I’m Pregnant, She’s Not – When Friendship Meets Infertility

I'm Pregnant, She's Not - When Friendship Meets Infertility | RaisingArrows.net

She looked down at her shoes and muttered,

congratulations

My excitement over a new little one being knit within melted into dismay and frustration.  I wanted her to be happy for me.  Instead she seemed angry.

It was years before my heart would recognize the pain behind her quietly stoic congratulations.

And yet, I had been there.  Once upon a time, I had been the one reeling as those around me announced new pregnancies while I was left empty and longing…eventually, bitter and angry.  I was the one who had muttered congratulations to my shoes.  But in my own pregnant excitement, I no longer felt the sting of that pain.  The pain that comes when your friendship meets infertility.

I knew what it was like for me to be the one not pregnant, but I did not know what it was like to be my friend when I was pregnant and she was not.

So, I asked her.

This rock solid Christian woman spoke of her happiness for me, but her jealousy as well.  As time passed, she wondered if God was punishing her for doing something wrong, withholding blessings from her because of something she or her husband had done.

She knew she was being spiritually attacked.  She studied her Bible, diligently looking for peace and answers until finally, she handed the pain and frustration over to the Lord.

She told me that when my baby was born, the jealousy resurfaced, but she immersed herself in holding my little one, avoiding the pity parties her heart wanted to have.

It wasn’t easy.

But she grew spiritually…as did I when I was facing the same emotions.

So, what do you do if you are the pregnant one?

Be gracious.  Be humble.  Acknowledge her pain.  Don’t be so caught up in your own joy, you forget she is grieving.

Let her have the space and time she needs.  Love her through her pain.

Every time you have a baby and she does not is yet one more time she must deal with spiritual attacks.  Attacks that say she isn’t a good mother.  Attacks that say she doesn’t deserve to be blessed.  Attacks that can lead to bitterness…gut-wrenching, depths of the pit bitterness.  Bathe her in prayer.  She will need it.

Those of you with first hand experience in dealing with this in a friendship, please leave your comments here so others can benefit from your wisdom.

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63 thoughts on “I’m Pregnant, She’s Not – When Friendship Meets Infertility

  1. I am one of those who cannot seem to fall pregnant. I do already have 2 blessings, but my youngest will be 6 this year and my husband and I have been aching to have a baby for years. Sometimes I think people must think I am selfish for getting so sad about not being able to get pregnant when I already have two children, but I guess some of us are just born with a desire to have lots of children. My two children are not my husband’s blood children; we would love to have our first child together.
    And yes, sometimes it feels like I’m/we’re being punished, that God must think we don’t deserve to be blessed, that I’m not a good enough mother… :( I grieve every month and every time I see a baby or hear of yet another friend or relative falling pregnant. 3 babies have just been born, another 6 due between May – October (amongst my circle of friends and relatives)… It feels cruel sometimes.

  2. I’ve had a really hard time with this subject over the past few years, but it’s been especially difficult the past 6 months. My best friend in the world has been struggling with infertility for the past 3+ years, when she started TTC I was 7 months pregnant with my 3rd child. Now I’m pregnant with my 5th child, and she still has none. To complicate things I wasn’t especially excited about this pregnancy and have had trouble coming to terms with it, and yet, it’s hard to talk about it with anyone because ALL of my very close friends are struggling with getting pregnant. One is young but has been trying for over a year, another is an older mom wanting a 5th, but instead has had 2 miscarriages in the past year (one coinciding exactly with my pregnancy), and another has been struggling with PCOS and infertility for over 3 years after having 2 healthy children quite easily. I wonder sometimes why God places us in situations like this, and like Clara’s situation mentioned right above my post.

  3. Thanks for even addressing this. I am one who has been on both sides of the fence. We found out about our infertility before we ever even thought about starting our family. Infertility treatments were a failure. We stopped treatments and adopted our oldest son instead. What a joy he was – but even then, it was a reminder of what my body could not do. I was tormented. I LOVED my son but the devil attacked me, reminding me that I must have been a failure since I couldn’t birth him myself.

    God used that though – those years of infertility and becoming a mother are ultimately what led me to accept Christ. I was 24, my son was 3 months old.

    Three years later, God opened my womb and let us conceive. After that, the pregnancies kept coming – I’m now 13 weeks pregnant with our fourth child. It is mind boggling, in a way, to have so many so quickly now when my arms were so empty for so long.

    But now I’m the source of others’ pain. A friend at church is approaching 40 and still has no little ones. She’d say she is fine, but I wonder how much she does battle every time she sees me.

    I guess the only advice I can offer – from being on the infertility side – is just give her some space. Give her time to process your announcement. Don’t rub the pregnancy in her face. Try not to complain to her, even if it’s hard physically this time around. And definitely give her space when the little one arrives. Let her approach you. For me, holding the new babies was cathartic. Yes, it stung, but it helped ease that pain, just a little.

  4. My closest friend went 8 years without conceiving. She found out she was miraculously pregnant… then 2 weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd baby. What joy! We were going to be pregnant at the same time!

    One week later, she lost her little one to miscarriage.

    It was one of the hardest things we had to walk through. I was pregnant, and she was not. Her grief was enormous. And I was unable to help her because I was a constant reminder as to what she had lost.

