“Dear Fertile BFF,
Please don’t hide your pregnancy from me. I want to hear the happy news from YOU, not from someone else or on a social media platform.
As with any relationship or friendship, open and honest communication is key.
1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. 1 in 4 couples suffers a miscarriage. This means whether you are aware of it or not, at least one of your close friends has suffered a loss and/or is struggling to conceive. Therefore, you may one day end up in a similar situation.
Opening up about my infertility struggle wasn’t an easy choice, but I seldom regret it. This was one of those rare occurrences that made me second guess myself. Choosing to be vulnerable and sharing such an intimate part of my life allowed me to connect with other amazing women experiencing a similar infertility rollercoaster.
At the same time, it also created situations I did not foresee. While I expected to get unsolicited advice on the subject from people across the globe; I did not expect that it would create distance and cause my closest friends to hesitate from sharing their news with me.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: pregnancy announcements are hard when you struggle with infertility.
Can they be triggering at times? Absolutely! You are happy and joyous for the other person, yet you can’t help but hurt a little for yourself as you are still waiting. Your heart aches and wonders when it will finally be you announcing that you are pregnant. But let me repeat that again, you really ARE happy for that other person. Especially when that other person is someone you consider your close friend or family member.
Infertility already makes you feel so left out and isolated. By having someone close to you withhold their news, that feeling only deepens.
The first time I found out about someone’s pregnancy from a family member instead of that person, I flat out broke down crying. I felt angry, betrayed, and robbed by infertility. But more so, I felt robbed of the fact that she felt afraid to tell me because she thought her happy news would hurt my feelings.
However, it’s the part of ‘feeling like she couldn’t tell me,’ not the news of pregnancy that hurt me. I never realized that opening up about my infertility struggles would cause others to feel like they can’t share their happy life events with me.
From the bottom of my heart, I want you to know how happy I am for you! I am genuinely ecstatic for you! Please know that you can share something this big with me. I want to be there for you in the same ways that I have always have been prior to my infertility struggles. This should in no way affect our friendship.
My struggle should not take away from your happiness and I don’t want you to feel that it does. I want you to feel like you can share it with me openly. You shouldn’t have to feel guilty over something neither one of us can control. Finding out about it from someone else really hurts me. I know for a fact that if you didn’t know I am struggling, you wouldn’t think twice about telling me.
You may be sitting here reading this thinking ‘this girl needs to just suck it up, no one owes her an announcement privately.’ If we aren’t that close, I don’t expect you to reach out to me before you announce your happy news at all. However, I have been surprised by the number of people that DID message or call me before they posted their announcements. I’m grateful for that and appreciated the fact that they tried to guard my heart. It has not gone unnoticed.
If you are still sitting here reading this, wondering what would be the best way to tell your infertile friend, there is no real formula, just tell her. It really does help when you tell her in private or via text instead of in front of a large audience. Ultimately, it should come from you and not someone else. After all, it is your news to share.
Obviously, everyone reacts to the news differently so not blindsiding them while everyone watches their reaction does help. Let’s also not forget that if they’re going through infertility treatments, those medications and hormones make us more emotional than usual.
Lastly, if you are struggling to have a baby or have suffered a loss, please know that you are not alone. I have suffered in silence for a long time and opening up about my journey has truly helped me. Because of it, I found a community of women whom I am able to talk and vent to and it makes all the difference in the world. For that, I will always be grateful. If you ever feel secluded by this overwhelming journey, I am always here if you need someone to talk to.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Zaneta T from the Chicago Suburbs. You can follow her journey on Instagram.
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