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.
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.