    Many tears were shed through my third pregnancy. I was overwhelmed by guilt, and anger… “Why didn’t God take my baby instead of hers?” There was no joy in my pregnancy. It was causing my dear friend so much pain. Towards the end of the pregnancy, we cried and talked together. She agreed to attend our daughter’s birth, and bravely did so.

    Over the next 6 months, she was my daughter’s second mother. She doted on my baby and loved on her every chance she could… and then found out she was pregnant again. Her little boy is now 3 years old, and her second baby born is 8 months old.

    It is HARD to walk in friendship when there is the pain of infertility. Openness and shared grief is key, being sensitive to the pain of loss and emptiness… but my friend also was there for me despite her suffering, and made it a point to be at my daughter’s birth. She loved my baby, even though her arms did not have her own to hold. It is a challenging lesson in loving your neighbor as yourself.

  5. Oh, another timely post. I just threw my dear friend since childhood a baby shower this past weekend. She’s waited 11 years to be a mother, and this blessing was given to them through adoption after enduring lots of treatments and years of waiting. What a joy it was to see her arms full at last!

    All this after we have had 6 children. Within a couple of weeks of their blessing arriving home, our 7th baby, at 13-1/2 weeks along, went straight to Jesus arms after a massive placental failure/abruption. Now I was dealing with grief of my own over childbearing. And it was a joy to bless and encourage her, even in that grief.

    Through all the years of her TTC, I knew it was hard, and she has told me many times how helpful it was that she didn’t hear me complain about the difficulties of pregnancy or about struggles with our children. She appreciated hearing that I treasured my fertility, even while I mourned with her over their very long wait. Fortunately, this friend allowed me in to see her heart through the years, and so I was able to know how to be sensitive. Often that meant NOT talking about my children or pregnancy. And really, that is okay. There are other friends that I could share those parts of life with, and when my friend wanted to hear about something regarding my children, she’d ask!

    If we’re struggling to understand a friend, pray that God will grant wisdom and help to our hearts to know how to approach them. It is good to be reminded not to take our fertility or children for granted.

  6. When I found out that I would most likely not be able to have kids unless there was fertility treatments, etc I was devastated. My best friend was pregnant with her second child. But she in all her wisdom told me that God has something bigger planned for me-that there were children out there who needed me for a mom. It was one of the most special moments in my life. And indeed, my husband and I, chose adoption over the fertility treatments, etc. We have 3 adopted children and I’m praying for a 4th. During the adoption of our 2nd child another of my dearest friends (after many miscarriages) got pregnant 2 times and had healthy babies. That was all while we were waiting for baby #2. She said during that whole process she felt guilty because she had her first baby, got pregnant later and had another baby and yet I was still waiting on this baby from China. I never knew that. We laugh about it now but I hate that it caused her to feel guilty in any way.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am newly married woman, but still struggle with the jealously of wanting a baby and having to constantly remind myself that God is in control and His timing is best. So many of my online friends have annouced that they are pregnant, or they have a baby. I hate it when I allow my joy for them to be robbed by the empty feeling I have. Now I have a refreshed hope with this post that made me cry when I read it. Thank you again.

    ~Meg

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can relate in a lot of ways to it, though my situation is singleness rather than infertility. I’m surrounded by pregnant women at church, friends, my younger sister, and my younger sister in law just had her first. I know how it feels to struggle to congratulate others, to be happy for them, and to wonder ‘am I under God’s blessing?’.
    I remind myself that the Lord does give what is good, He does all things well, and His timing is perfect. I know all that is true, but it still hurts and I appreciate you acknowledging that…..those of us who are waiting on the Lord in this need prayer.
    Stefanie

  9. Thank you for posting this. I have one living child, conceived after three years of infertility, and three waiting for me in heaven who were lost at different stages of pregnancy. Depending on where my heart was at, it has often been difficult to be around friends who are pregnant, or to hear about their pregnancies. The most gracious things my pregnant friends have done for me is just to talk about other things, and to let me bring up the topic of babies. I do, when I’m ready, but in the meantime, we build our friendships on other common interests. Thank you for your sensitivity and for bringing this topic out in the open!

  10. DH and I have been TTC for 14 years while watching many women at church and family be blessed over and over. I used to have all those jealous and bitter feelings, but I knew they were sin. It has definately been a time to keep me on my knees. I have had to learn to leave my heartache and pain with the Lord and trust HIM like never before. I am truely thankfull that my friends are able to conceive and are blessed in such a way. But still I ache to be the one with that joyful news! I know if I keep my faith in Him my baby will be here soon! I pray for all those “mama’s to be” out there waiting for their miracle!
    Heb 11:11 “…by faith Sara conceived!”

  11. I have been on both sides. I quickly gave birth to 4 children… I have always wanted many children and I have always been open about my desires. But over the last 3 years I have had 2 miscarriages. At the same time, my brother, best friend and 2 others had babies the same months I was due. I struggled to look at those babies that COULD have been mine. “I’m sorry for your loss” was even more hurtful… I didn’t LOSE a baby… they were taken. Then to hear another friend announce a pregnancy this week and sigh because she was actively avoiding pregnancy and she didn’t want a baby… makes me cry. Today I have a positive pregnancy test… I am afraid. Not joyful. I needed this topic today!

