Put To The Test

September 29, 2009

[Pregnancy update for those who have been concerned due to my silence over the past few days: 33 weeks today. Still at home for now. As of yesterday, cervix dilating a bit more and Baby A’s head apparently can be felt through the cervix, so I have no idea whether birth is imminent, whether I’ll be back in the hospital tomorrow, or whether I’ll be able to come home after I see the perinatologist. I will post something in the evening so that I don’t leave anyone anxious with suspense.]

A year ago I wrote about an old friend of mine, one who is likely to struggle with infertility due to her medical history. I also wrote about how we’re no longer close enough for me to bring up such topics.

Today, after almost a year since our last contact, she emailed me, asking if anything was new.

Obviously, being 33 weeks pregnant with twins qualifies as news.

Here is my chance to practice what infertiles preach: the art of the gentle pregnancy announcement.

  1. Do I just tell her about the impending babies, and that’s that?
  2. Do I tell her about the babies with a subtle hint about the length of time we’ve been waiting, leaving the door open for her if she wants to talk about IF?
  3. Do I flat-out tell her how these babies came to be, and extend the hand of infertile friendship?

1 or 2 would be my natural inclination, but I wonder if the situation calls for 3.

What would you do if you were me? That is, what would you do if you were generally secretive and taciturn, but also trying to be caring and helpful to someone who was your close friend more than a decade ago but is now a very casual acquaintance?

29 Responses to “Put To The Test”

  1. WiseGuy Says:

    I would probably go with Option 1.

    I am no longer close with her, I would not be comfortable with suddenly telling her everything. If she had been my friend at a point of while, she too would be conscious that I have had these babies a long time in the making…so I would much rather wait for her to spoon out the information.

  2. WiseGuy Says:

    Hey….all the very best! I am hopeful that it will be a few more weeks before you give birth….

  3. Gabby Says:

    Wow – first of all, good to get the update from you.. i’ll be anxious to see how tomorrow’s appointment goes.

    Second, your friend. This is a tough one. I would, personally, do #3. I wouldn’t go into a ton of detail initially, but since she was very very close to you at one point, the relationship deserves some sort of hint at that closeness. Just express that you have thought about her recently and wonder how she is doing and would love to catch up again, that it’s been a really tough road, but ou are now overjoyed at the thought of expecting twins. (Gosh, I am sounding like #2)

    honestly, whatever you do, it will be great. you are such an incredible writer, you will convey your emotions with such grace and strength, i just know it.

    let us know what happens!

  4. samcy Says:

    Hmmm, this is a tough one. But I think I would go for #2 – but not be too subtle about how they came to be… I would say the word treatment so that she knows for sure that there is a door to be opened if she wishes…

    AND way to go for 33 weeks|! Will be checking up on you…


  5. Michele Says:

    I think I’d go with #3. It is hard for people who are struggling to find the words to ask if others are struggling or struggled too. I found that once people knew we were struggling to conceive that it helped them ask “what did you do” and “how long have you been trying” and all the other questions that us IFers reach out to one another with. It was awkward at times, putting that information out there for family and friends-of-friends, but knowing that it was helping others made it worth it.

    I am so happy to hear you are 33 weeks! GREAT NEWS!!! Please keep us updated. Sending prayers for a few more weeks and a great delivery (whenever they decide to come!)

  6. Heather Says:

    Congrats on getting to 33 weeks!!! I probably wouldn’t go into much detail other than they were IVF. I tell people our boys are IVF all the time. I don’t mind mentioning it.

  7. Cara Says:

    Whew – that tricky. I say 1. Gentle and if she’s really needing to open your friendship back up…she’ll ask leading questions or just spill her own beans.

    Good luck!!! With that and the appt.

  8. Ana Says:

    I’d probably go with #2. I am generally a private person, and its not like me to just put things out there to a casual acquaintance….BUT…I’d make sure the hint was not-so-subtle-enough that she could be fairly certain you had some kind of infertility struggle, leaving the door open for HER to ask any follow-up questions if she so desires.
    And, YEAH on 33 weeks. Hope everything goes well today 🙂

  9. Shinejil Says:

    Hmmmm… It would totally depend on who she is as a person. And what our past friendship was like, even if it was no longer in force the way it once was. Perhaps 2 is the golden mean, still honoring your needs and general approach.

    How fantastic that you’re at 33 weeks! I hope you get to stay home for a few more weeks, or at least keep those little ones cooking for bit longer.

  10. Elana Kahn Says:

    I personally would go with #3, because I’m a ridiculously open person and will tell anyone about my struggle…just in case they’re struggling too and need a shoulder.

    Just so you know, when I was around 33 weeks with the twins, my dr could also feel my daughter’s head and I was dilated to like 2 cm….which I stayed at until they were delivered at 35 weeks. 😀 I’ve got some good baby staying vibes for you!!! (But honestly, 33 weeks is awesome even if they were born today…)

  11. Rebecca Says:

    I agree with Samcy. #2, but not too subtle.

  12. redrivershel Says:

    I think I’ve mentioned this in another comment that I am in a very similar position. My BF from middle and high school is very certainly infertile, but we have not spoken in the time I realized that I was too (5 years). However, we have been in loose email/facebook contact, so we’re not on the outs per se. But possibly unlike you, I am not just being selective, but I very much feel that the relationship would be toxic and certainly crash and burn again. So, I chose what’s behind door #1. I think we do not necessarily have an obligation to let everyone in our lives just because we share the same difficulties.

