“I just found out that I’m pregnant. How do I tell my friends that have either recently miscarried or struggle with infertility?”
I’ve been on both sides of this struggle, and I can tell you it is difficult both ways.
Here are 4 steps to announce your pregnancy to an infertile friend or to a friend who miscarried.
Announce Your Pregnancy to Infertile Friend or Friend Who Recently Miscarried
We tried to conceive our first child for nearly two years; we miscarried our second child at 12 weeks, and then we have been open for anything ever since (also known as … trying to surrender our family planning to the Lord, but I want to be pregnant). And, in all of those situations, it has been difficult (and if I’m being honest—heart-wrenching) to have a friend tell me she’s pregnant.
On the flip side, when we got pregnant, I was at a loss for words on how to tell my friends dealing with infertility or who had miscarried that I was pregnant.
After some soul searching and asking my friends, this is what I’ve come up with.
1. Just Tell Her
Be honest with her and tell her that you’re pregnant. Tell her that you are X weeks along and you wanted to tell her privately because you love her and care for her. Then, give her permission to not be excited for you (more on that below).
It hurts more the longer you tiptoe around her. It’s even more painful for her to find out through a friend or, worst of all, waiting for her to find out some other way (like at a Christmas party or someone else’s baby shower – ouch).
2. Do It in Private (specifically via text or email)
I was so thankful for friends that announced to me via text. It was so helpful (and thoughtful of my friend) to have the space to deal with my emotions privately.
I am always overjoyed when I find out one of my friends is pregnant, but (not very) deep down I am simultaneously overwhelmed with grief and jealousy.
Your friend is excited for you, genuinely. But, the initial news will be a shock to her, and it will sting a little. Give her the opportunity to respond to the news privately.
3. Give Her Permission to Not Be Excited for You
Your pregnancy announcement to your infertile (or trying to conceive) friend or friend who’s miscarried is going to hurt. Yes, she will be happy for you. Yet, simultaneously, she is sad for herself and downright heartbroken that she can’t have what you have.
Give her permission to not be excited for you right now (or ever).
- Tell her that you know that hearing your pregnancy announcement is hard and that you want to be respectful of her feelings. Ask her how you can do that.
- Say something like this, “I totally understand that you might not want to hear progress updates. I know it might be hard for you to be happy for me and that’s completely okay. Let me know when you want to hear anything about it; otherwise, I won’t update you.”
- Let her know that you don’t expect her to be excited for you and that you won’t take it personally.
4. Then, Give Her Time
Announce pregnancy to her then drop it. Let her take the lead. You’ve told her in the best way that you could; you’ve given her permission to not be excited for you, and now you’re going to give her the space that she needs, for as long as she needs it.
For some women who’ve miscarried or are dealing with infertility, they may need
- a few days
- a week or two
- your entire pregnancy
- until your baby is a little older
until they can interact with you normally again.
There were some of my friends that I couldn’t spend time with during their pregnancy, or I didn’t feel up to attending baby showers or couldn’t handle seeing their newborns. On the other hand, there were some points of our journey that I didn’t mind being around someone who was pregnant or being around their newborn. Every day is different when you’re living with miscarriage grief or the pain of infertility.
But, she will come around at some point; I can assure you that.
Avoid Doing These 4 Things after Announcing Pregnancy to Infertile Friend or Friend Who’s Miscarried
- Don’t tiptoe around her after you announce your pregnancy. It makes her feel uncomfortable, and I know it bothers you, too.
- Avoid saying things like
- it wasn’t planned;
- we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly;
- it will happen for you (more on that below);
- don’t be jealous, this (pregnancy symptom) is terrible.
All of the above are hurtful and insensitive to someone who’s had a miscarriage or is dealing with infertility.
- Don’t tell them that “it’ll happen when they least expect it” or the story of your so-and-so that you know that got pregnant by doing XYZ or that “your turn is coming soon.” This was and is so hurtful to hear. On the other hand, it was helpful for people to say, “I know you will be a mother one day.” There is more than one way to become a parent (infant adoption, embryo adoption, foster care, etc.), and it can be helpful to be reminded of that in gentle ways.
- Please don’t send a picture of the positive pregnancy test. Just the sight of a pregnancy test is very triggering and upsetting to someone who struggled with infertility or has had a miscarriage. There’s no need for it, so just leave it out.
Bonus tip: Pray about how you should announce and when. God will guide you in your decision and can prepare her heart for you to announce your pregnancy.
What do you think? What’s the best way to announce your pregnancy to a friend struggling with infertility or who’s miscarried recently?
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