  12. looking at a positive pregnancy test still makes me feel squeamish….yet I’ve conquered that infertility monster…I think. I have been on both sides….not able to get pregnant, then when I finally did I lost 4 babies in early miscarriage. I too, wondered if sin kept my husband and I ‘infertile’ and if my sin alone was what made me lose all our babies. I still don’t know. But, what I do know is that God is good and gracious. He held me the whole way through, and taught me what (and hopefully all) He wanted me to know so that I could be a blessing to others. I have met many woman who the Lord has let me minister too. And for that, I am so very grateful for the rocky, narrow lonely path of infertility. To see me now, you’d never think I had infertility problems. I have 4 children. The first two are bio, #3 is adopted (sn program from China, brought him home at age 4) and #4 is quite the surprise from the Lord. I gave birth to him two months ago.
    It was hard to tell my sisters…who have been trying to conceive for over a year. One much longer and has lost a baby. I tread lightly, I did not complain about the discomforts and problems associated with pregnancy, etc. They knew the pregnancy was a miracle and that is was also fraught with complications. They were prayer warriors for this little boy I have been blessed with.
    I guess…being on both sides, the thing to remember is ‘tread lightly.’

  13. Amy,
    I have been touched by the topics of your blog so many times! Thank you for following the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

    After 5 years, I had my IUD removed yesterday. I have 4 children to raise and 9 born to heaven. I’m apprehensive, but confident in my decision. With a special woman in my life-group turning to adoption after 7 years of secondary infertility, this article came at the right time. you have reminded me that sometimes it’s important to keep things tucked in my heart instead of taking my dear friends on this potentially emotional roller-coaster.

    Thank you.
    ~Mrs H.

  14. Thank you for talking about this. I’m going through this right now. One of my dearest friends is pregnant, and I found out right after I had a miscarriage. I am so excited for her, but its hard. Now we can’t seem to get pregnant, even though we really want to. I talk to her and try to act super excited, but its hard. Thank you for talking about this.

  15. Thanks for this post. I have three precious boys. I would like so very much to have more, but my DH doesn’t want to. This has been a huge struggle for me and I still don’t think I’ve totally given it over to the Lord, even though our youngest just turned 4. Most of our friends are quiverfull, or at least in the midst of having babies, so it feels like someone is always expecting. I’m sure I’ve not always been the most gracious, though I’ve certainly tried.
    We have friends that have been infertile for the 10 years of their marriage. She has always celebrated with us when we’ve gotten pregnant, even though I know it is sooo hard for her. She is a great example to me. I do wonder sometimes why God doesn’t change my husbands heart. I know he’s working in mine, but oh, I would so love more children!

  16. Oh how timely this is! My husband and I are TTC, after waiting until we had some loans paid off and I hopefully wasn’t driving 50 miles one way to a job. It has been VERY difficult to watch friends who said they never wanted kids come up pregnant out of wedlock, high school or freshly out of high school girls in our small town get pregnant and complain about not being able to do anything fun, or being so annoyed about all the pregnancy things. Its been so very hard to be happy for them, to not want to say something about not being mature. Honestly, there are so many babies born these days that just become accessories. And we want a baby so badly. We have been trying very hard to leave it up to the Lord but each time we hear of yet another friend of ours who doesn’t want a baby like we do, you start to wonder what you are being punished for. I also have endometriosis and since I found that out everyone has said “its going to be hard for you to get pregnant” and now it becomes very hard not to feel like a failure, like my body is defective. And to make things harder, no one knows we are trying except a few close friends, but EVERYONE started asking us immediately after we got married when we were going to have a baby. They don’t know how that rips at your heart when they make it sound so easy and yet it isn’t always.

  17. I can identify,except it was with my sister. She is almost 3 yrs younger than I and I had already had 2 miscarriages when we got pregnant at the same time ( she for the first time and I for the 3rd). We were excited to share the experience together, then God took mine. I was totally devastated!! I was mad at God! I couldn’t be happy for my sister. The hurt went way deeper than just losing my child. You see, my sister had always been a “favorite”. She was the complacent child, I was the strong will. She was the good girl, I was the bad. I so strongly wanted to be the first at something. The first to bring them grandchildren. But God saw diffferently. I agonized over the fact that she was going to be the first, AGAIN. God had to work on my heart. I prayed then that if I was not to have children that HE would take the desire away. HE never did. Then 5 mo. later I got pregnant again. My sister was nearing the end of her pregnancy and we could share the experience again. But now she was telling me what to expect because she had just gone through it. I was still worried if I would carry to full term or not. The day my sister was delivering her son, was the day we heard my baby’s heartbeat. We were over joyed. She was excited.

    God has now blessed us with 4 beautiful kids and we live close to my parents. My sister stopped at 2 kids and lives a long ways away. It has been a blessing to live so close to my parents because the kids have a relationship with their grandparents and not just a “knowledge of them”. The road was hard but in the end has been worth it all. Children truely are a blessing from God.

    • I can really relate to some of what you’ve written here. Over the past 3 years I have prayed over and over that God would take away my desire for children if He doesn’t plan on giving us more children, but He just hasn’t done that. What an encouragement to read how God has blessed you after that time of waiting.

  18. Thank you for your post. I am older than my husband and very much ready for children. We haven’t been married a year yet, so we haven’t started trying yet. I will be 36 in June and I am very excited about trying and also very anxious about what will happen. I was away from the Lord for several years and was married previously. I keep reminding myself I should pray and let God handle it, but it is hard when it seems everyone is pregnant right now. Thank you again!

