A friend recently told me about her experience struggling with fertility and the best way to tell a friend who is struggling with infertility that you love that you're pregnant. The information was so good that I felt it needed to be “out there” somewhere. Here's her opinion on the subject (in my words):
- Call, don't go in person. My friend preferred this because she wanted to have a quick conversation where she could be excited for you. Honestly, she would need time to grieve as well and she didn't want to do that in front of the expectant mom. A phone call allowed for it to be quick. A visit meant a longer time before she could process.
- Get to the point. Go ahead and just say you have news, then share it. This goes back to point number one of keeping things brief. If this is also someone you don't call often, she may be wondering why you're calling, so let her know.
- It's ok to talk about the elephant in the room. I kind of thought maybe it was better not to say the obvious: that you were letting her know individually because of her struggles with infertility. My friend felt it was ok to say it. I guess she knows anyway and for the most part will appreciate your sensitivity in wanting to give her a heads up before it goes public at church or facebook or wherever you're planning on going public. Besides, I've found sometimes it helps to let people know you are aware of their struggles and griefs—that you remember them beyond prayer request time.
- Remind her you're praying for her. Everyone wants to know they are being prayed for. If you're aware enough to feel the need to give them a phone call about your own pregnancy, then you're probably praying for this family. However, it's nice to be reminded.
- Say goodbye and pray. Going back to points one and two, keep it brief and give her space to process and grieve. It's not that your friend doesn't celebrate your happiness, but she will most likely need to spend some time before God crying out about her own pain. Give her space to do so. That doesn't mean avoid and ignore next time you run into her. Just don't go on and on after sharing your news. P.S. This would be a good time to pray for your friend after hanging up the phone.
It's a difficult topic and can feel like a hard phone call to make. How have you handled this or had someone handle it with you? What worked best? What didn't?