It wasn’t too long ago that I found out I was pregnant for the second time around. Instead of the delight, excitement, and feeling of amazement that you’d expect to accompany those things, I was met with a feeling I didn’t in the least bit anticipate: guilt.
Guilt that I was pregnant and so many others weren’t.
Guilt that a friend that had been trying for a year had yet to receive a positive test result.
Guilt for a friend that was struggling through fertility treatments.
Guilt for a friend that had just suffered a miscarriage.
Guilt for all my friends that were trying to get pregnant and had been keeping their journey quiet (surely at my age there were a few out there).
Of course I was happy (if not somewhat terrified at the same time) to be pregnant. This baby was wanted, planned, and didn’t come easily, although easier than my son and easier than many journeys in the grand scheme of things.
I’ve always been a little overly sensitive to how my actions can make other people feel, as I’m a bit sensitive myself. But even I was a little caught off guard by how strong my feelings of guilt were.
I didn’t want to tell anybody.
I was worried to tell specific friends I knew were trying to get pregnant and hadn’t yet, but I was also nervous to tell anyone period, since you never know what someone is going through at any given time.
Rationally I know I shouldn’t feel guilty because it’s not something I’ve done out of intent or malice, it’s simply something good that happened to me and not yet to someone else. I also know that my friends would still be happy for me, even though it hasn’t yet happened for them.
I went through the same thing the first time around — my disappointment at not being pregnant was a completely separate feeling from being happy and excited for a friend that was. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was hurting someone else, or I would be if I shared the news.
Of course once I did the break the news (gently and as appropriately as I could), I realized it wasn’t as big of a deal as I had worked it up to be. And I had missed out on sharing earlier experiences because of my fear of causing pain for someone else.
I’ve been on the side of the spectrum where it’s hard to see the seemingly endless announcements on Facebook and social media, but keeping the news to myself wasn’t going to solve anything when it came to other people’s fertility story. And I finally understand this now.More On