Thoughtful Thursday: News

June 17, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve gotten pregnancy announcements from three friends.

  1. A college friend I’ve mentioned before, whom I long ago anticipated would have fertility problems. When I announced my own pregnancy to her I included a subtle hint about my own difficulties conceiving, and she took the bait. I’ve since been able to give her advice and support as she moves up the ladder of the treatment process. Now, success!
  2. A graduate school friend I’ve also mentioned before in the context of wanting to make pregnancy announcements sensitively.
  3. A co-worker I haven’t mentioned before who has really been through the wringer in terms of failed treatments and the adoption process. Over the course of the past decade all of the women in her division, all around her age, have gone from childless to having one child to having two and being done; meanwhile, her tally has stayed at zero. Until now, thanks to DE! I’m not sure if it’s just a sign of her openness that secretaries are randomly telling me about her DE conception, or whether I should be horrified at the breach of privacy. Let’s be optimistic and go with the former.

With each of these, I was genuinely happy to hear the news. Not just mildly “oh how nice” happy, but really, genuinely happy for them.

With other pregnancy announcements I’ve gotten since Burrito and Tamale were born, from purported fertiles, I’ve been “oh how nice” happy. Just as if they announced an engagement, or a new job, or anything else.

Back in the day, 1.5 to 8 years ago, I was often not-so-happy to hear pregnancy announcements. From those I knew had struggled, yes, happiness. From everyone else, whether or not I liked them, anywhere from a jealous twinge to a meltdown.

When I was pregnant, finding out that someone else (fertile or not) was pregnant was a combination of, “Our babies will be close in age!” and “What if my babies die and their baby lives?”

Goodbye, bitterness. So long, fear. Goodbye and good riddance.

How do you take the news of a pregnancy announcement these days? Does it depend on the person’s history? How has your reaction changed over time?


17 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: News”

  1. Elana Kahn Says:

    It does depend a little on the history, but with my semi-surprise pregnancy, I’ve become happier for women who are “fertiles”. One of my first reactions to my own pregnancy was “OMG, I’m one of *them*. I HATE people like me!” LOL So, I’ve come to be happier for everyone in general who gets pregnant, but I’m generally extra happier for people who have been trying for a while (like Celine Dion and Mariah Carey). Before I got pregnant this time, I was still happier for people getting pregnant than I was pre-twins, but I’m more genuinely happy now that I’m a semi-fertile. It’s just different seeing that it is possible to get pregnant naturally and that it truly is a miracle each and every time.

  2. BB Says:

    I had exactly sumarized my feelings in this blog post… My response now a days totally depends upon the persons history!

  3. Rebecca Says:

    I’m still a bitter bitch. I just feel hard done by.

  4. Ana Says:

    It does depend on the history…but I do get the “oh our babies will be close in age” if its a friend that I like, and may spend time with. For right now the bitterness has subsided, but I get a twinge of it when I hear of second and third babies (and fourth & fifth!)…because I don’t yet feel sure that we will be able to add to our family.

  5. michelehaytko Says:

    My response to infertiles hasnt changed; I’m always overjoyed. But, surprisingly, my response to fertiles hasnt either. If I know they are good folks who will be good parents, I’m happy (even though it still stings with the ease with which some conceive) but if my opinion of them isnt high, then the pregnancy announcement isnt a happy event in my heart.

  6. a Says:

    I’ve always had the same reaction – similar to michelehaytko above. If they’re my friends and/or good people, I’m excited for them. Sometimes there is a war within myself between envy and the excitement, but I know that their having something has nothing to do with whether or not I can/will have the same thing. So the war has always been fleeting, and I haven’t been bitter. Except for the one SIL whose son is the same age that my first baby would have been…but there are extenuating circumstances there anyway. I do not have the same feeling about my friend who also has a son of the same age.

  7. Kristin Says:

    Most of the time, I am genuinely happy for the person making the announcement. Sometimes I feel a little twinge of jealousy, but not much.

  8. WiseGuy Says:

    I am partial in my reactions….My heart really oozes genuine admiration at those who have done it after a lot of trouble…or who have been down-in-the-fertility-dumps. But I am okay-glad, sometimes a tiny-little envious of when people say that tried a good two months before they conceived.

    My reaction has changed from looking at them with hope, to asking what they were doing so right, to realizing the imbalance (for fertiles). I have never curved on the news of infertiles though…have always looked at their BFPs as a ray of hope.

