Friday, February 20, 2015

Pregnancy Announcements

This post is hard to write. Mostly because I'm afraid to offend those on the other side. But that is not my intent. I just want to give a better understanding of what it's like on the infertile side. Some of these feelings and experiences I will share here have never been told to some family and friends. Please don't overact and get the wrong idea. I'm just trying to tell a story to help bridge the gap between infertility and fertile people.

Pregnancy Announcements.

Let's be honest. I have yet to meet an infertile person who's first reaction is anything but anger or sadness. That does not mean we aren't happy for you. It does not mean that we suddenly hate you. The truth of the matter is, pregnancy announcements are HARD.

We had been trying to have a baby for a few years when I had my first experience. We had gone to a family dinner. While sitting there, an ultrasound was dropped on the table and the announcement was "Here is baby." My heart literally stopped and I couldn't breathe. Suddenly, the room felt like it was closing in and crushing me. I did the only thing I knew how to do. I ran.

We had been married for 5 years, and have been trying for about 3 of those to have our own baby. Jealousy doesn't even begin to describe it. We had been living month to month hoping our dream would come true at any moment.

I was not even slightly prepared for that announcement. Maybe its like that for every infertile couple. The very 1st announcement is the hardest. I was having feelings and emotions I had never had before. And those were just piled on top of the emotional roller coaster I was already on.

Could I have handled it differently? I'm sure I could have. But they could have too. The thing is, its hard when everyone is over the moon excited, and all you can feel is your heart breaking. They can't understand why you aren't happy and you just want them to understand how it has crushed you.

If you have someone in your life that you think is struggling with infertility, here are my personal thoughts. I can't speak for all infertile couples, but I hope my thoughts are similar so that I can help.

1) Don't hide your pregnancy from us. We will find out no matter what. It hurts even more when we have to hear it from someone else. Please respect our friendship/family relationship enough to tell us yourselves.

2) Its okay if you want to have a big announcement. But please run it by us first. Call us or suggest a lunch date and tell us the news. For myself, I find it so much easier to handle when it's a quite affair, instead of a loud celebration. Its easier to keep my emotions in check if there is only one other person around, instead of the whole family. This way, when you do make the big announcement, it can be all about you. We can choose to be there, or choose to conveniently be somewhere else.

Most of the pregnancy announcements I've received have been in a private setting. When my sister was pregnant with her second, she came to tell me herself. It was just a quick, "hey, I need to tell you I'm pregnant" conversation. Her first baby was only a few months old, so its not like I was expecting her to be pregnant again. It was how she handled it that made it so much easier. One of my dearest friends always makes sure to tell me in person before they tell everyone else. This makes a world of difference to me. It shows that you care about our feelings too.

3) Leave it up to us if we want to discuss it out, but don't pressure us. I remember one pregnancy announcement, I just needed space to  think. A family member called numerous times and I just let it go to voice mail. But they wouldn't stop. When I didn't answer, they called Josh at work. He had to get a little forceful with them to just give me space. I needed to sort it out in my heart before I could be around them.

Pregnant friends, you will have plenty of people who will be happy for you. Give us time and hopefully we can be too. I think it will vary from person to person, based on what part of their infertility journey they are currently on. If we don't jump for joy like everyone else, please don't hold it against us. Most of the time, we will come around; but it needs to be on our terms. We don't hate you, we are just trying to work though our own struggle first.


  1. The best announcements I've had have been when someone has pulled me aside, or invited me for a coffee, to tell me their news. It might still be a shock, but their thoughtfulness has always been appreciated.

    Your last line is perfect - especially explaining it that we have to work through our own struggle first.

  2. Yes, pregnancy announcements are hard.
    You wrote the post beautifully, I don't have anything to add.
    wishing you a lovely weekend.