How to announce your pregnancy to your infertile friend

I should revise this title to be “how to announce your pregnancy” as I don’t think there needs to be a strong differentiation if you have friends who are struggling to conceive.

Any announcement should be based on one principle alone: how close your relationship is.

If do you want to keep an infertile friend in mind, here are my recommendations for how to unveil your joyful news:

Select a medium for your message

As much as your plan to announce in front of the entire family at Great-Grandma Betty’s 95th birthday sounds like an awesome opportunity, it’s probably going to place your infertile friend or family member in an awkward position. If your heart is set on a face-to-face group announcement, I highly suggest you give your friend a private heads up before the day. Let them have an opportunity to decide whether they want to be there or not.

Depending on the closeness of your relationship, you can share your news face-to-face in an individual setting. Select an activity that is short, yet intimate – like a dinner or coffee date. This gives you a special moment with your friend, but it also gives your friend an escape. They don’t have to feel bombarded with the thought of holding their emotions inside for an entire day.

If you are unable to meet your friend face-to-face or unsure of how they will react, a phone call is a great choice. It’s clearer to gauge an person’s emotion through their voice than their written word. It’s more sincere than a text or social media.  A phone call also gives either one of you an opportunity to quickly end the conversation when you feel the need to.

If your relationship is not as close, a text, email or social media announcement is totally acceptable. In fact, unless you are close, it’s often best to announce your pregnancy as you had always envisioned it.

Decide when to announce

A infertility journey is just as unpredictable as your pregnancy might have been. It’s actually more hurtful to keep it from your friend “for their own sake”. When you face infertility and pregnancy loss, another pregnancy announcement is NOT going to set you over the edge. Dealing with announcements is a hard part of an infertile’s journey, but it’s also a regular occurrence.

You know how people have gay-dar? Well, most people going through infertility have baby-dar. We pick up on it sooner than you think. We catch on to avoidance and wonder if you are declining invites simply to hide your good news.

Consider placing yourself if your infertile friend’s shoes. When do you think she would tell you? Has she been open and honest about her journey?

It’s a personal decision to choose when to announce, but it’s probably a good idea to be mindful of how close of a friendship you have with your infertile friend. Don’t let her be the last person to know if you are likely to be her first person.

Be genuine when you share your news

Life is too short to let the worry of your friend’s reaction take away from the announcement itself. You are blessed to be welcoming a baby into this world! Be excited!

Don’t let the difficult journey of an infertile friend take away the joy from your moment.

Don’t assume your infertile friend will react negatively.

Don’t dwell of the struggles your friend has faced.

Tell them you love them. Tell them you hope they get to experience parenthood in whatever way that comes to them. Remind them that you will be there to support them throughout their journey, just as they will be there for you.

Hug, cry, smile, and laugh.

Be yourself.

Give your infertile friend space if they need it

There are many fears and emotions that surface when faced with infertility.  If a pregnancy announcement catches your friend off guard or on a particularly bad day on their journey, they may need time to digest the announcement before they can share in your joy. Don’t take this personally.

If your relationship is built upon strong pillars, it will endure any sincere announcement. They will reunite with you when their heart and mind are ready to.

Infertility: enduring more than you ever thought you could

I’m asking for prayers, love and light to be sent to a dear fertility friend of mine.

After enduring over 5 years of trying to conceive, 1 fresh IVF cycle that resulted in OHSS, extensive fertility testing including the scratch to determine the receptivity of her uterine lining (which came back positive), she just found out that her 4th FET was not successful.

She has never had a BFP.

Life is horribly unfair. 

This is why I feel like anyone facing infertility should never have to defend their feelings. We endure so much to achieve our desire to have children.

We undergo poking, prodding, testing, and surgeries that leave us physically vulnerable and emotionally bruised.

We face our fears and overcome them – only to find new ones hiding on the other side.

We learn who are true friends and family are. We leave behind those whose own journeys prevent them from being a part of ours.

We hope.

We fail.

We grieve.

Yet, we continue on.

We define what we are willing to do to reach motherhood – IUI, IVF, donors, surrogacy, or adoption. We may even find peace with a child-free life.

Does this mean we are unlucky?

No, it means we are strong.

We endure.

We come out on the other side having a completely different perspective on life.

We have suffered, yet we are grateful for learning the things we have, for facing so many life lessons, for becoming a better version of ourselves.

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Laurie – I admire your strength and determination. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Reflections on Christmas

I made it through this holiday season in brighter spirits than I thought I would.

I woke up from my anxiety-ridden mindset and remembered how horrible Christmas was last year. Not wanting this to become a trend, I set the intention to make this year’s Christmas about love.

And I felt it. ❤

This year wasn’t about extravagant gifts, indulging in too many goodies, or playing the “put on a fake happy face” game. It was about being present and finding peace in the moment.

The highlights of my Christmas include:

  • Hanging my lil’ Peanut on the tree and surrounding her with Angels and football ornaments… clearly that was her Dad! 🙂 
  • Taking my niece to see Max & Ruby’s Nutcracker Christmas at a local theatre
  • Building Megabloks towers with my nephew
  • Sharing stories and having a few good laughs with my husband’s aunts & uncles
  • Volunteering my time at the Reiki share
  • My husband calling our niece on Christmas morning to wish her a Merry Christmas. Beautiful, yet heart wrenching at the same time 
  • Hearing my Mother-in-law sincerely say, “I hope to have another grandchild on the way soon“. This made me realize she does care even if she struggles with how to show it
  • Heartfelt gifts that showed how much those close to me actually do know me. I am so grateful for each and every gift I received this year.
  • Enjoying quiet time with my family – my husband, the chis and our ragdoll

It was our baby girl’s first Christmas in Heaven, yet I managed to have a legit smile on my face. That doesn’t mean my baby girl wasn’t on my mind. It just means that I chose to change my perspective. I chose to turn to love instead of sorrow.