  9. Wishing4One Says:

    I have always been overjoyed for anyone and all who are expecting a baby. But I will say I am a bit more happy for those, who like me, have struggled harder than others. I feel I connect with people who struggle with TTC and infertility and am always partial to their successes more than fertiles. But really, I am always happy for all who are lucky enough to experience the mircale of becoming a parent. I have never been bitter, maybe a quick fast feeling of jealously or self pity but I chased that away fast as I am not that way at all.

  10. Heather Says:

    The only time I get annoyed at a pregnancy announcement is if I don’t like the person. I’m really, really thrilled for those that I’ve talked to with issues over the years to get their heart’s desire, but with really nice people that have no issues, I’m also truly happy for them. But those people that I’m really not liking, I really don’t care. I try to ignore it.

  11. jill Says:

    I’m definitely (and sadly) in the “anywhere from a jealous twinge to a meltdown” category. No question about it.

    Sometimes I am a little jealous of the IFers that have succeeded but they are the only ones I can say I’m truly happy for.

    I have two coworkers, each due in a matter of weeks, that only took a month or two to get pregnant. One of them I have seething hatred for because I’m so jealous and spiteful. The other caused a major meltdown at work (in the privacy of my own office) when she announced her pregnancy, by basically locking me in another coworker’s office and blocking the door while she went on and on. UGH.

    I really wish I didn’t feel this way but it’s so hard to block those feelings. Also worth noting is that I don’t have any friends or relatives that have been/are pregnant. I’m not sure how I’d feel if I actually was close to the person announcing.

  12. Dora Says:

    Hmmm, haven’t really had many announcements. When I heard that my ex-boyfriend’s 20 something nephew’s wife had her second baby, that stung. But when my friend who I met through an IVF message board because we were going to the same clinic (we spent time together in the waiting room), was recently matched to adopt a newborn boy, I was over the moon!

    BTW, as for babies being close in age, I love updates on Burrito and Tamale. It feels like a preview of what’s coming in a month or so with Sunshine.

  13. strongblonde Says:

    i was actually just thinking about this topic the other day. i was angry about pregnancy announcements in the past. i found myself feeling like people should have to be screened or something in order to breed. seriously. during my pregnancy i was just so nervous that something would go wrong for me that i honestly didn’t give a crap about anyone announcing during that time. afterward? i find myself rolling my eyes a lot when people announce. i have two cousins who are pregnant. one is pregnant with her 3rd kid. i almost forgot to congratulate her when i saw her a few weeks back. it’s not that i’m not happy for her, i just am kind of “blah” about it. EXCEPT for a few friends who just recently announced that they are pregnant. both had problems with fertility: one used donor eggs and has twin girls, one did IUI and is still pregnant (due in aug) with twins. i am overjoyed for them. maybe because i feel we share some history? maybe because i know their pain? at any rate, i noticed recently how i’m really not angry anymore. and i like it.

  14. Cat Says:

    It depends on their history. If they’ve had trouble, then I’m truly happy for them. If they just “fell” pregnant, I’m still more than just a little bit jealous that it happened so easily for them when it didn’t for me and so many others. A medium bit, perhaps?

  15. Photogrl Says:

    Over the past years of struggling and losses and currently, I often see-saw between the “Our babies will be close in age!” happiness and the “What if my baby/babies die and their’s doesn’t?”

    I’m definitely happier for those who succeed that I know have had a hard journey.

    Over the years, the jealously has gotten better, but it still stings sometimes.

  16. coffeegrl Says:

    *sigh* I still find it really depends on the person and their situation. I dread the day that my sister-in-law (young and highly fertile) announces her 3rd pregnancy. It’s not that I’m even convinced that I’d want a 3rd child in our family; it’s not that I’d be jealous of her having more children than I do. Instead, it’s just the jealousy I feel when I hear about someone who just decides she wants to have a baby and 9 months later like clockwork (each time) she does.

  17. Ok, I know I’m way too late in answering this one, but I stumbled across it when looking for another (even older, but one that I did comment on) TT post. When I was TTCing, I could have real meltdowns, especially when the news was something like ‘I’m pregnant, but it wasn’t planned’ (happened to both my neighbors around the same time, while I was in my fifth year of TTC, damn them!) but also when it happened to a former (and younger colleague’. Then when I finally got pregnant it became a lot easier. And I always have been very happy for other IFer’s pregnancies. But then… recently I read the news of a fellow IF-blogger that she’s now pregnant with #2, without any medical intervention. I had hoped it would be possible for us too this time – but AF showed up around the same day as I read her post. It stung. And I called the fertility clinic the next day…

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