Monday, June 18, 2007

How do you break the news?

As a frequenter of IF blogs and an "infertility graduate", I've seen so many people write how they were hurt by others announcing their pregnancies. Amazingly, since I went through many such announcements, I don't have any vivid memories of what it was like.

Since I was looking for something to post about in honor of the commentathon that Mel announced, I thought I'd post something that should be fairly easy to comment on.

Leah, in her post from today, talks about being the person that people are afraid to tell and about the ways in which her friends tried to tell her sensitively, but still says, "I had a particularly rough patch about 8 months ago. Three pregnancy announcements -- by very close friends -- in one week sent me over the edge. "
It seems like an unwritten rule that as an infertile, it's OK to break the news that your IUI or IVF succeeded, that your surrogate is finally carrying your twins or that you got the OK for adoption. But is there any good way in which someone who didn't need ART to conceive can break the news appropriately?


kirby said...

Here's the tough part for me. You don't want to be the one who has to listen to everyone gush over being pregnant, but you also don't want them to be the one everyone is afraid to tell. So you put on a brave face.

It's just different when you came from IF. You get it. I try to be good spirited about it — my husband takes it harder than I do. But it's tough. And I try not to assume they had it easy. Just because I broadcast every incident that occurs between my legs doesn't mean that "they" didn't have trouble conceiving as well.

Feebee said...

I've noticed that people have stopped telling me that their friends are pregnant. I went to a wedding last week and was horrified to find out that at least four people that I know are pregnant. But if I had known in advance and had had time to brace myself for the wedding, would it have been any easier? I doubt it. There is no easy way.

I think the easiest way for me is to find out by email or text so that I have time to cry and scream, before calming down and psyching myself up to congratulate the person. But it never gets any easier.

Cece said...

I figure that they should just tell me - I hate it that people need to worry about telling me GOOD news. : (

M said...

There is no good way. And I left Leah a comment on her blog, that even now, on the other side of IF-- every pregnancy announcement burns just as bad.
I think it always will

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Email. It's a beautiful medium. It gives the news instantaneously unlike a letter, but it gives the receiver a moment to process that information on their own before they pick up the phone and say the congratulations. Is it impersonal--sort of. But when I finally had something to tell people, I told it via email and with a note explaining that I knew it was impersonal but I didn't know where they were in their own trying or not trying so I wanted to be sensitive. We did the same thing with the first birthday. Everyone who was potentially trying to conceive received a note explaining how we felt when we were going through treatments so we completely understood if they couldn't bring themselves to come to the party. 2 people thanked us for writing that and explained that they weren't up to coming and being around babies. 2 more said they were going to beg off, but had been so touched by having an out given to them that they decided to come after all. That's my vote.

Ms. Perky said...

Most of my friends are pretty sensitive about the whole pregnancy thing. They have been pretty low-key about the pregnancy announcement. It is rare that any one person's announcement hits me hard. Rather, it's usually that it always seems that 12 or 13 people I know are pregnant at the same time, and none of them can help that.

I definitely don't seem quite as sensitive to the pregnancy announcement as a lot of infertiles, but I definitely understand why it smarts. Unfortunately, since we all take it differently, and since there's no way for the fertile myrtles to know where we are emotionally, I don't think there's one good answer. It just depends on the individual, the strength of the relationship, and the alignment of the stars on the day of the announcement.

Sarah said...

similar to other commenters, i'm more concerned about not being the infertile pariah in the corner no one wanted to be able to tell. i just wanted people to tell me the same way they'd tell anyone else, without reminding me of my situation in the process (comments like "i feel bad telling you this, but..."). i was very open about our infertility, but i also did a pretty decent job of keeping in mind that other people's fertility had nothing to do with my infertility, and it allowed me to actually be pretty happy for others'. if it stung a bit at times i tried to keep it to myself.

Bea said...

I think a low-key email announcement is great. Gushing with unecessary detail annoys me - facts are fine. Also, as others have mentioned, gushing on and on about how bad you feel to break the news etc etc annoys me. Just say it simply, in a way which allows me to react and collect myself.