How to tell a relative with infertility issues that we are expecting?

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
42135 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

AnonymousCupcake:  It is very thoughtful of you to notify her before you make a public announcement, especially if she will be there on the weekend.

I’m a big believer in personal phone calls not texting. I think many people shy away from the phone because it is easier for them, not so much thinking of the other person. I realize that it may be difficult for her to her your news and she may be emotional on the phone, which could be awkward for you.

I would just say that I wanted to tell her privately, ahead of the family announcement, and understood how my news might cause mixed emotions.


Post # 3
1927 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

As someone who has been TTC for almost a year with no luck, I’d prefer to get a heads up before the big announcement.  A text / email / facebook message would be preferable to a phone call for me.  Two days before Easter, I’d say something like, “DH and I are going to make an announcement on Easter but we thought we’d bring you in the loop a little early – we are expecting”  You don’t have to mention her struggles unless she talks about them openly.

Post # 4
3047 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

AnonymousCupcake: First of all, I think you’re doing the absolute right thing in letting her know ahead of time. I’ve been on her end of things, and it’s really hard to find out about other peoples pregnancies when you feel so discouraged yourself.

Now, is your DHs cousin close to him as well – because then it might be easier for her if he contacts her. Guys don’t really talk that much on the phone, so it’s easier for her to just hang up after a few exchanges. If this feels weird, I think you should just send her a short note saying something along the lines of:

“Hi X,

I know this may be hard for you to read, but I want you to know that DH and I are expecting a baby in X (insert month). I understand if you need some time and space to digest this, but we’re planning to let everyone know during Easter. However, we won’t make it a big announcement so I hope this will nor ruin your excitement for the holiday.



Post # 6
2816 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I agree with the folks who suggested a text or email – while phone calls are usually the best way to communicate, I think a text or email would allow her to process the information without the pressure of feeling like she has to just be like, “yay, congratulations!” right away. A Facebook message is totally fine! 

Post # 7
2614 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

AnonymousCupcake:  I’m another person on the other end and actually requested of a family member that if she was in that position that she tell me by text/mail. Telling her in advance is about her and her feelings and it gives her the opportunity to react in whatever way she feels (because it will be hard for her). Telling at Easter is about you guys and at least at that point she will be able to be happy for you guys. Btw, i agree with her about being open with these things. Too many of these things are shoved under the carpet and nobody knows. This is probably her whole life right now. 

Post # 8
3047 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

AnonymousCupcake: Yes, Facebook can be very painful – been there.

Anyway, if she’s not close to your husband I really think an email from you is the very best way to go. Don’t do the phone, it’s so hard to try to keep up a happy front when all you want to do is to mourn your feeling of loss. Once she has had a chance to cry about it I’m sure she’s going to be able to work herself towards the point where she can feel happy for you guys, it’s just really difficult when you first hear the news and especially if you’re caught off guard.

Post # 9
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I was TTC for more than two years… Definitely email, facebook message or text.  Not in person or via phone call – that way they don’t have to control the way they feel/look and worry about hurting you.  <br /><br />She will really appreciate the heads up, I am sure!  I know that i always did!

julies1949:  I would just say in this case, it would be easier for the person receiving the news to get it via email or text!  I know if someone told me over the phone all they would hear is a choked silence, followed by ‘congratulations’ and then me hanging up the phone quickly to cry.  It has nothing to do with my relationship to the person – I could be over the moon happy for them, but still just feel emotional and left behind.

Post # 10
858 posts
Busy bee

Very kind of you to be so thoughtful about her feelings. I would too send her a message, then if she is emotional she can have that time to herself. Unfortunately the world doesnt stop because someone else cant conceive, i hope that they can cope with that feeling and realize the time just isnt right, and to be happy for you!

Post # 11
1464 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

misshydra:  I agree with this. I chose to tell a good friend over facebook, rather than Skype (we live in different countries) because I didn’t want her to feel forced to seem happy. I figured that way she could cry or get mad or do whatever she needed to do. She appreciated it.

Post # 12
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

Is she going to be at this Easter event? If so, I feel like this is a very difficult and bad set-up: even if you tell her within the next few days as a heads-up, it puts undue pressure on her for the Easter event. She’ll likely feel obligated to still show up (or she may risk looking ‘catty’, even if you understand), and she’ll have to sit through the announcement anyway. It is true that it will be less of a surprise for her; but all those feelings of dread, anticipation, and feeling pressured to put on a big smile will still be there. I’m not sure that a few days’ notice would be enough time to make it easier for her to digest the second delivery of the news in person. If you do go the route of telling her beforehand, and you’ll be seeing her this weekend, I think it’s fair to add the snippet, “I understand completely if you would rather skip the announcement in person. We’ll catch up some other time and get some coffee.”

If she won’t be at this event, though, I do feel it’s fair to send her a text, an e-mail, or some other impersonal communication (phone calls are out, I’d say, as just as telling in person, it puts pressure on her to not cry and to give a big WHOOOO).

I am in exactly the same situation: announcing this weekend with a cousin’s wife who is infertile. I heard that she broke down and was inconsolable for a few hours after hearing about my sister-in-law’s pregnancy. As she will officially be the last to not get pregnant, it is painful to realize that in a few days, my news is going to wind up hurting her. Besides telling our parents/siblings/grandparents in person, I’ll probably tell everyone else through a Facebook announcement, along with the caveat that I’m not going to be posting about the pregnancy more than two or three times (because, pregnant or not, I agree: seeing weekly or daily updates about someone’s pregnancy is boring and annoying).

That way, she can respond when she feels comfortable and ignore my page until then. In our case, I decided not to contact her directly because I didn’t want her to feel pressured to respond *at all*. With a text or an e-mail, I felt that she would feel I expected an immediate reaction. With Facebook, she can pretend she didn’t see it until she’s ready, or she can avoid it altogether. So many others would see it that I wouldn’t notice if she didn’t acknowledge it).

Best of luck, and happy announcing.


Post # 14
409 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

AnonymousCupcake:  I think it’s very kind and compassionate of you to tell your DH’s cousin. I think telling her ahead of everyone else will be best, she’ll have time to digest before Easter. If she confided in you, I think it’s best that you share with her the news. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it coming from you.

Post # 15
308 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I was in the same position as you, DH’s brother and his wife have been trying for over 2 yrs to get pregnant.  We were planning on announcing at Christmas time, so DH called his brother and told him a week in advance so that he could tell his wife when he felt it was the right time. Then, at Christmas, we waited until they had left to announce to whomever was left at the house. 


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