Recently, in a comment to a post I’ve been asked how I react to pregnancy announcements. This is a tough one because I feel every time it was a rather different experience.
I’ve read lots of other bloggers describing their reaction to pregnancy announcement as a mixed feeling of happiness for the arrival of a baby and jealousy because they would have liked to be the ones making the announcement. Personally, I believe there are a few more ingredients to the pregnancy announcement recipe: some anger with the universe (why them and not us?), some sadness because I get reminded of our difficulties and of how life changes for others but leaves us stuck in our infertility limbo and a good amount of guilt for all the feelings other than happiness.
Each time has been different, but more or less the main reactions are:
– Good: I just show I’m happy because I am. This happened to me rarely to be honest, but it does happen with very close friends as well as with other people who struggled like us.
– Mixed: I show a happy face but have mixed feelings inside. I try to go hide as soon as I can so I can digest all the feelings in private. This happens with less close friends, colleagues, friends who chose bad phrasing. It also happens with close friends who know all about me but decided not to even let me know they were trying. I know it’s not compulsory but normally if I open up to someone it’s because it’s a friend so I think they would do the same with me.
– Bad: a few times I have not managed at all to show a happy face. In these cases words like “congratulations”, “that’s great” etc come out of my mouth but not really credibly. This happened to me a couple of times only, when something went very wrong in the way I was told and while I was already not too well.
As time goes by and I become a more mature infertile, I have learned how to suppress some of these feelings. Anger and jealousy are rare now, because I have accepted I am different and won’t have it easy as some others do. Guilt is also rare, because I learned to be less hard with myself and to accept this is a difficult journey. This wouldn’t have been possible to learn without all the marvelous bloggers out there who shared their feelings and experiences.
Though I have become wiser, I still find it hard at times. For instance, after I’ve been really good for months, as get ready to try IVF again, I feel I am more sensitive than usual. I think I’m getting stressed as I don’t know how to deal with expectations. Recent pregnancy announcements or other similar news have caused a bit of an internal discussion with part of me being excited that I may get pregnant too and the other part fearing the worst for dealing with another failed IVF. I was aiming at avoiding this but I am starting to think it is not possible.