Your bestie just called and said she’s pregnant with baby number two…the baby was an “oopsie.” You just saw your cousin’s baby announcement and you know for a fact, they JUST started trying.
You are happy for them but man, it’s totally devastating when all you want is your own baby. You’d kill for the morning sickness or having to pee all the time. You’d do anything to have all the symptoms your pregnant friends keep complaining to you about.
Infertility and pregnant friends is literally the worst combo…ever. It’s so understandable that you felt like you were having a panic attack when you heard the news. You are absolutely not alone in being upset and feeling like you just got the rug pulled out from under you.
Read on or check out my YouTube video below to see how you can stay sane when dealing with infertility and pregnant friends.
Be clear about how you want to be told
If you are struggling with infertility, the last thing you need is to find out on social media that your friend is pregnant. That’s why it’s important to have the conversation with your close friends and family who are trying…and even those that aren’t…around pregnancy announcements.
Be upfront with them about how you want to find out. Do you want an email? A phone call? A text? Or an in person conversation? An email or text can seem really impersonal. However, it gives you the chance to have your reaction without them staring you in the face.
You won’t have to storm out of their house or have a mental breakdown in front of them. You are able to have your initial reaction without an audience. Then you can talk to them once you’ve had enough time to process.
Clearly communicate your preference with your people. They will be understanding, especially if they are aware of your situation. Your people love you and they know what you are going through isn’t fair.
Let the mad out
Look, hearing that your friend, or sister, or coworker is pregnant after about 5 minutes of them trying when you and your hubby have been struggling for a year ain’t easy. It’s also a huge, and understandable, trigger. It will make you upset…it’s absolutely, 100% okay to BE upset.
Get mad! Write it out in a journal. Vent to your partner. Talk about it to a close friend (not the one who’s pregnant). Then check in with yourself to see if you’re still mad. If you are, vent some more. Punch a pillow. Go for a run. Yell or scream. Check in with yourself again. Rinse and repeat. Do this until you feel less enraged. It could take a while. Give yourself the time.
If you only pick one step for dealing with infertility and pregnant friends, do this one. If you don’t get the mad out, it will sneak up on you later…possibly at an inopportune time. Like when you’re hanging out with said friend and they start bitching about their pregnancy symptoms. Or you might take the anger out on someone undeserving, like your poor hubby when he loads the dishwasher wrong.
Be honest with yourself about the relationship moving forward
Now that you know that your close friend is pregnant, it’s time to set some boundaries to protect yourself. Take some time and explore what you can realistically handle from your guys’ relationship at this time. Be compassionate towards yourself as you do this.
Do you want to go to the baby shower? Do you want to be super involved in planning the nursery? If you’ve always been the friend they come to for everything and you need to take a step back…then do that for yourself. The last thing you’ll want to listen to is them complaining about their pregnancy symptoms or newborn.
Protect your heart during this time. If you can’t be around them, you don’t have to be. At this time in your life, you have to put yourself first…you deserve to put yourself first.
And yes, there is potential here for your friend’s feelings to be hurt. However, what you are going through will smack you in the face every time you are around them. So be honest with yourself about what you can take.
If this is one of the people closest to you, they will understand. They will want to support you as much as you’ll want to support them.
Block people on social media (or deactivate your account)
Ah, the good ole block/unfollow button. Probably the most effective way of making you feel less like a jealous monster every time you get on social media. (I used it time and time…and time again) All you have to do is push a little teeny button and poof! The exposure to their situation is gone from your life.
This is most definitely easier to do for people that aren’t essential to your everyday life…so block away. But what if it’s your sister who will definitely notice you not liking her growing baby bump pics?
Again, it’s important here to protect your heart and respect what you can handle at this time. If it’s going to sting every time you see a picture, it’s okay to unfollow even those closest to you. You already feel like something is wrong with you and you don’t deserve to be reminded of this every time you pick up your phone.
You can also just deactivate your accounts all together. (Don’t worry, you can always reactivate them when you’re in a better headspace!) A social media cleanse has even more benefits than better mental health
- reduction in screen time
- increase in productivity
- better sleep
- more presence in your daily interactions
Ya feel me?!
And if unfollowing/blocking people on social media has you going into panic mode, you can always turn off notifications. This simple tactic will also have you picking up your phone less and gaining productivity…win, win, win!
Flip the story you tell yourself about everyone else getting pregnant
All things baby and pregnancy seem to follow you around when you are having trouble getting pregnant. What if instead of looking at these things as a sign of what you don’t have, you told yourself a different story?
Research has shown that what we tell ourselves matters…on a cellular level. So when you see a baby and think “why can’t I get pregnant like that lady,” your cells hear that message. The amazing news is that, you can start to change that thinking. When you see a pregnant woman, or newborn, instead of beating yourself up, flip the script. Say, “I can’t wait until that’s me,” or even better, “Thanks for showing me I’m on the path to baby.”
Changing this story in your mind will help not only your mental/emotional wellbeing, but your body and cellular wellbeing too! So instead of comparing yourself to others and feeling like you’re coming up short, celebrate that woman and how she’s showing you what your life will be like soon.
Dealing with infertility and pregnant friends is not easy. You are so happy for your friends but you can’t help but ask yourself what you are doing wrong. I’m here to tell you that you are not broken, you are not doing anything wrong. The path you walk is just…different.
It’s so easy to get stuck in a space where you feel like you’re less than. I get it, I’ve been there. Going through this alone is something that I wish I could go back and change. Having someone who could help me see what I wasn’t seeing. Who could help me find the light in the darkness. Who could remind me that this won’t last forever. My spiritual practice was born from my fertility journey and I can’t be sad about that.
If you want some support through what you are going through, I’m here. You can set up a free call with me to discuss where you are in your journey. Whether it’s dealing with infertility and pregnant friends or figuring out what thought patterns you’d like to reshape. We can walk through where you feel stuck and implement tools to help you out.