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Telling a friend who can't have kids

(34 Posts)
alita7 Tue 13-May-14 22:25:33

A friend of mine and dp is is unable to have kids, she's had many many miscarriages due to scaring of her uterus, and I'm not sure when and how to tell her. I'm 14+5 and my belly is surprisingly obvious so I need to tell her soon before it's too noticable but it's all a bit complicated.
She's dps ex, they split amicably and remained close friends and she and I have become good friends too.
She is also currently in hospital due to mental health issues, partly due to her infertility and about a week ago her boyfriend left her, after struggling with her mental health problems for a while.

So I don't know what to do, she tried for ages to have a baby with dp and it never happened. I don't know if this would make her more likely to get very upset about this. I think if I leave it too long she may hear from other people or notice my tummy, I'd rather she knew from me and dp. I also think it might be better to tell her while she's in hospital as she will have support around her, rather than waiting until she comes out.

So what would you do?

Alice1983 Tue 13-May-14 22:46:47

Yes I agree to tell her now. You will have to at some point and it would be worst for her to find out from other people. And if she is your friend she will be happy for you. Say you will need all her help with the baby and hope she can be part of it, maybe she can help you going shopping for baby clothes, etc. so she doesn't feel left out

aroha77 Tue 13-May-14 23:17:41

I think I would tell her while she's in hospital so you know she's safe and will have support after you've left. She might have guessed you were trying and it might not be as difficult a conversation as you anticipate?

alita7 Tue 13-May-14 23:48:22

I don't know about including her or not :/ she gets awfully pissed off when her mum talks about her nephew or tries to make her come and see him, I think that's part of why I'm worried, because she prefers to not be around babies, so I don't want my pregnancy which at some point is obviously going to be hugely obvious, to be shoved in her face whenever she sees me as it's obviously difficult for her :/ I think it's best if I tell her, then don't mention it unless there's big news and let her lead the way.

AngusAndElspethsThistleWhistle Wed 14-May-14 01:58:53

I agree, please don't suggest going shopping for baby clothes! If anything, tell her she can be as involved (or not) as she wants.

I would tell her while she has support. Good luck with both telling her and your pregnancy, OP.

squizita Wed 14-May-14 08:14:17

I would contact her in advance not face-to-face, to give her a chance to compose herself. Let her HCP in hospital know and ask them (they may need to support her).

Make it very clear she can be very involved or not see you at all while you have a bump whatever helps her and you won't be offended.

Fishcake77 Wed 14-May-14 09:35:08

Firstly many congratulations to you and this is a really tricky one!
I am now 34 weeks pregnant after 7 years of trying, fertility treatments, miscarriages etc. My DH and I gave up trying, couldn't cope with all of the heartbreak etc. and hey presto I am now pregnant. Lots of my friends and family became pregnant in the 7 years of trying and however they told me (all so worried about us and told me as gently as they can) it was the most painful thing in the world to hear.
However you choose to tell her she will be upset, I think it would be best not to ask her to get involved with baby shopping - that is just rubbing salt into the wound.
You can't feel guilty for being pregnant but it is difficult when other people can't share your joy.
Good luck and hope you have a happy, healthy pregnant :-)

Fishcake77 Wed 14-May-14 09:35:49

* pregnancy!

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 10:52:25

Thanks for your replies, I think I will try and warn her before hand and then go and see her.

I was going to see her Thursday but considering how my bellies popped out even a baggy top might raise questions so it's probably best to do it then!

She knows I've had my own difficulties with mc but I haven't told her that we were trying, we didn't tell anyone so I don't know if she'd be in any way prepared for it.

eurochick Wed 14-May-14 11:34:18

This is a really tricky one. It took us years and in that time many friends had babies. I always preferred to find out by email, so I had time to digest the news and have a little weep and then plaster on my happy face when I actually saw the person. However, this friend's mental health issues are an added complication. I do think telling her while she is in hospital and has support is probably a good plan.

ohthegoats Wed 14-May-14 17:09:29

I had one of these to tell too. I told her over the phone in the end because she'd cancelled coming to visit, which is when I'd have actually told her. The conversation went like this:

Me: I need to talk to you about the weekend in the summer... I'll be 29 weeks pregnant when we're away, just thought I'd warn you that I might not be very speedy when we're out walking.
Her: Oh yay (sarcastic tone of voice).. [then silence for about 10 seconds]...
Me: A definite 'yay'.. last chance saloon etc.
Her: Do you remember when you used to come to London and we'd go out drinking and dancing.. well, that won't be happening anymore will it? Oh my life is SHIT. Totally sheeeeet...

She then talked in a monologue about how shit her life is for about 20 minutes until I had to excuse myself to go and wee.

She then emailed and cancelled our weekend away in the summer, I haven't heard anything since.

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 18:58:57

oh dear oh the goats!

As much as I feel sorry for people who can't have children I don't think I could possibly suddenly hate a friend who managed to get pregnant if I couldn't, i wouldnt want all my friends to suffer too even if it did hurt when they had babies! And lets face it we cant all decide not to have kids so as not to upset friends who cant. what if she did manage to, would she suddenly want to be friends again?

