Honoring Friendships & Pregnancy Experiences

Friendships & Pregnancies

Friendships & Pregnancies
As responsible young women, my girlfriends and I spent the earlier parts of our sexualized lives trying to not get pregnant. Fast forward past college, add on one more decade, and now that we’re in our 30’s most of us either have kids, are trying to have kids or are pregnant.

Despite the endless scroll of happily delivered babies on my FB feed, what’s been eye opening is learning about how difficult the process can be. Through my own experiences, and the experience of women around me, I’ve learned that we all have our own stories. From infertility to miscarriages to unwanted terminations to risky pregnancies and extremely dangerous deliveries and infant deaths, the struggles are real and heart breaking.

I wanted to broach this subject on the blog because in the last few years I’ve seen these struggles put strains on friendships. Things like harmless questions, insensitive remarks, a lack of self awareness, overall insensitivity and let’s be really honest here, raging hormones, can lead to hurt feelings and fights. And I believe those strains can be better avoided by being conscious, sensitive, and humble in a few specific ways.

When it comes to the friendships and pregnancy, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Some of your friends may be single or in a relationship of uncertainty. If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant and they haven’t made the marriage/life partner step, be sensitive to that. Try to avoid monopolizing conversations with your baby blinders.

2. It’s not easy for everyone to get pregnant or stay pregnant and you never know what someone may be going through (your BFF included). Be mindful and self-aware when it comes to the topic.

3. Refrain on judging friends who might not want to have kids. Just like it’s someone’s choice to try and get pregnant, it’s theirs not to.

4. Avoid pregnancy gossiping including speculated infertility (Beyonce and Amal included). Again, you never know what someone is going through.

5. Be aware of the way you talk about your own baby victories (“I got pregnant right away!)” and/or hardship (some people may strongly disagree with choices you’ve made for religious reasons or otherwise).

6. If you go out with a friend who usually drinks and she isn’t drinking be mindful that:

  • A. She very well may be pregnant. If she doesn’t tell you, it’s because she isn’t ready for whatever reason. Let her tell you when she’s ready or perhaps has clearance from her doctor to share the news.
  • B. It doesn’t always mean she’s pregnant. She very well could be struggling with fertility and has been told to lay off the booze through her process.
  • C. She may have recently lost a pregnancy and isn’t drinking for a variety of reasons.
  • D. She simply isn’t drinking. Stop speculating!

Bottom line, if you are in this drink situation, take their lead and respect their privacy. Don’t under any circumstance, congratulate them based on your speculations. Especially with a toast.

7. If you’re pregnant and are around girlfriends that aren’t pregnant/don’t have children it doesn’t mean they haven’t been pregnant before so be cautious if you find yourself trying to educate others on what it’s like to be pregnant (“the first trimester was awful, you’ll see!”).

8. If you have friends that you know are struggling with pregnancy and you get pregnant, be kind when communicating your great fortunes. If you’re having second thoughts about telling them at all, remember that they will find out and it may hurt their feelings that they weren’t included. Honesty is the best policy.

9. Delivery choices can be contentious topics and often people feel strongly about these things. It’s not always your place to push your opinion or agenda on anyone.

10. If you know a friend is going through pregnancy struggles and aren’t sure what to do to show support, a handwritten note sent in the mail along with a little memento that helped get you through a rough time is always kind. For example, a little charm, a crystal, your favorite mix-tape or a poem.

If you have any recommendations on honoring friendships and pregnancy, please share them in the comments? We can all learn from one another. XX

Photo: The Fashion Sight

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24 comments

  1. Amazing post and super helpful. And I could actually relate to some of those things and I’m only 20 so I can only imagine how insensitive people are gonna be as I get older. I wish everyone could read this and learn something just like I did.

  2. thank you for this! i’m a single girl surrounded my pregnant friends and i’m sending this to all of them. LOL

  3. Great subject and very helpful tips. In my experience, the friends have been okay—it’s older family members who have said the more insensitive things.

