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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aloha Ladies,<br>
I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post here, but I'm looking for advice. My dh's cousin and hubby are going through major infertility stuff and are on their last efforts to try and get pregnant (already been through 3 IVF cycles unsuccessfully) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
We spent a week with them last month and we talked a lot about it-- they sooooo deserve a child and it breaks my heart to know that they're having trouble! To make matters worse, tons of their friends are pregnant and her bro just had a baby with his wife (after 1 round of IVF)....<br><br>
Anyhow, I'm a super empathetic person and I found out recently that I'm pregnant.... I'm so afraid to tell them though.... They are such wonderful people and I feel that it's SO unfair that they are going through this. I don't want to add to their sorrow by getting pregnant "easily"- I guess I'm looking for a sensitive way to let them know. And it is important that they hear from us, and not some other family member who may not be thinking of their feelings.<br><br>
Any words of wisdom???<br><br>
Many thanks,<br>
Karen
 

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This is one of those answers that depends upon how your relationship with them is now.<br><br>
I think most women who are struggling to get pregnant will have a hard time with their friends and family members getting pregnant quickly. I'm unusual in that I loved being around pregnant women when trying but only if they were close friends and I could vicariously soak up the pregnancy. Pregnant women I don't know can bring me to tears. However that's about where the one size fits all answer ends.<br><br>
Some women will find it very hard to be around a pregnant friend or relative, and want to opt out of family celebrations.<br><br>
Some will feel happy and jealous simultaneously, and possibly feel bad about not being able to be happier.<br><br>
In at least one or two cases I've read on other boards women have been offended by being treated too gingerly by pregnant friends, and felt that assuming they couldn't be happy for someone else was hurtful.<br><br>
If I were in your shoes, I would think about how they are doing, and maybe tell the husband first, Let them know that you wish they had a baby as well, that you think they will make wonderful parents, and that you will abide by their wishes about discussing this pregnancy with them. Answer questions that they ask, but don't volunteer alot until you know how they are doing. Also know that how they react may change from day to day. I think the fact that you've talked about it a lot will help you work through this. I'd also want to make sure that where you can you shield them from any pressure from anyone else in the family to participate in any celebrating that you do do. At non-baby related events that they might attend, try to keep anyone from making your pregnancy the focal point, and talk to them and others about other things in addition to the pregnancy.<br><br>
I'm sure you'll do well since you've given it so much thought. I'm also sure other people will have different advice. Most of mine is really third party since I've had no one who know we are TTC get pregnant since we have been.
 

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For myself and for most of the other infertile people I know, we prefer to be told privately and ASAP. If you were going to make a big family announcement, you would want to take them aside before hand and tell them so they could be prepared. Usually I would prefer to be told in person. But I had a close friend tell me in an email and that was fine because she specifically said that she was using email so that I would not have to censor my feelings for her. I think the most important thing is not to tell them when there are other people around, but give them a chance to feel their feelings. Also make sure they are among the first to know so they don't hear it from someone else.
 

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Karen, the fact that you asked this question says so much about you. I know that the couple will appreciate your sensitivity. Based on my experiences from two years of TTC, here is what I would advise.<br><br>
First and foremost, don't tell them in public. Tell them in a place where they are free to express whatever emotions come.<br><br>
I agree with Laurel that it is best to be told privately and ASAP. Personally, I prefer to hear about it remotely, in an e-mail or phone message. That way I can break down and cry when I need to and deal with it as I'm ready. It gives me time to adjust to the idea before I have to face the newly pregnant couple. By the time I see the couple, I have usually accepted it and can be genuinely happy for them without thinking too much about my own misfortune. Maybe a personal, hand-written letter would be good?<br><br>
Whatever method you choose, be sure to let them know how much you care about them and their situation. Let them know that you realize it is unfair. Express to them that you are sensitive to their needs and that you don't want to cause them anymore pain. Make sure they feel comfortable letting you know how to handle things around them; open communication will make it easier on everyone.<br><br>
A couple of things to avoid -- try not to say things like "I know you'll be pregnant soon" or "I'm sure we're going to pregnant together." You simply can't know those things, and those lines can be haunting when they things don't work out that way. Instead, focus on how much you care about them.<br><br>
I hope that helps. Thanks for asking this question -- those of us who are struggling with fertility tend to feel pretty alone, and I enjoy hearing that there are people out there like you who are trying to understand.
 

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I agree with everything the above posters have said. I've been very annoyed by the whispering and walking on eggshells by some family members who don't want to tell us they're expecting because they don't want us to feel bad. I really, really hate the pity, especially certain family members. I've never once been pulled aside and told in a tactful way before the big announcement, though, and I'd like to say that sounds SO heavenly. Every time we heard an announcement, it was part of a family get-together where the couple unexpectedly stands and says "we have an announcement." I always know, with that introduction, what it will be, so I at least have a few minutes to steel myself for the blow. But, it has almost always been a battle with my emotions to do the fake smile and congratulations. It would have been so nice to be told in a way that I could react freely, like through email or even a short phone call, so when the whole family announcement is made, my emotions aren't so raw and caught off guard.<br><br>
Of course, too, my reaction to the news always depends on the relationship I have with the person. When my best friend got pregnant with her second daughter, we had thoroughly discussed the fact that she was actively trying, and I was genuinely excited for her. This friend was great at letting me live the pregnancy vicariously through her. She'd answer any questions I had thoroughly and honestly, but without going on and on. She never complained in front of me about pregnancy aches and pains, although I knew she must have had them. She actually lived with us during the last 6 weeks of her pregnancy (their apartment had flooded), and so I got to see the onset of contractions and all kinds of insight as to what she was going through. She invited me to the birth, very gently, with a disclaimer that if it was too difficult, she would completely understand. She even once wrote me an email during her pregnancy asking if she could do anything more to make this experience easier for me. She was the most thoughtful and amazing friend I could ever have asked for at that time, and I'll forever be grateful for that experience.<br><br>
When one BIL and SIL announced their pregnancy, I was excited, because we had a close relationship, they had been trying for 3 years, and we had already adopted our son. When they began trying, it was before our son was born, and before we were very close to them, so I dreaded their announcement of pregnancy quite intensely. Another BIL and SIL just announced their second pregnancy, and it threw me into a week-long depression. I don't have a good relationship with them, and honestly can't stand being around them. So, I seem to tolerate the news more when I have a better relationship with the person and know that they genuinely care about my feelings.<br><br>
So, I agree -- don't wait to tell them, be sensitive to their feelings and the possibility that their first reaction might be grief, and try not to make them feel you pity them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for your thoughtful replies!<br><br>
We live far away from all of our family, so there was no chance of large gatherings and announcements.<br><br>
We were going to call and tell our cousins, but after reading these replies we thought an email would give them a chance to deal with their emotions. We wrote that we were hoping they would be having a baby before us and that it's truly unfair that they aren't parents yet. We also said we'd call in a few days.<br><br>
After speaking with them, I have a lot more empathy and respect for infertile couples. I never realized all of the challenges and stuff they go through.<br><br>
I sincerely hope that you all are able to have the families you want..... truly wanted babies are a blessing to see!!!<br><br>
Good luck!!<br><br>
Karen
 
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