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Can I ask for advice on whether to tell friends about pregnancy?

(33 Posts)
LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Dec-17 09:33:21

Hope this is appropriate - I wanted advice and knew I'd get insensitive rubbish from the rest of Mumsnet but some actually appropriate advice here.

DH and I are very, very close friends with another couple. I lived with the male partner in the couple in my early 20s, and have known him since school. He was going out with his now-wife now, and I was with DH, so all four of us have been friends for years - he was best man at our wedding, DH was best man at his.

We're now all 31, and we both started trying for a baby at the same time, around 18 months ago. We've both had bad journeys, in different ways - I get pregnant with reasonable ease but then have had trouble staying that way: three early miscarriages in the last year. Meanwhile they've been diagnosed with both male and female factors and been told that IVF is their only realistic option. It's been a bad time for all of us, but we've been talking about it quite openly (especially me and the husband - we work nearby and so sometimes have lunch and tend to talk about it then) and have all said that, while we wouldn't wish this on the other couple, it's nice to have someone else in a similar 'this isn't easy' boat - not many of our other friends have had children, and everyone who has has had no problems at all.

You can see where this is going... I'm pregnant again. 9 weeks, and have had two good scans confirming heartbeat and appropriate growth, so - while we're still absolutely terrified, and still very aware that things could go wrong - we're starting to feel a bit more confident in this one. Obviously we won't be telling people for quite a while, though - I was going to try and hold off until about 16 weeks, if we get there.

The problem is: do we tell them before that? We see them at least once a week, often more, and I've noticed the female friend, in particular, looking to see what I'm drinking (we do a pub quiz together), so I'm worried that they suspect anyway. More importantly, it means that I'm avoiding the topic of fertility with them - the husband mentioned in a text the other day that his wife is taking 'drugs from the fertility people' so I think they may have started the IVF process, and I think that may have been a hint that he wants to talk about it - but I know if we do he'll ask how things are with us. I really don't want to lie, and think he might find that hurtful.

DH says if they are doing IVF now then that's a reason to hold off telling them as that means by the time we tell everyone else they might have their own happy news - but I know the stats, particularly for a first round, and my fear is that we'll accidentally leave it until they've had really, really crappy news, and that we won't have been there for them through the process.

Sorry for this hugely long post! I'd just be grateful for any thoughts - I really, really don't want to hurt them. My plan is to tell them, whenever we do it, by text so that they don't have to do a face-to-face reaction, by the way.

Summer1986 Thu 14-Dec-17 09:39:25

Firstly congratulations on your happy news.

I think sharing your news by text is very sensitive and I know I would have preferred this had my friend announced her pregnancy before I got pregnant (I've had problems conceiving as well as two miscarriages, she conceives easily but has horrific pregnancy vomiting).

I don't think the timing is as important as how the news is shared and being sensitive afterwards. I'd hope it wouldn't change the friendship dynamics or relationship between you but I'd say maybe prepare for the couple to want a bit of space.

SydBound27 Thu 14-Dec-17 09:47:27

I think you should tell them, as soon as possible. You've talked so openly up to this point the fact you've held it back might upset them more than the pregnancy. I think you need to give them a chance to have their own reaction, rather than protecting them. Either way (obvs hoping it all works out for you) they'll know as you wouldn't probably want to keep another mc to yourself.

They'll probably be upset, hopefully find some space for also feeling happy for you, but if not they may need a bit of space.

I feel pregnant easily first time round and second time weve had huge problems - still ttc. First time my sil had been trying years and she didn't speak to me during my pregnancy and i was sad but that was how she coped. Now when others are onto their second babies i have to find a way to be happy for them but have put space between us if i think i need to.

Good luck, you sound like a true friend so i hope it works out well for everyone. And congratulations on that sticky bean flowers

SydBound27 Thu 14-Dec-17 09:48:57

And in this case i think a text is the right method. Or an email, but not face to face - I've had some pretty awful moment's feigning excitement and feeling my eyes prickling with tears. Its just really hard.

Waterdropsdown Thu 14-Dec-17 09:57:35

They will be happy for you. Honestly hearing that it’s going well for fellow strugglers always gave me hope. It’s the folk who get pregnant not even trying and have no clue that made me sad and feel like a failure.

