Thursday, August 18, 2011

How To Deal...

I have been feeling very positive this week, so naturally, it was time for something to happen that will test my emotional well-being. I hate to write about other people on here because I realize they might someday read my blog and get the wrong idea. On the other hand, I created this blog as a place where I could go to journal about my feelings throughout this process. Something happened yesterday that I feel I need to talk through. Partly because it's hard for me to deal with or stop thinking about. And partly because I think it's something any woman going through infertility has to deal with several times throughout their journey toward having a child of their own.

There is one couple that is our closest couple friends, if that makes sense. The husband is my husband's best friend from college and they are very close. When I met his wife a couple years ago, we hit it off right away. We're a lot alike and they are both a lot of fun to be around. George and I have other close friends, but no other couple that we both get along so well with. Anyway, they recently moved back to our area and we spend time with them a lot. They just bought an amazing house that is probably three times more expensive than our place, which already makes me feel kind of... less, which I know is petty but completely honest.

Anyway, I knew they had talked about possibly having kids soon, but the last time we talked, she was on birth control. I wasn't emotionally prepared for the picture text message last night with two positive pregnancy tests. I'm definitely happy for them. Of course I am. They are our good friends, and I want them to be happy and I want to be excited for them. But at the same time, it's difficult. After texts of congratulations, she tells me this was their first cycle trying and how proud her husband is of that. I pretty much fell apart. Well, I excused myself to the bathroom and then fell apart.

I couldn't help but have these thoughts about how I've taken that feeling of pride away from my husband. He can never feel like that because I'm defective. After 13 cycles of trying to conceive, we're still not pregnant. And I am completely aware of the fact that many couples who struggle with infertility have been trying for far longer than 13 cycles. However, I've carried this fear around inside of me for 14 years. Ever since I was diagnosed with PCOS and that doctor told me I might never be able to have children, I have been terrified that I would never be able to get pregnant. It's taken me years to find the right man to even start trying or to get into a position where we were able to try. And I've found that my worst fears are coming true. There's a constant doubt that runs in my head. Will I ever be able to get pregnant?

So when someone close to me gets pregnant, it's a reminder that I am not. I am still trying to learn how to deal with the pain of watching others get pregnant and have their babies while I'm dealing with infertility. How do I deal with the fact that one of my best friends got pregnant in one cycle and has already announced it to everyone when she's only 4 weeks along? I will never have the luxury of casually taking a pregnancy test and not feeling desperate about the results. I will never be able to happily announce a pregnancy at only 4 weeks, because the risk of miscarriage is way too high for that to be a good idea.

I know that what I'm feeling has nothing to do with my friend or the other women in my life who are pregnant. I would never want to take away from their happiness. It's all my own issues. My own worries and fears. I understand that, but it doesn't make it any easier.

What I should be thinking is how much fun it will be to both be pregnant together. I should be thinking about how great it will be that our best friends are also going to have a baby around the same time. We can enjoy days at the park together or baby dates and such. It'll be great, right? Instead, my mind goes to the fear. I think about the potential for heartbreak. I think about how I am going to prepare myself for a baby shower or dinners together if IVF fails. How am I going to deal with that? Or what will I feel if April comes and we go to the hospital to support them and meet their new baby, but I'm still not pregnant? I know I shouldn't let my mind go there, but I feel in some ways that I have to protect myself. I have to prepare myself. It's complicated and if you've never experienced infertility, I don't think you can really understand it.

So, my friends in the blogosphere? How do you deal with close friends or family who are pregnant? How do you act normal around them even when you're hurting? How do you find a way to let your happiness for them overrule your disappointment in your own situation?


  1. I think it takes time. We've been trying for three years and I still find myself upset and angry when yet another person is pregnant. The best advice I've gotten on this topic is to allow yourself to feel whatever feelings come. I think you'll find in a few days you'll be able to look at the situation with a different outlook.
    My biggest piece of advice is not to place expectations on yourself in order to feel better- like 'well, at least I'll be pregnant by the baby shower or I bet I'll be xx weeks pregnant by the time she delivers.' Although in the moment it feels better, it makes those days A LOT harder if those expectations don't come true. -- Thinking of you, I know how hard those emotions are!

  2. Thanks for writing honestly about this. So sorry you are having to deal with this.
    For me, this sort of thing feels like the loss of a "normal" life that I so desperately want. And it's hard not to be jealous of others...for me it's hard whether it's babies or a bigger house or a million other things. What I've found I need to do is just beg out of some situations. Close friends who love you will understand. I've also found that anticipating things is often worse than the actual event. For example, this summer I was staying with my best friend (who lives out of town) and she organized a BBQ to which she invited a casual friend of ours who had the same October due date as me and was still pregnant (whereas I had miscarried). I haven't had a hard time with pregnant women in general, but seeing someone as far along as I should have she already has a baby...and is 10 years younger, and is a natural redhead...etc, lol...I was just dreading it. But the actual BBQ was really hurt, but not as much as I thought it would...
    Anyway, I'm rambling, but just want to say to you it's OK to be a little self protective around all this stuff and stay home if you need to stay home. Also totally normal to have these feelings...don't beat yourself up about not being happy for everyone every single second.