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How to tell close friend struggling to conceive that you're pregnant?

(25 Posts)
ScottyAl Sun 17-Jul-16 10:58:00

I'm looking for a bit of help and hopefully this is the correct place.

We are currently nearly 11 weeks pregnant and planning on telling very close friends and family after our 12 week scan. One of my best friends has been ttc for over 2 years and has had various tests which have started the ball rolling for IVF. I know she is devastated and is desperate for a baby. She has talked about how hard it has been for her to see other friends pregnancies and babies all over Facebook and how, whilst she is happy for them, she feels like a failure and struggles with it being 'in her face'.

I know she will be delighted for us but I also know she will be so sad that it hasn't yet happened for her and won't be able to hide this when we tell her. We hadn't even told her we were ttc as we live some distance away and I don't like having those kind of discussions over the phone. We unexpectedly conceived pretty much straight away too.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience of anything similar? How do I tell her and her DH without making things seem worse for them?

Sorry for the ramble!!

NeoShadowChaser Sun 17-Jul-16 11:01:52

I was in a similar position with my best friend. I told her via text as soon as I found out as didn't want to lie about why I wasn't drinking etc. I felt that text was the best way for her to digest it without me putting her on the spot. I didn't think that was fair at all.

She took it amazingly well (to my face at least).

She's just had a beautiful baby girl via IVF.

headinhands Sun 17-Jul-16 11:04:20

Hi op. No personal experience but I would send her a text. I think she'd appreciate not telling her face to face so that she has privacy while she comes to term with it if you see what I mean. It's lovely that you're so thoughtful and congratulations on your pg. flowers

skatesection Sun 17-Jul-16 11:07:13

Since she's got the ball rolling for IVF, she might be in a different place emotionally. She might be feeling more hopeful about her chances.
There's no way you can sugar coat it for her, she's going to have emotions.

From experience, the easiest way to hear the news was through email. I hated the ultrasound pictures/constant updates on facebook and hearing it face to face was worse because I needed to deal with my jealousy before I could be happy for my friend. I'd get an email, would have a little sad for myself and then I'd be ok.

Essexgirlupnorth Sun 17-Jul-16 11:08:11

I would just be honest and tell her separately before you do a mass announcement on Facebook. I took 16 months to conceive my DD and I did find it hard that everyone seemed to be getting pregnant. I knew I had fertility problems (PCOS) do never felt like anyone else's pregnancy was going to stop me getting pregnant.
Also ask how she is and how things are progressing with IVF.

April241 Sun 17-Jul-16 11:09:37

Similar position here also, i'm currently 25+2 and we planned on telling everyone who we hadn't originally told (close family/friends) after our scan. I have a friend who has been TTC for 5 years and didn't know how to tell her. I opted to do it via text so she couldn't read it and reply in her own time or not reply at all if she felt she couldn't. I can't remember exactly what I wrote but said something along the lines of being pregnant, we were about to let everyone know and I didn't want her to find out through someone else and said i'd understand if she didn't reply.

Congratulations on your pregnancy smile

TabbyToes Sun 17-Jul-16 11:09:50

Hi there. Thanks for being sensitive and thoughtful about this. There are some good threads about this on the infertility board. Also some top tips on 'what not to say to a friend going through fertility treatment'

I personally hated being told in person or on the phone. I didn't like being put on the spot and having to respond immediately.Your friend might be different of course. I wouldn't have been offended by an email or text because it would give me time to have a bit of a rant or cry about general unfairness before composing a nice and hopefully not too bitter reply.

I'd also say that it's quite likely she's been waiting for this news, I was certainly on the alert for any likely pregnancy announcements from anyone vaguely of breeding age. It's a way of trying to avoid some of the hurt of an unexpected 'baby bomb'.

Be kind to her and don't take it personally if she's not delighted for you. It's so bloody hard when you're terrified it might never happen for you.

DowntonDiva Sun 17-Jul-16 11:11:27

Absolutely tell her first.

I was in a similar position, I told her face to face quite early on before it became public knowledge. It gave her a chance to get used to the idea before everyone else knew. Your friend will be happy for you but will also have her own complex emotions to work through.

Congratulations flowers

TabbyToes Sun 17-Jul-16 11:12:48

PS do not complain to her about sickness, exhaustion, etc. There's other people who can sympathise and support you!

blue2014 Sun 17-Jul-16 11:14:26

Yes to the text. It took me 4 years and one round of IVF (currently 19 weeks) but I hated people excitedly phoning me to tell me because each time I really needed to put the phone down so I could cry.

