Need opinion of those who have/had trouble conceiving

As a person or couple who has or had trouble conceiving, how would you want to be told that a close friend is pregnant? The couple in question that is struggling has been trying for about nine months and started some fertility treatments a month or two ago. The couple that is expecting already has one child. Both times, conception was very easy.

Would you prefer that the pregnant friend break the news gently, acknowledging the struggling friend’s situation, or is it better to just just share the good news sensitively and joyfully but not actually address the contrast?

It utterly depends on the nature of the friendship. Are they close enough that the trouble-conceiving friend shares the details of her cycles and medical interventions? I guess what I am asking is if the “trouble conceiving” is something that is known between the couples but is Not Talked About or if it a topic of regular conversation.

Kindly, gently, privately, would be my suggestion. I agree totally, that it depends on the friendship, and the individuals involved. The women is an adult and knows that she will face a lifetime of people conceiving all around her, give her a chance to mature and graceful. It may not come easily to her, which is why I’d say speak privately, if she needs a little weep, you can have one together.

I hate to be callous, but nine months isn’t really in the realm of ‘fertility problems’ yet, though if she’s over 35, I can see why her doctor decided to start fertility treatments (otherwise…WTF?). That said, I remember when we were close to the one year mark of trying and it did still suck a lot, but not nearly as much as it does now that we’re about ten years down the road with no kids, a couple of miscarriages, three failed IUI’s, and our first IVF later this year.

So my advice is to wait until the pregnancy is past three months and then tell the woman face to face, one on one. It sucks more if there are other people around, because she might cry, and crying in front of people sucks. Also, don’t do it just before a dinner or something - do it in her home, allow for some time to digest, then leave so she can deal with it on her own. And DON’T do something cutesy, like a card.

My youngest sister is the first of us three girls to get pregnant, and it happened her first month off of birth control and while we were doing our IUI’s. Her, my other sister and my mom were visiting a city that I happened to be at for work, so all of us were staying at a friend’s house. Within an hour of them arriving, she gave me a card. At first, I read it fast and thought the card was an encouragement card for my husband and I and said thank you. She looked confused and told me to read it again. It was then that I realized she was telling me she was pregnant. I was absolutely and totally crushed, and there was no way I could be happy about it (I’m still not there and she’s 25 weeks). Then I had to go downstairs and eat dinner with a bunch of other people with tears in my eyes, constantly running in to the bathroom to have a quick cry, and then went to bed early (not that I slept, I just cried all night).

That was the wrong way for her to do it. I know she was excited, but she really didn’t think through what she was doing, or possibly just didn’t understand. Your friend needs to tread very carefully.

I should also mention that the pregnant friend should be ready to deal with the infertile friend not being overjoyed with her pregnancy, neither now nor during, especially if she doesn’t conceive the entire time, or if she conceives and loses it.

Thanks for the thoughts so far.

The two women in question are only friends through their husbands who are, or at least were, very close (Best man level). The two couples are not in the same geographic area and do not see each other regularly. The opportunity for a face-to-face interaction will likely only come well before pregnant friend’s first trimester is over. Non-pregnant friend is almost 34. The two men talk irregularly, but openly, and the topic of conception difficulties has been discussed several times. The non-pregnant couple has no idea that the pregnant couple was trying to conceive again.

I don’t think you can predict how any given infertile couple will feel about someone else being pregnant. I never had any problem being happy for others (being of the mindset that there isn’t a finite number of babies to go around so they weren’t taking anything away from me). The only pregnancy I remember having a negative reaction over was a second pregnancy for a couple who’d started trying for their first at the same time as us, and that was just because it was a bitter reminder of just how long it was taking. I was still happy for the other couple.

Just going by my experience, but the pregnancy’s of long distance friends didn’t/don’t affect me as much, especially if it is the wife of one of my husband’s friends. Probably in this situation, the pregnant couple husband should tell his non-pregnant couple husband friend, and then he can tell his wife. That’s how it’s been handled with us, and it works for me. It easier to hear it from my husband then the wife of one of his friends that I sort of know and don’t even live near.

I agree, the husband should tell the husband and not worry too much about it: to some degree, the emotional fallout is none of the pregnant couple’s business: it’s the news that can be upsetting, not the way it’s conveyed, and they will have to work through their (possible) upset in their own way.

And I actually really think NOT face to face is best: it allows the other couple to “save face” and keep their own emotional reaction private: the nice thing about a phone call is that you can make the appropriate noises and then, if you need to, get off the phone and go slam drawers.

I think not face to face is best, and that you shouldn’t wait three months unless you keep the pregnancy from everyone for the first tri. And since its the husbands who are friends, I’d communicate through the husbands. i.e. “I didn’t want you to hear this from someone else, because I suspect that your feelings will be mixed, but we are expecting.”

i.e. wives that only know each other through their husbands, the communication could be seen as bragging.

I never had any issues over hearing someone was pregnant - my issues were when pregnant women felt a need to talk about things outside of my control. i.e. no “we wanted to get pregnant in the late summer so I wouldn’t be nine months pregnant in August” was the sort of statement that made me want to slam drawers (or heads). And then when we adopted it was the whole “its so important to eat right, not touch any cold medicine, have childbirth without medication, breastfeed because all those have SUCH an impact on the BABY” - yeah bitch, do you even THINK about how that sounds over here in “we are adopting from halfway around the world” land.

It depends on the person. I’m at 2+ years of trying to conceive, with several rounds of IUI and a second-trimester miscarriage last month, and I am happy for friends when they share their news. (I will say that the acquaintance, currently due with #2 at the same time as I would have been due, who raved last week while snuggling with her child about how wonderful it is when her toddler gets tired and cuddly - she was pushing it. I’d told her about my miscarriage about 20 minutes earlier.) Other women are much rawer about it.

I’d agree that given that it’s really the husbands who are friends, the husband should tell rather than you. If it were primarily the wives who were close, the husband telling would be a cop-out, but here, it’s how she generally gets her information about you guys anyway. When you see her in the future, you don’t have to avoid all mention of your pregnancy, but don’t make it the focus of all conversation, either.

Yep. Nor is she really likely to be the person that wants to hear EVERY SINGLE CUTE BABY STORY. Honestly, pregnant women, brides and mothers tend to share WAY to much for almost everyone to start with, and with someone who might be touchy, just keep conversation about those topics short, unless they ask leading questions.

(Believe it or not, few people are interested in a half hour long monologue about the flowers in your bridal bouquet, your sonogram and pregnancy diet, or the color of baby poop).

Since they aren’t close, I second that the husband should tell the husband who should tell the wife.

With my BFF, when we were having infertility issues, I just sucked my feelings up and did everything I could to appear overjoyed for her (which I was, I was just upset about my own situation). She told me over MSN since she was scared to tell me in person. The worst was that I had a miscarriage (number 7) while she was preggo. But, damn it, I love her and I could do it. (And I love my little ‘niece’ more than is probably healthy.)