I am so thankful my pregnancy is going well and that I am able to experience this again. Less than a year ago, I was ready to pack it in and take a break from the 14 month battle with infertility. I was worn out from all the charting, wondering, questioning, and waiting. I was afraid it wasn’t going to happen and if it did, I was afraid that my pregnancy would end too soon as it has 12 times before. I was envious of others who seemed to have it happen so easily.
Pregnancy envy while dealing with perinatal grief or the grief of infertility is not uncommon, but I don’t think it’s talked about a lot. Since it’s not typically an open discussion, those who are dealing with the envy, jealousy, guilt, and anger can sometimes feel like they’re not a good person, and there are a lot of confusing emotions that can do along with it.
I had pregnancy envy. I had it bad, and the confusing emotions of genuinely being happy for others, while being angry it wasn’t happening for me, was a weird place to be in. I felt like the only one dealing with these feelings and that made it all feel kind of worse. I am pregnant now, but there are still times where I feel that stir up again when someone gets pregnant so easily or has an easy, carefree pregnancy (again, those genuine feelings of happiness mixed with the “why not me?” factor hits).
If you’re dealing with pregnancy envy or baby envy, you are not alone and you’re not a bad person for what you’re feeling. There are some ways you can help manage your feelings and make the whole situation and process a lot easier on yourself.
Check out some tips on how to deal with pregnancy envy through loss or infertility:
Talk it Out 1 of 8
Find a friend, co-worker, community leader, or your spouse to talk to who won't judge or make you feel worse than you already do. Having an outlet for your feelings can help take it from the bottled inside, and you will find a lot of comfort in that.
Acknowledge Your Feelings 2 of 8
There is nothing wrong with what you're feeling, and once you're able to accept that, you will begin to feel a little better.
Spend Time With a Friend’s Baby 3 of 8
If you need a little dose of baby, get some baby time in with a friend who has a newborn or younger child. Sometimes a smell of their head or a small cuddle can help heal your heart a bit.
Focus on the Positive 4 of 8
It's not always possible to do this all the time, but sometimes it helps to focus on the positives -- even if just for a moment. Remind yourself of all the good things in life, and that may help ward off some of the negative.
Don’t Feel Bad About Venting It Out 5 of 8
I had some pretty strong feelings when I was deep in infertility. Thankfully, I had a friend who had gone through it and was at the time pregnant and on the other side. Having her to be able to vent to without judgement was amazing, and it helped me get it all out without feeling bad. Realizing that it was okay for me to feel the way I was feeling really helped with a lot of that guilt cycle.
Speak to Your Doctor 6 of 8
If you're finding your envy is turning into a depression of some form, talk to your doctor. Let them know what you're feeling and they may be able to direct you to community resources or other forms of help.
Avoid The Places It Creeps Up The Most 7 of 8
If you're bothered by all the Facebook updates, by all means, block the person temporarily from your newsfeed or avoid social media altogether. It doesn't have to be forever, but there's no sense in making your world a little more difficult.
Be Honest With Your Friends 8 of 8
If you've got a friend or few who are unknowingly being insensitive -- tell them. If they go on and on about how they can't believe they accidentally got pregnant or constantly complain every time you get together, be honest and let them know how you're feeling.
:: How do you cope with pregnancy envy? Share in the comments! ::
Photo credits: istockphoto
More on Babble:
- 10 Things You Don’t Want to Hear the Doctor Say During Birth
- 10 Ways This Pregnancy Has Been Different From My Previous Ones
- 10 Unexpected Benefits of a Growing Baby Bump
- 12 Annoying Things People Do When They’re in Love
Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three kids and expecting baby #4 at the end of this year. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!