Post # 1
So I’m 12.5 weeks pregnant, and next weekend we’ll be staying with friends of ours who have been TTC for a long time with no success (yet). Not sure exactly how long they’ve been TTC, but definitely over a year and probably closer to two. They don’t talk about it in detail (and we don’t pry), so not sure if there are any particular medical issues or what plans they have going forward.
Our husbands are best friends & have known each other for ~20 years; I know the wife through my husband, so she and I are not as close as the guys are, but we are all friends. I’m worried that having us stay for the weekend will be painful for them, even though they invited us. I’m already starting to show, and this baby was an oops/happy surprise, which they are aware of (my husband told him, not that he wouldn’t have figured it out on his own based on past conversations about us not being ready to TTC). I know the guys always hoped we would be pregnant together. I know our friends are really happy for us, but I’m sure sad for themselves as well. I could hear it in the wife’s voice when we told her.
I guess I’m just wondering if there’s anything I should say or not say in this situation. I I’ve read past threads on infertility etiquette and it seems like there is no right thing to say (even if well-meaning, everything comes off wrong), but that not acknowledging it at all is insensitive, too.
Anybody who’s been through this care to weigh in?
Post # 3
First of all, I command you for being thoughtful enough to seek advice on how to deal with your friends. It shows you care about your friends. As someone who is struggling with infertility (we’ve been TTC 3 years +), my advice to you is to just act around your friends, the same way you would around a “fertile” couple. As difficult as it is for us to be around pregnant women, we are ALWAYS happy for our friends. And honestly, it would make me sad that a friend would not share her joy because of my situation.
The only pregnancy that I had difficulty dealing with, was my best friend’s. But that was because she complained THE WHOLE time she was pregnant. It made me bitter. She knew of our situation and I thought it was in poor taste for her to complain all the time. All I could think was “I would go through a 1000 times what she is going through just to have a baby”.
Oh – and avoid the classic “just relax, it will happen to you too” advices. We, infertile, HATE those!!! LOL!! Otherwise, if your friend choose to tell you about her situation, just listen and try to be understanding.
Congratulations on your pregnancy!!! Lots of happy dust for you and your hubby!!!
Post # 4
(I tried for 20 months and did IVF.)
I would just avoid talking about your pregnancy unless they bring it up. There’s nothing you can say to them to make them feel better, so I’d only say things like “How are you guys doing?” or something equally vague and if they want to talk about it, let them.
Otherwise…just act normal! If you do that it won’t be like the elephant in the room.
Post # 5
I second what @JaneyD:
We tried for 2+ years and saw a fertility specialist while we had people get pregnant around us left, right, and center. I’m sure your friends are happy for you, but still sad for themselves. Just follow their lead. If they dont’ bring it up, then don’t talk about it. If they ask you about it, I’d just sort of give the facts but don’t go in too much detail. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s so hard when people go on and on about it when it’s difficult to simply ask about it. Now that I”m pregnant, I know how hard it is to keep it in b/c you sort of want to shout it from the rooftops! But, the fact that you even asked how to handle it already shows that you’ll be supportive and sensitive to the situation. Sounds like you’re a great friend!
Post # 6
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
When I got my pregnant (by surprise!) my best friend had been trying for well over a year. It was initally hard on her because she was flooded with mixed emotions. It was hard for me too. it sucked a lot that I didn’t get immediately an overwhelmingly joyous response from my very best friend of 18 years, but I also understood what she was going through… and she was happy for us but also sad for herself because it just made her feel like such a failure. Luckily, she finally got pregnant the next month, but she came to terms with it before that.
I would just avoid talking about it a lot. Be discreet in taking your vitamins and wait until they turn the conversation, if they do, to the pregnancy. It’s a reality that they will be surrounded by other people who are having kids while they are struggling and they have either learned to cope already or will now.
Post # 7
We just told our friends who are struggling with infertility this week. They are genuinely happy for us, but I know that it stings a bit. We were just upfront and open with them, but certainly not to the point of oversharing. I told her that I can only imagine how conflicting it must be to be so, so sad for yourself but so happy fro someone else at the same time. I told her I didn’t think it was fair at all that this was easier for us than for most, and I wouldn’t be hurt, upset, or offended if she needed space or if she needed to cry or be mad (at the situation, not at me) or if she just wanted to have a pity party. I let her know that I love her and that I will do whatever she needs me to do. She just cried & hugged me- and even now I don’t know if they were happy tears for me or sad tears for her, or maybe a bit of both. She really, really appreciated that we told them first and in person and that we are being so compassionate of their feelings. She said it makes it easier to be happy for someone who cares so much about other people’s feelings.
I know it will be a little awkward for us to hang out together, but they just had their second IUI last week, so I am super SUPER DIDDLY DUPER hoping it works. Nothing would make me happier than being able to go through pregnancy with my very dear, sweet, kind, and loving friend. She deserves this so much, she’s waited so long and tried so many times, I know she’s going to be a wonderful mom and I know that one way or another, she will have the family she wants and deserves.
Post # 8
@sailor: Wow, I wish my friends and coworkers were as thoughtful and caring as you! It really warms my heart to hear that some who got pregnant easily do understand how soul-wrenchingly hard and devastating the journey through infertility can be. We’ve been TTC for 16 months/17 cycles now, and I think I’ve been through every emotion in the book: despair, hope, peace, devastation. It’s an emotional rollercoaster on a monthly basis.
Everyone is right that your friends will be happy for you, and yet sad for themselves. I agree with what the other PP’s suggested: don’t bring up their infertility unless they do, don’t talk about your pregnancy unless they bring it up (and if they do bring it up, please try not to complain!). It’s good that you’ve already broken the news to them prior to your visit so that they could process their emotions before spending the weekend together.
If he/she ends up breaking down in front of you, don’t try to find anything grand to say. Keeping it to a simple, “I’m so sorry you’re going through this” with a big hug would probably be the most appreciated (in my books, anyways!)
On behalf of your friend and for all of us struggling with infertility, THANK YOU for being such a thoughtful person!
Post # 9
Thanks ladies. I will take my cues from them as to how much to talk about it, and I will definitely not be complaining about the pregnancy. I will also try not to overthink it too much, because I know they wouldn’t want us to feel like we aren’t allowed to be happy.
I hope and pray that each of you who are still waiting for your BFPs will not have to wait much longer for motherhood, and I’m sorry you have to go through this. Even secondhand, I know it’s heartwrenching and unfair.
Post # 10
@sailor: Like other pp said, I avoid talking about it all together. Sometimes my friend asks me about the pregnancy or baby, but I never bring it up.
Post # 11
@sailor: Congrats on the pregnancy. I wouldn’t act any different than you normally would. We tried for a 1.5 with no luck. Back in February my BFF told me she was pregnant I was so excited I started crying HAPPY TEARS!! I then explained to her that I had an appointment earlier that week to have blood work done to see what my problem was. We had a follow-up appointment scheduled two weeks later to discuss. As it turns out we got pregnant in those two weeks of waiting on blood work! Needless to say I never felt jealous of my friend only happiness. I’m sure they will/are happy for you two. Hope this helps some!