I do feel bad for you goats, it can't be nice to be made to feel bad about something so lovely, I can see why she might not want to see you much but no need to be mean about it!

I doubt my friend will be like this, I think she will struggle to want to see me, but I think she would also be happy for me, she does know how much I want kids.

JustAboutAdeqeuate Wed 14-May-14 19:06:20

I don't wish to be rude, but I don't think that in your position you are in any position to say how you would feel about pregnancy announcements if you had suffered from from long term infertility. Your friend may well be happy for you but your announcement will most likely cut like a knife. I would suggest emailing her so that she doesn't disappoint you by her reaction.

MewlingQuim Wed 14-May-14 19:11:45

Tell her gently and not publicly.

Friends of ours invited us out for a meal on xmas eve and announced at the start of the meal 'this is a great time to tell you - we're having a baby!'

It wasn't a great time, I had recently had a miscarriage at 12 weeks after 7 years ttc. They knew that.

We kept it together through the meal, left as soon as was polite and cried hysterically as soon as we were in the car. Merry fucking Christmas hmm sad

MewlingQuim Wed 14-May-14 19:13:23

I didn't hate my friends. I was happy for them and wished them the best.

I just wanted to die.

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 19:14:22

I have had mcs before and even then while I hurt a lot when others became pregnant, I wasn't angry at them for it, which is how oh the goats friend sounded. People have the right to happiness.

Anyway I will understand if she doesn't really want to see me, but she's too nice a person to get annoyed or anything. She is in a shit place atm and she can talk and talk about it but I doubt she'd use it as a "how could you when my life's so shit".

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 19:16:05

God mewling that is also awful! Did they expect you to be ecstatic????
how insensitive, I will avoid that sort of thing like the plague!

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 14-May-14 19:18:01

Yes do email, so she doesn't have to try to sound happy for you. In that moment, she will be suffering acutely.

I had this (although my friend wasn't suffering from mental health issues, she had been TTC for years and it had become very painful for her). I texted her about my pregnancy. She later told me it had been the best way because, even though she was happy for me, when she heard my news she burst into tears and cried for some time. sad

She is currently pregnant with twins <sniff> smile

You sound a sensitive friend. I hope your friend finds peace and happiness.

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 19:21:21

I will have to text as we're not the sort to email as we all have facebook, so I don't have her email address.

GeordieMama Wed 14-May-14 19:29:13

I had a similar situation with my best friend. She also has mental health problems that are only made worse by her fertility struggles. I'd also been having problems TTC. Then I got pregnant. We'd agreed in advance that if either of us got pregnant we'd tell each other in person. When I told her she just said 'I know' and excused herself and went to the bathroom (we were at my house), she tried to be smiley afterwards but was obviously very upset and left about an hour later. I saw her once more during my pregnancy and it was quite awkward.
DS is now 7 months and she still hasn't met him, she arranged to a couple of times but canceled at the last minute. Both DS and I have had health problems in that time and I felt angry that she hadn't been there for us. I've since realised that was selfish of me and this is very difficult for her. I've been keeping in touch with weekly texts but letting her take the lead. She has now invited me and DS to visit her next week and whilst I'm cautious of upsetting her, I'm looking forward to seeing her again.
I hope your friend copes better than mine did but my advice would be to let her take the lead and don't take it personally if she withdraws for a while.
Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy.

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 14-May-14 19:32:46

Texting will be fine.

Congratulations on your pregnancy - and on being a good friend smile

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 20:00:26

I'm just worried it will tip her over, she's been quite suicidal recently. I think I'm more worried because of her history with Dp, as while I'm certain she's over him, it must be worse to see your ex, who you tried to have a child with, having a baby.

But I guess I will have to tell her, it's not exactly something I can hide from her!!!!

HopefulHamster Wed 14-May-14 21:16:59

You obviously do care but I will also add a note about not assuming what you'd feel if you couldn't have children.

It is very very easy to say things when you are not in that position.

I have struggled with infertility. I was always genuinely happy for friends who were pregnant, but privately I was upset for myself and what was missing in my own life.

If she gets upset it's not about making you suffer; if she goes silent it'snot about making you suffer, it's probably about protecting herself.

It's good that you're thinking about this issue, but please don't assume anything.

alita7 Wed 14-May-14 21:21:42

Hopeful I know, that like another poster said I would want to die, but I still think that like with any other issue I have, I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. My critism was only of goats friend who acted as though she was angry at her and made her feel bad about it.

I would understand if she didn't want to see me for a while or found it hard when I have a baby, but I don't think she'd ever try and make me feel bad about it, she's struggling but wouldn't want me to as well, I know that much smile

Turquoisetamborine Wed 14-May-14 21:28:06

Mewling that's exactly how not to tell someone struggling with infertility that you're pregnant.

I think a text is best.

I'm really looking forward to my SIL's text from her 20 week scan tomorrow. Not. The 12 week picture on the day my ivf failed was also very much appreciated. I want to see as little as possible of her to be honest.

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