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Infertility: Sensitivity Regarding Pregnancy Announcements

The following post is reprinted with permission and was written by Alicia who writes Yaya Stuff.

This post represents Alicia’s feelings and perspective. I am sharing this post here, with her permission, because I have encountered many, many women who have felt similar feelings in situations like this. This seems to be a very common reaction. I think Alicia’s words are very validating to those who have been through similar experiences.

Alicia_sad

What hurts even worse…..

What hurts even worse then finding out someone close to you is pregnant (when you are battling infertility) is finding out that every single family member (extended, out-of-state, EVERYONE) knows except for us because they ‘don’t want us to feel bad’.

Word of advice for family and friends who know someone battling infertility:

It always makes us feel special when the newly pregnant couple or person pulls us aside, or gives us a call (or even a quick email), to let us know their news before they tell everyone so that the infertile person doesn’t unintentionally find out from someone else and feel like everyone was keeping a secret. It’s also helpful to not find out in some big family announcement, so that the news can sink in before then. I know those who haven’t experienced infertility don’t understand these emotions that we go through. So please realize this: We don’t lack the ability to be happy for others. We are happy for you. But in every new pregnancy announcement our heart feels a slight twinge, not because we’re not happy for you, but because we’re sad for what we still don’t have.

So please don’t let that be the reason you’d rather keep a secret, than to allow us to join in on the happiness that others are sharing with you.

*Edited to add: This post was in no way meant to be a “woe is me” post. I just thought it would be helpful information for others to know how to handle such a situation. *

This post was written by Alicia.

This post was written by Jeanne at http://chronichealing.com. Copyright © Jeanne — chronichealing.com. All rights reserved.


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Reading: Infertility: Sensitivity Regarding Pregnancy Announcements

13 comments

1 YayaNo Gravatar { 12.08.09 at 2:46 pm }

Thank you Jeanne. My in laws didn’t care for this post but I found that it helped many others.
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..We’re Moving! (Hopefully) =-.

2 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.08.09 at 3:13 pm }

Alicia,

The feelings you described sounded hauntingly familiar to me because I have heard similar feelings from so many other infertile friends over the years. It’s a shame that they don’t understand where you’re coming from but clearly many others do. Your blog comments for the post alone attest to that. You are helping others by sharing your feelings.

Jeanne

3 AllisonNo Gravatar { 12.09.09 at 12:28 am }

LOL about the inlaws Alicia!

Yes, I think most of us could definitely relate!
.-= Allison´s last blog ..Fa-la-la-la-laaaaa, la-la-la-laaaaaa =-.

4 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.09.09 at 2:52 am }

Allison,

It is too bad when it is so difficult for people, whoever they may be, to see others’ perspectives.

Jeanne

5 AvivaNo Gravatar { 12.09.09 at 5:08 pm }

This was something we struggled with when we got pregnant with Ellie. Scott’s sister had been trying for years to get pregnant, and we were so afraid of hurting her feelings, especially since our announcement came out of the blue for everyone. (No one knew we were trying or even hoping to get pregnant.)

We told the grandparents first, and asked them not to tell anyone else until we made the announcement. Then we went back and forth over whether it was kinder to tell my SIL over the phone or via email. (She lived 500 miles away, and we weren’t going to see her anytime soon in person.)

We ended up doing it via phone, but I wasn’t sure about it. I thought email, followed up by a phone call would be kinder because she’d have time to react privately before having to move on to being excited at becoming an auntie.

It worked out fine, as far as I know. But what do you guys think? Is it better to do it via a personal email (not a mass email), or on the phone if you can’t do it in person?
.-= Aviva´s last blog ..Sign Of The Economic Times =-.

6 YayaNo Gravatar { 12.09.09 at 6:56 pm }

Aviva,
For me, personally, I handle an email better. Like you said, this allows processing time. And yes, a follow up phone call is a great idea. You are so thoughtful. I wish my family was as thoughtful as you!
Alicia
.-= Yaya´s last blog ..We’re Moving! (Hopefully) =-.

7 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.10.09 at 12:12 am }

Alicia,

Thank you for stopping by with feedback for Aviva. It sounded like she gave it lots of thought, didn’t it? 🙂

Jeanne

8 Ching YaNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 2:06 am }

Thank you Alicia for sharing this experience with us. I’m glad Jeanne let you write about this as I’m sure many of us, who as a family member or friend or even as the person with similar prob can appreciate a little tip like this. There’s more than just being thoughtful, but to be sensitive to people’s needs as well. I wish you well and enjoy life with miracles and lots of blessings. Take care.

@wchingya
Social/Blogging Tracker
.-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..8 Lessons Derived from Vacation to Boost Your Blogging Experience =-.

9 Jannie FunsterNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 2:21 pm }

Good advice, Yaya.

E-mail does give one the chance to mull it over in privacy.

God bless, all.
.-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..“Inner Productivity” by Christopher R. Edgar — A Gem Of An Excellent Book =-.

10 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 2:47 pm }

Ching Ya,

Hi! It’s nice to see you. I miss interacting with you on Twitter. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Alicia was kind enough to let me reprint this post. She had put it on her blog a few days before I posted it here. Alicia is great at helping people understand how to be more sensitive to infertile couples. I am grateful to her for letting me share her feelings here. I think the more people who hear such stories the better! I believe that our society needs to be educated on how to be more sensitive in these matters. Infertility is incredibly difficult on couples!

Thank you, Ching Ya, for your thoughtful comment.

Take care,

Jeanne

11 JeanneNo Gravatar { 12.11.09 at 4:22 pm }

Jannie,

Alicia has wise advice. Her ’email first’ suggestion makes sense. It allows for processing time rather than putting someone on the spot.

Jeanne

12 CaseyNo Gravatar { 05.08.13 at 2:20 pm }

Even after having my own child, and having gone through fertility struggles to get him, I have the same feelings when a pregnancy announcement is put out there on Facebook, or a family gathering before being told. It’s something I will always struggle with.

13 JeanneNo Gravatar { 05.08.13 at 3:43 pm }

Welcome Casey!

From talking with many people who’ve had similar experiences to yours, I know that this is a common phenomenon. Thank you very much for sharing your feedback here. Sometimes it helps people to know they are not alone in experiencing such feelings.

Jeanne

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