Pregnancy announcements while you’re struggling with infertility tend to come with a lot of conflicting emotions. While you’re (usually) happy for the person making the announcement, it more often than not brings up a painful reminder that yet another person has achieved what seems to be the impossible for you.
I think I’m in a good place right now, since I’m doing the IVF, and therefore could be less than a month away from a positive pregnancy result of my own. It’s been six months (when I did my last IUI in December) since a potential pregnancy for me has felt this close. But despite my general positive outlook these days, a pregnancy announcement the other day still brought out some feelings that only someone familiar with the infertility struggle could understand.
This was not the usual “oops I got pregnant” announcement, and therefore it did not elicit the normal set of conflicting emotions. This was a couple who had been trying about as long as we had, and who I wrote about in one of my first posts on this blog. When we last saw each other at the end of January, they were still on the waiting list for the fertility clinic, so I don’t know if they ended up doing fertility treatments, or lucked out with a miracle pregnancy. Regardless, this pregnancy was well earned, so when my husband casually mentioned in conversation the other day that they were pregnant, I said I was happy for them, and I am.
The thing is that I am also happy for myself. I’m happy that I stuck with my self preservation instinct and did not bond further over our infertility. I’m happy that despite pangs of guilt over the last few months I never got around to sending her the information on the fertility yoga class that I am taking (which would introduce additional opportunities for us to commiserate about our shared experience). And of course I’m happy that despite my lack of support on this front, they still managed to get pregnant.
It seems so petty that I can feel this way, especially when I really believe I may be on the threshold of a pregnancy of my own. But I know that if we had shared more about our struggles, this pregnancy announcement would be much more difficult to take as it would be yet another race that I had lost; one more person leaving me behind. While I’m not proud to say it, one thing I’ve learned over the last year is that when it comes to pregnancy related news and events, I have to support my emotional state first, before I can provide support for someone else. And sometimes these two things are mutually exclusive.