(content adapted from an old post on
Tell me first. This one might seem to go against your intuition. You might be more inclined to tell all your other close friends before me, and stall as you try to find a way to break the news to me. The problem with that is, when I finally do find out, not only am I struggling to process the news, I'm also paranoid that you've already told everyone else and I was the last to know.
I'll then have images racing through my mind of you telling everyone but me, and all of you talking about me behind my back, wondering, "how is she going to take it?," or asking you, "have you told her yet?."
Like I said in my post about how to be sensitive, the one thing that's worse than facing your pain related to infertility is feeling left out or that people are talking about you behind your back on top of it. I'm hoping that by putting all my feelings out there in the open through this blog, those closest to me will realize that I want people to acknowledge my situation, not ignore it, and then act sensitive accordingly.
Don't do it in person. I will need to be sad for myself even while I am happy for you. It's hard for me to make my face look or my voice sound happy when I'm so conflicted. Let me get my bearings and get used to the idea before I see you in person or talk to you on the phone. Email is best because it is the most thoughtful and personal, but a private Facebook Message written lovingly could work too. Do not text it to me, that's just cold and looks like you are avoiding me and don't want to take the time to consider my feelings.
Speak directly to me and acknowledge my pain. This means, don't do it in a mass email. Tell me (or email me alone) before you tell the rest of the world en masse. Go ahead and spit out the news, but don't be overly giddy about it. Tell me you won't forget how hard this is for me, and how you'll always support my efforts and be there for me.
Don't tell me the length of time it took to conceive. Even if you didn't just "fall pregnant" and it took you seven months and this was a planned pregnancy. It is never helpful to hear how long it took or how you did it. If you've been doing treatments yourself, I should already know that and if you didn't share it with me before, a pregnancy announcement isn't the right time to share it with me now.
Acknowledge your discomfort (if you have some). So many times, a person simply wants their own situation acknowledged and admitting to your discomfort opens the door for both people to deal with the emotions immediately rather than having them build over the course of the pregnancy.
Keep it brief. When you give the pregnancy announcement, provide the basic information. Fill in the details as I ask you questions, at my own pace. If I am not asking questions, that may be your cue that I am not ready to hear the information.
The sooner you find a way to tell me you are pregnant, the sooner I can process your happy news and get to a place where I can sincerely celebrate with you and everyone else around you. This won't be comfortable or easy for either of us, but it is a fact of life that infertiles must endure. While we may sometimes feel like we'd like to hide under a rock until we too are pregnant and can participate in the "normal" functioning world, the truth is that we have to face our pain and go on living through the midst of it.
Our infertility affects everyone around us, and unfortunately, as my close friend or family member, that includes you. Treating the situation this way will help us all to cope with support and grace. Just by reading this post you have shown that you understand that and care a great deal. Congratulations! You my friend are one of the sensitive ones.