Waiting for Baby Bird, When Someone You Know Is Infertile

How to Tell Your Infertile Friend, “I’m Pregnant!”

Those two words, “I’m pregnant,” can bring a flood of emotions. To someone not trying to conceive, the news of someone else announcing their pregnancy can be a joyous time filled with excitement. However, to someone struggling with infertility, these two words can bring a tsunami of emotions that include bitterness, anger, joy, sadness, grief, happiness, resentment, and even hope, all in about 60 seconds.

Recently, I received awesome news from one of my closest friends that she and her husband are expecting baby number 3! I am not 100% positive, but I think it only took one or two months of “trying” for them to get pregnant. She is what I have labeled as “fertile myrtle.” Actually, in my book, anyone who can get pregnant within less than a year is labeled as “fertile myrtle.”

I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to tell me. I already knew they were trying and would often joke about her being pregnant soon. However, she would always insist that I would be next (she has been such a great encourager); but I am not next, and I’m sure she wished I were.

What I love most about my friend is her consideration of my feelings in how she told me. She didn’t brag about her ability to conceive in such a short amount of time; she didn’t tell me around a big group of people, she didn’t even tell me in person.  I didn’t even get a phone call with the news. Instead, she told me via text message, and boy was I relieved to be in the comfort of my home and reading it by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for her, but I had to take a sigh of relief that I wasn’t around a big group of people when the announcement was made.

I’m not sure how everyone else feels about how they receive news of such wonderful announcements, but text messages are the best way to go for me at this stage in the game. I am always happy and excited for others because I would never wish month after month of disappointments on anyone…not even my worst enemy. But I never know what kind of “emotional state” I will be in that day, and I don’t want that awkward moment of me either excusing myself out of the room to go cry (and everyone knowing why), or the awkward moment of everyone immediately looking at me for my reaction and thinking…Is she happy? Will she cry? What will she say? Is she mad? Even when I express sincere joy over the announcement, I feel as though everyone is thinking that I am being fake. Therefore, needless to say, I can’t express how grateful I am that when she shared her news, I wasn’t in a room full of other women where I would have to guard my feelings or explain my silence.

Telling your “fertility-challenged” friend you are pregnant is never easy. This is why I have created a list with a few tips that I think will help when “sharing” your news.

1. Please don’t try to hide your news. The worst thing ever is to find out from another friend, acquaintance, or through social media such as Facebook (unless it is a private message), Twitter or Instagram.

2. Let your “fertility challenged” friend know (if at all possible) when you are trying to conceive. I am not really big on surprises. I don’t like news that will cause an emotional “shock,” therefore, knowing that a pregnancy announcement might be coming soon, the pipeline has been beneficial for me to cope and deal with whatever emotions I might have in advance. The less of a shock, the better.

3. Before you conceive, find out how your “fertility challenged” friend would like to hear your awesome news.  Personally, I would prefer that if it is going to be announced in front of a large crowd, I find out in advance (even if it is one hour before). This is important because if I do have any emotional reactions (tears, heartache, anger, etc.), I will be more prepared not to show it in front of others and therefore be potentially embarrassed. Facial expressions full of tears, anger, bitterness, and embarrassment are not my best look, and as a matter of fact, they aren’t anyone’s “best” look.

4. Let your “fertility challenged” friend know you love her and are praying for her. I love how my friend started off the text message letting me know how much she loved me and then ending it with her praying for me. She is the best!

5. Give grace (this goes both ways). Give grace if the person doesn’t react the way you want them to, and let them know it’s okay to cry, be upset, or not speak. Also, forgive them for whatever they do or say, and please don’t hold it against them. Your friend does want to be happy for you, but it’s normal for their first reaction to being that of heartache. This is about her feelings of loss and not because she is unhappy about your pregnancy. Giving grace is not just a tip for the person sharing the news but also for the person receiving the news. As “fertility challenged” people, we need to remember that not everyone knows the full extent of what we are going through, so we also need to extend that same forgiving grace to them for not “understanding” our emotions and the struggles we face.