    In the mean time, I’m keeping you in my thoughts and hoping the best for you and your babies!!

  13. Carrie Says:

    So happy to hear all is well in Back Seat land! 🙂

    I would go for number three. One of the many lessons I have learned in life is that I usually get the best results when I am open- and try to help how I can. I am sure your disclosure will be appreciated, even if you are not super close anymore.

    I have had about 700 people ask me if the triplets were conceived with IVF (which annoys me to NO end) but sometimes they are probing for info for themselves and are infertile.

    Keep doing what you are (and are not) doing. I was also dilated for like 3 weeks with my daughter and the doc could feel her head too. Could be a while yet!!

  14. BB Says:

    Yay for 33 weeks! Hope you can stay home for a few more weeks! As far as your friend is concerned, I would go with option # 2! I have a soft corner when it comes to babies and if I can help anyone with any baby related issues, I am always ready to go an extra mile (situation based)… specially if you really were that close to her back in the days # 2 would be an option. The ball will be in her court whether to pick up on these hints and ask for help! You will have your hands full pretty soon and don’t need to go all out uninvited!

  15. heatherh Says:

    congrats on getting to 33! i hope to get another week out of you at least!!!
    the answer to that question is do you want to be better friends again? if not then answer one or two, if so then go with 3. cause three will probably lead to many more conversation

  16. Dora Says:

    YAY for 33 weeks!!!!

    I say #3. I know it’s not really your style, but you miss her. You were once close. You are in a good place right now with these babies on the way. I think you have the wherewithal to “extend the hand of infertile friendship.” You did nothing wrong in conceiving these babies with the help of reproductive technology. Hell, this was the miracle IUI that you didn’t expect to work! (I’m generally amazed that IUIs work.)

    If you don’t get the response you hope for, I know you’re strong enough to roll with it. So I say take the chance.

  17. Kristin Says:

    I would try to do #3 but I would at least do #2.

    Woohooooo for 33 weeks.

  18. Lynn Says:

    I would probably either go with #2 or #3. That then leaves it up to her if she wants to talk about it, but it also softens the blow a bit to know it took a while for you. Good luck with it!

    As for the babies, I really hope they stay put for another few weeks! That would be wonderful for them and you. I’ll be anxiously waiting for your new update!

  19. Nishkanu Says:

    You gotta go with what you’re comfortable with. My comfort level changed over the journey. These days I have no problem telling all and sundry “we had to wait a long time” and all the other code words for INFERTILIY PROBLEMS. If someone wants to know more that opens the door for them to ask. If they don’t or aren’t in a space where the code words mean anything they skip over it. That works for me. But is different from how I used to feel.

  20. Amy Says:

    Best wishes in the final stretch.

    I would go with #2, but with a not so subtle hint. “After many years and much heart-break…”

    Good Luck!

  21. Lavender Luz Says:

    First off, congrats on another Tuesday! I woke up this morning thinking “33” and exhaling.

    I like the “crack the door” approach. Let just enough daylight in so that if she’s tuned into the IF point of view, she can seize on it. If she’s not tuned in, it’ll pass almost unnoticed.

    Something like, “after a very long wait, we are pleased to report that our twins are due between not and November.”

    There are enough clues in there for her to push open the door if she “sees the light” through the crack.

  22. Cat Says:

    Congrats on 33 weeks! Woohoo! Your babies will do GREAT no matter when they arrive now!

    I’m with Samcy – a kind of hybrid of #2 and 3. Then she can decide whether to talk more about it or not. Who knows, she may not even be ready yet.

  23. Mama Cass Says:

    I would totally go with number 3. Honesty is best. Hope the babies stay in as long as possible!! Good luck.

  24. I’m bad about cutting people out of my circle after extended periods without contact. So, my knee jerk is more along the lines of #1.

    That said, I read your original post about your friend, and it sounds like you really care about her, and like ya’ll really were very close at one time. That being the case, I’d lean more toward 2 or 3.

    I *want* to say 2. . . but I know when we first started treating that I would not accept an extended hand of infertile frienship unless it was blatant and in my face! I wouldn’t have responded to subtlety. I would have ran home and told DH and took some comfort in it! But probably not conversed with the arm-extended about it. My own fault, granted 🙂

  25. birdless Says:

    I know you already got lots of advice and I didn’t read all the comments, but I wanted to say I’d go with a combo of #2 and 3. You mentioned that she is bad about emailing and she may not get right back to you, so you might not want all that hanging out there. I’d be straightforward but not go into detail. You could say that you are pregnant with twins after a long time trying and some fertility treatments. Then if she gets back to you and sounds interested, you will probably feel more comfortable giving her more details.

    I hope all is well with the babies. 33 weeks is pretty good, huh? You’ve all come so far!

  26. Quiet Dreams Says:

    Yay for the update! Hold on babies! Just a bit longer now…

    Well, I would go for a 2, probably. The fact that you are having twins at all may make her wonder about fertility treatments anyway. Good luck. Sounds like a toughie.

  27. Erica Says:

    This is tough but #3 is your story. Your comfortable with telling it. Maybe it will help her.

  28. staciet Says:

    Yeah for 33! I here by dub thee Superwoman! 🙂

    I think I’d go with number 3. I tend to just throw it out there when I suspect there is an issue with a friend. If the friend bites and opens up, great. If she doesn’t, then that is okay, too. For me, it was such a relief to know that I wasn’t the only person in the trenches.

  29. Billy Says:

    I think I would go with number 2.

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