Dear Miriam,

I hope that you can help me with a problem. I am expecting my first baby. We had an early scan and all looks well, thank God. We have our 12-week scan very soon and hopefully we will have good news then and will be able to share it with friends and family. We had a bit of a journey to get to this point, so we feel very blessed and excited. I am taking nothing for granted.

My issue is this. My very good friend has had three miscarriages, including one earlier this year. I have always done my best to support her and be there for her for a shoulder to cry on. However, I am worried about how I’m going to tell her my news.

She knew that we were struggling to conceive, so in a sense, we were “in the club” together as other friends started their families. Now, I am afraid she will feel that I am leaving her behind, or that my news will make her feel even worse. Obviously, I can’t hide my pregnancy from her, nor do I want to! But I want to handle breaking the news to her as sensitively as possible. What would your advice be?


Dear Mam-to-be,

First of all, congratulations on your lovely news. While you don’t go into detail, you do indicate that it’s been a long road for you, so I do hope that you are enjoying this very special time.

Your concern for your friend’s feelings shows that you are a kind and considerate person. Your friend knows that too; after all, you have been there for her through all of her losses and you have supported each other on your respective journeys. But I completely understand why you feel a bit anxious about breaking your good news to her, when she has experienced yet another cruel heartbreak so recently.

I think it would be a good idea to tell her directly before the “big announcement” goes out.

Reading around this subject, it seems many suggest doing this through a personal text message rather than face to face. The reason for this is that it gives the person time to process the news in their own time and space, rather than having to react on the spot.

While I’m sure your friend will be happy for you because she loves you and she knows how much you have wanted your baby, she might be a bit upset for herself that her dreams and plans are still on hold. That does not mean that she feels any anger or bitterness towards you; that would not be fair. But she might need that bit of time to come to terms with it.

You know your friend best, but maybe think about what way you would have liked to hear news of a new baby when you were struggling to conceive.

Perhaps some of these phrases might help: “I just want to let you know that we have found out we are expecting… we have been through so much together on this journey… your support has meant everything to me, and I hope I have been able to support you too… I am always here for you… No rush to respond; I am here whenever you want to chat or meet…” Again, you know your friend best; these are just ideas of how you might go about wording your text, if helpful.

Don’t be upset if it takes her time to respond or if she keeps her distance for a while. Again, this is not about you; it’s about how she is grieving her own losses.

Keep in gentle, regular contact and let her know that you are happy to meet whenever suits her. Don’t feel like you have to hide your pregnancy from her either, but just be attuned to where she is at. You are obviously a sensitive and caring person anyway, so that won’t be an issue for you.

I wish you all the best on your pregnancy and hope that this advice has been helpful.

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