Coping with going through fertility treatmentNovember 1, 2016
Feeling like a failureNovember 1, 2016
This is a common issue that comes up when speaking to others who are struggling to conceive.
Those of us that are/have struggled to conceive will know that one of the hardest things to cope with when trying to conceive is other people sharing their happy news that they are expecting.
We know we should be over the moon for them (which we are) but there is another instant reaction that hits you like a bus – that sickening feeling in your stomach that someone else is lucky enough to have achieved the amazing and seemingly unattainable thing you most desire – that immediate thought of – ‘why can’t it be me!’.
You immediately feel guilty for not being able to just be happy for them, but it just acts as a reminder that you still don’t have a baby – there is an intense jealousy (that you don’t feel you can voice to anyone) that is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Some of my closest friends got pregnant whilst I was struggling and I felt so disloyal and such a bitch for having these feelings, but I do believe its instinctive.
- In the time I was trying to conceive 14 friends had babies (one friend even had 3 babies in that time – including twins). It gets very hard to keep the smiley congratulations face on when hearing all their announcements. I remember being at a party sat between 2 friends that were pregnant talking about the frustrations with being pregnant, excitement about getting ready for baby and names. It was heartbreaking but I just had to smile, and I cried on the way home as I was so down about it all.
- In the current age of social media it is difficult to get away from the happy announcements, I sometimes found myself scouring the Facebook looking for peoples scan pictures and announcements – it was like I was punishing myself expecting people's announcements.
- It is difficult to listen to people saying things like ‘It happened in the first month we started trying’
- There is also always a big queue of people asking when you will have children – ‘You’ve been married ages, when are you going to start having children?’ or ‘you’ll be next’. It is difficult to think of excuses and an answer to these questions when you know you are desperately trying to have a baby. My husband started replying with ‘we’re practicing’ every time we were asked when we would have children, which was embarrassing but saved thinking of an answer.
Tips to cope with hearing other people’s happy announcements
- Give yourself permission to feel how you feel (sad, angry, distraught) and try not to feel guilty.
- Explain to friends that it's not that you are not happy for them, that you are struggling with your own inability to conceive but trying to deal with it. A true friend will understand and should hopefully be subtle/considerate of your feelings.
- If you are really struggling with your emotions, you may choose to avoid certain social gatherings (where there are lots of pregnant people or young babies).
- Come off social media for a while, save yourself the upset of seeing announcements and baby pics.
- Be kind to yourself while you are going through this process and struggling with your emotions – take time out to treat yourself to things that make you feel relaxed and special.
- Thankful list - Think of 3 things every day that you are thankful for – make a note of these and refer back to them when you are having a bad day or negative thoughts.