I have to admit that as someone who thought their time to dive into motherhood would have come years ago, pregnancy and baby photos are not always an easy thing to see. I am going to be completely honest and say that six months ago, it was hard for me to even click on them.
I have noticed an abundance of pregnancy and Welcome To The World announcements all over the Interwebs this year. Either there is a serious baby boom going on within my circles (high school class, blogging buddies, and casual acquaintances I follow on social media channels), or my eyes are just drawn to them more now.
Envy is a normal emotion and struggle for many. The same certainly goes for pregnancy envy, and I’m not going to deny having it myself. We’re human. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and seeing someone experience life how I so badly want to is one of my absolute weaknesses. It’s something I think about and pray to remove from my thoughts every day.
There are points in time where I start to wonder and obsess over how women get pregnant “without even trying”. Scientifically (and against popular belief until you actually attempt to conceive a child), the window to successfully get pregnant is so incredibly small. There are only a few days in a woman’s cycle that even make it possible, and even on their most fertile days of peak ovulation, the chance in conceiving a child is only up to 30-something percent.
How do some people become “accidentally pregnant” when others trying to conceive can’t get pregnant for years and years? How is your co-worker, friend, or family member, who you believe doesn’t truly want the responsibility of raising a child, able to effortlessly carry a child and bring them into the world, but you, who you believe would be an amazing mother and wants nothing more but to nurture a child, can’t conceive? It just doesn’t make sense.
I know, and I feel you. I really do.
Reality is, pregnancy doesn’t have much to do with how hard you try, how bad you want it, or if you would make a great parent or not. It happens when it’s supposed to, and that’s that.
After scrolling through what seems to be a constant cycle of pregnancy and birth announcements, you’ll eventually want to quit social media all together. You don’t know what’s worse… seeing other growing families, or reading about mommies-to-be complaining about morning sickness or feeling like a whale.
How can they so openly complain about things you would give anything to experience for yourself?
I know, and I feel you there, too.
I can say that I am in a much better place than I was earlier this year. Six months ago, I would immediately scroll past a baby picture and ignore any type of blog post or article about pregnancy or becoming a new mom. My pregnancy envy was at an all time high, and it wasn’t healthy for me to sit there and stew over the fact that our journey into becoming parents is something that is completely out of our control.
Today, I want to see the baby photos, and I want to hear the stories. It’s taken a while to get there, but I am genuinely happy for every baby announcement and back to school photo I see. Wanting to become a mother myself, it warms my heart (and in some weird way, prepares it) for what could happen down the road in our lives, too.
So, what I want to really say to my dear friends trying to conceive is this:
Pregnancy envy is real, and you’re normal for experiencing it. I think we all do at some point, but there is a time to put all of those negative and jealous feelings behind you.
Eventually, you will start to believe the “it will happen when it’s supposed to” advice from loved ones. Because it will. Right now, your job is to embrace the experience and season that you are in and focus on what is making you happy. Not next month, not next year, but today.
While it can get annoying and feel heartless, your friends complaining about changing diapers and waking up a million times a night aren’t sharing those facts to hurt your feelings. They are going through a new and what could be frustrating time in their lives too, and part of their process in growing towards the next step (and possibly easier phase, whatever that is) is sharing what this one is like while they are going through it. Just because they complain doesn’t mean they aren’t grateful for what they have.
If you can’t handle seeing pregnancy-related status updates, hide those friends or family members from your newsfeeds. You’ll still be able to see what’s going on with them if you click on their profiles, but their daily pregnancy updates won’t overwhelm your homepage and kick your morning off on the wrong note.
If someone in your life constantly talks about their pregnancy, ask them to tone it down for a while. The two of you had a relationship before they got pregnant (and in a lot of cases had kids), so let them in on why it’s bothering you and find something else to talk about. Tell them you are happy for them and wish nothing but blessings towards their journey into motherhood, but that it’s just too painful for you to talk about right now. True friends will understand.
You’re not alone. I have only personally been affected by this roller coaster of trying to get pregnant for ten months now, and can’t even imagine what those going through this for more than a few years must feel. It’s exciting, it’s terrifying, it’s emotional, it’s frustrating, and most of all, it can start to feel anything but fun and more like a dead-end job.
Keep your heads up, friends. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Just imagine how strong and ready you will be when you do become a mother. You will appreciate those temper tantrums, accidents, and days (turned to weeks turned to months) without sleep so much more!
The biggest piece of advice I have received from loved ones about trying to conceive is to stop obsessing over it. If tracking your cycles and doing every single little thing you can to help things move along is stressing you out, stop.
That’s where we’re at, and I have to say… it’s been pretty nice to just roll with the punches and see where it takes us.
You never know where the next month and pregnancy test will take you, so stay positive! And just maybe your test will, too. <3