Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How would you announce a pregnancy?

As I'm addressing my irrational (though very understandable) feelings towards pregnancy announcements I'm wondering about this. Irrational because some affect me immensely while there are others I couldn't give a toss about. Normal but a little irrational, (though there's good reason deep in my subconscious).

I thought about the above question during my 2 week wait before the bleeding started. I think I would celebrate each day tentatively, a worry free pregnancy is out of the question but I want to appreciate the experience regardless of the outcome. I would announce it on my blog. It's my blog and therefore not the same as website communities or FB. People have a choice if they want to log on and read and as most will have followed my story it will not be a shock to send somebody into tears over their corn flakes as might if it appeared on FB.

I feel that while IVF success stories can be motivating and are easier to swallow than effortless conceptions, once my journey began I felt more sensitive. I couldn't bear to see joyful BFP's once my treatment had failed. It was too raw a time to give me hope for next time. I stayed off the websites until I could separate my agony and jealousy from my feelings of happiness for others success stories that they truly deserved of course. The two feelings run together and it's always hard to feel these conflicting emotions and manage them in the presence of people you care about and pregnancies after loss and fertility treatments.

I know people who have experienced the agony of miscarriage or who are battling complicated pregnancies. It is hard to make public announcements. Those with IVF success stories, want to share and others will draw strength from their tales so it's worth posting on fertility websites. However, some are gentle and dignified others seem to be on a par with the smug boastings so many infertile people find hard and when they appear sandwiched between a failed cycle and a miscarriage it feels insensitive and crude to see so many capital letters appearing in one title.

While I'm battling to 'own my feelings' regarding bumps and bundles on my FB feed and trying not to get bitter about these people sharing their excitement I have found the tables have turned. These enviably fertile folks are really quite innocent in their happy, excited, public displays of motherhood. While people who have battled infertility should know better surely. They have suffered (and complained) about such announcements so should perhaps save their excitement to friends, family and other parents.

How can any of us tell that there is not someone in our social circle quietly battling childlessness and who is unaware of our much deserved future IVF successes who may find themselves locked in a toilet cubicle, blubbing over our baby shower. I have blundered my way in the past and shudder at flash backs of innocent questions I have asked couples about family plans. Now I know better. So I feel any future celebrations will remain on this blog, a small update to the stats on BC perhaps as I know it helps some people and close friends and family. Even if I adopted one websites suggestion of a 'pomegranite' woven bracelet to symbolise my battle with infertility I don't think this would excuse any smug or boastful announcements.

So perhaps my philosophy has become, treat others as though they are all struggling with fertility or have struggled to conceive, when broaching the subject because I know how it can feel. While the blissfully unaware fertile folk don't know how it feels. Perhaps I can think of some gentle ways of letting them know, rather than thinking up bitchy oneliners. Well, it's worth a try...on a good day!


  1. 'treat others as though they are all struggling with fertility or have struggled to conceive, when broaching the subject because I know how it can feel'

    I agree.. this is my philosophy too now.

  2. I'm glad you understand, bit of a tricky post but I like some words I read once to help friends/family of people with infertility 'to not say anything to the couple that would not say to a couple who had lost a child', i.e. 'there will be others' or 'you are still young' etc. I used to work in Child Bereavement so I know loosing a child you had is a different loss to not having a child you so wanted but the greiving parents often told me how hard pregnancies were to deal with, even years after loosing a child. It's so emotive, I hope I can keep my philosophy in mind if/when I am lucky enough to share news of a my own pregnancy.

  3. This is tricky. I think it's up to everyone to announce it as they wish. Most people are very innocent in their joy and they just want to share the good news.

    I stings for me as well to hear about another pregnancy, but if they don't know about my struggles I can't see why they should be at fault. It goes both ways. Maybe I feel different if I try and fail with IVF a few times. Just my thoughts.

  4. I'm going to be *really* obnoxious and announce it everywhere and post *daily* updates on FB!

    Yeah, joking of course, but I also don't see why we, as infertiles, shouldn't be allowed the joy that other people have.