Discovering that you might be infertile is emotional. At times it may feel as though your whole world is crumbling around you; all the hopes and plans you had for your future family suddenly seem so far away. While there are options to help you conceive naturally, or to obtain a child by other means, it doesn’t make you feel much better in the beginning. These emotions are intensified when friends and family members start becoming pregnant. It can feel like everybody is being blessed with a child but you. So, how do you deal?
Here are a few ways to manage your emotions and deal with pregnant friends during your infertility journey:
Stay Hopeful and Positive: It’s easy to go to a dark place when you discover you’re unable to conceive and then learn that a friend is having a baby. You might feel jealous, angry, or hurt. It’s completely normally to experience these emotions. Some women have suggested that when they hear the news that a friend has become pregnant following news of infertility, it feels like that friend has stabbed them in the back or deliberately become pregnant. While this isn’t the case, you’re not alone if you feel this way.
It’s important that you stay hopeful and positive when you get news of infertility. Of course, it’s normal and healthy to mourn your hopes for an easy conception too, but it doesn’t mean that a family isn’t in your future, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate the successes in parenthood of your friends and family members.
Know When to Say No: When a friend becomes pregnant there are certain obligations you’re faced with. A baby shower, hospital visits, and future birthday parties all loom on the horizon. It’s important that you know when to say “no” for your own mental health. It’s great to be supportive if you can manage it, and stay positive in the face of pure devastation, but you also need to know yourself and be kind to your psyche.
Maybe you feel like you’ll be fine attending the baby shower, but there’s just no way you can go to the hospital and see your friend with her new bundle, surrounding by gifts and visiting friends and family. This is okay, and you need to allow yourself to accept that and be true to yourself. A real friend will understand that you’re going through some things when it comes to babies and you aren’t always going to be as excited as others to join in her special moment. If the thought of experiencing any of these events hurts too much, just excuse yourself from them with other obligations.
Have the Talk: Maybe your friend doesn’t know yet that you’re experiencing troubles conceiving and now she is talking of nothing but the baby she’s carrying. It might be time to sit your friend down and have a heart to heart. Express how genuinely happy you are for her that she is finally starting a family, but that you’ve been trying and received news that it will be a struggle for you to do the same. Explain that while you’re there in spirit, you may not always be there in person when it comes time to celebrate her pregnancy and birthing experiences.
Find Your Happy Space: There’s so much more to you than your infertility. When dealing with a friend’s successes in the face of your own upsetting failure to conceive, find your happy space. You deserve to be happy and celebrate all the wonderful things that make you, you. Make time for you and your partner, do the things you enjoy, and if you must, avoid your friend for your own mental health.