When you’re struggling to get pregnant, finding out that a friend, colleague, or even just a Facebook acquaintance is having a baby, can be heartbreaking.
Whether you’re going through fertility treatment, IVF, or recovering from a miscarriage, this kind of happy news from others can often feel a little devastating.
Even if you want to be happy for them, it’s completely normal and understandable to feel sad, jealous or even a little resentful of their news, particularly when they are experiencing the one thing you’re so desperately trying to achieve.
At Fertility SA we’re surrounded by women, men and families who are doing everything in their power to bring new life into the world, and we understand the emotional toll infertility can have on people’s lives.
Next time you see an announcement on Facebook, or your friend calls to tell you she’s pregnant, here are some of our Fertility SA counsellor’s tips for dealing with the news effectively and gracefully.
Be kind to yourself
When you’re struggling with your own fertility, it’s completely understandable that you might not feel instantly happy when receiving the news that someone you know or love is pregnant.
Try not to beat yourself up about it. It’s ok to feel upset, and even if you’re happy or want to be happy for your friend or colleague sometimes it’s just not that easy.
Give yourself some time to gather your thoughts and feelings before judging yourself for your reaction. What you’re experiencing is normal and depending on where you are in your fertility journey it may take some time to feel good about such news. Be kind to yourself.
Do something that makes you feel good
After receiving news of another person’s pregnancy try to think about doing something special for yourself.
Whether that’s going for a run, doing a yoga class, watching your favourite movie under a warm rug, getting a facial, or having a glass of wine with your partner or loved one.
Try to nurture yourself and do something that makes you feel good about you and about your situation.
This may work to distract you from the news, but it may also help to calm you, give you clarity or even a different perspective.
Consider the friendship
Consider your relationship with the person who is pregnant and use this to work out the best approach for you and them.
If it’s your best friend, just be honest about how you’re feeling. By opening yourself up to them about your struggles you’ll probably have a far more real conversation about what they, and you, are experiencing. If you both value your relationship the support will go both ways.
On the other hand, if the news comes from a more casual friend or a colleague you might be better off keeping your distance until you feel strong enough to face the reality of the situation.
Talk to someone
You don’t have to share everything with everyone, but rather than bottling it up, speak with someone about how you’re feeling.
Choose someone you can trust – a friend, family member, or a counsellor – so that you can share what you’re going through without fear of judgement.
Remember that fertility isn’t fair
A lot of people have a tough time having a family, but plenty of people find it pretty easy too.
There’s no rhyme or reason for it, it’s not fair, or based on merit, or even health. Remember it is ok to feel a bit sad or stuck or frustrated when you’re dealing with fertility issues.
Try not to blame yourself, or your partner, or your friend, it’s just life and everyone will have their own little or large crosses to bare. It is how you deal with it that will make a difference to your own health and happiness.