  19. Two of my three older siblings struggled with infertility. I was scared that we would face the same trial. Thankfully, the Lord blessed us with 2 precious boys. Then I miscarried our 3rd at 15 weeks. It was then that I struggled with jealousy. I still feel sadness 2.5 yrs later when I see my friends’ children that are the age our baby would be.
    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I want to be sensitive to those around me who may be grieving because of infertility.

  20. What wonderful news. I am so happy for you.
    I have been on both sides. When we heard the news of our first child we were overjoyed. My dear friend wanted a baby so badly. She did not share my same joy of this blessings the Lord had blessed us with. I remember feeling as if I needed to hold my joy in when I was around her.
    Now that we have been ttc for the past three years,along with miscarriage I am on the other side. I am around many like-minded mommas that also love large families. With this I am around dear friends with the joyful news of little ones all time. In the start of this journey my days were harder. Even with harder days, I have always felt the joy for my friends.Inside my mind and heart I was not understanding why the Lord was not sending my husband and I another blessing. Always knowing each and every child is a blessing from God .I still didn’t understand. Now three years in I still do not understand but what I do know is, this is Gods will for me right now. I am to not question his will. I am to accept my cross. Knowing all his crosses are gifts from him. With that I do not even connect my friends joyful blessings with my desire for our own. But, this is just me. I am not sure the way others feel. What I do know is resting in Christ always mends your heart.

  21. I am from a family where what they will tell you about getting pregnant is, “it seems like all he has to do is kiss me and I’m pregnant.” So when we first decided to have a baby it wasn’t a surprise that we got pregnant the first try. Now we are trying for a second, and we have been trying for 18 months. In that time many friends have become pregnant and had their babies and I hear about more all the time. It’s hard to see friends having babies when I’m not. But I have decided that I need to be happy for all of them. You know, rejoice with those who rejoice. I know God will give me a child in His time, and I just need to be patient. In time it will be my turn.

  22. In Nov. after losing our 8th baby(a boy) at birth to a cord accident in May, my best friend announced she was expecting. Now,I have really horrible pregnancies and this last one was the worst.I was on bed rest for 4 mos. because of my blood pressure,a high protein diet(never wanted to see another piece of meat),3 epsom salt baths a day and weekly trips to the midwife with a weekly 24 hr. urine draw. All to have a healthy baby and Mama,I came out great but baby didn’t make it.Anyhow,my friend has pretty good pregnancies,full of energy,easy births,etc.,etc. I was of course comparing.It was a definite spiritual battle and I can truly say a fight against jealousy,envy,anger and bitterness.I had to really learn to lean on the Lord and trust,Pr.3:5-6.This was compounded by the fact that I had been given the go ahead to get pregnant and I wasn’t getting pregnant as easily as I usually did whereas she knows EXACTLY when her fertile time is and has no problems in that respect.So,the Lord showed me that I just needed to trust Him,this was His plan for my life and I could rest in that. Nine months later she had a healthy baby boy and I could not rejoice with her.She had moved away by this time and she e-mailed me the announcement. I was so ashamed I could not respond.She later e-mailed me and asked if hearing of her baby’s birth had been painful. I just e-mailed back and said “Yep,just a little bit.” I lied,my heart was being torn to pieces and I wanted to be so happy for her but I was so selfish I just wanted my perfect little boy to hold,my arms were so empty. I felt so guilty. I am so glad the Lord is waiting with open arms of forgiveness because I had a lot for which to ask forgiveness. These feelings may have been natural but that didn’t make them right.I look back and wish that I had been stronger in the Lord, that I had traveled my road with more trust, grace and mercy towards others. Several months later my friend had four miscarriages in 5 mos. I would like to say that I empathized right away with her but oh Satan is a sly old fox.I had just a moment of-“See this is what it feels like.”I had not gained understanding yet. Back to my knees.This is where my Lord wants me,always calling on Him to help me,keep me,guide me,mold me and make me into His image.I will be learning this til in Heaven I greet my Saviour and meet my little boy.My friend is now expecting again and I am rejoicing with her this time.Thank you Lord. In Christ,Muffy

  23. as always, thank you for sharing. My life was touched by infertility in our church. From the time I was only 9 years old, ihave had a broken heart for those unable to have their own children, and God has so surrounded me by people on in this situation that I am still trying to understand how he has called me to help with this, besides being a compassionate ear.
    Six years ago, my first time, as a child-bearing adult, in a friendship with someone struggling with infertility, I made the stupid, unthoughtful promise that ” I won’t have another baby until you have yours !” We were so faithful, and so hopeful that we knew what was going to happen in her life that another friend and I made this promise based on a vision her husband had ( of twin girls)…and even if we were well intentioned, 6 years later, there have been 4 more babies between the 2 of us (3 of them girls), and still no baby for her. They have been married 16 years. My heart breaks, but I cannot pretend to know why/what God has planned for them.
    For me, I guess it reminds me to be constantly grateful. I have been so surrounded by the heartbreak of not being able to have children, who would I be to ever take the gift of fertility for granted ?
    I donated yesterday to Patti’s donation giveaway for Jason and Naomi…oh how I wish I could just give them all they needed to bring a baby home….
    http://babynumber10.blogspot.com/

  24. It took us 8 months to get pregnant with #3. The first two it only took a month or two. Meanwhile, about 20 of my friends got pregnant. Although I didn’t say much, some were afraid to tell me.

