“Good luck and Baby Dust” is a common sign-off in fertility forums. I love the idea of “Baby Dust”- just sprinkle me with it and my wish of having a baby will come true! If only it were that simple…. Truth is, for lots and lots of lucky people it is that simple.
One of the many hard things about trying to conceive (TTC) can be everyone else getting pregnant around you. For me 2013 was an epic year for this- I was surrounded by about 30 pregnancies- work colleagues, friends, family, even my doctors! It was raining babies!!
Trust me to have trouble conceiving in the middle of a baby boom!
It’s an interesting experience when you find yourself feeling upset about something that is good news for someone you care about….I’ve found that a big part of the negative emotion I feel is actually directed at myself for feeling so put out by something I should be celebrating.
So why do we feel this way???
In my experience infertility has a way of exposing cracks in your sense of self-worth- feelings of failure and inadequacy are common. When you are working SO hard at something, then see someone else get there with ease it can shine a light on those cracks.
And of course there is jealousy. When it comes to wanting a baby for a woman this is not just emotional, it’s physical. Your body aches for it. You want what they have - pure and simple.
Timing and sensitivity also play a role- in hindsight when I’ve felt the pregnancy announcement sting is often been tied closely to something that is going on in my life - e.g. proximity to a recent pregnancy loss or the same due date I had.
People who have not had trouble TTC and don’t understand the depth of trauma it causes can, in their excitement, also forget to be sensitive to the delivery of this news - someone I am very close to actually told me they were disappointed they got pregnant so quickly- “I mean can it happen first time??”- as they wanted to have more time “trying”!!
So what are the things I use to help me feel joy rather than upset about other pregnancies?
1. I would never, ever, wish this experience on anyone. I want everyone to get pregnant immediately without having to go through what I have been through.
2. I love babies. I love having that energy around me. Being around pregnant bellies and delicious babies reminds me of why I am putting myself through this in the first place… and maybe that ‘baby dust’ will rub off on me!!
3. What is happening with other people ultimately has no impact on my situation. Someone else getting pregnant isn’t taking my pregnancy away from me - its not an us-or-them situation. I’d rather not dwell in the negatives of it when it doesn’t change anything for me for the better.
4. When I finally achieve a healthy pregnancy I am going to want to shout it from the rafters, I’m going to want others to be happy and supportive of me, so I figure I shouldn’t make someone feel bad about being pregnant & excited about it!
But like so many aspects of TTC, there is no script, no foolproof way that works of all people in all situations…quite often it’s about finding what works for you in the moment and just going with it….
What are some of the things that help you to cope with pregnancy announcements?