I'm now in the reverse position of having got pregnant while one friend still hasn't. I text and was open with acknowledging that the news may be hard for her and that was ok with me and that she didn't have to pretend around me. She seemed to appreciate that. But if you say it mean it because she literally hasn't acknowledged my pregnancy since.

I also wouldn't assume she may feel better about having started IVF - success rates aren't always that great and it can feel terrifying to start what often feels like your 'last chance' option.

supportmyfriend Sun 17-Jul-16 11:14:58

I've just told my friend who can't have children. I told her in person, mainly because she hates people pussyfooting around her and hated her SIL dramas about when/how to tell her (found out afterwards she'd been very vocal about "OMG, how do I tell X?!?") and a friend did this too. I wanted to normalise it as much as possible and tell her in a very normal way.

I do agree that keeping it off Fbook and telling her via text/WhatsApp is a good idea.

ScottyAl Sun 17-Jul-16 12:28:05

Thanks for all the advice you've given, you're a helpful bunch! Congratulations to those of you expecting smile

We're not big social media users so the likelihood of us doing any kind of big Facebook announcement is very slim anyway. My friend and I have a very frank and honest relationship (that's why she's one of the best!) and that's why I'm sure she won't be able to hide her disappointment when I tell her. I completely understand her feeling this way; she's been so open about how hard the whole process has been for her so far and we talk about her experiences and what she's going through all the time. When I say the ball is rolling with IVF it's not quite as it sounds, she's still awaiting her first appointment which is only a couple of weeks away.

I hadn't considered the text option but I think you're right. I think she would hate being put on the spot and would much prefer some time to process it all with her husband. I honestly don't expect her to be jumping for joy when she hears, I just want to make it a little less heartbreaking for her sad I think I will wait until after the 12 week scan and then compile a text. It will be easy to hide it until then as we are nearly 300 miles apart so I can avoid the awkward questions.

Highlove Sun 17-Jul-16 13:09:39

I've been on your friend's end of this. Definitely go with the text option - I hated being told in person and began to dread meeting up with friends I'd not seen for a while in case they had an announcement. And do so before you make your wider announcement. She may well need time to adjust, have a bit of a cry for herself, etc, before she can be pleased for you. Don't take it personally if she struggles with it - it's a terrible place to be.

Keep your text factual but maybe acknowledge that you understand this may not be easy for her. But as a PP said, don't make a big deal of being nervous about telling her - I felt like enough if a freak without being reminded people were scared of telling me. One friend didn't tell me till she was about 16 weeks and, in the case of my brother and SIL, after he'd told me my mum made a big deal about he'd been so terrified of telling me. I was very hurt on both occasions and it really added to what was a very dark time in my life.

All that said, don't let this overshadow your joy. It's very sad for your friend but you're still entitled to your excitement and pleasure.

You sound like a really thoughtful and sensitive friend. Enjoy your pregnancy.

lookbeforeyouleap Sun 17-Jul-16 13:15:02

I was in a similar position and told my friend after family but before anyone else. I met her for lunch. Best face to face I think. Se was delighted for us and actually told us she was pregnant via Ivf on the day ds was born.

HP07 Sun 17-Jul-16 13:36:58

Whilst I was struggling to conceive a friend of mine made an announcement to myself and two other friends over dinner. She didn't know my position at the time as I hadn't been able to face discussing the difficulties my husband and I had been facing with very many people. It was the hardest situation to be in. I wanted to be happy for her but I felt so sad, she had got pregnant 2 months after getting married and coming off contraception and I was into my second year of ttc. I plastered a smile on and said all the right things but I was dying inside. Just wanting to cry to my husband. Jealousy is an awful thing but it's hard to control when something comes so easily to one person and not to another. She had her baby, he is just lovely and I was genuinely happy, as I knew it was what she had always wanted, to be a mother but did discuss my feelings with her in the end. I am now 31w pregnant, spontaneous conception after being told we would likely need ivf. Those days of struggling were hard and quite lonely as I don't think you can truly understand it unless you have been there. You are being very considerate to think of her so much. I would probably have preferred to find out by message if I'm honest as then i could have digested the information in private.

