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IVF/pregnant friend

(128 Posts)
ohbigdaddio Mon 12-Mar-18 08:22:06

Posting here for traffic! My DH and I have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility and are starting our 2nd IVF attempt soon. We have no DC and I have never been pregnant. I am on medication for anxiety and depression – the struggle to conceive has had a huge impact on my self esteem and mental health and I have had suicidal thoughts in my darker moments.

My friend (let's call her Debbie!) lives abroad and for the last week or so has been trying to Skype with me. There is a big time difference and we couldn't find a time when both of us could talk. I thought she wanted to see how I am doing as she knows what we are going through and that my mental health is suffering. I thought that was really nice of Debbie as she hasn't really been overly supportive and on Friday I suggested we talk today. She said texted to say she couldn't wait to talk any longer and said she had something to tell me...then she attached a scan photo and "We're having a baby!!!!!"

I burst into tears but texted back that I was really happy for her. I feel the scan photo was a bit much considering what we are going through and my mental state. Of course she is excited but there was no consideration for my feelings. (A previous friend announced her pregnancy to me by saying "I know this isn't what you want to hear at the moment but I needed to let you know I'm pregnant. I'll tell you as much or as little about it as you want to know." She also did not send a scan photo.)

Debbie is a good friend but I don't think she knows what to say about IVF. I texted her a while ago saying we would be trying again soon and please keep your fingers crossed for us. She read it but said nothing which I found very hurtful. I now know she must have been pregnant when she read that message and feel that should've given her a bit more understanding of how much we want this? I asked her the due date and she started moaning saying it will be really hot in her country by then and how will she cope? That really got to me. 'I don't care! You are pregnant, don't start moaning about it', I thought.

Anyway. We are meant to be having a chat on Skype today and I am really unsure what to do. She is a very enthusiastic, positive person anyway, so this will be magnified by 10 and she will be extremely excited I'm sure. I know the conversation will be mainly about her being pregnant. I am worried I will burst into tears as I am really envious and so sad that yet again it isn't me with the pregnancy news. I am happy for her but very sad for myself. I don't know what to do for the best – I don't want to put off the chat and her think I don't care but at the same time I'm not sure I am ready for a chat about baby clothes etc.

I am due to go to counselling tomorrow and wondered whether it would be better to work through my feelings with her before calling Debbie, but I am aware that she really wants to chat to me today.

Does anyone have any advice as I am very confused. I don't whether saying something like "I am really happy for you but I need you to know that this is really hard for me and I may find it hard to hear lots of details."? If anybody has been in this situation, how did you handle it? And if anyone has been the pregnant friend, would you be offended by a comment like that/what would you want to hear?

Coastalcommand Mon 12-Mar-18 09:07:04

I’ve been on both sides of this. For years I had friends announce pregnancies while we struggled. Honestly? I always wanted them to treat me like everyone else.
I hated the idea that they might not want to share their happy news with me or feel awkward about it.
Just because they were having their baby didn’t make any difference to whether or not we’d be lucky enough one day.
We were successful eventually and have a beautiful IVF baby. But I was hurt by some friends who clearly didn’t want to hear about it.
We’re now TTC a sibling. It isn’t looking positive - more bad news yesterday. I realise it’s like winning the lottery once then buying another ticket.
But I still take joy in other people’s good news.
Try to be excited for your friend, and hopefully soon she will be excited for your good news too.
Wishing you lots of luck.

demirose87 Mon 12-Mar-18 09:14:53

Yabu a bit but I think you are justified to feel like this.
She's excited about her pregnancy and now it's a massive thing in her life. I think it would be unfair of you to expect her to not talk about her pregnancy. Friendships are meant to be their for each other through good and bad times.
However I do think she could have shown more tact when showing you the scan photo. I would distance her for now if you feel unable to face her and if she's a good friend she'll understand why. Good luck.

Dipitydoda Mon 12-Mar-18 09:44:50

Honestly. I’ve been going n both sides. Suffering secondary infertility after a birth that left me with severe PTSD. I hated it when friends always thought they would tell me face to face about their news. I would much prefer a text so I could cry in private so it’s prob a good thing a text was sent. V insensitive re the pic though. The most important thing for you is protecting your mental health, I had to basically minimise contact during pregnancy and birth (combination on ptsd and infertility meant these were the difficult times for me). A good friend will be there after. Good luck on your journey, remember it’s all about looking after yourself first

ohbigdaddio Mon 12-Mar-18 09:50:48

demirose87 I'm not saying I won't talk about the pregnancy, I'm asking really about expressing my own feelings in the best possible way. Anyone who has been through unsuccessful IVF will know how painful pregnancy announcements are!

I don't know if we will ever be successful and that is a very, very tough position to be in. Joyous baby news becomes tinged with a lot of sadness. I don't think that is unreasonable. Of course her news doesn't affect whether we will succeed or not but it does make me gutted that it is so easy for a lot of people yet so hard for us.

