L.W. asks from Cleveland, OH on December 28, 2008
How to Tell a Friend Who Can't Have Children
Anyone have any advice on how to delicately tell a friend that I'm having another child? She has been trying for quite some time to have her own, and now she is having some serious marital problems which have kept me from mentioning anything. Whenever I think a good time to mention it comes up, she talks about her problems and I just don't have the heart to share good news while trying to console her. I'm not so far along that it will be as if I'm hiding it from her, and figure I'll just have to start a conversation by bringing up my next child, but was curious if anyone else has been in a similar situation.
J.C. answers from Fort Wayne on December 29, 2008
If you guys are good friends, then I would just say something like "Well, I've been waiting for a good time to tell you this, but since there never seems to be a perfect one....I'm pregnant" I mean, just because she is unable to have kids and is going through things in her own life doesn't mean that she can't be happy for you.
K.R. answers from Steubenville on December 28, 2008
Hi, I have read the other responses below and I would have to agree completely with what they had to say. Back about nine years ago I had a stillborn at 8 months into my pregnancy. It was a little girl. My family and friends were always hesistant to tell me when they were pregnant. Yes, I was a little jealous of them at first but it didn't change my friendship at all. I was just as happy for them as they would have been for me. Tell her. I am sure she won't be upset at you for something that will be joyful. Yes, she will probally be sad but it will pass.
S.C. answers from Evansville on December 29, 2008
When I found out I was pregnant with our first, I had a good friend at work who had recently found out she would never have children of her own without serious fertility treatment (IVF). I was terrified to tell her even though we'd been trying for 2 1/2 years to get pregnant.
She was the first one of my friends to show up for work that day (I was always ver early because of my Husband's job). Since it was just the two of us I told her I needed to talk to her.
As soon as I said the words, "I'm pregnant," she started crying & hugged me tight. I told her how scared I was of hurting her & she said, "Don't you dare feel guilty about this baby. I couldn't be happier for you. I know how badly you want this baby & I would never hold it against you."
She was so supportive & listened to all my pregnancy talk & news the entire nine months. She even learned to crochet a sweater just for our baby.
Tell your friend face to face if possible & be gentle about it. It may even be a good distraction for her from her own problems. You can never tell.
F.P. answers from Fort Wayne on December 29, 2008
As I am 'that friend' who cannot have children, I would like to offer my advice.
While your friend is going through a difficult time, I agree with the others that if you are honest with her and explain your concern for her and her reaction to your news, I am certain she will appreciate it.
We have been unsuccessful in our attempts to reach parenthood for over 10 years, and while I am sometimes completely devastated when I hear others' blessed news, it does not diminish my joy for their good fortune.
Letting her know that you have genuine concern for her feelings will help her to know that you care about her. And hopefully, either right away or in time, she will be as happy as you are that you are expecting. Just don't be surprised if she needs some distance from you for awhile...just offer your support if she needs/wants it.
J.F. answers from Toledo on December 28, 2008
If this is a good friendship, she will be happy for you all the same. Now, that's not to say that privately she will not be devistated that it is you and not her, but outwardly, she will be happy for you just as you would with her. I think it may be more hurtful for her if she were to find out from someone other than you.
J.L. answers from Toledo on December 29, 2008
I found out I was pregnant the same time a good friend suffered a horrible miscarriage. I kept the news from her for a little bit, then I told her. I felt like I needed to shelter her, but I didn't need to. She was my friend and was very happy for me & my family to be adding an additional little one. If she is your friend, she will be happy for you despite what is going on in her life.
L.L. answers from Evansville on December 29, 2008
It sounds like you have already figured out that you need to tell her privately and gently. Having been in your friend's shoes, I would have appreciated someone just understanding my sensitivity and telling me privately, rather than in a big announcement to others.
When my younger sister announced she was pregnant for the 2nd time at a family Christmas gathering, I was devastated. What hurt me most was that she knew I had been struggling with infertility and she didn't let me know first, before the family announcement. She never approached me after the announcement either. It was as if she wasn't sensitive at all to my feelings. Had she told me first and told me that she was worried about my feelings, I would have felt so much better and happier for her.
You will do just fine -- just tell her privately and let her know that you are sensitive to her feelings.
J.L. answers from Los Angeles on December 28, 2008
I think the fact that you seem to understand how difficult your good news will be for her to receive will go a long way in how she'll handle it. I was on the other end for several years when I couldn't have the children I so desired. I appreciated it very much when my friends were honest and told me that they were worried that their good news would be difficult for me to hear and then would tell me. It opened the door for conversation if I wanted it and in all honesty, while I may have been a bit jealous and unable to rejoice with them in the news or hear about pregnancy conversations often, I was genuinely always happy for them. I suggest telling her honestly about your concern in sharing your news and letting her guide how much she is able to share in your happiness.
B.H. answers from Dayton on December 28, 2008
I was in a similar situation with a friend. We were pregnant at the same time. Her baby was stillborn a few weeks before our baby was born. The one thing I know for sure bothered her was to hear others complain about their children, or pretend that they were not excited about having another baby. That was more cruel to her because she felt that the other people did not even appreciate what they had - or who they had. It also made her feel like people could not be themselves around her and treated her differently because of what she had been through. It made her feel very isolated. I wouldn't put it off very much longer, have faith in your friend and your friendship. Be open with her about your feelings.