Fertility Network UK

How to tell my sister

So now that we've seen baby and heartbeat I feel ready to tell my sister - however it's going be a guilt ridden time.

Years ago my sister and her now ex husband had ivf that failed. They had some embryos frozen but for various reasons never use them. They have since split up (not down to this) and they let the embryos go. She is now happy with her new boyfriend but I think it's unlikely she will ever have children due to various reasons. My heart breaks for her as I know she'd love kids and she'd make a great mum.

My question is how do I tell her? She lives in Southampton and I don't see her often so it will have to be over the phone. I would rather text her the news as based on how I felt hearing similar news from others it gives her the opportunity to react sadly without her feeling like she has to immediately say congratulations and she can have a good cry if she needs to. But I'm just stuck on how to word it. I kind of want to include that I know it could be upsetting for her and that I totally understand.

Anyone good at wording things like this. I feel so guilty that our happiness will cause her pain xxx

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Hey

So happy to hear your amazing news.

Honestly your sister will be so incredibly happy for you. Yrs it might be painful for her but it's something she would want to feel apart of I think as your family. I think by saying calling her and speaking to her she will appreciate it. There is no need to guard her she is a grown woman. We are pretty tough.

Say I have some news of love to share with You, your going to be an aunt!

You don't need to apologise for something that is not in your control.

You would do the same for her.

Hope this helps and congratulations on your news it's truly a time where support from loved ones will help.

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Congratulations!

If your sister has been through the process, she'll know how hard it can be and im sure she'll appreciate how hard this will be for you.

You could simply say that you have some news, tell her what stage etc and say that you know this may be sensitive for her and you'll understand if she cant talk straight away, but maybe if she feels up to it, at some point she can call you?

You may well be surprised by her reaction...i hope it goes well 😚 xx

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Hi Waitingforourmiracle. I am certain you would have supported your sister when she was going through IVF and the difficult decisions she had to make over her stored embryos. Just tell her that you are early on in your pregnancy and would love to speak to her when you have a "wobble", She will understand. Tell her what you have been through, and will know what to say, having had treatment herself. This will probably make you closer than ever. Thinking of you. Diane

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Do you know what? She will be so so happy for you and excited to have a little neice or nephew I am sure!

My little sister of 31 has 3 boys and pregnant now with a lil girl. I am 34 and can't have kids; currently going through IVF process. I was never upset about my sister being pregnant because I love and care about her and her feelings. She will already feel upset about the fertility subject but she wont be mad at you for getting pregnant. :)

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Its not the same but I have a good childhood friend that did IVF and was unsuccessful and I know that if we are successful that I will tell her first before anyone else just because she deserves to know differently/more sensitively from the rest of my friends. I know she will be happy for me but yes, very sad for herself so probably a text first explaining that I would like to give her space to absorb the news then perhaps the offer of a chat once she is ready. I know that if the roles were reversed she would do the same for me. Wishing you luck xx

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I agree that sometimes texts are a good way to give someone space to reply. However I guess the trouble with a text is that you don’t know where she will be or what she will be doing when she receives it. At least on the phone you can ask her if it a good time to talk. Does she know you’ve been having treatment?

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That's a good point Lizzie!xx

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I completely understand your want to tell her by text. But I think if I had a sister (or v closed friend) to tell in this situation, I’d prefer to do it by phone, but start the conversation by saying I have something difficult to tell her and I won’t mind or don’t expect her to instantly be happy - but etc then give her your news. She will be so buzzing for you I am sure, particularly having been through it all herself. Good luck however you choose and just remember you can’t control this and this is YOUR time; you’re absolutely doing the right thing to be thoughtful and sensitive about it, but you have no reason to feel anything but happy xx

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So glad to see that your scan went well, I’d been thinking about you today.

I had a similar situation with my sister. Although she never found out if there was something amiss to stop her getting pregnant it’s never happened she’s 42 now and has been trying for years. My fertility clinic did tell me that my condition can be present in siblings but she just never went on to find out.

I had to tell her over the phone as she lives in New Zealand she called me a few days after our BFP but wasn’t aware we’d gone for an FET as we tried to keep it as quiet as possible. I ended up just blurting it out as she knew we’d been considering adopting and was asking me about that. So I’d definitely say to plan what you’re going to say.

My sister was supportive knowing all we had been through to get here. I do feel that she distanced herself a bit from me whilst I was pregnant but she came to visit a few months after our son was born and is wonderful with him. I do worry about her feelings but she expresses a desire to see pictures and always comments or likes the pictures I put on FB (which I swore I’d not do so many of as seeing my friends pics before my happy ending was always upsetting but it’s so hard not to share).

Sorry I realise I’ve rambled on! I hope it all goes well with her and don’t dress yourself out about it.

Wishing you a stress free and comfortable pregnancy from here on x

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Just to add to everyone, I’m the sister in this situation, my sister came off the pill 6 months ago (I’ve been ttc for 3+ years now and going through treatment now) and she’s already pregnant. My advice is to definitely call her and tell her but pick your moment - my grandfather died and when we were talking about how to get to his funeral she told me then... it was really hard for me but overall I’m glad she told me.

Pick your words carefully, but don’t overdo it, say you understand this might be upsetting for her and then see if she wants to talk or not - my sister was so glum when telling me and that upset me more thinking she should be happy, I’d kill for this!!. I am 100% happy for my sister and wouldn’t ever want her to go through what I am however, I am also even more sad for me... but they’re separate things and it’s ok for her to feel both at different times. You should be so happy though and enjoy every minute of your upcoming journey, she’ll be happy too I’m sure but if she’s like me, she might need a day or two to digest it and overcome her sadness 😊

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