    I had friends who’d struggled to get pregnant…in the past. Who were not currently struggling while I was. But in confessing my sorrow after it had been 4 or 5 months, they just said, “Yeah, talk to me after 2 years.” And this after they HAD their baby and were not trying for another! I found that to be rather insensitive too. Sure…it hadn’t (didn’t) take me as long…but that does not mean it was not a struggle for me, too. Other friends were much more sympathetic than that, though. Real friends.

  25. this is so close to home right now I am crying.
    I am on my 2nd yr post tubal ligation reversal with no baby to hold and 3 babies since in heaven. In fact you and I were pregnant together this last time. I lost my baby at 6 wks to ectopic Feb 3, 09. No pregnancies since.

    recently I became the last of my reversal sisters to not be pregnant or have a baby in my arms…some friends are already on their second baby. I am going through fertility testing and my second round of clomid to help my hormones as the OBGYN says that I am fine and nothing is too wrong that I can’t have a baby but he can’t explain WHY it isn’t happening.

    my emotions were so raw I cried out to God and my Hubby that I was DONE! GIVE ME A HYSTERECTOMY! the pain and hopeless was just too much to bare. I am scared I am loosing faith. I am afraid to be real with people because they think I am bitter and jealous…in a way I am but mainly I just HURT so deep inside I can’t even understand it.

    now I see these friends blessed with their reversal babies complaing that babies don’t sleep, are sick again or are interferring with mom going out to get drunk because their baby daddy doesn’t want to watch the kid. why have a baby if you don’t care and want to be with it?!

    why can’t I have one?! I too bash myself with the not good enoughs and this is my punishment for tieing my tubes. I don’t deserve a blessing because I don’t read my bible enough or at all lately…

    rambling and crying

    • Oh sweetie. I am so so sorry. I have a friend who had a reversal and has not gotten pregnant either. She was handed her brother’s daughter instead. But I know she aches still. {hugs}

  26. This is beautiful. I myself am still on the infertile side of the fence, but after 6 years and one miscarriage, I have found that those women in my life that really try to understand (fertile or not), really make a difference to me. They validate my pain, but don’t let me sit in it either. They let me talk about it too. That can really help. They don’t lecture me about accepting God’s will for us; they pray for us. We (infertiles) often feel quite judged on our own, so having an ample support system can make all of the difference. Thanks again.

  27. I’ve been on both sides of this emotional fence… We TTC from the 1st night… and we did! Only to MC, and again and yet again! I would buy pregnancy tests several at a time so that if I was 5 minutes late I could test…which I think made things worse putting that high expectation on my body. I was an emotional rollercoaster. I would often come home after church only to collapse on the floor sobbing. My arms ached to hold my baby not a friend’s… mine. I felt I was letting my husband down and even told him if he wanted a divorce so he could find someone whose body worked right he could. After much prayer we realized it was a progesterone issue. I then got pregnant at a rapid fire rate they are now 10, 9, 8 & 6 yrs old. After my 1st baby I was in Heaven I was holding my own baby. I actually had someone tell me that I wasn’t a real mom yet because I only had one (at the time) that crushed my heart. I wanted to scream “I AM A MOM LOOK ISN’T HE BEAUTIFUL….OH AND YOU ARE RUDE”! But I didn’t I just smiled.

    On the flip side people see me with all these kids close together and think I don’t understand fertility issues…I couldn’t possibly (so they think) but I do!

    My only advice is to be open. If you have experienced both sides of the fence let people know, you never know when you can be of some help. An understanding shoulder to cry on, or in my case I’ve told them get your hormones checked (many babies have been born from my advice). Most of all be prayerful that you might know what to say and know how to help them and for them to be happy for your excitement.

    Oh and yes my hubby said he loved me no matter what…his love paid off! We have a very loud house full of blessings!

  28. I haven’t experienced both sides of the fence. God has blessed us greatly. I do have family members who have been trying for years and God hasn’t blessed them yet. It is hard for me to tell them that we are having another, when I know they have been struggling so much. I know that they want to rejoice with us, but at the same time I know that they are feeling awful because they haven’t been able to make that announcement yet. I pray for me to be sensitive and for God to give them peace at their most troubling times.

  29. Thank you so much for this post! We are in the midst of our infertility journey and can only hope and pray that the end is near. I too, struggle with the jealousy of hearing about other’s pregnancies…I’m so thankful this doesn’t make me a bad Christian, but gives me the chance to grow closer to God.

    Our second child was born preterm and only lived for 40 minutes. Wanting so badly to be pregnant again, yet not being able to, feels like salt is being poured on an open wound. This post is one of many from your site that has been so helpful to me. Thank-you!

  30. I was the one looking at the floor for seven years of announcement after announcement of various friends, trying oh-so-very-hard not to cry on the spot.

    God has since blessed us with a beautiful child, and a wee one in heaven.

    My advice is please don’t take my reaction personally. And it would be really sweet and considerate to tell me in private before it is general news.

