Dealing with Pregnancy Announcements when TTC

You know when you get a new car and then you see that specific model everywhere? That’s what it’s like when you’ve been trying to get pregnant. Your Facebook feed is suddenly filled with pregnancy announcements and you get slapped in the face with ultrasound and newborn photos across all social media.

It’s like everyone you know snapped their fingers and got pregnant. 

The feelings that erupt are tough. Especially when it’s a good friend. You’re happy for them, but it feels buried under the feeling of jealousy, sometimes anger. Then, you instantly feel guilty.

Just because it’s not happening easily for you, doesn’t mean no one else should be pregnant. But with each announcement or birth you can feel more and more “behind. 

I remember that slight feeling of failure that came along with every announcement, even of people I hardly knew. I didn’t want to turn into a touchy person who’s friends felt they were walking on eggshells around. I wanted to hear about their pregnancies and the babies who joined soon after. I hated to think they couldn’t share their news or newborn chronicles with me.

I didn’t eliminate every twang of jealousy, but a change of thought greatly helped.

For one, I took stock of all I did have. Days before my egg retrieval my cousin called to tell me she was pregnant…with twins! She and her husband had been “trying but not trying” so the pregnancy was a bit of a surprise and the twin factor was out of left field.

The uncertainty in her voice about feeling ready allowed me to see another side of pregnancy.

Motherhood is what I wanted and welcomed, so naturally, I put those feelings on all pregnant women and new moms I saw. Her call clued me in that being pregnant was not everyone’s ideal scenario, and that I may, in fact, have an ideal scenario going on that someone else coveted.

I re-examined the things I was taking for granted; my relationship with my spouse, our home in Chicago, the health of my parents, etc. This is not to say I no longer wished I were the one announcing pregnancy, rather I felt the playing field level a bit.

Another moment that shaped how I saw pregnant women (and, man, were they everywhere!) was a month or so before we started stims for IVF. We were visiting friends we hadn’t seen in a while who had a 3-month old. When you’re navigating a rough path to starting your family, it quickly becomes the biggest thing in your world, and is hard not to bring up.

In telling them where we were in the IVF process she divulged that they had been trying a year and if the month they ended up getting pregnant didn’t work, they planned to see a fertility specialist.

I didn’t realize how often I simply assumed all these pregnancies were relatively easy. Infertility is still a taboo topic, which I knew, but somehow didn’t completely factor in.

After that, every time I felt jealousy creep in, I thought about how I didn’t know anything about their journey. I didn’t know how long they had been trying. I didn’t know if she had miscarriages before this. I didn’t know if she was a surrogate, had used donor eggs, embryos or sperm. I had no idea.

Maybe she wasn’t ready. Maybe she wasn’t planning to stay with the father. Maybe it was the farthest thing from her ideal scenario.

I wasn’t any more sure of how my story would end, but it helped me feel that I wasn’t the odd one out. It helped to remember that everything isn’t as it seems from a glance.

Once I was pregnant, I kept that in my head. In my last 6 weeks of pregnancy I was at a party and talking with another woman who let on she was struggling to get pregnant. I immediately gushed how hard it was for us. How frustrating and awful it was not knowing how long it would take.

Watching others go through the journey to parenthood is tough. It’s hard to feel excited when that feeling is wrapped in a hundred others. It’s normal to feel happy and jealous and sad at the same time. It’s OK.

Remind yourself that you don’t know the whole story. Remind yourself that you’re on your path at the right time.

If you’re struggling in finding your patience while trying to conceive, talking to a coach who has been there can help, and I would love to work with you! Email me at Samantha@simplywellcoaching.com and let’s talk. In a quick and free 20 minute Discovery Call you can determine if Prenatal Health Coaching is right for you.

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