I’d like to be overwhelmingly excited for friends and acquaintances who announce their pregnancy. Whether it’s their first or fifth, becoming a parent is a beautiful, wonderful, God-given miracle. It’s something to be celebrated and a moment to be remembered and cherished for years and years and years to come.
But, during that celebration…during the excitement and joy and picture taking, there is another series of emotions. A string of feelings felt only by a select few. Emotions hidden behind forced smiles and only felt in the deepest areas of a person’s heart. Often only embraced and acknowledged in the quiet hours of loneliness when no one is around to hear or see the tears that are shed.
Maybe even a little resentment.
Curiosity and comparison…
Why them and not me? What did they do different?
For a person who is struggling to get pregnant, the birth of a friend or relatives baby is a joyful and exciting and all of the things that it should be.
But it’s also painful.
In the last six months alone I’ve seen no less than 50 (yes, you read that right. Five-Oh) friends/acquaintances announce their pregnancies on Facebook. Blog friends, family friends, college classmates and sorority sisters…over and over and over again. While I put on a happy front and genuinely express my excitement for them at the new journey they are on, each and every announcement sucks a little bit more life out of me.
And I’ve only been at this trying to conceive thing for right at six months. (I don’t know how people who have been at it for YEARS do this.)
I’ve heard all of the responses to my feelings…
“God has a plan/purpose/time for everything…”
“Enjoy the one you have…”
“Things get that much crazier when you have more than one, so enjoy your down time…”
And let me tell you, NONE of those things make it any easier to swallow. None of those statements make anyone who is aching for a baby feel any better when she see’s all of her friends having kids and getting pregnant. None of those supposedly “uplifting” words of encouragement take away the desire to have a child.
Not being able to get pregnant right away is a tough pill for any woman to swallow.
Our husband’s don’t fully understand it; and even mine has offered up the “just be patient…it will happen” stanza a few times. Child bearing is supposed to be something that comes easily and naturally. And when it doesn’t, we start to question every thing (or at least I do).
I’m questioning my abilities as a mother.
Am I not a good enough mom to the child I have? Is that why God isn’t giving me another?
I’m questioning my faith.
Do I just not have enough faith? Am I not leaning on God enough? Depending on and relying on his timing?
I’m questioning my personal health and well being.
Did I do something wrong? Is it something I did that’s causing me NOT to get pregnant?
And I feel guilty for that pang of jealousy and envy I feel when I see another friend announce their good news to the world. I’m supposed to be happy for them; eager to celebrate the new life they will be bringing into the world. For their happiness is supposed to bring me happiness, and their joy is supposed to make me joyful.
And I am.
For those of you who have experienced similar situations and emotions, what got you through? How did you pass the time from month to month and overcome the reluctant joy for your pregnant friends?
Edited to Add: I apologize to anyone struggling with infertility if this post offended you. It was brought to my attention that my reference to not being able to get pregnant right away and using terms such as #infertility in my Twitter updates about this post might be offensive to some who have been trying to conceive for extended periods of time. If that’s the case and I did offend you, please accept my sincerest apologies. That was in no way my intent. I’m simply stating that right now, for me personally, this is something I struggle with and feel that people who have struggled with infertility can identify with. I’m not calling myself infertile or placing myself into that category.