OneEpisode Sun 17-Jul-16 13:56:54

I would do it in writing. Maybe a notelet (probably available from museums near you).
Opening statement, about your friendship/your wider interests "hope you are enjoying sunshine". One sentences or so, not lots. Factual delivery of message: "I wanted you to know first". due date. One sentence. Closing statement "look forward to seeing you in August", about your friendship/wider interests. One sentence or so. Avoid "we are pregnant"

blue2014 Sun 17-Jul-16 14:43:30

Ps. Tell her to come mumsnet in the infertility section or on fertility friends - it got me through the worst times

Vixxfacee Sun 17-Jul-16 14:50:49

I have not spoken to my old best friend for 2 months now. Whilst I was waiting for my blood tests results after ivf and years of ttc she sent me photos of her positive tests. She turned out to be 12 weeks already and whilst I was experiencing spotting and worrying that I was having another miscarriage she sent me a scan picture saying that her baby was perfect.

Another friend who has had 2 babies in a year and a half just sent me a text saying "I'm pregnant x". I've been upset both times but by the time we spoke on the phone or saw each other I was over the moon for her.

BeardMinge Sun 17-Jul-16 15:28:56

I sent a couple of friends, who I knew might find the news a bit tough, emails before I made a wider announcement on fb after my 20 week scan.

I've been on both sides as my ex and I tried to conceive for many years with no luck. I found being told face to face absolutely agonising and far preferred it in writing as it gave me time to process my feelings and plaster on a happy face when I did see them.

Pixie2015 Sun 17-Jul-16 16:29:02

I had a miscarriage same time as friend then struggled to Concieve - found out friend was 20w pregnant at sports day in a general conversation and thought that was awful - a text before everyone knows would have been appreciated x

TurquoiseDress Sun 17-Jul-16 18:16:15

We were in a similar position with my first pregnancy- unexpectedly quick to conceive etc.

Good friends had been trying for over 12 months, we hadn't seen them for ages but had a chance to meet up. I had an obvious bump at this point and I decided to text my friend to let her know.

I did this to let her digest the news in private and react in any way she wanted/needed to. When we met up face to face the next day, there was no obvious issue or awkwardness.

If the situation was reversed, I would really want to find out via text or email- I absolute would hate to told in person or on the telephone, where you have to react straight away, also if there is a small audience too....unfair to put her in that position.

ppandj Sun 17-Jul-16 21:58:14

I am in a similar situation as I have just found out I am pregnant with my second baby. I know that one of my close friends has been ttc since my first child was born and has started undergoing some tests. I feel very anxious to tell her, as I know she may find it really hard. I have decided to text her when I am a bit further along as I thought I would want to process it privately if it were me. I want it to happen for her so much, she will be a wonderful mother one day and it's all she wants.

The2Ateam Sun 17-Jul-16 22:01:31

The first I phoned after my 12 week scan was my best friend who can't have babies. I just told her in a matter of fact way. She was amazing. I have no doubt probably really upset after, but not because she wasn't happy for me, but because life is so fecking unfair sometimes.

iloveberries Mon 18-Jul-16 10:07:15

I've been on both sides.

I much preferred it when friends texted individually with their baby news rather than gushing group announcements.

When I after 5 yrs conceived dc2 my close friend was struggling ttc and I texted her just saying hi and asking how she was and saying I wanted to let her know I was expecting a baby in the autumn and that I wanted to let her know one to one without springing it on her face to face.

I asked her some things about her (not her conception journey, just work and family) on the same message but not in too much of a "change the subject" way - more in a "I don't want you to feel the whole world is about my pregnancy" way!

My friend was so gracious and delighted for me. I have become one of her main confidantes in her IVF journey despite my current pregnancy.

Seekingmiracles Mon 18-Jul-16 11:09:31

I've been on both ends of this.
I've struggled with recurrent miscarriages and found seeing friends pregnancies very hard. I was always very happy for them obviously but it kind of compounded my own sense of failure.
Thankfully I am now 27 weeks pregnant but also have a friend struggling with fertility issues. She was one of the first people i told - VERY early on. Purely because I didn't want that to feel like I was keeping a secret from her. She's been a tower of strength for me and I hope I have been for her. She was really happy for me, but I know that it probably hurt her too so I let her deal with it in the way she felt worked for her best. She's still been amazingly supportive through a very rough first trimester, always asking how scans and appointment went and wishing me well.
I'm sure your friend will appreciate your concern and empathy, but she will also be happy for you. Just give her the chance to deal with it in her own time and don't take offence if she needs a little bit of space. As long as she knows that you still support and care for her journey to motherhood too she will be fine in the long run.

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