I originally wrote this post for HelloBee, a little nervously actually. BUT, I got a really great response, so I'm glad I had the courage to write it!
Two weeks ago my younger sister had a baby! A 6 lb 7oz ball of pure sweetness and cuteness. I got to meet her this week and it was such a gift to meet my new niece!
I also think that for those that do choose to make announcements, there are ways to make them more sensitive, like letting any couples you know dealing with infertility or pregnancy loss know ahead of time that you'll be sharing your big news publicly. I have had a few friends do this for us and it released the pressure to act a "certain way" when we received the news, and allowed us to process our mixed emotions ahead of time so we could really celebrate the news when announced publicly.
To me it was not only sensitive to us, but to others in her circle of friends and family that she didn't constantly update her Facebook profile about her pregnancy. It's so common for pregnant women to post regular belly and ultrasound photos and even details and complaints about their pregnancies. And even though it may not seem like a big deal to post here and there, it's the overwhelming number of posts from so many people that can get discouraging to those dealing with infertility. Recently, in just one day, I saw three different pregnancy announcements on my Facebook news feed, all including an ultrasound photo. And even though I was excited for these friends and family members, it was another reminder of the fact that we so often feel broken and unable to do what our bodies were designed to do. I'm certainly not upset with those that make the announcements or think that there is anything wrong with making a public pregnancy announcement, it can just be hard for those dealing with infertility to see so many on a regular basis.
Even though my sister and I are very close, she never made an effort to complain or brag to me about elements of her pregnancy. Of course, I was interested in how it was all going, so when we saw each other and talked on the phone I would ask her about it and she would give me all the details I wanted to hear. But, it was so sensitive and kind that she waited for me to ask. Even though I'm sure there are lots of things are both frustrating and exciting about pregnancy, she knew she had lots of other friends to talk to about those details when she needed to talk. This way Mr. P and I were able to share in their excitement without feeling like she was constantly rubbing her pregnancy (and therefore our infertility) in our faces. Although others don't mean to do it, that's what it can feel like for an infertile couple when their friends or family members only talk about their pregnancies and babies.
Sensitivity and compassion go hand-in-hand and I have appreciated my sister's kindness to us as we have journeyed through our infertility. Even as we have been trying for #2 (after adopting Little P) without success, she asks how we're doing and lets us know she's praying for us. She understood when I may not have been up for talking about her pregnancy or when I had a bad day (or week) and I always appreciated her thoughtfulness in this area.
Truthfully, even if she hadn't been sensitive or compassionate, I love my sister so much and this love would have been enough to have been excited about our sweet niece! But, it just makes it so much easier to celebrate with someone who has been so compassionate through both of our journeys. And now that we are both moms (through different routes), I think we will continue to grow closer as we share stories and experiences with our sweet children and each other.