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I’m Pregnant, She’s Not

Q. I'm stalling on announcing my pregnancy to my best friend, who's having a hard time getting pregnant. How do I tell her?

A. When I was expecting my first child, a friend of mine was going through in-vitro fertilization. I was worried about telling her my news. It seemed cruel, as if I'd be saying, "I'm expecting, and you're not." But I was just as worried about not telling her. Holding back such big news from a friend makes both of you feel awkward when you do talk about it, and eventually you will. So tell your friend soon, and tell her plainly, but don't gush. You might say, "I'm pregnant, and I was eager to tell you because you're my best friend." Answer any questions she has, but then ask her how she's doing. This will allow her to change the subject if she needs to or continue it if she's up to talking about her own struggles and plans, and yours. There's a fine line between being sensitive and being patronizing, and people in pain appreciate sensitivity that respects their dignity and assumes their strength. But don't be surprised or hurt if your friend is less than happy about your news and comes around only sporadically. Let her in and out. It's not your fault that you're pregnant, and it's not her fault that she wants to be. And you still have a friendship that has nothing to do with babies. You could break the news over the phone, to give yourself and her a little psychic space. But if you can summon the courage, have this talk in person. There's nothing like being able to hug, and be hugged, at the end of an emotional discussion.

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