Go Ahead, Admit It
Aaaah, pregnancy and birth announcements--the bane of anyone living with infertility's existence. While we suffer silently and try to conceal our pain with a brave face, others are shouting from the rooftops about their baby joy. When your nursery is agonizingly vacant and you've suffered yet another kick to the shin by our old friend ART (assisted reproductive technology) or Mother Nature, the last thing you want to hear about is someone else's pregnancy. Just admit it. Save the goody-two shoes bullshit. If you take nothing else from what I have to say, chew on this:
You will never be able to effectively ease the sting until you are HONEST about how you feel.
More on that in Part 2...
I've been there. I avoided other human beings, smiling, laughing, feeling, food, Facebook, and anyone who could possibly tell me they were pregnant like the plague. I didn't want to pretend I was fine. I didn't want to hide my grief. I for damn sure wasn't going to fake a smile.
Whether you have had a serious blow like a failed treatment cycle, a miscarriage, or you are just generally sick of riding the red wave with no 40 week break, it is absolutely human and I dare say normal, to feel a stabbing pain when you hear other peoples' baby joy. Does this mean you hate them or wish them ill? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It just means that you aren't there yet, it hurts like hell, and it's time to start dealing with it.
Your 1st Step Toward Liberation: Baby News Triage
Face it. Your friends, co-workers, family members, and the general public aren't going to stop having babies. It's going to be in your face, no matter where you go. You can't expect people to walk on eggshells around you--it's not their responsibility. What has to change is YOU.
Baby News Triage is comprised of 2 Key Elements:
Show Yourself Compassion
Tell that negative voice in your head to shut the f*#% up. Instead of beating yourself up, for your feelings about baby news, give yourself permission to hang out there for a bit. You are not living according to anyone else's timeline or standards. What other people think doesn't matter.
When your pain is acute, good old fashioned avoidance can come in handy. It is by no means a healthy long term strategy, but when you are mustering the strength to stand up to the bully of infertility, it makes sense. Are you seriously going to a baby shower while still in the fog of grief following a miscarriage, a failed treatment, or extreme baby chasing fatigue? Toss the announcements. People will have to get over it. Consider break from social media--it can be a minefield.
Triage is temporary. It's where you get patched up enough to move onto the next phase, not your permanent residence. You can get to a point where baby news doesn't bring you to you knees--yes, it happens. I'm writing this post from that magical place. Showing yourself compassion and appropriately protecting yourself are your first steps. In Part 2, we'll talk about where to go next. In the meantime, take a deep breath. You WILL get there.
How Have You Reacted To Baby News On Your Journey?
Tell me all about it in a comment below.
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With Love and Respect,
© 2014 From Maybe To Baby