in January), but I am afraid it will change the whole dynamics of the relationship. And aside from how that would sadden me, I think it would be worse for her as she really don't have many close friends locally. Neither of us are from AZ, and I think that helped us bond, but also means that if she estranges herself from me, she sorta has no one who lives in this city to confide to. No one else knows about her fertility struggles and I feel like she'll lose the ability to cry it out with me, which I know from having been there was critical for me when I struggled for my 3rd.

My fear though, if I wait till I'm showing, so that she'd be kind of hurt that I waited that long, like I don't value her friendship or something. Or that I was patronizing. And the LAST thing I was is for her to find out from someone other than me, and if my daughter's teachers notice before I tell her, I think that would really hurt if she found out in the lunch room.

Mari, thanks, that is good info to keep in mind. And I'm really sorry to hear of your struggle as well. I hadn't thought about checking in on comfort level throughout the pregnancy, but that makes a lot of sense. With me, most of my friends or coworkers who announced a pregnancy when I was trying for #3 were having baby 2 or beyond, so they didn't do as much talking about it as with a first baby, but I do remember when I'd hear it was a boy or girl, or whatever marker (like first kicks), it did sting cause I thought I might never have that opportunity again. And while I think secondary infertility can be just as bad as primary, at least I could go home and hug and be thankful for the 2 kids I had, whereas she can't even do that.

Oh, and your comment about "so many other kids in your life", she mentioned how much that very piece of knowledge hurts. Being a preschool teacher, she is with other people's young kids all day and she has said that just makes each month that much more raw cause she sees these kids go home with their parents and yet she has to go home to an empty house.

And that "take one of mine", OMG, people used to tell me "You don't want 3! Take one of mine and you'll see!" Right. Used to drive me nuts.

Do you agree with the 12 week mark being the best point? I was considering that myself, but then thought with the weekly yoga, and if I get my typical morning sickness (which hasn't been as bad so far, so hoping it stays this way), that she might start to notice on her own. Which I don't want.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:27 AM   #6
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If you guys are as close as you state I would tell her right away. Then, give her the space and time she needs to grieve. The longer you wait, I'm afraid that she'll become bitter and angry because of that. At the end of the day though, you know her best and do what feels most comfortable for you.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:00 AM   #7
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That's my inclination, the sooner the better cause I just feel more like I am lying the longer I wait. I haven't told anyone who lives in this city yet, and was hesitant to do so till the sickness started (that was always my cue that things were "okay" with my other 3 kids), and that kicked in this week so I'm feeling better about things going well so figure now is the time.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:02 AM   #8
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Tell her as soon as you can. Don't try to cover it with things like "your time will come" or things like that. Just tell her, then tell her you love her and then let her process it. I've been on the other side and won't lie, it hurts. A hurt like you can't imagine. She might need some time and some distance, then again she might not. Everyone works through these things at their own pace. In the end though she will appreciate that you took her aside and told her before everyone else.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:24 AM   #9
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As someone who came late to parenthood through long, trying failed infertility tx and then after lots of work and time finally happily adoption please tell her privately soon. Maybe bring over a bottle of wine for her and water for you and let her know u will b her friend forever and don't expect her to come to any baby showers- those were some of the toughest.
Through the struggle to adopt I got over the need to bear my own child hopefully she will experience healing- maybe I hope in an easier way. I do know that the energy it takes to go through fertility and adoption can leave her with little else just as you may be fatigued from pregnancy but please make an extra effort to be her friend. I spent so much time on getting to be a parent I lost out on some other relationships. Now a few years later I'm building new ones but I wish I still had some old ones.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:56 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by nemajovc View Post
As someone who came late to parenthood through long, trying failed infertility tx and then after lots of work and time finally happily adoption please tell her privately soon. Maybe bring over a bottle of wine for her and water for you and let her know u will b her friend forever and don't expect her to come to any baby showers- those were some of the toughest.
Through the struggle to adopt I got over the need to bear my own child hopefully she will experience healing- maybe I hope in an easier way. I do know that the energy it takes to go through fertility and adoption can leave her with little else just as you may be fatigued from pregnancy but please make an extra effort to be her friend. I spent so much time on getting to be a parent I lost out on some other relationships. Now a few years later I'm building new ones but I wish I still had some old ones.
Thanks, that means a lot to hear that. Another good friend from my old state is currently adopting and just received her match, the sweetest, cutest 3.5yo girl. Travel date expected before Christmas this year. I wrote one of their recs and was so happy when they got matched, because I went through the long road of fertility treatments and finally adoption with them too. They have a biological daughter and then nothing for 7 years with aggressive treatments. Her husband is adopted, along with 1 brother (3rd brother is a bio child), so it was something they had always considered, but coming to terms with not getting pregnant was a huge part of the process, like you described.


