How to Tell Your Infertile Friends that You’re Pregnant

So, you’ve found out you’re pregnant and there’s nothing you’d rather do than tell anyone who will listen.

I’ve been there and I have so done that.

But it’s not that simple when you have a friend who struggles with infertility.

Clearly, you have to tell her, but how?

Well, there are a couple of ways you can handle it.

You can employ either plan a or plan b:

A. Announce to the world you’re pregnant without ever pulling your friend aside to soften the blow. When your friend finds out through word of mouth and sends you a note of congratulations, simply pretend you never got the note and avoid your friend completely and have zero contact with her from that point on.

Yeah, not so nice, huh?

B. Reach out to your friend to share your happy news, knowing that though she is struggling, she will be genuinely happy for you. Share your joy with her and ask her how she’s feeling. Let her talk. Let her congratulate you and trust that she cares enough about you to put her own heartache aside.

I’ve been on the receiving end of both of these methods and for me, plan b was the better option.

My lovely friend Cam reached out to me last week to tell me her happy news before I heard it from someone else. She wanted to blog about it, but thought it important to tell me directly. That kind gesture spoke volumes about our friendship and I’ll be ever grateful that she believed in me enough to invite me to share in her joy in such a sensitive and thoughtful manner.

Avoiding your infertile friends diminishes them. It makes them feel as though you have no faith in them…that you think that their sadness is more important to them than being happy for you.

Trust your friends. Trust that although they are struggling, they love you enough to celebrate your joy.

Because to push them away instead, is to hurt them twice over.

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I was selected for this post by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

18 comments

  1. @ksluiter twitter.com/ksluiter

    I chose to go with plan B when I found out that I was pregnant this time around, yet there are still people who have decided that they can't talk to me anymore because I am pregnant.

    I just don't know how to handle that. At all.

  2. @cambowman twitter.com/cambowman

    I love you! You are such an amazing person. You have been such a help knowing how sick I am and just listening to me babble on and on. Truly one of a kind and so happy I get to call you my friend!

  3. Sunshine

    I opted for Plan B with a friend of mine. She had been through 3 miscarriages and was starting the process of hormones when I told her. I KNEW she would be happy, she is a wonderfully caring and kind person, but I also KNEW it would be so hard for her too. She was extremely happy for me, but I could see her tears through her smiles. Luckily, after a little more time, she was able to get pregnant and she had a little girl (she already had a son).
    It was hard to tell her (I was nervous to tell her) but it was the right thing to do.

  4. Susan sunflowerstatus.blogspot.com

    Too true. “Situation A” has happens to me quite often. Hearing it through the grapevine is so hurtful!

    I’ve learned which friends truly care, as they make it a point to call (or better yet, email so I can get my tears under control if needed) before they announce their happy news to the world. I love the friends that understand enough to tell me vs. the ones who think “hearing it through the grapevine” is the way to go. Shockingly I’ve found family members and supposedly close friends are often the worst offenders when it comes to the “grapevine” method.

    If you even suspect someone in your life is dealing with infertility, the best thing you can do is to be upfront with them about your pregnancy. It sounds like you’re very lucky to have a friend like Cam who understands.

  5. I tried to employ B when the situation arose. I had a friend who didn't respond in a very positive manner, but I understood. I still thought it was better that she heard it from me.

    I think the grapevine method is easier but sad and would cause more hard feelings in the long run :(

  6. Tonya lettersforlucas.com

    I love this. Thank you. Plan B ALWAYS!!! xoxo

  7. Kimberly mamasmonologues.com

    Thank you. I love this. I wish everyone would read this and understand that Plan B is ALWAYS the better option!

  8. Love this!!! Cam is such a lovely person and I am so excited for her!!

  9. Alison@Mama Wants This

    There shouldn't even be a Plan A, that's just cruel and unnecessary.

    I love this line: " Let her congratulate you and trust that she cares enough about you to put her own heartache aside."

  10. Courtney K. themommymatters.com

    This is so, so true. I've been on the receiving end of a friend announcing it publicly on her blog/facebook and then completely ignoring my congratulations. It's painful. I think being treated that way by a friend is almost as painful as dealing with the struggle of getting pregnant. Glad you put this out there!

  11. Jesica

    So true, I always appreciated it when people chose plan B although unfortunately many don't.

  12. Tracie fromtracie.com

    I say we throw Plan A away and make Plan B mandatory!

  13. Kirsten thekircorner.com

    As an infertile it was imperative to me to employ plan B always. When I finally got PG I emailed and spoke to many many many of my friends before I announced and while I was very happy I was PG , Being honest….I never really got over the survivor guilt of it, I still have it.

    It's an important lesson, the thing is that in my experience the infertile community understands and expects this, but if you never havd trouble getting PG or if you are fertile with an infertile friend, the slope is slippery. I know that the friends who chose plan A may have their own guilt about it.

    If there is ONE thing that infertility has taught me it's that everyone's journey is different, it's important to be kind to other's as they navigate theirs…and to be kind to yourself too.

  14. Having been on both sides of this story, let me say, Nichole, i.HEART.YOU.

    Also: Amen Kir!

  15. Juliet

    Let me add on to plan B that if your friend ISN'T genuinely happy for you and needs some space, that's ok too. It doesn't reflect on your friendship or how good a person your friend is. Infertility is ridiculously hard to deal with, and it feels like everyone around you is getting pregnant. So even if she offers a feeble "congratulations" and suddenly excuses herself, that's the best she can do and you need to respect her need for space. (And NEVER complain about pregnancy symptoms around her! She'd kill to have that morning sickness and fatigue!!)

  16. John daddyrunsalot.com

    I still remember cringing whenever the phone would ring – fearful that it was another friend calling to "share the good news." I swear, for a good year-long stretch, there was always a friend, or a friend of a friend, or a family member, or a friend of a family member who was announcing that they were expecting.

    Yeah, if you value someone who is dealing with infertility as a friend, you absolutely need to reach out before you announce to the masses. Heck, I remember when my mother asked me over to dinner (it's normally a "oh, you're here, let me make something," type event, never formal) and I knew that my sister was pregnant. I was overjoyed for her, truly, as was my wife. But, I still remember watching the tears stream down my wife's face, then my face, then my sister's face (she punched me for making a pregnant woman cry, which I guess is right).

    I really have no idea what I'm saying here, so let me just say that there's a whole lot of love aimed your way Nichole. A whole lot of love.

  17. That sucks that you've experienced 'b' – though have you considered, maybe the baby was secretly fathered by your high school boyfriend and *that's* why the mom didn't want to tell you?

    Something to ponder.

  18. happilylivinghealthy

    Great article! My sister did Plan A (sort of ). My hubby and I had been trying to get pregnant and I had JUST talked to her about how we had been struggling. She had told me that they weren't trying to get pregnant as they had a wedding in about 9months in Washington that both her and her hubby were supposed to stand in. Anyway, not 3 weeks later, I get a TEXT from my BROTHER-IN-LAW saying "We're Expecting!!" I instantly started to bawl! How could she not call and tell me? We come from a small family (only 3 of us) and my BIL comes from a family of like 9. So he text his siblings and just added me to it. I was so mad and hurt! I now have another beautiful niece and am still not pregnant. I keep hoping this will be my month. And I promise I will use Plan B when announcing!

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