Good luck coastalcommand x

Herewegoagainagain Mon 12-Mar-18 09:55:28

If it were me I'd postpone my chat with her. I'm pregnant and have a friend undergoing IVF at the moment. I knew she'd been caught unawares by some family pregnancy announcements - she was genuinely delighted for them, just needed a chance to compose herself - so I gave her a heads up by text when I told her my news. She's been amazing throughout the pregnancy and I hope I've managed to be considerate and supportive, too.

GreatDuckCookery Mon 12-Mar-18 09:56:57

It does seem a little thoughtless of her to text you the way she did. It looks like she doesn't fully understand your situation ( and that's understandable to a degree if she's not had troubling conceiving or had IVF ) and is just very happy to be pregnant.

Some people just do not think about other people before sharing their news.

I think in your shoes I would Skype her and wish her well etc but go with your suggestion of telling her that you're in a fragile place right now. Hopefully she will understand. She will probably be upset by this and maybe back off which is something you need to be ready for.

OutyMcOutface Mon 12-Mar-18 09:57:11

I think that honesty is the best policy. It’s quite hurtful (as you would know) when something really big happens in your life and you friend/family member doesn’t want to engage in it/avoids you. You are both having trouble with each other’s news it would seems. Maybe just be honest and tell her that you are really pleased for her but it’s a painful subject for you.

carryondoctor Mon 12-Mar-18 10:03:04

I think I would be honest too. If you think it would upset you to have the Skype call, I would text her and say something like, "I am absolutely delighted for you, but as we are struggling and about to try IVF for the second time, I will just need a little bit of time - please can we speak soon? Huge congratulations and lots of love" or something like that.

You've got to put yourself and your mental health first when you're going through something like you are, Op flowers. Lots of luck with the second round

Awwlookatmybabyspider Mon 12-Mar-18 10:04:46

You don't have to fully understand or even slightly understand anything about the heartache of going through IVF to know that you don't post a scan picture to a women who is going through IVF and is on medication for depression because of it.
That something a fucking narcissist wouldn't do.

Trooperslane2 Mon 12-Mar-18 10:08:54

Op, I'm so sorry

YABU but SIBMMMU.

Your first friend did it exactly the way I wanted to be told (and was told), which meant both of our emotions were validated - that sounds really wanky - but what I mean is

- I was allowed to acknowledge my sadness
- She was able to acknowledge her happiness

We had a big hug and a cry and I raised a glass of fizz to her.

SleepFreeZone Mon 12-Mar-18 10:10:00

Well you’re a better person than me as i prettymucb shut everyone out when I was suffering from secondary infertility and copious miscarriages. Awful, awful time and I definitely couldn’t have coped with being delighted for someone else’s pregnancy over Skype 😬

TroubledLichen Mon 12-Mar-18 10:11:07

Aw I don’t think you’re being unreasonable at all to feel this way. I would postpone the call until after you speak to your therapist but I would be honest and text her saying that it’s a difficult time for you and whilst her news is wonderful, you need some time. If she’s a true friend she’ll understand. flowers

Trooperslane2 Mon 12-Mar-18 10:11:17

(and I agree with Spiders - serious empathy transplant needed for your friend)

dingdongdigeridoo Mon 12-Mar-18 10:11:23

It sounds like she’s being quite pushy about speaking to you and is lacking in understanding about your situation. I had a friend going through IVF and when I got pregnant with DS I told her by text so that she had time to process and didn’t have to put on a big show about being happy. I’d go for the text above, just explaining that you need some time to process things but you’re genuinely happy for her.

DaisyInTheChain Mon 12-Mar-18 10:11:55

It's really hard as if you haven't been through infertility, some people have no sense of, should I do things differently, it's going to be hard for her.

I know there's a few camps, those who think she's excited let her have her moment, to those who think she should have really thought about the delivery more etc.

I know it's soul destroying and it's feels like everyone is pregnant or has a newborn. Even when you go out it's almost like there's a sea of bumps and pushchairs. There's the Mum screaming at the kid eating the sausage roll, you're thinking I'd never do that. I'm just going by what I went through.

I cried at every pregnancy announcement, when nephew was born I took myself into spare room and did a deep clean. A bit random but I was jealous I will admit it.

Wishing you all the best for the future, I know it sounds like a cliche but oldest did come on the round when I thought fuck it, it's not going to work, going through the motions, la, la, la, 'Daisy you're pregnant!'

I've seen quite a few times where women have conceived naturally under similar circumstances to me.

So really hope you get a sticky BFP soon.

Monkeypuzzle32 Mon 12-Mar-18 10:13:26

I've been on both sides-I don't think there is sbything wrong with saying you are happy for her but finding it difficult to hear at the same time-she will have to just accept that, but equally as hard as it is you need to let her know you're pleased and want to know what's happening if you'll put a wedge between you-it's not so much the news that I found upsetting it's the way it's delivered!

martellandginger Mon 12-Mar-18 10:19:43

Its terribly difficult. Postpone today chat. Give yourself some time.

