Baggage Claim: Baby envy 

Dear Lou, 

I know this column isn’t really about babies, but I know that you’re expecting so hopefully you will give me some advice. I’m 15 weeks pregnant, so obviously I don’t have any sex questions, ha ha ha!

My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant. I had a miscarriage last year, but this time things went just fine and we’re so excited! The problem I’m having is with my very close friend. It’s so important to me that I share this wonderful news with her. My husband and I agreed to wait until everything was for sure OK before telling anyone, and now I want to but I’m afraid of how she will react. She has had multiple miscarriages. She is seeing a specialist and her and her husband are still trying, but no luck so far. I feel guilty almost about being pregnant, when she’s been through so much. I go back and forth between feeling this way, but also wanting to go through this with her. I want to be excited about this pregnancy with her, but not if it only hurts her. Well, I guess I’ll have to say something eventually! But how do I go about breaking the news?

Thanks,
Preggers


Dear Preggers,

First of all, congratulations! How nice of you to think of your friend’s feelings, especially during a time when it’s understandably hard to focus on anything besides that beautiful baby. Situations like yours are not uncommon, and no doubt having had to deal with miscarriage yourself, you can identify with the mixed feelings she’ll have upon hearing your good news.

I would write her a nice card, or an e-mail you can be sure she’ll get at home (NOT at work), letting her know that you are pregnant. I would be honest, and tell her you love her so much and can’t wait to celebrate this with her, but you want that to happen when she’s comfortable. A lot of times, when women with fertility and miscarriage issues hear the big news from a friend, there is an obligation to put on a happy face and congratulate the glowing mother-to-be, when all they really feel like doing is collapsing in a crying heap and screaming, “Why not me?” Giving her a chance to come to terms with this pain, and accompanying feelings of anger and resentment, is a kind thing to do. Let her know that you’re there for her if she wants to talk because you’ve been through it too, but you want that to happen when and if she’s ready. She’ll appreciate how much you care about her by validating her feelings, and having a private moment to work them out can clear the way for how happy she really is for you. No doubt very soon, she will be right by your side to genuinely celebrate this wonderful time of your life. Enjoy your pregnancy!

Love,
Lou

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