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What's the gentlest way to tell someone who is having difficulty conceiving that you're pregnant?

(33 Posts)
sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 14:33:04

Any experiences / advice appreciated.
I know the news, either way is going to be a bit of a kick in the gut, but any ideas as to how it can be done in the gentlest way?

CloudDragon Wed 29-Jul-09 14:39:21

we had this, the most important thing imo is to be the first to tell them. And not in public so that others have to witness their reaction.

we went to their house, had a cup of tea, said I was pregnant and then left quite quickly.

Your relationship may change with them. We hardly ever see our friends now except on nights out as they cant handle being around the DCs. When I was pregnant the woman activitely avoided me (understandably)

hope it goes ok.

mumbot Wed 29-Jul-09 14:39:46

Just be open and honest, if it feels like you are dancing round the subject / walking on egg shells with the other person, they will probably sense it and feel even worse.

Good luck x

sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 14:46:11

thank you for posting.
i'm dreading it. it seems to be everyone around me at the moment. i've told one friend by herself, who got upset and i just hugged her and chatted with her. she said she was really pleased for me, but just upset things weren't going to plan for her.
i need to tell my sister this weekend and i don't know how she's going to take it. like you say, i'm just going to say it and then move the conversation on as quickly as possible (without it seeming odd).
and i've got two other friends as well who i know have been trying for ages.
i just feel bad, which dh says i shouldn't, but i do.

randomtask Wed 29-Jul-09 14:46:41

I've got friends who are about to try their third (and probably last) attempt at IVF. I'm dreading telling them and we're not even TTC yet.

I do know though that they found out one of her best friends told 'everyone' during a dinner party and my friend was very upset she hadn't been given warning so she could prepare herself.

We've already mentioned thinking about TTC in the hope that it won't be so difficult for them when we do.

I almost want to have problems so as not to upset them as they're lovely people and would be great parents. I often get sniffy just thinking about it.

rubyslippers Wed 29-Jul-09 14:48:50

do it in person and in private

SoccerMum Wed 29-Jul-09 14:52:11

If possible, make sure she/they are the first people that you tell I guess, that way you can make sure she hears it direct from you. Plus as has been said, do it privately so she doesnt have to worry about a public reaction.

I wouldnt think anyone would resent you for it, just as said it will bring home their own situation.

thatsnotmymonster Wed 29-Jul-09 14:53:36

I worry about this too. We have 2 sets of friends who have been trying for around 10yrs. One set has had one unsuccessful IVF and are unlikey to ever have dc's. The other couple are our neighbours. Even done in person, in private in the gentlest possible way it will still be a kick in the gut.

sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 14:54:49

thanks for posting.
i'm glad my thinking was on the right lines.

sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 14:57:18

thatsnotmymonster - i know, exactly. there's no way of saying it in a happy way is there.

puddock Wed 29-Jul-09 15:07:27

What other posters have said - in person, in private, as simply as possible (no nervous gabbling about how you think the news might make your friend feel) - and I'd suggest that if you expect it to upset her a lot, rather than telling her and then 'moving the conversation on' while you stick around, you consider instead telling her and then leaving her alone, so that she can deal with her immediate reaction - because (if she's anything like I was in that situation) she's unlikely to want to chat about anything else until she's had a bit of a weep.
I was always very ashamed of reacting negatively to someone's announcement - just wanted to be happy for them, it seemed selfish to feel any sorrow or envy - so I appreciated a bit of space to absorb the news alone... then bounce back with heartfelt good wishes once the uglier feelings had dissipated.
You're being a very thoughtful friend.

lazylion Wed 29-Jul-09 15:10:16

I told mine by email. My thinking was that she would get the chance to be upset in private before I saw her again. It seemed to work. There's no easy way, your idea for telling your sister sounds fine sheeplikessleep.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 29-Jul-09 15:12:43

I would say - I have some news. I am pregnant and the baby is due in X. And then see how they respond and take your cue from them. Don't leave immediately unless it becomes apparent they want you too and ask if they want you to go. It can appear quite patronising to pussyfoot around them.

Congratulations by the way. Is this your first baby?

sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 15:20:57

thanks fabbakergirlisback - no, it's dc2. very excited smile
thing is i haven't seen my sister in months, so i don't want it to ruin the day, iyswim. plus, she does have a daughter, so the kids will be with us. i'm wondering whether i should call her one evening, so she has time to absorb it before the weekend, when her daughter is in bed.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 29-Jul-09 15:22:07

I can't help thinking you might be over worrying.

sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 15:23:37

i don't want to go into details, but she's had 2 years of disappointment after disappointment. i guess that's why i'm worrying so much.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 29-Jul-09 15:31:01

Okay, I just think she is your sister and she is going to be an auntie and she can be really pleased for you as well as sad inside for herself.