This is going to sound dumb, I know, but while I was planning to tell her privately and in person, my husband thought that might be harder cause then she can't escape with her emotions. She's forced to sit there with me. And there is something to that, no matter how genuinely happy I was for someone, it was hard to handle friends telling me they were pregnant when I couldn't conceive our youngest. I had to really work on the smile and congrats, even when I knew they wanted this and were thrilled. But phones/texting/email just seem way colder and more impersonal to me. And my husband can be somewhat anti-social so I'm not sure if he's reading into himself or what there.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
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This is going to sound dumb, I know, but while I was planning to tell her privately and in person, my husband thought that might be harder cause then she can't escape with her emotions. She's forced to sit there with me. And there is something to that, no matter how genuinely happy I was for someone, it was hard to handle friends telling me they were pregnant when I couldn't conceive our youngest. I had to really work on the smile and congrats, even when I knew they wanted this and were thrilled. But phones/texting/email just seem way colder and more impersonal to me. And my husband can be somewhat anti-social so I'm not sure if he's reading into himself or what there.
It's definitely going to be a hard conversation. I think you have an advantage though as you have been in her shoes before. I would use that in regards to going about this. As long as you aren't gloating your pregnancy in front of her, but is very respectful of her feelings I think you should be ok.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #12
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As someone that experienced infertility and finally became a parent through adoption, it was always diffilcult to find out someone was pregnant. I didn't go to babyshowers either.
If it was me, I would rather be told in private and then have a shoulder to cry on. She is going to need time to process the information. I remember finding out someone was pregnant and it was just a small roomful of people, all friends. I had to go to another room to cry. Please do it in private and soon.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:11 AM   #13
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So sorry you're going through this. It must be so hard. I assume your friend will be very happy for you though.

I know I have a friend who got pregnant with her first child. She gave birth in like her 6th or 7th month. Unfortunately her son died a few hours after birth. We were all devastated for her & her husband. The funeral was a few days later and the morning of the funeral, I found out that I was pregnant. As much as I wanted to be there for my friend, I just couldn't bring myself to go. My husband went on behalf of both of us. It was one of THE hardest things to tell her that I was pregnant. Although she was sad at her own situation, she was very happy for me. But unfortunately, a couple months later I miscarried.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justhat View Post

Do you agree with the 12 week mark being the best point? I was considering that myself, but then thought with the weekly yoga, and if I get my typical morning sickness (which hasn't been as bad so far, so hoping it stays this way), that she might start to notice on her own. Which I don't want.
I would say tell her at the same time (not at the same moment, but you get what I mean) that you are telling other people. You don't want her to be the last to know or to hear it from others. Don't be surprised, though, if she figures it out on her own. Even though people think they're not telling, almost 100% of the time I know long before people tell me. They stop drinking coffee or they switch to decaf. They visit the restroom more often. Their breasts are larger. They drink milk when they didn't before. You know how people say they have gaydar? I have babydar. You'd be surprised at the subtle changes when someone is pregnant, and I'm just extremely aware.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:40 AM   #15
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This is going to sound dumb, I know, but while I was planning to tell her privately and in person, my husband thought that might be harder cause then she can't escape with her emotions. She's forced to sit there with me. And there is something to that, no matter how genuinely happy I was for someone, it was hard to handle friends telling me they were pregnant when I couldn't conceive our youngest. I had to really work on the smile and congrats, even when I knew they wanted this and were thrilled. But phones/texting/email just seem way colder and more impersonal to me. And my husband can be somewhat anti-social so I'm not sure if he's reading into himself or what there.
Tell her in person. Do not text, email, etc. She's your close friend and deserves that respect, IMHO. She can't escape her emotions no matter where she is. In a room of people I try to hold back tears. I try to smile. I try very hard to show happiness for my friend (which does eventually come). But, in that moment it's like a kick in the stomach. I'd feel my face getting red and the tears welling up. I'd have a huge lump in my throat. I don't ever want to create drama, especially around a friend's happy moment. So, I try to excuse myself to the restroom to get it together.

In private, you have the opportunity to offer her the kindness of a statement that you're open for any reaction she has, even if that's tears. I'm assuming since you've asked this question that you DON'T want her to hide her emotions or pretend to feel something she's not. I'm sure your husband is well intentioned in his thoughts, but from my experience hearing it among a group of people is the absolute worst for me.
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