Every new pregnancy announcement still sends my brain into a whirl. I thought after getting pregnant with my daughter those feelings would go away. My daughter is now 21 months, and my initial feelings are still the same. My heart jumps into my throat, and my knees go weak. I can’t look away from the screen. I hope that it’s all just a silly prank. If I’m honest, I also think they are an idiot, but that’s a story for another day.
I can’t help but take it personally. It’s like the universe is constantly reminding me. I know they are not trying to shove it in my face or rub it in, but that’s how it feels.
Don’t get me wrong, I am usually incredibly happy for them, but I can’t seem to put my struggles aside.
So how do I cope with a pregnancy announcement?
I generally treat each pregnancy announcement differently. How close am I to this person? Do I have any background information to support how I should feel? I analyse it in a few ways before I publicly react. Sometimes it takes me a few days to offer my congratulations. Sometimes I will offer a generic ‘congratulations!!’ on the facebook post. I might wait to congratulate them in person if I know that I will be seeing them soon. If I know a bit more about the situation, I will send them a personal message either via facebook or text message. Then there are the few occasions that I just ignored it altogether.
I will attend the baby shower. I will put together a thoughtful and useful gift. More often than not I will also crochet a personalised toy. I think people have come to expect it after all this time.
How would you know?
Particularly when it comes to getting pregnant, many people keep their struggles a secret. And I understand why. I didn’t want to open myself up to the suggestions because yes, we had tried everything. We tried relaxing. We tried ovulation kits. I tried natural herbs. We tried special lubricants. I felt ashamed that my body wasn’t working in the way that it should. I certainly didn’t want anyone to know that I wasn’t perfect.
During my injections for IVF, I found out that one of my friends was expecting. I was told to my face, so I didn’t have anything to hide behind. I’m now embarrassed by my reaction. I said “that’s great” then gave them a thumbs up. Then I walked outside.
About a month and a half after my egg collection for IVF I decided that I needed to see someone about the feelings that I was having. The main thing I got from that conversation was how would you know? How would I know that my friends didn’t struggle to get pregnant? I didn’t ask. I didn’t offer up any more than my simple well wishes. So who am I to judge and have these feelings towards people not knowing anything about the situation?
What if a friend said that to you?
Not long after my pregnancy reached 12 weeks, I felt that I needed to talk to someone again. This time I had the revelation myself after venting out loud. Think about the negative things you tell yourself. How would you react if it was a friend telling you the same thing? You would tell them to stop being silly.
I shared this wisdom with a friend recently. She was worried about getting in the pool as her body was not the same as it was before she had her handsome little boy. I asked her to think about what she would say if I were the one making a fuss about my post-baby body. She agreed that she would say that I was silly, then she jumped in the pool.
I’m sure it is just one of those things that will get better with time. I also hope it will be a little while before the next pregnancy announcement,