  31. We have been very blessed with fertility ourselves (expecting #7 in July), but so many times have experienced uneasiness and guilty feelings when announcing pregnancies to many of our friends who are struggling with fertility problems. One couple tried for 5 years before having their two, one couple lost their only one shortly after birth and haven’t been able to conceive again, one couple has had 14 m/c (yes, 14!) before having their two miracle girls, and one couple tried 8 years before having their two, and one couple tried 18 years before conceiving their first and losing him to preterm birth but later had a boy. We are the only couple in our circle of friends who have never suffered loss or struggled with infertility. I am so grateful to God for our health and children, but I have often felt so sad and even guilty for being so fertile among so many with these problems. All of these couples love God and have handled their struggles so well. I have watched them hurt but grow through these struggles and was so excited for them when many of them finally were able to announce for themselves that they were being blessed with a baby. Often I was as excited for them as I would be for my own! I still pray for them to be abundantly blessed!

  32. When I had a dear friend unable to conceive, she shared with me that it was when her friends had their second or subsequent pregnancy it was difficult. She mentioned that it would be easier to not find out face to face.

    So, when we became pregnant with our second child, I mailed her a note. I told her I loved her and would be praying for her to conceive until the day she did.

    The LORD answered that prayer a year and a day after that second child was born. One of my favorite keepsakes is the photo I have of her husband with tears in his eyes holding our son while his heart was aching for a son of his own coupled with the photo of him holding his precious son exactly a year later. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room/hallway.

    The tried for eleven years and now have three children.

  33. I have been married for 13 years this year and have spent all 13 battling infertility. I am the oldest of 6 children and I have 3 younger sisters. One of them is 7 years younger than me and she was the one to have the first grandchild/great grandchild(at 17) and the 2nd, 3rd,&4th! With each of her pregnancies I was devastated but the first was the worst for me. I was supposed to be the FIRST! I was the OLDEST! I was MARRIED! I was angry and bitter.

    I cried out to God to show me what I was doing wrong. We decided to start adoption proceedings and more and more family and friends were having babies. I was withdrawing from EVERYONE including my husband. I was severely depressed because PCOS has damaged me beyond repair. ONLY God can fix me now.

    In June of 2009 my youngest sister gave birth to her first I was happy but still a bit sad.So in November of 2009, When my sister(the one with 5 kids by now)found out she was 36weeks pregnant with #6 and homeless, jobless, and divorced I was numb.Then she approached us about adopting this baby. On December 4th 2009 God allowed me to see my daughter being born! My sister gave me the greatest gift a woman could give! My beautiful little on is 16 months old now and full of God’s light!
    However, I still hurt when 2 of my sisters announced that they are pregnant one due in June and one in July(#7 for this sister)this year. I still turn it over to God because I have been blessed. I know He knows my heart and I try not to be hurtful to them. They both know from experience not to complain too much about pregnancy around me because it’s hard on me.

    Thank you so much for sharing this and allowing us to share! Maybe someday God will bless me with another baby, maybe even from my own womb.

  34. Every time I look at my two children that God blessed us with, I’m reminded that the “easy road” is not what God wishes for our family. I can say that through all the fertility treatments we went through, I have also been on both sides of those feelings. But, I do have to say that I think I will always have jealousy issues (even though I know my two children are wonderful). It’s a daily reminder that other people (my sister included) can have children easily and a lot of times “accidentally” or without a thought in the world. That still makes my heart ache to wonder why God has made us SO different.

    Thanks for your post, Amy…a great reminder to always be on the look-out for how our lives are affecting others around us!!!

  35. We have only been on one side of this story… We have never seen two lines on a pregnancy test despite 2.5 years of trying, medicine, and procedures. It is heart wrenching. It is hard to keep asking friends to pray when it is the same request month after month, year after year.
    My best friend is currently pregnant with their 3rd, and I have distanced myself from her. It is too painful to talk to her right now, and I’m afraid I would say something I would regret later. There are no easy answers, and going through this has made me think twice before offering anyone advice on a painful situation in their lives.

    • Becca,
      I’m sure just sharing your story here was painful. Thank you for that offering. I’m not sure people realize how hard this is. I’m not sure people realize how you grieve. Thank you again for commenting here. Others need to know.

  36. While not quite the same situation, I have a friend who lost a baby boy when she was 5 months pregnant about a year after I lost my 8-day old baby girl. We found out about the same time that we were pregnant, and we’re due within a week of each other. We are both about 5 1/2 months pregnant. I’ve wondered how the other would handle ourselves if one of us lost one of these babies. I hope and pray neither of us will have to find out.

  37. Oh this post. Lovely post. Really.

    Far too often I find myself on that longing side. We got pregnant with our oldest fairly quickly after our marriage (about 6mo after we married). But our youngest? We were trying for about 4 years for her. She’s 2 1/2 now and we’ve been trying for over a year. Yet all around me this person is pregnant or that person had her baby. I get such mixed feelings. I’m SO happy for them … and rejoice with them … but inside? My heart is breaking and I’m fighting jealousy.

  38. Tears in my eyes. I’ve been there.

    We’ve been married nearly 12 years and never able to concieve. It’s a very hard, painful road to travel. Words cannot express the grief we’ve felt at times.

    BUT – God has graciously blessed us with two children by way of adoption, and He knows what’s best. These boys fit perfectly into our family, and their birth stories overflow with proof of God’s hand at work.

    He doesn’t always do things the way we expect Him to, but I’ve found that His way is always better.

