Finding out my friends are pregnant is a tough tough thing. Over the last several years, it’s been one friend after another, and then their 2nd and 3rd children. I was okay until finding out it really wasn’t going to happen for me. Then it got really tough.
I’ve noticed it makes a real difference how the announcement is made.
Recently, one friend decided to let me know by texting a photo of a shirt intended for a fun, cute reveal of her pregnancy news. While I was very happy for her, I would rather not be told over text message. I think of text messages as a convenient way to communicate about things that are not important. For important happenings in life, a real conversation is called for – preferably face to face.
I’d also like to be told in a way that is more straight forward. I think the fun, cute reveals that people do are great, but not for your infertile friends. I rather not have to guess or get surprised in some cute way, just come out with it.
And, most importantly, don’t forget about my struggles. I’m happy for you, but the news will remind me of an experience I’ve wanted more than anything, an experience I’m not going to have. It’s a reminder of this loss. I don’t want to be, but I am envious. It hurts. Please know I’m happy for you and I will do everything I can to support you and be a good friend. At the same time, my first reaction is likely to be this sinking feeling of loss. We don’t have to speak of it, but just please remember. Otherwise, I feel like my loss and grief are invalidated and don’t matter, and that hurts too.
Even though the text message cute reveal was tough, it was so much better than what almost happened. These friends intended to do their surprise reveal to a group of us at a party! That would have been even more difficult for me. It’s hard to explain, but being surprised in a group at a party would have felt even more heart wrenching to me.
Just the other day, another friend handled her news a little easier for me. Initially she tried to meet me at home and tell me there one-on-one. When we couldn’t make that work, she told me during a get-together, but she was able to tell me individually and the other friends already knew. It meant a lot to me that she at least tried to tell me individually one-on-one. Then to tell me directly and simply, face-to-face just the two of us in conversation, was nice. I felt happy for her, sad for myself and my husband, but I also felt cared about and more validated.
There are some great articles out there, but here’s what I came up with in terms of how I’d prefer friends tell me their pregnancy news:
- Tell me in person.
- Tell me one-one-one.
- Tell me in a direct and simple way.
- Remember my pain and heartache over infertility.
- Please know that even though I’m hurting, I am really happy for you.
Anyway, yet another friend is pregnant. Another just had her baby a few days ago. Beautiful baby girl.
I feel so left behind. I feel like we’re approaching an age where all of our friends will be done and we won’t even have been able to get started. I’m so afraid that we won’t be able to somehow have our children. I’m happy for my friends yet so sad, envious, and at times hopeless. Then I even feel guilty on top of it, like I shouldn’t be envious or I should get over this more easily or have more faith. It’s okay though. I know it’s normal to feel these things and I accept that I feel the way I do. I know we’re not alone and I believe we’ll get there.
Image: Wikimedia Commons, original source unknown.
Text Copyright Snowdroplets 2016