3 Friendship-Altering Things I Need My Pregnant Friends To Know


Dear pregnant friend,

You may or may not know that I'm struggling with infertility. I need to tell you some things in order to preserve our friendship.

I am truly happy for you, but I may need to distance myself for awhile.

One of the nasty side-effects of infertility is jealousy. It really is possible to be genuinely happy for someone, but also extremely envious. I experience this even more intensely if I know you got pregnant very quickly or weren't actually trying to get pregnant.

It's not that I want you to suffer from infertility, too. But it's almost unbelievable to me that people actually get pregnant without assistance. It really is very easy for some people, and that's so foreign to me.

This jealousy causes me great distress and guilt. It's a terrible feeling when I realize I've spent the past half hour ruminating over how unfair it all is. I should be celebrating the new life you're carrying. So, it's easier for me to be happy for you if I don't have to see your bulging belly or hear about your morning sickness.

Is that wrong of me? Perhaps. Honestly, I don't know. But I do know it's often what's necessary to maintain my emotional state-of-being. Please be patient with me if I disappear for a bit.

I'm probably not your only friend struggling with infertility.

Infertility affects 1 out of every 8 couples of childbearing age. Odds are you know someone else experiencing infertility to some degree. Many people choose to keep their struggle private, so please keep this in mind as you post updates and announcements on social networks and as you interact with friends and family.

I'm not asking you to stop posting belly pics or ultrasound photos. But please think twice before you post things like, "We weren't even trying!" or "God's greatest gift is a child." Comments like these are very hurtful to infertile couples.

Please send me an invitation to your baby shower, but don't take it personally if I decline to attend.

One of the hardest things about infertility is that it's a very isolating experience. I feel like I don't fit in with my fertile friends, and I'm missing out on all the experiences that come along with pregnancy. When a friend neglects to invite me to her baby shower, it just adds to the feeling of isolation (even if she withheld the invite to try to spare my feelings).

Please send that invitation! That being said, baby showers are brutal for someone going through infertility. Plus, even if I could muster up enough courage to attend, I'd be worried about getting emotional and taking the attention off of you. So, I probably won't come to your shower, but at least I know you're thinking of me.

Besides, an invitation means you'll get a great gift from me!

I care about you and your baby very much. I know you care about me, too. Thanks for listening and being there for me. I hope you'll let me be there for you to the best of my ability, too.

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This article was originally published at BlogHer. Reprinted with permission from the author.