    Sometimes I don’t understand everything – all the “whys” – but I’ve found through the years that I don’t NEED to understand.

    He is faithful and good, and that’s enough for me. I guess it’s a lesson in contentment.

    We love children, desire more children, believe they are blessings, but try to be content with the blessings He has so graciously provided.

    Jaime

  39. Hi Amy,
    After 6 kiddos it took us 17mo to concieve. Then in Jan 2011 we lost the pregnancy to a miscarriage..I was 8w 4d.
    We have been trying again ever since…..and Aunt Flo seems to love to vistit every month!!!

    I have my struggles when those around me make their big pregnancy announcement :(
    I do my best to remember its all in Gods timing.

    I just met a new friend who is my age…40 something and pregnant after a miscarriage in Oct 2010. She is of the same faith as I, so we have such great things to talk about.
    She has helped me find a different DR. that I hope will take a more pro-active approach to me getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Things get trickier when you hit 40 yr old. Egg quatliy is down and hormone levels can be a rollicoaster making it harder TC.

    When/if I get to see the double lines again…..I will be over the moon…..and pray other will share my JOY!

    Please keep me in your prayers!

    What a great post.
    I treasure our bloggin friendship! :)

    Peace and Love,
    Georgiann

  40. I have been on both sides. I have been the friend to share the joyous news of new life and now I am a receiver of it. My husband and I have 2 precious daughters (4 and 6), though, are unable to have more children by natural means. I have a few suggestions for you as you face the friend who is unable to conceive.
    1. Please do not encourage by informing us of others you know being able to conceive when “the sperm count was seriously only 1!” We are officially, and seriously unable to conceive. I realize not everyone is, but my husband and I wanted nothing more than to take joy in where the Lord had us. We have always longed for a large family and planned for it, like most people, to grow by natural means. Though, we now are over-joyed to be on the journey of adoption, I clung to those words said by a dear friend. I know she meant well, but as I clung I continued to beg and plead and argue with God, rather than surrender myself to the plan my Father willed from the beginning.
    2. Please continue to share your news. I know how hard it is to watch glowing mama’s with growing bellies all the while knowing you will not experience pregnancy again. HOWEVER, I also know that the precious life inside you has been so lovingly designed and crafted by God. There is nothing more spectacular to me! I know it might be a bit awkward, even for me at times, but I also know that a heart is beating and real, and sweet – our infertility does not take away from that! Let me have the opportunity to congratulate and pray for you and just be your friend!
    3. (This one should be #1.) Please do NOT suggest I “be thankful for the 2 I’ve got.” Our desire to grow our family has nothing to do with our praise for the blessing of our daughters, or our love for them.
    4. Celebrate adoption with us! After grieving the loss of ever becoming pregnant again, I can honestly tell you that as we said yes to adoption I experienced overwhelming joy!!! I was grinning and glowing and experienced a breath of new life! Some have been reluctant to acknowledge the reality of what adoption means for us – having another child and increasing our family!! What a blessing and joyous event! I know it is probably unfamiliar to many, but ask questions and jump in and get excited – oh, and maybe offer prayer too as adoption journeys are often full of uncertain circumstances and lots of waiting! :)
    5. Please pray for grace and wisdom in comforting your loved-ones. Let their journey be their own. Everyone has a unique set of circumstances. Though, our Father promises to use ALL things for our good. That fact has been the hope we’ve found in various trials, infertility included. So, when we don’t have the answers, let’s not jump to our own conclusions. Be quick to listen and encourage as the Lord leads.
    Thank you for the opportunity to share! I hope this has been helpful. Blessings to you all!

    • Candace – thank you for what you wrote. I too have two precious blessings (5 & 6) and am seemingly unable to have any more (I say seemingly because I know nothing is impossible for God)… And I couldn’t agree with what you’ve written more – especially #3. SO many people have told me how I shouldn’t be so ungrateful for the two children we have… Hey folks, I am certainly NOT ungrateful, I love them to bits and I’m thankful for them every day! And like you say, that is something entirely separate from our desire for more children.

      I’m so glad for you that you’re able to adopt – this is something we’re unable to do due to regulations, costs and laws. :( But praise the Lord you are able to enlarge your family through this means!! :) I can imagine it is a long and difficult process and I pray the Lord’s blessing on you through it all.

  41. I feel like i go through the same thing with my friends an family every other month somebody is always pregnant i hsve been doing fertility treatments for two years…it is the hardest thing for me to smile when i find out…sometimes i think the only reason they tell me is bc they know it would hurt me more if they didnt

  42. I have been on both sides as well and I am lucky to understand each I suppose because in a sense I feel like a better person this way. I e had 3 live births although my first came almost 3 months early and I’ve also had 2 miscarriages, one at 8 weeks and one very early. When I miscarried I already had 3 kids so I felt like no one felt sympathy and I didn’t want to tell people I had been pregnant again. Now I am pregnant again and things seem to be going well and I am not excited to share the news because many of my friends are childless, have one or two children, or have a hard time staying pregnant. I just want to keep this to myself even though I know it’s probably beat just to share the news. I feel attacked by those who can’t have kids being that I’m 26 expecting my fourth. Then again people forget and some do t know that my oldest came so early and that my body only feels like it gave birth twice because only twice have I given birth naturally and full term. It’s hard when others don’t share my excitement by I understand the pain they feel too so that help me stay in check!