I truly believe that most people want to be sensitive and heed to needs during this time; however, they just don’t know how. I hope this article will help as they do both; share their news while also respecting your emotions and struggles.

I would love to connect with you personally, so if you liked this post, pass it on, then come find Waiting for Baby Bird on the public Facebook page or join me on Instagram @waitingforbabybird. I can’t wait to “meet” you!

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26 thoughts on “How to Tell Your Infertile Friend, “I’m Pregnant!””

  1. when I first read this I got really excited then you said it was a friend. I am still praying for you and Daniel to conceive to a beautiful baby. God still is in the healing and miracle business.Aunt nancy

  2. I’m giving you a dirty look right now. My heart nearly stopped and I nearly began crying (tears if joy). Ugh. But you are adorable, and I can’t WAIT to hear your good news, whatever form it comes in!

  3. I think your tips for sharing the news work not only for when sharing with a “fertility challnged” friend, but also for sharing with someone who is grieving a miscarriage or loss of a baby. A little bit different, but the same concept, I think. You have to remember to keep that person’s/couple’s thoughts & feelings in mind. Thank you for sharing this.

    I wish you and Daniel the best on your journey. 🙂

    1. awe thank you for the best wishes girl! I think these tips can be used for a variety of situations. 🙂 I think people don’t realize the thoughts and feelings a person struggling to conceive go through or they may not know how to be sensitive to the issue so I thought I would share some tips from my own heart and from the hearts of my friends who are struggling as well. 🙂

  4. I want to borrow this post some day and give it to everyone I know- “Fertile Myrtle” or not! ! I love it. I had a friend who had been struggling with infertility who “finally” conceived and was afraid to tell me. In fact, she held off for many weeks and then I didn’t know until she had even been pregnant until after she suffered a miscarriage. I was crushed- for her; that she lost her baby AND that I didn’t get to share in the joy of finding out that she was pregnant.

    I totally agree that text messages, email, or something where I don’t have the burden of reacting in a socially acceptable manner immediately are my preferred means of communicating that sort of announcement. The last person who told me face-to-face saw the anger, sadness, shock, (and also positive ones) flash across my face before I could react in the way I knew he wanted me to, and I could tell by their facial expression that they were disappointed that I hadn’t been jumping-up-and-down-excited immediately.

    Fertile Myrtle still makes me laugh a little; when we were trying to conceive the first time my RE came back with test results that indicated we “should” be “Fertile Myrtles” I had never heard that phrase before and somehow it coming out of a doctor’s mouth made it seem even sillier.

    My first reaction to your title was “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!” (I somehow have found a way to skip past that feelings of loss part with people who I know are fertility challenged and head straight to pure joy- I think it because it does remind me that God will bless us and performs miracles!).

    Whew, long comment, sorry about that!

    1. I love the long comment!! I am so glad I’m not the only one that likes text messages, emails, etc. 🙂 I also agree that when I hear of other fertility challenged people get pregnant I get more excited quicker and I have less emotions that are negative…I think it’s also because I know they struggled and overcame that struggle so it gives me more hope. You should share this post on your facebook page for all of your friends in a “non aggressive” way. haha

  5. Aw I was so excited for you when I read the title!! These are for sure great ideas for others around us sharing their news. Keeping you in my prayers that you get to make this announcement soon!!

    1. Thank so much for your prayers 🙂 I am hoping to make the announcement soon too!!! I know that He is faithful and I can’t wait to give Him all of the glory! I’ll make sure my announcement is more creative than cookies shaped into the words “I’m Pregnant”. hehehe

  6. Oh sweet girl, this makes me tear up!!! I don’t even know you and I long for you to get pregnant. This post couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband and I just started trying to get pregnant this month and who knows how long it will take. Two of my best friends have been trying to get pregnant for years and it hasn’t happened yet. If I am able to get pregnant quickly this post really helps me know how to tell them!

