5.07.2015

The sting of a pregnancy announcement

Just a disclaimer before I pour my heart into this blog post. I know I will get some negative comments. Someone is going to tell me to get over myself, that I need to move on or just be happy for other people. Many people will never understand the feelings I have and that's okay! Honestly, it's fine. If you are lucky enough to never have to experience the pain and longing caused by infertility, I truly am happy for you. For those of us that have suffered, it is a very hard road. This blog is my site and my place to write my feelings. My therapy. By writing these words and being able to "say them out loud", I am able to grow, to process my feelings and to move forward. Thank you for reading and thank you for your kindness!

I put up walls. Mentally, not outwardly. Facebook is full of friends, acquaintances, old classmates, and relatives. Most of my news feed is clogged with group posts from the tons and tons of cloth diaper groups I belong to. I rarely see business or blog pages and even friend posts are hidden among the cloth diaper chatter. None of this is by choice and honestly, I long for the old days of Facebook when you just completed sentences about yourself ("Jenny is .....") and sent badges to your friends to pin on their walls. Things were simple back then. Now Facebook is full of thoughts, information, drama, and whatever else people want to share. But really this post isn't a rant about Facebook. Facebook is a part of my job and as much as I dislike it some days, I love it others.

The problem is not being able to filter out things on Facebook. It happens almost every day. I log in to Facebook and put my guard up. I just know that at any moment a pregnancy announcement is going to pop into my feed. The truth is, I start putting these mental walls up around the time babies turn a year old. That's around the time that I expect a lot of my friends will start trying for more children. Some pregnancies happen way before then and many don't happen for months and months later, but I know it's coming. So I try my best to guard my heart and prepare for the ultrasound picture, the big brother or sister announcement, whatever adorable thing they've concocted to announce that another baby is on the way. And every time I see one, I catch my breath. The sadness sets in and the infertility once again begins to consume me.

It's not just on Facebook. I do at gatherings too. Whenever I find myself in a room full of young moms I worry that I will be hit with the news of a new baby on the way. It happened a few weeks ago. I met a group of moms for coffee. I honestly was worried one mom was going to have news and tried to prepare myself mentally. Instead, another mom showed up with her very new newborn. It hurts and it's hard, but it's life.

I am suffering from infertility. My husband and I don't get to have another baby. My son doesn't get to be a big brother. But not these other families. My infertility doesn't (and shouldn't) stop the rest of the world from growing their families and excitedly announcing it. The truth is, these moms, dads, siblings, families should be excited! They should share their news with everyone and on Facebook in the most adorable way that they choose. Babies are blessings and should be celebrated.

But for me, I need time. Time for the news to sink in. Time for the pain from the reminder that once again we aren't pregnant and my body is failing us. At home my mood may fall. I may cry. I may pour my heart out to my husband or on this blog. I get over it. I move on. I'll come to your baby shower if you invite me and tell you all about cloth diapers if you are interested. It's all part of the healing process.

It may not sound like it, but I've come a long way in three years. The infertility doesn't consume me like it once did. I've found a lot of peace. Most days are good days, but the bad days still come. The pregnancy announcements still sting. The newborns still make me long for my own.

16 comments:

  1. Thank you SO much for sharing your feelings! I hope no one tells you "to just get over it"! Every infertility and miscarriage is different and difficult! I don't know what you are going through, but after my miscarriage I too hated logging into Facebook. Time does not completely heal wounds such as these but it can lessen the pain. I hope that through the sharing of your story that you cannot only help yourself but others as well! Your son is super lucky to have you as his mom! Bless you and your sweet family!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Ferren! Blogging about it definitely does help me process my feelings and I hope it helps others. I think so many people feel like they can't talk about their struggles and hold it in, which is so hard!

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  2. I've found myself in the position of finding out I was pregnant while my sister and my sister-in-law were going through fertility treatments. I felt guilty and was honestly scared to tell them. We did a fun 'surprise' announcement for the grandparents, but a few days before I had called and talked with both ladies so they wouldn't get the wind knocked out of them in front of everybody. They both were very happy for us and both confronted me later to thank me for letting them know ahead and taking their situation into consideration. I've seen them both go through so much and I can't even imagine the strength they (and you) carry daily. (I'm very blessed to be an Aunt now, by the way, and I am so happy for them.)

