Monday, May 23, 2011

I should tell you...

Infertility is, unfortunately, no stranger to my real life circle of friends or family for that matter. One family member adopted, one used fertility treatments & two of my dear friends from college are currently struggling to get pregnant.

The first, has a beautiful two year old son—the result of her 3rd IVF. They’ve just started the journey of providing him a sibling & it’s already been a rough road.

The second, is not as open about her struggles. She and her husband are private people & while she would be willing to answer any question I asked, she does not openly discuss the issue. I do know that they’ve been trying to get pregnant since we started TTC, maybe before. I do know that she’s upset, frustrated, heartbroken that they have not been able to get pregnant so far. Her husband travels a lot for work, so they dismissed much of the first year and a half of trying as just bad timing. But I know that she knows, at this point, there’s something else going on. What I don’t know, is if/when they’ll pursue testing and treatment.

I don’t talk to her as often as I’d like… we live states away & seem to have completely opposite schedules. She doesn’t read the blog & since I’m not on FB (no clue if she is) we don’t keep up that way either. Our communication consists of a few phone calls a year…but even though we don’t talk often, she’s very dear to me and I would do anything to avoid hurting her.

I need to tell her I’m pregnant… and I absolutely dread it.
This girl is the sweetest, most selfless person I’ve ever known. She never puts herself first. Telling her I was pregnant with Liam wasn’t easy, but she was so happy that we were pregnant, I can honestly say that I doubt she even paused to consider the fact that she was not. (You know—the typical I’m happy for you but sad for me IF emotion? I don’t know how, but she doesn’t do that.) She was so happy for us, so glad we liked our RE, so glad the Clomid worked.

But a surprise pregnancy is a different beast.

It’s SO unfair. I know that this is on the major list of IF etiquette no-nos to say this… but I would have given anything for this pregnancy to have been hers instead of mine. She’s been so patient… she’s been so kind, and yet still, she waits. Of course, I’m thrilled about this baby… but I could have waited. She’s waited long enough.

She called me the other day & I stared at the phone ringing in my hand until it rolled over to voicemail. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t break her heart. I couldn’t tell her that, again, it’s someone else’s turn and not hers.

She’ll be happy for me, I know it, because that’s just who she is. But I just want so desperately to have the opportunity to be happy for her…for her to get her wish and bring home her baby.

I’ve decided to e-mail her instead of calling her. I hate doing it this way, but I think that giving her a chance to read the news and digest it however she needs to would be much better than putting her on the spot and forcing her to react over the phone.

So, friends, any words of advice as I write this difficult email? I’m hoping to focus primarily on talking about where they are in their journey, but this news needs to be shared before I get any further along… I don't want her to feel isolated by not sharing the news, but I dread it anyway.


  1. "I would have given anything for this pregnancy to have been hers instead of mine."

    Whatever you do, don't write that. I know it's written with the best intentions, and she will know that, too. But those words don't make anything better for her or for you. Don't apologize, because there isn't anything to apologize for. Don't emphasize that it was a surprise (you may not even want to mention it). DO tell her something like this:

    "I just want so desperately to have the opportunity to be happy for her…for her to get her wish and bring home her baby."

    It's a delicate balance, really, between telling her your pregnant and telling her how you can't wait until it's her turn. You don't want to talk too much about your pregnancy, but you also don't want to remind her too much of how long she's waited.

    Good luck, Stef. You are an amazing person, and I know your friend will be so thrilled for you - no matter what.

  2. You are such a good egg and sweet friend, Stef. I think the email decision is so smart....give her a chance to have whatever reaction she needs to have in privacy. One of the hardest parts about IF, as you know, is being blind-sided by someone's pregnancy announcement and having to hold it all together in a public place. Of course she will be incredibly happy for you, but hurting for herself. I know your sensitivity and compassion will carry her forward. xoxo

  3. First of all, I'm so sorry for your friend's struggle. It is so very hard. Second of all, she is VERY lucky to have you as a friend and I'm sure she knows that, despite the fact that she is still struggling with TTC and possibly IF.

    I think you should say to her what you said to us. That you genuinely wish that she didn't have to wait and to acknowledge that you could have. That you wish your pregnancy were her own. Those are powerful words, ones I know I'd be grateful to hear if I were in her shoes. Just knowing that you recognize how unfair it is would mean so much.

    I think it's a good idea to write her an email, but I would make sure you tell why you are so that you know it was a gesture of compassion on your part and not that you were trying to avoid her or anything.

    This is a difficult situation. I hope you two are able to be there for each other in way that is best for both of you. Good luck.

  4. You are one of the kindest women I know, Stef. That will come through in whatever you write. I totally trust that you will be able to do this sensitively and compassionately. And that's all anyone can ask for when going through the hell of IF-- that other people care and consider them and hurt *with* them, not feel sorry for them.