    1. Oh I am so glad this will help you 🙂 That was my goal because I think so many people want to tell their fertility challenged friends in the “best” way but are at a loss on how to go about it. I am saying a prayer RIGHT now that you will get pregnant QUICKLY!! I would NEVER wish, hope, or want anyone to have to go through the struggles. Go into every cycle only expecting GREAT things from God and have no worries 🙂 Make sure you send me an email at 10hopeingod@gmail.com when you do get pregnant! I actually love hearing about other pregnancies because it sparks more hope inside of me and it reminds me once again how faithful, loving, and awesome God is to us 🙂

  7. Such great advice! Perfect. I’m on the ‘older’ end of the spectrum, so I don’t have too many people I know who are trying to grow their families. I did have one friend who had been trying for 6 years and just got pregnant. She pulled me aside as we were leaving a school event, and I am so glad she told me privately and before she went public. No matter how happy I am for someone, it also puts a lump in my throat. But then I think about, ‘Well, would you want the opposite for her? Infertility? Miscarriage?” Never! And that helps me have genuine joy. Everyone deserves to have that – them, us…and we def. should rejoice with them! Even if it isn’t in that first moment…. Excellently said, girl!

  8. I think your friend told you in one of the best ways possible.
    I definitely like to be told one on one with no one else looking at my reaction. Text like the one you received would be fine. I once got a video text pregnancy announcement. I burst into tears before the video even finished. Other people were included on the announcement, so it was a group text, so I then had to receive everyone else’s reactions that they texted back. I HATED it.
    I also think it is good for me to know as soon as possible, if possible, sooner than everyone else, so I have more time to process it before others start finding out.
    I love the scripture you shared at the end of this post. Thank you!

  9. Love your attitude and love that you are still claiming it that you are next! I’m glad your friend told you in the most perfect way for you too. It really is not just about the news sometimes, but HOW the person says it. Clearly she delivered the news with love in a way she knew would sting a little less. Your time is coming!

  10. Elisha, you do know that you write so very well, right? Your blog makes for such an excellent read!

    Your time is coming, honey (OH IT IS!) so you better get those awesome pregnancy announcement ideas ready. You already are a mom-in-the-making. God has some special purposes for Josiah (surely, you agree), and so he’s to ensure that Josiah’s mum has been prepared well. 🙂

    I don’t mind you telling me any way that you’re ‘making a baby’ …cause I’m going to be happy for you any which way! ((huggss))

    1. oh thank you girl for your sweet words! There are some days I go back and ready my own blog posts and think…”that sounds awful!” It’s good to know other people enjoy them 🙂 You better get ready too girl because what He will do for me, He will also do for you. God does not show favoritism. Romans 2:11 🙂 xoxo

  11. Funny that you made a comment on my post just as I was thinking of typing this.

    Thank you so much for this post. When I read it, I did not realize that it was in preparation of a similar moment. I laughed when I read it and also felt a sense of sadness that I did not expect. But it prepped me for the flood of emotions I felt while reading an email from my friend, who got married barely six months, informing about her pregnancy.
    This post helped me appreciate her gesture even more and it reminded me of you, so I said a prayer for you. Happy Josiah day, I cannot wait for his arrival.

  12. I guess you know by now i’m stalking your blog. Ha! This is PERFECT. I’m going to post this one on my blog too. Hope you don’t mind! 🙂 🙂 (Will link it to here!) I think friends think i’m crazy when i say i don’t need to be told in person, i would rather be told via text… this explains why so perfectly! I love where you said our reaction isn’t about their pregnancy but about my feelings of loss. So true!

    1. Hehehe! I don’t mind the stalkers…it’s the trolls who leave nasty comments. Lol! So feel free to stalk away and share away! I would be honored!! I am going to be checking out your blog later today too ;). Hugs!

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