You do need to start being grown up about your feelings. Some of us have been TTC for 10 years plus....don't lose all your friends during that process. Not everyone understands infertility and just like you don't understand the joy of announcing a pregnancy yet. I don't think your friend was that insensitive - I would have been grateful for text and not skype though.

brumbrumss Mon 12-Mar-18 10:23:26

So sorry you're going through this op thanks YANBU at all for feeling the way you to do about it and the scan pic was a bit insensitive Imo, but as others posters have said that doesn't mean she shouldn't be able to express her happiness as much as I'm sure it's heartbreaking to hear when you want that so much. If I were you I'd be brutally honest and speak to her about it. You're happy for her but at the same time finding this very difficult to hear and that it's nothing personal it's just that infertility is really shit.

Some women who haven't had any negative experiences with conception/pregnancy can be quite thoughtless with this sort of thing unintentionally. I had a late miscarriage and after having a couple of weeks off work whilst still heavily bleeding, l was surrounded by 5 pregnant women in a small office and hearing the complaints and pains of pregnancy regularly did give me the rage a bit to be honest, even though pregnancy itself is really hard at times and perfectly normal and acceptable for them to feel that way, it still stung a bit to hear it.

I'd maybe speak to your counsellor first before you skype with her. Take care op x

MargaretCavendish Mon 12-Mar-18 10:32:30

I don't whether saying something like "I am really happy for you but I need you to know that this is really hard for me and I may find it hard to hear lots of details."?

I think that sounds perfect, actually.

I had three miscarriages over 18 months (so shit, but not as bad as what you and anyone with multiple years of infertility/ IVF has been through) before conceiving my current (21 week) pregnancy. I found pregnancy announcements hard, and pregnant women even harder. When I had to tell my friend starting IVF that I was pregnant I did it much like your first friend. She still hasn't ever acknowledged that I'm pregnant, and you know what? That's fine. I'm the lucky one, she's in pain and I (right now) am not. I actually used to have more sympathy with the pregnant women in this situation before I was one - it really, really isn't hard to accept that one of your friends isn't mega-excited because of their own sadness. I used to think that I didn't get why some women need the whole world to line up to congratulate them when they're pregnant because I hadn't been there - I now know that they're just total narcissists.

ohbigdaddio Mon 12-Mar-18 10:36:05

YABU but SIBMMMU not sure what this means trouperslane2?

Thanks for all your feedback, some good points.

You do need to start being grown up about your feelings. Some of us have been TTC for 10 years plus I find this a little hurtful martellandginger – my feelings are my feelings and I can't just switch them off. I have mentioned I am depressed and have anxiety so maybe I'm not dealing with this like someone with better mental health? I know some people have been TTC longer than me but I am a lot older and do no have 10 years left ahead of me – probably a couple of years really, and that's if me and DH can continue living like this!

Rockandrollwithit Mon 12-Mar-18 10:36:49

I think it's totally understandable that you feel this way and I think you should be honest with your friend. Tell her you are happy for her but will find it hard to discuss her pregnancy. If she is a decent person, she will understand.

I had a friend who was going through infertility. When my DS2 was born he was critically ill and needed surgery, it was very uncertain if he would make it (he's OK now). She texted me and said "at least now you can understand some of the pain I have been through." I've never forgiven her.

BubbleAndSquark Mon 12-Mar-18 10:42:24

I would send her a message saying 'I'm really happy for you that you're pregnant. At the moment I've been finding it quite emotional going through IVF and trying to keep my mind off it so I'm sorry but I don't feel in the right headspace to discuss babies at the moment. I'm very happy for you but its just a bit hard for me talking to anyone about pregnancies at the moment so I just wanted to let you know so you understand.'

MargaretCavendish Mon 12-Mar-18 10:45:23

Not everyone understands infertility and just like you don't understand the joy of announcing a pregnancy yet.

I don't know this 'joy of announcing a pregnancy' either - and in my experience it seems to be limited to those already lucky enough to get pregnant easily and so feel happy and confident in their pregnancies. I hate telling people I'm pregnant because I feel so unsure that, after all the previous shit, I'm actually going to have a baby this time. I haven't ever been through IVF but it seems that it's very common for people to feel the same. Most people who have a really tough with fertility don't find that they have a magic 'well, that's all in the past now' feeling when they get a BFP. Fertility problems really are the gift that keeps on giving.

wouldyoudo Mon 12-Mar-18 10:46:45

@BubbleAndSquark has a great message there. I empathise OP. Been in your shoes and I did cut off a friend over something similar. No regrets. You can only handle what you can... people that care give you space and time rather than guilt you into trying to do more than you can manage

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