  4. This is such an important talk! I think there are too many preconceived ideas about pregnancies! I feel like a lot of woman don’t dare to talk about the more difficult part of pregnancies and that’s sad… If we all shared a bit more about that, maybe things could get easier for us women!
    Lucie, xx

    http://thefrenchpier.blogspot.com/

  5. This is such a great, thoughtful post. I feel like asking people to be mindful of what they say gets accused of being ‘uber-PC’ or treating people like special snowflakes. The world would be a better place if we all were just a bit more empathetic

  6. Thank you for sharing. I can definitely relate to this! After dealing with some miscarriages, I’ve had several well meaning friends say things like “at least you can get pregnant” or “everything happens for a reason”. Those are some of the worst things you can say to someone going through it! When you have a friend struggling with losses/infertility, I would recommend just being there, listening to them vent and show you care by doing a kind gesture. I had one girlfriend drop off a care package (flowers, trashy mags, fresh pasta and cookies) after I had a miscarriage and it meant the world! No words were necessary…

  7. This was a nice piece.

    Pregnancy is can be an intensely personal experience but in general, I found that some people think they can claim it and say whatever they wish about what is going on with your body. I think the discretion goes both ways. I had a kid 13 months ago. I threw up everyday until the day I delivered. I muted someone preggers at the same time who humblebragged on Facebook that she wasn’t having an ounce of nausea. The lesson here is to read the person very carefully. Some pregnant people are also intensely private. I was one of those people who refused to small talk about it and had to set boundaries on some people who demanded to know things I simply didn’t think was their business. I hope that anyone reading this respects those boundaries if they have to get spelled out.

  8. Loved this, Geri! Im almost 6 months pregnant and when I first found out, I fell under #6 where my gfs immediately put me on the spot when I declined a drink. It was far too early to share and even if it was after my 1st trimester, I didn’t feel the need to tell them in that way. It’s such a private time with your partner and should be up to the couple. Glad you put a lot in perspective. Xx

  9. Thank you for writing this blog post. Our oldest daughter was stillborn at 35 weeks and we have since started a non profit to raise awareness and community for families struggling through an infant loss. After Emma died so many people disappeared, didn’t know what to say, or said such hurtful things because people don’t know what to say or do in situations like this. I always was so thankful we could even get pregnant and after losing her, it made the reality of what a gift it is to get pregnant even more prevalent for me.

  10. Thank you for this post! As a woman who has experience infertility and it’s repercussions, I whole hardheartedly applaud you for exploring this extremely sensitive topic. I have many friends who are very sensitive to mt struggle and a few who were not. Needless to say, rifts were created that could not be undone. Sensitivity and maturity go a long way in these situations, as with most aspects of life.
    I love following the progression of your blog over the years. You are a blogger who has “grown up” online and that’s why I keep reading.
    Best always,
    Lauren

  11. Excellent, read! As a woman in her mid-thirties,married for ten years and without a child, this struck a chord with me. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I can totally relate to this article. After last year’s experience, which has changed everything in my life and myself, I have come to terms with the fact that most people just don’t get it. I have been always trying to be sensitive to other’s people’s feelings when it came to different subjects(like being single, getting married or not etc.), but in my case, people just didn’t know what to say and while some remain silent, others just disappeared. Needless to say how a woman who has her “fair” share of shed tears on the matter feels when she hears others just bragging on this subject. We cannot avoid people being happy and wanting to spread the rumor asap, sometimes I just wish I can turn back to this innocence, but, if you don’t know a person well, maybe it’s better to be sensitive about the subject.

  13. Het Geri, although you are spot on, your views are a little one sided. When I became a mom, my lifestyle changed. I wasn’t able to hang out as much as I would like and my friends who didn’t have kids were very insensitive to the fact that my availability wasn’t the same. So to those out there who want to maintain their lifestyle by choosing to not have kids, don’t scuff at those of us who do. Our kids are not burdens on us.

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  14. The blog or and best that is extremely useful to keep I can share the ideas
    of the future as this is really what I was looking for, I am very comfortable and pleased to come here. Thank you very much.

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