It’s up to you how you tell them, sounds like you are pretty close to the guy. I wouldn’t be telling anyone till 12 week scan even if they have figured things out that marker is a perfectly normal and doesn’t make it seem like they put off telling you (another pet hate of mine, I just wouldn’t know people were pregnant until really late as no one wanted to tell me). In the meantime find out if they are doing ivf as obviously you would not want to tell her on “big day” such as egg collection, transfer or test date.

I hope everything carries on well with your pregnancy. Don’t worry too much about them, you’ve been through A LOT and have plenty of worries yourself!

InDubiousBattle Thu 14-Dec-17 09:57:36

I think you should tell them. If you can I would chosen a time when you are reasonably confident that they are at home together (not sure how possible that is?)and text them, that way they are together, not at work/pub etc and can have whatever reaction they need to have- no putting on a happy face. We had a similar situation when I was pregnant with ds except we had been very lucky to get pregnant quickly and not had any miscarriages. SIL and BIL had been through several rounds of ivf and years of infertility. We told them over the phone and never did the big family announcement. We didn't know at the time that SIL was very, very early days into a pregnancy and everything worked out great but she has said since that she appreciated us not announcing it at a family gathering. Try to avoid 'I'm sure you'll be next!' or 'your turn will come'.

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Dec-17 10:07:55

Thanks so much for this advice. I agree with this:

In the meantime find out if they are doing ivf as obviously you would not want to tell her on “big day” such as egg collection, transfer or test date.

But I don't think I can do that without then being asked how we are - so I was wondering about maybe sending a text asking how they are, and then depending on that telling them then? I know people normally don't tell until 12 weeks (and as I said I want to hold off longer than that before telling anyone else - mine and DH's parents already know) but I think the pp upthread is right that they might find it weird/hurtful when we've been so open before, and when I guess I absolutely would tell them about another miscarriage (we told them about the previous ones - all of them in hindsight, but they were all before 7 weeks so there wasn't much gap to tell in). I just imagine if it was the other way round it wouldn't be very nice looking at her orange juice and thinking 'is she? Isn't she?'.

JoJoSM2 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:10:31

If they’re in the stims phase of IVF, I’d say it’s a much better time to let them know than in a few weeks when they might have had a bfn or something.

Waterdropsdown Thu 14-Dec-17 10:11:28

Yeah that’s true, I think you should just do what feels right for you. I don’t think you should add to your stress by worrying too much.

JoJoSM2 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:34:18

A lot of people wait till 12 weeks as that's when their first scan is if it's a natural conception and they go down the NHS route. It would be weird to tell people before you've even had a scan.
However, you've already had 2 successful scans and wouldn't keep a miscarriage a secret from them so can't see the point of waiting to share the news.

Maryz Thu 14-Dec-17 11:00:53

If you can trust them not to tell anyone else, tell them now, the sooner the better.

If you know them that well they will probably suspect, and although it will be a little difficult for them to hear the news, it's much better than them wondering for ages, and being afraid to ask.

If you say nothing it will be the elephant in the room. And you don't want to be in the position in a month's time of them saying "we had IVF, it failed, got the results today" and you replying with "well I'm pregnant".

Congratulations by the way, and fingers crossed for sticky babies (as my consultant used to call them) flowers

Waterdropsdown Thu 14-Dec-17 11:01:08

I was just talking from personal experience, we only told the parents before 12 week scan. I’d told quite a few friends about my miscarriage after it happened but that’s quite different.

InDubiousBattle Thu 14-Dec-17 11:23:13

BIL and SIL were the very first people we told. I just knew that if we got together and I wasn't drinking she would be wondering and it would make things uncomfortable.

snowy1982 Thu 14-Dec-17 11:36:07

First of all, congratulations on your BFP and good scans smile

As someone who has been TTC unsuccessfully for 3 years, if my BF was to get pregnant I would prefer to find out sooner rather than later. Yes it would be so painful for me but I would also be happy for her.

I would suggest telling them sooner, although if you are having another scan at 12 weeks and would prefer to hold off that is completely understandable.

Just be upfront with them, people have kept pregnancy news from me so they didn’t upset me and actually the fact that they kept it from me was more upsetting than they fact that they were pregnant and I wasn’t.

Be prepared for the fact that although they will be happy for you they will also be sad for themselves, be prepared that they may want a little space from you but know that they will come around and will be over the moon for you

SydBound27 Thu 14-Dec-17 11:38:18

Also OP you've given quite a lot of detail here, are you sure your friend doesn't also use MN? Possibly not a helpful thing you say so sorry if I've caused any offense

Maryz Thu 14-Dec-17 11:42:53

One other point - Christmas is shitty for people ttc (as I'm sure you know).

