By Jennifer Robertson
I’m just going to say it. When I was struggling to conceive, I hated seeing people falling pregnant around me. Pregnancy announcements were the worst. Those cute gender reveals, the writing on the black board saying “baby X arriving in December 2020”, or the “I’m going to be a big brother” announcements. I wanted to feel happy for my friends, but I couldn’t. All I kept thinking was, there goes another friend that I’m going to have to say goodbye to.
It would send me into a complete tailspin and before I knew it, I was a sobbing mess on the floor with a bucket of ice-cream and a glass of wine in hand. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone how I was feeling. I kept up a brave face and pretended to be happy for them.
But every time I saw a picture on social media of one of my friend’s pregnant bellies or newborn babies it felt like a stab to the heart.
So why does it feel like everyone is falling pregnant around you? Your best friend, your sister, even people in the infertility support groups are falling pregnant before you. Your Facebook feed is one big pregnancy announcement after another.
Is it really that there’s an influx in the conception pool around you? The short answer is no.
The reason why it feels like everyone is pregnant is because that’s what you’re focusing on. I like to use the example of buying a new car. Say for instance you want to buy a red car. All of a sudden, when you’re driving down the street, you see red cars everywhere. It’s not because there’s been an increase on the streets overnight, its because that’s what you’re looking for. Same as a baby. Your life has been consumed by thoughts of having a baby, so that’s what you see.
So why does it hurt so much when you see pregnancy announcements or pregnant women?
It reminds us of what we don’t have and what we long for more than anything else.
It scares us, because it feels like we’re being left behind. Our friends are joining a club that we’ve been trying to become a part of. And the fear of never becoming a mum takes over.
What if this doesn’t happen? We grieve that picture in our head of how things were supposed to turn out.
You’re entitled to feel sad. It’s ok to cry, and it’s a great way to release your emotions. Throw yourself a pity party, but put a time limit on it. Allow yourself permission and time to move through the sadness.