I had a long overdue conversation on the phone with a dear friend last night.
It was the second time she attempted to call me within a couple of days, so I had a pretty good feeling that she had some news to share. After about twenty or so minutes of catching up, she told me she’s pregnant. My voice instantly raised to an embarrassingly high pitch, and I told her I was so happy and excited for her and her husband!
The very next thing she said was how nervous she was to tell me. She read my post about trying to conceive, and didn’t know how I would react. I appreciated her concern, and it meant a lot that she cared so much to consider my feelings. She had this amazing news to share, yet her focus was on how I felt about it. She’s a friend I will truly cherish for the rest of my days.
After we hung up, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I told her, and even what I wanted to tell her, but didn’t. As someone dealing with infertility struggles, I thought it would be helpful to write them out and share them with you, too.
Here is what I want to tell my pregnant and new mommy friends (with love)…
Don’t keep your pregnancy a secret.
While it could feel super awkward, I want to hear the good news from you.
There may not be an easy way to tell someone with infertility issues that you are pregnant, but they are much better off hearing about your pregnancy from you than from another friend or even (gasp) via social media. Don’t be that person. Even if you feel like you are protecting their feelings, not telling them would hurt worse. If you have a true friendship, it will last long after pregnancies (hopefully for the both of you).
If I want to hear the details of your pregnancy, I’ll ask.
It’s probably best for me to take the lead here. It may sound harsh to someone who has never gone through infertility issues, but it’s nothing personal.
Growing a baby and preparing for their arrival is your world right now, and I totally understand that you want to talk about it, however, I might not the best audience to vent to. More than likely, I will be interested in hearing about your morning sickness, doctors appointments, and things you didn’t expect throughout your pregnancy, and if so, I’ll ask.
If you don’t hear from me for a while, I might just be going through a rough patch.
You’re my friend. We have obviously built a relationship where we can be open and honest with each other, but if you don’t hear from me for a couple of weeks or so, you should probably know it’s me not you.
Facebook makes it impossible to avoid pregnancy announcements, updates, and even complaints, so if I can steer clear of hearing about it directly from you, I might. This doesn’t mean that I don’t love you or want to hear about what you are going through. The time will come when I will have a million questions, but it just might not be right now. I hope you understand this and can be there for me when I come around.
You never know who is dealing with infertility issues around you. Please be mindful with what you choose to share.
This might come off as being too sensitive, but infertility is something a lot of people struggle with and not many people choose to talk about. More than likely, there is someone you see on a daily basis that is struggling just like me. If someone you have gotten to know considerably well isn’t super excited about your pregnancy, this could be the reason. Before you rant and rave about how big you are getting and how you just wish it could all be over with, please remember that she would probably give her right arm to have your morning sickness.
You may just think I am putting on a smile, but I am truly happy for you.
While pregnancy envy is certainly real, that doesn’t mean I don’t want you to experience the miracle of pregnancy and starting a family. I want to grow and nurture my own baby, so why wouldn’t I wish the same for you? The news may be a hard pill to swallow at first, but ultimately, I am jumping for joy and wish you nothing but the best! If you are concerned with hurting my feelings while sharing stories, approach them in a way that I know you care.
An “I know this is hard for you, but can I tell you a funny story?” goes a long way.
And these are geared more towards the new mommies…
It’s okay to talk about your days.
First and foremost, I’m your friend. And, if I’m trying to get pregnant, I also want to be a mom. Life with a new baby flips your world upside down, so I’m going to be curious about what that looks like for you. If you’re short on time, I would love to see a picture with a message attached. What I might not like, however, is ten photos or videos a day. I’m happy for you, but please don’t remind me what I don’t have all day, every day.
Please don’t tell me I’m lucky to live my life without kid responsibilities right now.
Yes, I have the freedom to do what I’d like and travel the world if my bank account could support it, but that doesn’t mean I want to live that way forever.
I have heard “If you want kids, just borrow mine for a few hours. You’ll probably stop trying…” countless times, and it’s anything but true. I might not want your kids, but I do want my own. And, I will do my best to raise polite and disciplined kids that anyone would enjoy babysitting.
I like to log onto Facebook, not Babybook.
I understand that your baby is your life. I really do. But, under the multiple pictures a day of bows, smiles, and clever onezies, there is an awesome woman raising those children. What are you doing these days?
I love seeing pictures of your family and especially of tiny humans grow, but I don’t really need a minute-by-minute update on what they’re doing. Post a few cute pictures (there’s no need to include every single one where the baby is smiling slightly different) and go about your day. I’m much more likely to click over and enjoy your photos and stories that way!
I want you to tell me about your struggles.
Nobody’s life is always sunshine and rainbows, and this certainly includes new moms. Are you exhausted? Are you depressed? Are you so sick of changing diapers and breast feeding that it makes you want to cry? From what I’ve heard, you’re not alone.
The abundance of happy baby photos and stories I see online makes is hard to imagine struggles. Obviously all of these babies aren’t perfect, so I’d like to like hear more about what has been hard for you. Who knows… maybe that will help soften the blow that I’m not there yet. There is, however, a difference in complaining and sharing. Please remember that everything (yes, even the un-glamorous parts) you are going through is something that others would trade places to experience at the drop of a hat.
I also want to hear the “nobody told me” stories about birth or life with a newborn.
This might just be me, but I want to be anything but out of the loop on everything you didn’t expect to happen. I’d much rather go into the battle knowing what I’m up against. If nothing else, I’ll understand more of what you went through to get where you are today, and I’ll probably think you’re Superwoman!
Infertility is something so many people struggle with. I hope this post has given you some insight and perspective from someone in my shoes, or maybe even from the shoes of someone you know and love.
To anyone struggling with fertility issues, you are anything but alone. Thank you for reading this post and also for your continuous support on this blog! <3