While friendships naturally evolve over time, infertility can really test a friendship. Learning that a friend has become pregnant, while you have not, is unbelievably hard. You are happy to hear about the pregnancy, but the news is painful and naturally may bring up feelings of envy and frustration. You become angry from yet another reminder of your own challenges to conceive. Having these feelings in response to your close friend’s news creates feelings of guilt, so you end up feeling even worse.
How can you handle this situation? It’s important to be honest with your friend. Let her know that you are having a difficult time due to your current infertility experience. You are thrilled for her and would like to be there for her, but it’s simply too much at this time.
Take some time to consider your history together and determine your needs in this relationship. Also look at your personal limitations on what you can offer your friend during her pregnancy.
• Has she been supportive during your infertility experience?
• How have the two of you handled past friendship concerns?
• Are you comfortable offering support and remaining close during her pregnancy?
• What are your boundaries around her sharing pregnancy details and baby shower planning?
• Do you want her to continue to check in with you around your fertility treatments?
• Have you considered her experience of being the one who became pregnant? What if it was you?
• What changes would be needed to keep the friendship intact?
Infertility is a stressful time and requires support from friends who can hold what you’re going through. Remember you’re not always going to feel this way. Identify what works for you and express those needs to your friend. Many women have navigated fertility friendship bumps with grace. Some may decide to let the friendship dissolve, while others are able to reconnect when they are ready. Give yourself time to reflect on the support you need and find resolution that makes sense to you.