  43. THANK YOU for sharing this! I have PCOS along with a host of other fertility issues. Along with that, I haven’t yet be blessed with a good, Godly man yet, still single (32 yrs old). I often get stuck in the mess of feeling unwomanly, un-feminine, left out, especially in the church, for both being not picked to be co-captain on a guy’s permanent team and for not having working lady parts. Not only will my body likely not be able to carry children, I worry that I may never find a father for those children either. Doubly whammy. So it really hurt me when a much younger friend (22, married 1 yr), who had been freaking out about not conceiving after 2 months of trying, got pregnant. The last two years have been the “leaving and cleaving” years for my friends, family, and now it is, inevitably, the baby years. Still, this friend’s pregnancy just hit me SOOO hard, much more difficult than the many other pregnancies of late. I can’t talk to her about it, and have only mentioned my pain to a few other friends. It is a spiritual battle, for sure. I know I am God’s child and I know He has plans for me, but every time I see this friend, I want to smack her and run away. It’s a daily struggle to find the surface of hope when I feel like I am drowning in hopelessness. Of course God loves her too, as much as He loves me and I am sure she is having her own struggles. I just don’t know how to connnect with her. I am praying, and will keep praying for this situation, that the giver of peace which surpasses all understanding will bless her and her unborn baby, along with you, your family and your friend. Thanks again for your post.

  44. I know this is an old post but thank you so much for writing it. I’ve been on the mumbling into the shoes side of the fence but only now find myself on the other side.

    We lost our first baby to miscarriage, it was another year before we conceived our second who arrived safe and sound, and then lost our third. I’m 13 weeks pregnant with our fourth, and the scan showed a lovely little baby and a nice strong heartbeat. But what makes me feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach is that our baby is due three days after my sister would have been due with her first which she lost two weeks ago.

    She has no idea that we are expecting and I need to tell her before I see her next week because there’s no way that our mother (who has never lost a child and struggles to understand how we feel) is going to be able to keep her excitement about a new grandbaby in check.

    I cannot bear that I am going to hurt my sister so badly, through no fault of either of us, and in my heart of hearts I feel that it will fundementally alter our relationship, and I don’t want to loose my only sister.

    Thank you (and the other ladies who commented) for being open and honest and giving me comfort on what is going to be a very very hard day.

  45. My husband and I have been ttc for 33 months still with no luck. Fertility drs have told us nothing is wrong, yet we still cannot conceive. We have no children, but at this present time, every woman in childbearing years that I associate with its pregnant. That is not an exaggeration, its hell. My best friends are both happily frowning babies in their bellies and sadly I just can’t seem to be happy for them like I should. For the first time in our friendship, I’m odd man out, and there isn’t anything I can do to feel included in the excitement. Neither of my best friends planned their child, but they both know ive been wanting a baby for so long. It hurts to hear people with children or women who are pregnant tell you to just relax or stop trying – it is like trying to tell water to flow uphill. My own mother us now happy pregnant, my sister, my enemies.. Sister in law, all rounding out nicely with their baby bumps.. Proudly wearing maternity clothes to show off their bellies. Its not a nice feeling, to watch those that are clearly not ready, or that never intended in having children, or even have multiple children already to be blessed with having a baby when I so desperately pray each praying month that this will be our turn.. Our turn to make a family.

  46. I just became pregnant in October. My husband and I were married in March of last year too. We had to rush our wedding up from October to March because I was told my mom who was in Hospice was dying. We got married then planned a renew of vows just three months later for all his and my family who couldn’t be there at the time of the first. Well, my mom was stronger than they gave her credit and made it to see it again! She was getting weaker and my emotions were much more sadder. We were trying to have children since we got married since we are both in our thirties and wanted a big family. We couldn’t at first and the doctor said if you can’t within a year we will try something else. I was at stressful work environment and having to deal with all the stress of my moms cancer really did me in. I ended up with depression. In October, I brought my mom home to live with me and took a leave from my job. My mom wasn’t even there a few weeks when I found out I was pregnant! Having her know she was going to be a grandma lit up her face. Well, we were planning on telling everyone at my birthday party that night. When we let the parents of my cousin in law who can’t get pregnant found out; all they said in a monotone voice was “Good luck in that”. It wasn’t a happy sound just a reply that we got from telling them were getting married. I was good friends of her sister(the one trying to get pregnant) the couple has been married for over thirteen years and didn’t want children at first; now since she is almost forty and her husband almost fifty they wanted children. Not a few days after we told them my friends sister defriended my her social network and my friend stopped talking to me the way we used to. I even told her I pray and know she will be a great mom one day. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve known them for along time and now we are family it’s like a barrier is in front. My friend was there for me for a month before my mom died and the day after the funeral she stopped talking like she used to. It makes me feel frustrated that I just lost my best friend and mother now I’m losing my friend too. What should I do? Keep at it and wait or just move on and hope that one day we will be able to talk to each other without feeling anger or regret.

    • I’m so sorry. I would try reaching out to her and simply asking if your pregnancy is an offense and what you can do, if anything, to not hurt her. However, it may be that this is too much for her and it will take time for her to heal. Pray for her and her heart. And enjoy your pregnancy! Do not let guilt overshadow the beauty of a new life. :)