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    1. You are such a good sister Emily! I know it was hard for me to watch both of my SILs get pregnant time and time again while we are struggling, but it helped to know they loved us and cared. I accidentally found out about one of the pregnancies on FB before she got the chance to tell me and I swear that was the hardest announcement ever. She felt horrible and did not want to go that way. I'm so glad that you got to be aunt!

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  3. Your feelings are perfectly valid and there are those of us out there that cringe when we do post a pregnancy, because we know we will hurt someone, even if we don't want to. I have a college friend that is infertile and church people that have had multiple miscarriages. Both years ago and recently. It's not fair.

    There are tons of ways to have kids in your life, perhaps adoption or surrogacy will be in your future a few years down the road. It is hard to say and you're still very young. I know you're just processing, but even the most savvy people forget from time to time that other options are out there, held up by their grief.

    A child and spouse of an older couple in our town was dismayed when they learned she had melanoma very young and was treated. They informed their parents/in laws 'no kids'... to which they laughed and said 'where do you think you came from'... the son was adopted from Korea. Lol. He should have known better than anyone! Just a brief anecdote to perhaps open some doors in your mind. Or maybe give you a giggle.

    Regardless, don't let the haters bother you, there's a lot more of us praying for you than you'll ever know.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! Heck, even when I got pregnant with our son, I was so excited! I wanted to announce it and post about and be excited, but I worried about my friends that were still struggling. It's so hard, but you can't hide it. You really just have to let others deal with their feelings in their way, but it helps when people are understanding.

      Adoption is still an option and definitely on the table. We have one more round of IUI before we are officially done with all of our treatments. I don't think we'll jump right into adoption. It's definitely something we'll pray about and research.

      Thanks for being so encouraging!

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  4. I know I seem the least likely to understand. I didn't struggle with infertility, but two consecutive miscarriages before a successful, full term pregnancy messed me up. I cringe when I see a pregnancy announcement...still. It's been 6 years since my first miscarriage, and while it's easier in some ways, that sting is still there. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Take your time and don't apologize. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and you have made leaps and bounds to be able to talk about it openly. Hugs!

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    1. Hugs to you too Jeniffer! I can't imagine how hard one miscarriage is, let alone multiple!

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  5. I am currently considered infertile. However, it was by choice, it was worst decision I have ever made. Now I am longing to give my husband another. Just want to say I am Praying for you and your family.

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    1. I'm so sorry Lekeya! Thank you for commenting.

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  6. Jenny, have you tried acupuncture? My friend who was struggling to get pregnant credits acupuncture for her current pregnancy.

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    1. I haven't tried acupuncture, but I've heard that it can be very helpful!

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  7. Thanks for sharing your story, this is exactly how I feel. My son is 4 and we have had two years of infertility, hopefully our time is close!

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  8. Jenny, what tips/recommendations do you have for announcing pregnancies. (I'm not pregnant.) But honestly would like suggestions in case I'm ever expecting again. We have family/friends suffering from infertility, and even though we'd be thrilled, I know they're suffering.

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    1. Honestly Sarah, I don't have any tips. You can't hide your pregnancy and your announcement and you shouldn't! You should be excited and when you are ready to share it, you should! And you should share it however you choose. Just because I (or whoever) suffers from infertility doesn't mean you shouldn't be excited about your own baby. I've been on both sides of this and after almost 2 years of TTC and lots of tears over pregnancy announcements, you better believe I celebrated and couldn't wait to share my own good news. You just have to let the other person deal with it in their own way. For me, that often means crying to my husband. And don't be upset if you don't get the excited response back from the infertile person. Sometimes they just need time to process it. I know I do. I always come around but it may take me a few days. The only thing I would say is that depending on how close you are the person, it helps to tell them before they see it in their FB newsfeed. It's still may hurt, but it's nice to know you cared enough to worry about their feelings. And as much as I hate texts/messages for these types of things, sometimes it's nice doing it that way because the person doesn't have to put on a face. They can burst into tears and cry, but respond when they are ready. I know for me there have been times that it was nice to cry about it before responding so I didn't have to be a total jerk!

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  9. People at this clinic not only focuses on the problem areas that I highlight but also looks for subtle locations that I am often not aware of but are actually affecting my pain levels. At acupuncture lorne park they also makes sure to give me holistic pain relief including stress.

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