Now would be a better time to tell them than mid-festivity (and you are bound to see them over Christmas, I'm sure).

Give them time to get used to the idea and be happy for you.

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Dec-17 11:53:01

Well, I hope not SydBound, because I guess you're right that she'd definitely recognise herself! I just wanted to make it clear that these are very, very close friends and that I wasn't planning to just go shove my news down the throats of acquaintances. I've had a few really shitty comments/interactions since we started having our problems, and I think I'm a bit hyper sensitive about not being one of 'those people'.

snowy1982 Thu 14-Dec-17 11:54:29

I don’t think you have to worry about being one of those people whenever you tell them. They know as well as you do what you’ve been going through, they understand it all

SydBound27 Thu 14-Dec-17 12:03:53

Sorry to hear that OP, sounds awful. Struggling with ttc is the worst although as others have said it sounds like you're definitely not one of 'those people' and would treat it delicately. Again i didn't mean it as a criticism, just raising the possibility. Hope talking about it has helped

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Dec-17 12:05:11

I know they know what we've been going through and I know they'll feel happy for us on some level, but I guess I'm worried that they'll feel like the only ones left if (which obviously may well not be the case!) we do have a successful pregnancy. Maybe I'm a horrible person - and they are nicer than me, to be fair - but I think it would be hard not to feel like that the other way round. As I said not many friends have had babies yet but now we're in our 30s it's ramping up, and the others all seem to be doing it with infuriating ease ('We just weren't expecting it to happen the very first month off the pill!') so it can feel quite isolating.

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Dec-17 12:07:00

Yes it has helped - thanks so much for all the advice! I thought people might say 'Why would you rub it in their faces when you're not even 12 weeks yet?!', so I'm glad people didn't think telling them now was an obviously horrible idea. I think DH and I might compose a message to send this evening.

snowy1982 Thu 14-Dec-17 12:14:20

Obviously I can’t speak for your friends, all I know is that if I was in their position I would rather know.

Can I ask, how do you think you would feel if it was the other way round?

Maryz Thu 14-Dec-17 12:18:18

They will probably feel shit, and be upset, and feel "they are the only ones left". But they won't feel less so if you wait. At least if you tell them, now, in a way that they can get their heads around it before you see them next, it gives them a chance to get used to the idea.

It's shitty, infertility; there is no easy way to deal with this kind of situation flowers

LisaSimpsonsbff Thu 14-Dec-17 12:19:56

As I said, I think I'd have a definite moment of 'oh god, just fucking us left in the sea of super fertiles'. I would absolutely be happy for them (as I was for the various people who have announced their pregnancies since we've been having problems), but I'd be lying if I said I'd have completely straightforwardly positive feelings. As I said, though, I think they're nicer than me! You are right that I think I'd rather know the other way round, even if it did upset me a bit.

EarlGreyT Thu 14-Dec-17 22:55:51

Firstly congratulations on getting this far this time.

Personally I’d tell them as soon as you feel you can. I think via text is best. And if I was in their position I’d want to know.

If they’re going through IVF now, then you really want to tell them before they get to the really stressful parts of egg collection, fertilisation, embryo development, the 2WW and them getting their results- especially if they’re unsuccessful. You obviously really don’t want to coincide telling them your news with any of these things.

The other thing is, if you’re normally quite open with each other about your struggles, it’ll seem odd to them if you suddenly completely stop discussing things especially if they’re dropping hints which suggest they want to talk about their fertility treatment. If you suddenly start avoiding the topic completely it may seem quite hurtful to them particularly as they presumably don’t have many people they can discuss it with who ‘get it’. I think they’d find it weird if you now start openly discussing their issues while avoiding talking about yours if you’ve previously been open with them. In your position I don’t think I could do that anyway as I’d feel horribly guilty.

I don’t agree with this They will be happy for you. Honestly hearing that it’s going well for fellow strugglers always gave me hope.. It wouldn’t give me hope I’m afraid. It would make me feel even more alone and as you say, I’d also think ‘oh god, just fucking us left in the sea of super fertiles’.

Unfortunately there is no easy way of dealing with this situation, but the fact that you’re putting some serious thought into how to handle it makes me think you’ll be as sensitive as possible when you tell them.

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