What's the best way to share your pregnancy news?

Hey everyone,

This week and next, I am going to be answering some hard questions about infertility. Since I have shared my story, I have had a lot of people reach out to ask different questions about how they should handle things. Especially things like sharing your pregnancy news with someone struggling with infertility. So that's what I am going to be talking about today. How do you share that news with love and grace?

First and foremost, you need to know that everyone walking the road of infertility handles it differently. And everyone is at a different stage in their grieving process. I think the most important thing to know going into the conversation is that you are the one with the exciting news. Your friend has a broken heart and is battling every day, if not every second just to put on a happy face. So, this is a time to put your feelings aside and be an unselfish friend. Over the past year since our failed IVF cycle, just about every single one of my closet friends has had a baby or gotten pregnant. Most of them handled it beautifully. Full of love and so much grace. And some did not. Through every announcement, I have tried to take mental notes about what was hard for me and what was not. So here are some tips from me..

1. Don't do it in public. A public place is never the right setting to do this. Most likely, your friend walking the road of infertility will cry when you tell her the news. Do it in a setting where she feels the freedom to cry.

2. Save your big, exciting, creative reveals for all your other friends. This is not the time to make a big, surprising announcement. Text her. Call her. Go over to her house and sit on the couch. Take a walk. A low key setting will take the pressure off of her.

3. If she cries, know that she is not crying because you are pregnant. She is crying because she feels loss deep inside her soul that is so hard to understand. Have you ever heard the saying that something is bittersweet? Well, this is what it feels like every time this news is shared. Bitter for the pain of loss we feel, but sweet excitement for new life.

4. Don't shy away from this conversation. We are all adults. Yes, it is a hard conversation to have. But, you have to put on your big girl panties and tell her. It will be WAY worse for her to find out from someone else. No matter how awkward you feel, that is not an acceptable excuse to hide behind. Have the conversation and do it with love. Even if it doesn't go well at the time, you will never regret telling her.

5. A heads up is so good for the heart. I know for me, I so appreciate the friends who have let me know ahead of time that they were going to start trying. I get that surprises happen. But the ones that have been the hardest for me are the ones I didn't see coming. Again, for everyone else you can make it a big surprise. But give your friend that is struggling some time to warm up to the idea because catching her off guard is so much harder.

I also reached out to some friends who have walked this road or are currently walking it to see what tips they had to share.

1. Give me a heads up before you tell a big group. Call, text, email, write a card. Let me know and allow me to process it personally. And depending on the day and where I am emotionally, I may or may not want to be around when you tell a big group of friends. 

2. Know that regardless of my reaction, I am happy for you. If I cry or if I appear to be upset, I promise it's not about you. It's just that it can bring up so many emotions within me. Know that I want to be happy and supportive, and hopefully I can be, but sometimes it is just hard.

3. Please tell me. While I am in a tough place, I still wanted to feel valued and important. Don't just let me hear through the grapevine or via your social media announcement. I want to be included and I want you to be able to share that with me personally.

This is so tough. Some days, when a friend tells me in a somber/sensitive way, I get annoyed because I feel like "I'm not this fragile being" or "Why can't I be included on the fun of your cute announcements." But other days, when I found out in those cutesy ways and in big groups I feel like "How insensitive? Don't you know how hard this is for me." Basically, my emotions are all over the place and I never have any idea what may or may not set me off. So I think the biggest thing is for them to know that deep down I REALLY do want to be happy for you and excited and included, but some days I just can't. My sadness or tears is not about them, it's about this struggle that I am ALWAYS fighting.

- Laura

I would much rather be told individually - not in a group setting (even though I am getting better at this!!!) - and honestly - I would really rather be told in an email or text or some way where I have time to digest/process the information & regain composure if need be and then call or visit to congratulate when I am able to. I LOVE people and want to be excited for my friends and family when they make this exciting announcement - I often need time to pray through it before I can genuinely be excited though.

I think the worst thing is being put on the spot.  And the only thing that makes it worse is when someone is or insinuates being ungrateful for their pregnancy ("I just can't connect with my baby" or "I just feel so fat" or "this is the worst timing ever"). If you are telling a friend who is not able to have babies and wanting to do so - BE GRATEFUL you are pregnant and COMMUNICATE your gratefulness!!!! 

- Lauren

Depending how close I was to the person, email, text, and maybe a phone call would be my choice. 

One person who shared their joyous new with me over the phone kindly let me tell her "I'm... so happy.. for you" through unsteady breathing and tears. She knew I meant every word but she also understood the ache in my heart when she told me. 

The conversation won't be the easiest on the person sharing the good news. It won't be top the charts on the most-excited-for-you either, but I can promise you that your friend who is battling infertility will love and appreciate your baby with the best of them. Give them time. Give them grace.

- Leslie

The biggest take away from this is just to have the conversation, no matter how hard it is. And do it with love and grace. I will never forget when my sister in law told us she was pregnant. It was super hard because I didn't see it coming. But she loved me so well through the whole thing. She gave me space until I was ready. And when I was ready, we went on a walk. I felt the need to explain to her (through non stop tears) why it was hard for me. And in the middle of a sentence she just hugged my neck and said "you don't have to explain. I understand that this is so hard. And it's ok to cry."

That is how you should love your friend. Put your feelings aside and let her know that it's ok to cry. Because I promise you these friends will love your babies like no one else in this world. 

I hope this helps!! If you have any specific questions that you would like us to answer, make sure to leave them in the comments. I hope you all have a great week!

Lots of love,

Megan Smalley

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