This article on dealing with announcements discusses difficulties for couples who are experiencing fertility problems when faced with dealing with pregnancy announcements.
I have just had an interesting weekend and this is a great chance to share what I have learnt, regarding how best to deal with “those pregnancy announcements”!
Firstly, I must admit that when I see a pregnant woman, I do sometimes wonder “how easy was that for you?”
“When is it my turn”,
or if I am in a bit of a low patch “bloody show-off!”.
This leads to a really sticky question – “What is the best way to handle pregnancy announcements?”
All our married friends have children or are pregnant. Although we are so happy for all our friends – the longer our fertility journey goes on, the more the “kick in the guts” happens when a pregnancy announcement is made. But, by no means do we wish to isolate ourselves from a wonderful group of friends, so exactly how is the situation best managed?
This weekend we had another pregnancy announcement. This one was different though, as it was a successful IVF result from a close friend from our fertility information group. My reaction to the announcement was really different this time. When friends have fallen pregnant, I am always very happy for them, but it can cause a reflection or tears (in the privacy of my own home) and I can’t help feeling like I’ve had a “kick in the guts”. However, on hearing a friend has been successful, after seven very hard years of trying, I was truly happy for them. I know what they have been through and am so happy they have got there. It also gives me hope – fertility treatment does work! This is the first positive result for our re-formed fertility group and instead of hearing ongoing negative results, it is actually great news for our group! I think it will give us hope that if it can work for one of us, it can work for us all. I do still think “when is it my turn?”, which I think is natural, but there hasn’t been any “kick-in-the-guts”.
In dealing with the raft of pregnancy announcements, I have found that being honest and open with friends about the roller-coaster ride we are on does help. By explaining the emotions involved in our journey, my “fertile” friends have learnt to be very compassionate, for which I am extremely grateful. One close friend just announced her second pregnancy, in the time I have been trying. I appreciate that it was so hard for her to tell me, so I also need to step up and share her happiness. I think it is very important not to ostracise those around you. They may not understand the exact details of infertility, but they have the compassion as your friend to support you, just as you support them through their ups and downs. I have found in being honest and open about my journey, my true friends are comfortable asking me how it is all going and getting updates, just as much as I ask about their pregnancies and children. I am truly grateful to those friends who accept our journey as a part of who we are at this time in our lives, just like their families are part of them. I have noticed some friends don’t ask about my infertility, which yes, does hurt, but that is their decision.
So, what I have learnt this weekend is that yes, others will continue to get pregnant around me, but sharing my journey enables my friends to also be considerate to me and my feelings – just as any good friend would. This then means that I do get to share their new family’s journey with them, although I don’t hold babies (I call that self-preservation!). My friends leave it up to me to visit them with a new baby, when I am ready and with no pressure. I learnt the hard way not to visit friends in the maternity hospital – that was just a little bit too much for me.
I have also learnt this weekend that I can be truly happy for a friend’s positive IVF result, as it makes my little ray of hope shine just a little bit brighter.
I would love to hear how you best deal with these situations, as shared information will help make the journey a little less bumpy! I am by no means “qualified” in fertility. I am just sharing my thoughts of my personal journey and would love to hear your own stories.