Advice on How to 'Break the News' to Friends

Updated on November 09, 2009
B.L. asks from San Mateo, CA
7 answers

Hi Mamas,

My husband and I just found out that we're pregnant with #2. We're not past the first trimester, so we're not announcing it yet to everyone. However, I am more than a little concerned about how I will break this news to 2 of my closest friends in particular. One has been trying to conceive for over a year now and has been going through with test. The other has been through them all, and is dealing with the fact that she will never be able to have a baby with her own DNA – her only choice being to buy an egg from a donor in order to build her family. Needless to say, both have went through bouts of frustration, heartache and despair.

I know it’s not the end of the world, and in time, things will work out some way or another for them. They had an idea of my husband and I starting on #2, but I never delved into the topic much being sensitive to their situation. I love and feel for my friends, and have listened to their sorrows. I know this is good news, but I hope you all understand where I am coming from. The last thing I want to do is bring up something that could cause any pain. Has anyone been in this situation before? How did you handle it?

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone. I really value being part of the mamasource community! While I'm still not ready to let my girlfriends in on the news ( I figure i should wait til the first trimester is over anyway), I'm at least coming to terms with the fact that there is no 'easy' way to do it other than to just do it quick and simple. I was definitely not expecting much excitement or hoopla (I don't want a baby shower as I've already had one for the first time 'round!) rather, I just don't want to bring up something that is probably a very raw topic for themselves. But I think what I've learned here is that the best way is to just keep it short and simple. I'll relay the message, not indulge in it and will follow their lead. Thanks for the personal experiences - like I said, hearing your insights and perspectives is priceless!

More Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Two points: first, your friends should be overjoyed for you, regardless of their own struggles with infertility. It is very kind of you to be considerate of their feelings, but they will be delighted for you. And, at the very least, they can look forward to hanging out with your babies, and loving them. Second, infertility is not the end of the world. There are way too many people on the planet as it is, and there are lots of kids who need homes. So those who are suffering from an inability to conceive need to get up, get out, and start learning about adoption. I'm SOOOO glad I did.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think the best that you can do in terms of saying it is keep it simple and don't load your friends with expectations (I really hope you can come to the shower, etc.) or assume you know their feelings (i'm sure this must be hard for you). Give them room to have their own reactions, and show your understanding. You can say "this may bring up complicated feelings for you..." but I'd just say simply, we are having another baby, due Whenever. I'm sure your friends will be happy for you, and will want more than anything to help you celebrate and be excited, but they will have their own struggles and if they can deal with them honestly you'll all be happier. Considering your awareness and sensitivity, I'll bet that they are also good friends who will do as right by you as you are by them. Congrats and keep on!

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answers from San Francisco on

I really like that you are being so sensitive to your friends. I've been trying since jan 2008 with one miscarriage and I know it would be hard if one of my close friends got pregnant, even thought I would be thrilled for them. I don't really have any advice because I don't know what the best way for someone to tell me would be. The reason for my post (besides the complement that you are a good friend) is to keep you aware that it may be sad for them around your baby shower time. This doesn't mean you shouldn't show excitement or anything, just something for you to consider if one or both decide not to come or act strange there. Also, there was an article sometime since 2007 in Parents magazine about this type of thing. Check out their site and you may be able to find it.
Sorry I'm not a big help.

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answers from New York on

Hi B.,
I agree with Catherine, you are a good friend! I have one child and have been trying to have another for quite some time. I have made it as such that I am numb to people telling me they are pregnant because I do not want to be saddened by this as it is happy news. I have been able to separate myself from others. I will not say, that person has a baby and I cannot have one (well, a second one). You cannot compare children, they are not cares. That being said, at times I can get frustrated and hearing the news can spark this, yet luckily for this is few and far between. Anyway, this only happened recently when a friend, who I keep in touch with over email, just told me she was pregnant and she is due in March! She said she did not tell me bc of the situation I am in...this annoyed me more than anything. It is as if she was giving me a reason to be annoyed or justified it. I do not neet this as I do not want to be treated differently. I mean, what would the difference be if she told me months ago or now. It is worse that she waited. I do not want to be treated as if there is something wrong with me. I would tell them, but do not belabor the point, just tel them matter of factly and be sensitive. It might sting for them and take a few days to process yet they will be happy for you!



answers from San Francisco on

First, congratulations!!! Thank you for being a kind and considerate friend. They will appreciate it, but it still may strain your relationship for a bit, sorry.

I am drawing from personal experience of dealing with infertility and from what I have read on Fertile Thoughts. This is what I would do if I were you...
When you are ready and you have to tell them (because they will see you and notice) just keep it simple. If you don't talk about it beyond letting them know that yes, you are pregnant and don't expect them to show up to your baby shower, that would be incredibly respectful. Maybe invite, but let them know they really don't have to come if they don't feel up to it with no hard feelings.

Infertility is the only issue I have ever really felt the green-eyed monster so fully in my life, even though it is totally irrational. So, I personally want to thank you for being so considerate.



answers from Sacramento on

Congratulations and I think it is great that you are thinking about this ahead of time. It shows that you care a lot about your friends. I'm speaking from the prespective of dealing with infertility for 5 years (many tests and procedures later I have twins...and surprise, two years later pregnant with the 3rd)...I know it was really hard for my friends to share with me that they were pregnant. What I liked most was when my friends would tell me personally before I found out through the grapevine. Although always a bit jealous and sad for myself, I was always very happy for my friends. I would just be straight forward with them. Tell them you are pregnant and you know they have been struggling with getting pregnant, but that you wanted them to hear it from you and not through the grapevine. I wouldn't go into too many details about the pregnancy unless they ask. It is natural for them to be a bit jealous, but it doesn't mean they aren't happy for you. Make sure they know that they are invited to any type of shower or celebration, but that you understand if they are not up to coming. For a few years I had a really hard time going to baby showers, but it got easier as I felt more in control of my situation.



answers from San Francisco on

When you are ready to tell people, just tell your friends matter-of-factly, and don't be hurt if/when they don't get all excited for you.

Many years ago my friend and I were trying to get pregnant at the same time. We had both had miscarriages previously. We both thought we might have pregnancy symptoms, so we decided upon this dumb idea that she would come over to my house and we would take our pregnancy tests together, and then of course we would be really excited together when we found out we were both pregnant. Cute, huh?

Not cute. We did our dip sticks, left them in the bathroom and then waited for a few minutes. At the appointed time, my friend preceded me back into the bathroom, looked at our tests, stomped back out and petulantly and ungracefully barked, "YOU'RE PREGNANT, I'M NOT." Well, talk about taking away from MY moment. I realized the whole thing had been a dumb idea, but she should have had the good grace and manners to try to be a little bit happy for me.

Anyway, she got pregnant a few months later, and years later we both have our girls, so life's fine for all. But life is what it is, and hopefully your friends are classy enough to not make you feel bad about your good fortune. You have a right to get pregnant and feel happy about it, and obviously, you have to break the news to them somehow. Just tell them, and then don't expect much.

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