How to break the news?

March 29, 2010

So, the internet knows about my pregnancy (wow, I just used the word “pregnancy”), but I have yet to tell anyone in Real Life. When I put it that way, it sounds terrible…if anyone I know and love in Real Life has happened upon my blog, I am sorry you had to find out this way. The Blog World is like a parallel universe to me where I can disclose everything. So while you, Real Life Friend, may be sad to discover the bloggers knows about my pregnancy first … keep in mind that they are also the only ones in whom I confided about my cervical mucus and cycle neuroses. And aren’t you glad about that? I thought so. (And thank you, Blog Friends, for so graciously bearing with me in all of it.)

I am planning to tell my immediate family soon. I am still afraid everything could go wrong, but I would want them to know regardless, so they can rejoice and/or mourn with me. And they would be really mad if I waited a long time to tell them. I will see my parents at the end of this week, as they pass through town (they’ll be enroute to see my older sister). So I’d like to tell them in person. I’d like to tell my sisters around the same time (perhaps a couple of days before my parents, so my older sister can process it before seeing them).

The question is – how to tell my older sister? I feel rather selfish asking everyone, but I could use your help.

My sister has an amazing two-year-old son, who was conceived after about 7 months of trying, many of which did not include charting. But it was a hard time for her, and she cried every month of that waiting. Now she has been trying (in earnest) for about seven months to get pregnant with her second child. No pregnancy yet. She is starting to get worried. She will turn 36 on Monday.

She knows what I have been going through and she will be happy for me. But, as we all know, that does not necessarily mean she will feel happy the instant she hears. (Although she might!)  Any thoughts on how should I tell her?  Should I call her? Should I write her a letter so she can process it in advance, then she can call me when she is ready? (This is, personally, my favorite way of hearing the news from friends … but is this overly formal for a sibling?  I also want to be sure she gets the news  before my parents arrive on Saturday, and I am pretty sure she would think an email is lame.)  If I call her, any thoughts of what not to say or what to say? I kind of hated when everyone would give me these speeches of “This is hard, because I know you’re going through a hard time, but I wanted you to hear from me …”  Or when they would add in the old “but I’m praying for you!” and just make it all seem trite.  But this is probably just because I am a rather selfish and mean human being.

What have been good ways your loved ones have shared news with you?



  1. I would call her, and I wouldn’t do all the “this is hard” stuff……..she has one child. More than you have…….I think she will be happy for you.

  2. I prefer email, but I can see it would be different with a sibling. The “this is hard” seems silly. But I think it’s fair to get the issues out in the open – i.e., “I totally understand if you may not be able to deal with the subject all the time and I’m going to give you your space – you bring it up with me if you want to hear about it” or “I’d probably be jealous if the roles were reversed” or “it breaks my heart that you’re still waiting” (I would be OK with someone saying that if it were 100% sincere, and it would be from a sister) or “I am praying my heart out for you to get your BFP ASAP because I so want to do this together” – I would think any of those things would be fair. Why can’t you acknowledge that YOU want HER to be pregnant, and that you know from experience that it’s hard when someone else is? I think that would be fine. (Also, it sounds to me as though she’s likely to follow you in not too long…she’s not even medically infertile…)

  3. I was going to say exactly the same as misfit – that email is my choice of reception of pg news, but with a sibling… hmmm… maybe too formal (to the point of being offensive-formal??)
    Unless of course you email each other a lot (I know me and my sisters do). In that case, a quick line about your prayers finally being answered, and wanting to let her know about it so that she could celebrate with you when she feels ready, would be nice I think. In person or even on telephone kind of forces the person to have an immediate and often “fake” reaction. Yes, she has one child, but jealousy is not only for those who have no children or those who have suffered IF. She will probably have a tinge of jealousy. So let her get that out of the way in her own personal setting, so that when she sees you/talks to you, it will be complete and utter joy without holding anything back for self-preservation. This is something she will appreciate and even moreso, YOU will appreciate, because you will see how genuinely happy she is.

  4. I know for me, it was always hard, no matter how the message was delivered. But at least via email I got to react in private. But as everyone has mentioned – email might make it even more awkward when it comes to telling a sister. I obviously don’t know her, but I imagine she’ll be happy you’re having your first, right? It’s not like your announcement will be the average fertile pregnancy announcement. Good luck!

  5. I would be offended if you were my sister and emailed me to tell me your news. I would be hurt and probably mad at you. So I would call and tell her and I wouldn’t delay that either….I would call her with the news, shes your sister not just a friend, don’t sugar coat it. Rejoice! God made you a mother, praise be His name!

    For the others, I think you should shout it from the roof top. Don’t worry about anything happening, this is a life, a miracle that God created and should be praised from conception! 😉

  6. My little brother and his wife recently announced their pregnancy. I was thrilled for them, but obviously very emotional for me. They visited everyone in person to tell them the news but decided to call me on the phone instead of visiting. I am thankful for that because I held it together long enough on the phone to be happy and congratulate them, but then could hang up and cry without them knowing about it.

    I think an e-mail would’ve upset me since it’s so impersonal and he’s my brother. I vote for calling. Good luck!

  7. I think a phone call is much better than an email, since it’s family. 🙂

    As for in person…A dear friend of mine found out she was pregnant with her 7th. When she told me, she prefaced it with, “I’ve been dreading to tell you this news for a while, because I want this so badly for you.” Then SHE started to cry and I finally figured it out. Sure, I was a little sad, but at the same time, so touched that at her special news, she thought enough of my struggle with IF.

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