QueenofVenus Wed 29-Jul-09 16:12:09

Hello Sheeplikesleep - my cousin spent 4 years trying for a baby, she finally got a dd nove 07, but her and her husband have been trying again for months, i have had to recently tell her im pregnant (with my 4th) and i did tell her in private as id popped round to her house very briefly, and she smiled and said oh brilliant so happy for you, but since then she has been avoiding me (very understandable i know) but does make things hard, i think she will feel very bad, as anyone would and sometimes people need a few hours to 'process it all' and others need days/weeks its all down to the person and how strong they are emotionally. She may surprise you and be very strong and ok about it! - its such a difficult situation isnt it sad

Caitni Wed 29-Jul-09 16:45:14

Hi there,

Congrats on your news and it's lovely that you're being so considerate smile.

I'm one of those people who've struggled to conceive (am now pregnant after IVF/ICSI) and I know that at various points friends and family have had these thoughts/conversations about telling me about their pregnancies. I've personally appreciated being told quite soon (with family) so that I didn't feel like an infertile pariah and over the phone rather than by email (I live abroad from my family so face to face wasn't an option). I've never reacted "badly" to someone in person but I've had my fair share of weeping in private, and with my DH (I know of 24 babies conceived and born while we were trying). The sadness was not because someone else is pregnant - i've always been genuinely glad for other people and after all, that's not our baby iykwim - it's just a reminder that nature wasn't working for us.

There's only one friend (or ex-friend now) that I actively avoided, and that's only because we started trying at exactly the same time (and she knew that) and she got pregnant within a few months. I just couldn't bear to be around her as her bump grew and haven't met her child yet (now a toddler) as they moved just after the birth. I'm ashamed of my behaviour, as she wasn't particularly insensitive or anything, but it was like a kick in the teeth whenever we spoke...but of all the other 23 little people born I've been glad for their parents. Having said that, I do tend to "hide" friends on facebook who only ever post status updates about their bumps/babies and I've vowed not to live out this pregnancy via facebook!

I think a phone call may be the best for your sister. If you've not seen her in months then it may very well cast a cloud over your day together to tell her in person. I'm sure she'll be v happy for you, and love your little baby dearly, but it's just probably better for her to process things a little privately beforehand.

AvadaKedavra Wed 29-Jul-09 16:50:28

Nice that you are aware that it can be bittersweet for others, congratualtions to you

If it were me ( and I AM infertile) I'd rather be told asap and by text/email so I don't have to fake being all happy and smiley. Then I can beat up cushions compose myself before seeing you as I am also aware that this is fab news for you and would hate to ruin it for you with my snipey cow face on.

Longtalljosie Wed 29-Jul-09 17:03:53

I think if you're spending the weekend together it might be a good idea to tell her first so she has a little while to get her head around it.

I also think it's worth being honest about the fact that you don't necessarily expect her to be thrilled for you just at the moment. I think that will actually help...

JRocks Wed 29-Jul-09 17:20:15

When I was in this situation I did it over the phone. I tried to be brief and non patronising, and also told her that we felt very blessed and lucky to be in our situation. She was really good about it too.

sheeplikessleep Wed 29-Jul-09 19:27:44

Thank you so much for your posts, they've been so helpful, thank you.
I am going to sleep on it tonight and decide whether to ring her tomorrow.
Thanks again.

BlameItOnTheBogey Wed 29-Jul-09 20:29:21

Can I just repeat that it's really good of you to think about this. We had fertility troubles and although I always found it hard to hear that other people were pregnant, the only time I really couldn't deal with it was when a best friend of mine sent me a text message which she sent to a big distribution list telling us all she was pregnant. She sent it on Christmas day and it really hit me because the last conversation I had had with her was about my fertility problems. From that point on, every email was about her pregnancy and at no point did she acknowledge how tough this might be or ask how I was doing. I feel like she let me down and know I let her down as I avoided her for her entire pregnancy, The friendship hasn't recovered. All that it would have taken would have been a small recognition that this was tough and a bit of sensitivity.

Comgrats on your pregnancy and well done for thinking about other people's feelings too at such an exciting time.

sazlocks Wed 29-Jul-09 20:37:52

I have found that the best way is to tell the person privately so that they can deal with their response without being in public. I am 14 weeks pregnant with my second DC and made sure I told one person who I see a lot of and can't avoid (at work) really early so that she had time to get over her initial response and get used to the idea before everyone knew and started getting excited. Having struggled to conceive my first DC I pretty much knew exactly how she felt and acknowledged that it was fine for her to feel crap about it and not want to feel like celebrating/ congratulating.

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