Every woman TTC (trying to conceive) knows the feeling. You’re sitting there, scrolling through Instagram or Facebook and you come across yet another baby announcement post. You can’t help but feel envy, anger, jealousy and hurt as you wonder why everyone around you can get pregnant without trying and you’re not there yet. You unfollow, deactivate, isolate yourself; If I can’t access this news it won’t upset me right? We bury these feelings, put on a brave face and act like we don’t care. Unhealthy.
The crazy thing is, that 8/10 times, we don’t even have a personal connection to this news, but due to the accessibility and showcase of personal lives through social media, we are so exposed.
Finding a way to deal with this envy is something that I never really learnt until I started my fertility treatment. It wasn’t until I exposed myself to the online community, and spoke to women out there dealing with far more than me over a longer period of time, did i realise that these feeling of envy were really grief.
Here my top tips in dealing with baby envy, a healthier approach;
BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!
It’s okay to be upset and hurt. We are human. As humans, we are naturally hardwired to want the very thing we don’t have. Bottling up feelings telling yourself that it doesn’t affect you is counterproductive. Find a way to deal with your feelings; talk to a friend or partner, write them down on paper, or reach out to people going through the same as you, the online community for women TTC is amazing. Find something that works for you and stick to it.
KNOW YOUR OWN TRIGGERS AND LIMITS
Although I would never recommend anyone to lock themselves away from the word, knowing what upsets you, and understanding how far along you are in your journey is very important. If going to a baby shower, a child’s birthday or somewhere where you will be exposed to these type of feelings is something you are not emotionally ready for, be honest. If the person that has invited you is a friend and cares for you they will understand, if they don’t care for you, why are you even going?
ASK FOR HELP!
There is absolutely no shame in reaching out for support when you need it. Dealing with your emotions whilst TTC or battling with infertility can be very difficult. It’s important to remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Keeping contact with friends who can support you is super important, talking to your partner about how he/she feels and even speaking to your GP about how you’re dealing with it all can be helpful. The taboo around mental health is lifting, and support groups, access to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and 1-1 therapy are more widely available. Do what works for you, and try to be consistent.
Staying positive while TTC can be hard at times but remembering that no one person is more deserving than another can really help with feelings of envy. Remember that everyone has a journey, and although it may seem that everyone around you is getting pregnant at a drop of a hat, we don’t really know what they’ve gone through to get to that point. We all have our struggles and those aren’t the things that are shared on social media.
With the recent news of the Duchess of Sussex Megan Markle becoming pregnant just 60 days into marriage, I came across this inspiring post on Instagram by @thecowbarn;
You truly never know what life is going to throw at you.
Peace and blessings to you all