The past few months have been filled with too much darkness. I didn’t want our first Christmas without our baby to feel sad, angry and hopeless.

Instead, it felt perfect.

I will forever cherish this Christmas.

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I miss you baby Emme. XO

A poem: My story to tell

I am me
and you are you.
But, one plus one
doesn’t always equal two.

This journey I share gives me
new challenges each day.
That is why
I’m hear to say…

This is my story to tell
of struggle, loss and love.
It’s an unfair hand
I’ve been dealt from above.

I didn’t ask to be infertile
or face such despair.
If you can’t handle it,
I won’t beg you to care.

If my words cause you anger or confusion,
you’ve hit the wrong blog.
I won’t be offended
if you don’t stay long.

Simply click the X
at the top of your screen.
You don’t have to try
to get what I mean.

My words are sacred,
personal and true.
It’s about me.
It’s not about you.

I write to release
my fears, joys and sorrow.
Because with infertility,
you never know what comes tomorrow.

I write to give hope
to those lost in the dark,
to inspire you to keep going
until you reach your mark.

I write for those seeking
support and relief.
You are never alone.
That’s my ultimate belief.

If you face a similar challenge,
settle in, grab a tea,
and flip through the pages
of my infertility story.

Another one bites the dust

Remember that friend who had that party that made me feel like the infertile in the corner?

Well, she just announced her pregnancy!

Seriously Universe! Can you give me a break here? 

They tried for one, maybe two months, before conceiving.

On top of that, she would have been 5.5 weeks pregnant at that party – smoking cigs, smoking pot and drinking.

GAHHHH!!!!

Fertiles have it so easy. No period tracking. No stress at ovulation time. Hell, they probably don’t even know it’s ovulation time. No care in the world. No rush to find out if it worked. No special diet. No abstaining from anything.

With every announcement, I am happy for my friends. I am relieved that they do not have to face the heartache, stress and uncertainty of infertility.

Yet, their announcements cut me a little deeper. They solidify the challenges we have face and further label us as infertile.

I will never accidentally get knocked up.

I will never conceive after a few months of trying.

I can only hope that my turn is soon and all the time, money, and emotion we’ve put into this journey will be worth it.

Merry Christmas Eve

Today was lovely. I volunteered again at Reiki Christmas where we offer free reiki to those experiencing physical or emotional pain during the holidays. Last year featured lots of sadness. This year featured anger. It’s funny how these things relate to your own life.

I have carried around anger and resentment towards my in-laws for years now. Even though I’m working on having zero expectations of them,  I’ve realized that hanging onto my hurt truly only hurts me.

I made it through last weekend’s In-law Christmas Extravaganza fairly unscathed. A few odd remarks were made here and there, but I let them slide. Right now,  I’m focused on letting go and letting it flow.

The biggest reasons for the season that have resonated with me this year are Christmas is about love and prescence,  not presents.

So, I called my mother-in-law and invited them to come for brunch on Christmas Day. I hope this step is a positive move even if I am trying hard to not succumb to those darn expectations.

I’m surprised at how well I am actually handling this Christmas. It was top on my list of ocassions I was dreading following our pregnancy loss.

I have to attribute much of my happiness to my husband. He has made a sincere effort to make this Christmas special for me. First, he bought me the angel. Then,  he gave me a diamond necklace from a collection called ”Heartbeats”. He said it was so I could always have our baby’s heartbeat with me. The diamond is suspended in a tear drop shape and moves slightly with your own heartbeat or breath.

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The amount of thought he put into these gifts is profound. I am so proud of him. I am so blessed to be his wife.

Tonight,  we opened our gifts, ate Chinese food (yes I know that wasn’t entirely sticking to my diet but it was msg-free) and watched Millionaire Matchmaker. I am not normally a reality TV fan; however, we needed something to take our mind off everything. Plus, I was tired from my afternoon of energy healing.

I’m looking forward to having 4 days in a row at home with my husband and my fur-babies. I hope that you get to enjoy time with your loved ones too.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!

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Somewhere Tonight There Is a Woman…

Elisha’s writing beautifully conveys how so many of us are feeling during the holidays.

Even though there may be tears in your eyes and an ache in your heart, you are not alone. Never give up hope for there is light beyond the darkness.

Waiting for Baby Bird

Circle TreeSomewhere tonight there is a woman, sitting next to the twinkling lights of her Christmas tree and staring at the fireplace mantle.  Year after year, her heart tells her head, “Here’s another Christmas with no children’s stockings to hang or cookies to bake for Santa.” I can see the tears fall down her sweet face as she makes the vow that this time next year, things will be different; they will be better.  Yet even as she says those words, she knows deep down in her heart it’s not guaranteed.  How could it be when she said those same words last year–and the year before–and the year before that.  Her hope is fading and her faith is shrinking this holiday season as she wonders if her prayers are being heard and her tears being caught.  Yet even so, she continues to beg and plead to God.  She continues to cry…

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