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How to tell friends who are struggling TTC

(20 Posts)
sharkyandgeorge1 Tue 05-Jan-16 14:16:41

Pretty much was the title suggests.

I have two friends who have been struggling to get pregnant for the past 18-24 months. We are all recently married and have always talked about babies being the next step so it won't come as a surprise to them when I tell them I am pregnant. They have both been very open about their fertility issues and I feel very lucky/surprised that things have worked out well for me (and hopefully continue to do so).

I want to be sure to tell them as sensitively as I can. I'm not one to announce stuff and make a fuss but I would like to tell them personally either face to face or via text/email. I know they will be pleased for me but I also know that they will be hurting too.

Any suggestions?

Epilepsyhelp Tue 05-Jan-16 14:19:56

Difficult. I would say face to face. I'm sure they will be happy for you as well as possibly it bringing up feelings of sadness re their own situation.

MrsJamesFraser Tue 05-Jan-16 14:29:08

I'm 25 weeks now and like you have a very close friend who had been ttc for at least a year before I became pregnant. I was aware she was seeing her GP and finding the whole experience really distressing and difficult. Like you I wanted to speak with her personally but wasn't sure face to face was ideal. I decided to phone her as felt it was personal but didn't then mean she was trapped at a lunch with me etc if she needed time.

It was absolutely fine. I told her I had some news to share with her and that I totally understood if it was difficult to hear and if she was upset about it. I told her I loved her very much and I was really sorry if I was adding to any pain she may be suffering. I also explained I totally understood if she wasn't keen to see me but I was keen to see her whenever she felt ready. She was amazing and said that she was really happy for me and delighted to have another little baby in our group. She's been very interested in my pregnancy but I've been concious of making sure I'm not overloading her with details or moaning about niggles I've had etc. I also have been very concious of not announcing my pregnancy on Facebook etc as I would feel that was an unnecessary upset and tbh anyone I want to know about the baby I have seen/spoken with.

Good luck, I think the fact you are considering their feelings is a great sign and they will appreciate that you value your friendship with them.

ifigoup Tue 05-Jan-16 14:30:45

You know your own friends best. However, I can say that, as someone who has suffered multiple miscarriages and felt like I've been hit by a bus every time there's been yet another happy pregnancy announcement, I would MUCH rather have been told by text/email/Facebook than in person. That way I could keep my (unfair) anger and fury to myself rather than subjecting you to it. I would then send you a faultlessly nice and congratulatory response once I'd pulled myself together. I have no doubt your friends will be happy for you, but, honestly, it might not be straight away.

goldglitter Tue 05-Jan-16 14:35:29

I wouldn't do it face to face. Send her a text or an email saying you have some news to share and she will more likely guess and congratulate you. Then she will be free to cry into her husbands shoulder like I did! You sound like a lovely friend.

Quodlibet Tue 05-Jan-16 14:40:58

I've just had to do this with a friend who is undergoing prolonged and horrible fertility treatment while I am now onto my second child in the same timeframe she's been trying.

I emailed her to let her know before I started sharing the news more publicly. I wanted to make sure that if it was difficult news for her she could absorb it at home in her own time rather than having to put on a brave face in public.

She emailed straight back to say thank you for telling her in that way and she appreciated it, and expressing her congrats.

KittyandTeal Tue 05-Jan-16 14:45:08

Email. I've not had major fertility issues but lost dd2 last year. I struggle with others pregnancies for a long time. It seemed that in that time everyone and the cat got pregnant.

I hated the kind face to face new breaking, I had to try and keep a happy face, ask the right questions, congratulate them all while wanting to run away to a dark corner and cry.

When others broke the news via email I could cry, rage, sort myself out and take time to compose a proper congratulatory reply that I was happy with.

sharkyandgeorge1 Tue 05-Jan-16 14:54:23

Thanks for your responses, it's been really helpful. I'll send an email/text and then they can get back to me in their own time. I know they will be happy for me but that doesn't mean that they can't be upset for themselves at the same time and if I don't hear from them for a little while, I won't take it personally.

sepa Tue 05-Jan-16 14:56:15

I have had this recently with a close family friend. My mum called and spoke to her mum (as its out mums who started the friendship) that way the person TTC could be told without having to pretend to be happy when 'someone else has just easily fallen pregnant and not me again'
It has been hard, this person I think has taken the news quite badly. I am 30 weeks and I do not get invites etc and when they see my mum I am not mentioned and not enquired about.

I would say write them a letter and post it through there door so you know they have got it (don't rely on post man) and put in the letter something along the lines of you waiting for them to get in touch with you when they are ready

KittyandTeal Tue 05-Jan-16 15:03:14

Sharky that's a really insightful post. Not many people I knew managed to differentiate my upset for myself not meaning I'm unhappy for them.

