My friend and next door neighbor and I both gave birth to our first kids within a month of each other. We didn’t have a lot in common, but being new moms was enough. We spent a lot of time talking, worrying, and comparing notes over the next three years. I knew when I got pregnant again, that she had been trying for a second child as soon as she weaned her first. I agonized over how to tell her. Turns out I’m not alone.
A couple of weeks ago, the question of the day on the Creating a Family Facebook page and Twitter stream was “If you’re infertile, how do you want your friends to tell you about their pregnancy?” We got quite a response from both the infertile as well as their fertile friends.
Sensitive fertile friends of the infertile often feel caught between a rock and a hard place when they want/need to tell their infertile friends that they are pregnant. They know that their good news will be hard to hear. They might even understand that their friend will greet the news with mixed emotions. What they don’t know is the best way to share their good fortune.
There wasn’t universal agreement by the infertile on how they would prefer to be told.
- Friends who tell everyone else apart from you as they don’t want to hurt you. That’s the worst!
- I hate it when people take you aside into a quiet room to tell you, as they aren’t sure how you will take it.
- A call, or text, or email or private message via Facebook or Twitter would suffice.
- Phone still puts you on the spot, emotionally. Email gives you time and space to compose yourself.
I decided to tell my friend in person during a walk so that we wouldn’t be facing each other, so she wouldn’t have to fake a smile. An email, text, or even a phone call felt like the cowardly way out. She handled it with grace, but I wonder now if I could have done better.
Let’s face it some people are clueless or so self absorbed that they won’t care how their exciting news will be received. But for those who want to break their news in the kindest way possible, how do you want them to tell you that they are pregnant? Does it matter if they have suffered from infertility as well?
P.S. We would really appreciate your giving us a “like” on our Creating a Family Facebook page. Thanks.
Image credit: Florian SEROUSSI