It’s not an easy thing to tell a loved one who is walking through infertility that you are pregnant. Especially when you know that they are most likely being bombarded with constant pregnancy announcements on social media. You can feel as though you are just going to be another person adding to the pain and that is not a great feeling to have. I only knew I was pregnant for a grand total of 3 days before we lost our baby and I was already dreading some of the conversations that I was going to have to have.
Having been on the receiving end of a lot of pregnancy announcements, there are a quite a few things that you want to consider, but they really all fall under the umbrella of considering your friend above your self. We live in a world & a society that tells us that everything should be completely about us. When we get good news and we share that good news with others, we have expectations of the reactions that we should receive or even that we feel entitled to receive. However, when you have a friend or loved one who is walking through heartache and especially when your news can potentially exacerbate that heartache, you need to take your expectations down a notch, or better yet, get rid of them completely. You maybe won’t be able to tell them in the fun, cutesy way that you were planning, you may not get the reaction you were hoping for, and she may not be able to celebrate you the way that you would want her to, and that is ok. It doesn’t mean she is not happy for you, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t want to celebrate with you, but the sorrow that accompanies trying to conceive is deep and profound and unlike many things I’ve experienced in life.
I have been so thankful to have so many friends who have been so kind, so full of grace, and so thoughtful in the way that they have told me that they were pregnant. While there has definitely been a side of sadness, frustration, or heartache with hearing each of these announcements, I have also felt loved and seen in a lot of those conversations, which is really what we all want at the end of the day.
Sarah & I walked the “trying to conceive” path for over a year together and during that time we found some great resources for ourselves, as well as for our family members and friends as they were trying to love us well in this season. One of our very favorite resources that we found was Megan Smalley’s article, “How to tell someone going through infertility that you’re pregnant”. (It’s free, you just have to “check out” to receive the download!) She gives a list of 14 things that are essential to the conversation to go well. These are amazing tips & we wholeheartedly agree with all of them! She even gives specific wording for how to tell someone over text that you are pregnant (and yes, this is often the best way to tell someone who is struggling with infertility that you are pregnant)!
I thought I would also share some of my advice since Kyle and I recently announced to the world that we were pregnant just last week!
I hope that when you read this you don’t take it to mean that you can’t be excited and rejoice in the miracle that God has given you! The hardest thing for me when I first found out I was pregnant, was wanting to tell the world, but not knowing how. I was so overjoyed and overwhelmed with emotions, yet at the same time I felt a lot of sadness knowing that my announcement would hurt others. I personally don’t like to be the center of attention that often, and would much rather celebrate with others, so when it was my turn to be on the announcing end I struggled with how to do so. I’m so thankful for the many friends who understood my heart (even friends who are still waiting for their baby), who told me that I needed to celebrate and praise the Lord for the baby that He placed in my womb, I needed to be told that it was okay to be happy when people you love so dearly might be hurting while still in the wait for their baby. I was thankful to know that they were praising God with me. It might sound silly that I was scared to talk to people at first or scared to celebrate, but when you have had to wait longer that you anticipated for a baby, you form deep relationships with other women that are also walking that road with you, you know their pain and frustration with announcements. I've had the opportunity to be in several prayer groups with women struggling with infertility and let me tell you, each time someone announces they are pregnant it is met with more celebration than sadness because God is getting the glory!
I think what you’ll find is when you treat your friends walking through infertility lovingly and tell them your news early on, without any expectation of how they will react (good or bad), they will be very supportive and celebrate you well. We of course told our families and some of our very best friends right when we found out we were pregnant, we celebrated with them and rejoiced in the gift that we had been given. It was not long after that, that I started reaching out to my sisters struggling with infertility before I told anyone else. I wanted them to know first and not be blindsighted by social media or by a "surprise" announcement. The tips that Megan Smalley gave in the article were very helpful to me in telling my friends walking through infertility that I was pregnant, and I think it is a great read!