How to tell a friend who is TTC That you are pregnant

Monday, April 2, 2018

I recall being frustrated by the lack of supportive articles that were out there surrounding the subject of women who are trying to conceive (TTC), and how sensitivity should be used when sharing with them that you are expecting. Many articles were quite harsh! None of them, in my opinion, provided the appropriate tools to make a ttc friend feel supported.

I honestly remember losing sleep when it came to sharing my pregnancy with two people who are important to me that have not yet conceived. The hardest part was that I knew in detail about each of their journeys. I was there for the hopes, the let downs, and going back to the drawing board. When you’re a good friend, you go through whatever experience your friend is having. When they feel happy you are just as happy, when they feel sad you feel sad, you are connected emotionally. If this is you, know that you are not the only one, know that you are a great friend for giving this some thought. Know that regardless you must tell your friend before she hears it from someone else. Here are some helpful suggestions and tips that helped me:

1. Evaluate how you are going to deliver the news.
You know you love your friend, so you should deal with the situation carefully. Take into consideration the personality you are dealing with. How does the person communicate? By thinking about this ahead of time you can prepare for an appropriate delivery.

2. Give yourself a deadline.
I remember giving myself a deadline of when to deliver the news. This forced me to not keep waiting and changing my mind due to fear. I did this a couple of times before and it made me worry even more. You have to just take a deep breath and do it!

3. Do not tell them in a setting that is not private.
Telling your friend with a group of other people around is probably the worst thing you could ever do. They don’t have time to process the news and may be forced to have an unauthentic reaction. They may even feel exposed or like you did not consider their feelings. A one on one is much more personable and they will feel more comfortable with sharing their feelings. I even suggest doing it in their home if you can because it is a safe space.

4. Do not tell them to relax.
Before I got pregnant I was guilty of saying this to people. I would tell them to relax and not think about it. The truth of the matter is who am I to tell someone who is yearning to be a mother to relax? It is easier said than done. Do I think adding stress to yourself during the process is good? Of course not! However, it does not mean a woman does not think about it every day, day in and day out when she is trying. A lot of the time as women we often blame ourselves when things don’t turn out the way we want them to. My advice is to show some compassion. Instead of saying relax; ask how can I be of support? You never know what a person is going through while on their journey of trying to conceive.

5. Do not say you weren’t even trying.
Even if you weren’t trying don’t say this to someone who is going through fertility obstacles. It makes it seem like you got what they wanted and didn’t even care to have a baby. That will just make them feel worst, and like something is wrong with them. I would use language like “it was a surprise” or “unexpected blessing”.

6. Understand the feelings they have right away could just be emotions.
Don’t take what their honest reaction to heart! I am sure we can all think back to a time where our emotions made us say or do something that we did not mean. Keep this in mind when sharing your news. Your friend may be crying because she is happy for you, but also a little sad for herself. Be sure to not mistake her emotions for not being happy for you. The experience is an emotional roller coaster and can be hard. Give her a hug and let her know that you are there for her.

7. Try your best to do it face to face.
Face to face shows that you took the time! Telling them via text or them finding out through someone else is hurtful. This can make your friend feel like you didn’t consider their feelings at all. If you can’t do face to face, call and have a thoughtful and honest phone conversation.

8. Do not put your pregnancy on social media before sharing with your friend who is ttc.
This is the ultimate slap in the face. This means you are okay with the whole world knowing about your news but could not have enough compassion to tell your good friend first. This could be super hurtful and make your friend feel like they are not important to you.

9. Respect Boundaries!
After you share your news be mindful! Don’t assume that your friend will want to have every conversation that you have to be about your baby. Try not to suffocate them with all the new things you’re doing as you prepare to be a parent. Follow their lead. If they ask you questions then answer and share your joy, don’t assume they are in a place to.

10. Give it Time!
I truly believe that time is a great healer. It allows individuals to reflect and to remind themselves of what is truly important. If you can be patient and give your friend time, trust me they will come around on their own and share in your joy. Trust that your friendship matters and can get through what may be a tough time for them. Before you know it they will be by your side sharing in your happiness.

Check out my blog and follow my pregnancy journey!

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