I imagine she will just want to be treated like a normal person, still share your son pics etc, just maybe not face to face so she has a chance to process in private.

TinyMonkey Tue 05-Jan-16 19:19:37

Definitely email. Have been on both sides of this, and being told face to face was agonising.

On the other side, when I finally managed to get pregnant and have a baby, one of my dearest friends didn't feel able to see me until my daughter was 10 months old. It hurt, but I understood. She sent a gift when she was born but dodged all attempts to meet up. We're back on track now, but having children does funny things to some friendships.

ASAS Tue 05-Jan-16 19:30:53

Firstly, congratulations!

Secondly, I would tell both friends individually but also in a written format sent at a time when they don't have to react publicly.

So, not a group text/message but an individual one and make this clear by naming them each in the two different messages.

Send when you know they aren't at work/a wedding etc so that at least if they need to sniffle they can do it privately then get on with congratulating you.

I'd also make it clear to them that you specifically wanted them to hear from you.

Something along the lines of,

" Hi Sarah. I've got a bit of news that will make you very happy for me but might also make you feel a bit sad. I'm pregnant! Due on such and such so we'll probably start telling people at the weekend. See you soon. Xxxxx"

And thank you for being considerate. Many people aren't.

Msrichardofyork Tue 05-Jan-16 19:38:02

As above, been on both sides (not had trouble conceiving, but a stillbirth). Text or email always. Someone ambushed me with a pregnancy announcement just a couple of months after my loss, over lunch, and I'll always be furious that she did that. I had no escape route and had to (badly) fake happiness/interest until I could leave. And don't complain about pregnancy around them, however much you want to sound off!

Msrichardofyork Tue 05-Jan-16 19:44:08

ASAS is right, definitely don't do it when you know they are somewhere inconvenient. Personally I would play down the excitement:

Dear XXX, I wanted to share with you the news that I'm pregnant. I am sure it's always difficult to hear this type of news and please know there is NO expectation at all for you to be/act happy for me right now. I'll take your lead in terms of meeting up/talking about it. Just wanted you to hear it from me and I'm always here if you need a chat.

29redshoes Tue 05-Jan-16 20:24:25

I agree that it's usually better to text or email, but am a bit surprised by the "this will be sad/difficult for you" wording suggestions. I think the benefit of announcing in writing is that it allows the recipient to react with sadness/anger in private (if indeed they do feel sad/angry!) without necessarily forcing them to reveal their real feelings unless they want to. Personally I'd prefer a short and sweet "just wanted to let you know I'm pregnant" message.

That may just be me though, I appreciate everyone is different.

Picklesauage Tue 05-Jan-16 20:48:40

As someone who has had 2 miscarriages and 7 years to have my children I would say text and say you want to meet up as you have some news. This will probably put the thought in her head so she can be ready, but you can still tell her in person.

When I was 3 weeks post miscarriage I had 2 friends tell me they were pregnant within a week. One emailed and whilst it was a lovely thoughtful email, I felt like she was hiding and somehow ashamed of me or felt I wasn't a good enough friend to share her news properly.
The other dos as I suggested, she messaged to say we should meet up as she 'had something she wanted to tell me in person.' My mind automatically went to pregnant and so I was prepared when that was the actual news was. Although the first friend was someone I was closer to, I appreciated the time and thoughtfulness of the second friend.

RubyWoooo Tue 05-Jan-16 20:52:15

29 I also find it bizarre that people would include suggestions regarding how the news might make the recipient feel. Like many posters here, I've been on both sides of this shitty fence and there is no nice way to receive the news of a pregnancy when you've been struggling with your own fertility battles.

A gentle but fairly factual text or email is, IMO, the kindest way to share news. I'll never forget seeing my friend's 12 week twin scan on Facebook the week after I miscarried; I threw my phone across the room <mature>

KittyandTeal Tue 05-Jan-16 21:00:33

Ruby I recently flipped at a friend who tried to keep his 12 week scan date secret (as in everyone else but me knew, except I did know coz I'm not stupid)

I agree with pps. Just a factual 'I'm pregnant' rather than I know it will be hard. This is why I flipped at my friend, he's response was 'but I knew it would upset you' um actually no it wouldn't thanks!

RubyWoooo Tue 05-Jan-16 21:05:36

kitty flowers

OwlinaTree Tue 05-Jan-16 22:43:09

I'd go with the email, when I was having problems the absolute last thing I wanted was face to face telling.

You sound like a good friend, good luck with your pregnancy.

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