Have you struggled getting pregnant, and it seems like everyone around you is getting pregnant while you’re not? Girl, I have been there. Let’s discuss how to deal with all your friends getting pregnant when you’re not.

 

 

By Halle Tecco, MBA, MPH

In my friend group, it seemed like we had a wave of weddings followed by a wave of babies. Everyone was sharing the most adorable pregnancy announcements…except me. Months went by, and test after test was negative. Those adorable pregnancy announcements became an annoying reminder of what I wanted so badly, but couldn’t seem to accomplish. 

All my friends are pregnant, and I’m feeling left behind.

Is this you? First off, I’m sorry. Your feelings of disappointment or even jealousy are valid. Trying to get pregnant comes so easily for some and is such a nightmare for others. The emotions can be difficult to manage, and the friendships can be hard to navigate during this time. Here are things that got me through this time:

Five things that helped me overcome pregnancy envy:

    1. Find a therapist. Talking it out with a professional saved my life. If you aren’t yet talking to someone, I highly recommend finding a counselor or therapist to help you navigate this time. There are counselors who focus on infertility, and they can help arm you with strategies for managing friendships during this time.
    2. Help your friends help you. You are bound to hear ignorant comments from friends like “just relax and it’ll happen!” along with recommendations for how to get pregnant—as if you haven’t already tried everything. My advice is to tell your friends you are struggling, and let them know your boundaries. How can they best support you during this time? Good friends will understand and want to avoid upsetting you. 
    3. You can be happy for your friend and sad for yourself at the same time. Something I repeat to myself is “their fertility doesn’t make me more infertile.” It’s difficult to do, but separating your joy for others and sorrow for yourself is possible (especially if you have given yourself space to grieve). Now that I’m seven years into this journey, I am genuinely able to get excited by others getting pregnant and celebrate their news. Of course I want a baby, too. But that’s another story. 
    4. It’s okay to sit out a baby shower. In fact, it’s okay to sit out friendships too. Set healthy boundaries. Invest in relationships that fill your cup, and relinquish those that don’t. 
    5. Remember: you are so much more than your infertility. Don’t forget who you were before infertility, and what makes you happy. Spend time on yourself and your relationship(s). Don’t let infertility define you. It sucks, but you are so, so much more than your reproductive organs. 

You are so, so much more than your reproductive organs. 

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Pregnancy envy is real, and it’s important to acknowledge and try to understand those feelings, Working through the grief of infertility is an ongoing process, but doing so will help you better manage feelings of pregnancy envy. I wish you all the best on your journey.