If you are struggling with infertility, we know first hand how hard and upsetting it can be watching the people around you announce they are expecting, pregnancy envy sucks but is a perfectly natural emotion and you shouldn’t feel bad if it occasionally gets the better of you during your fertility journey.
Of course, we are happy for them and wish them well, but underneath you can’t help feeling a little sad that you are not in the same position. Theres something about trying to conceive that brings out the green eyed monster when a friend, relative or coworker announces they are expecting and its something you want so desperately yourself. In this blog we will take a moment to understand pregnancy envy, how it affects us and what we can do to keep it under control.
What exactly is pregnancy envy?
Pregnancy envy is a mixture of conflicting and often painful emotions when someone in your life tells you they are pregnant. Maybe a friend gets pregnant without even trying or a relative announces baby number two is on the way and you’ve been trying since before their first child arrived. It can be understandably upsetting.
Envy is a natural emotion and effects those that long to be pregnant themselves and those suffering with infertility. Noone wants to feel pregnancy envy, but it is perfectly normal. When we consider that 1 in 7 couples struggle to conceive and around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage in the UK its understandable that someone sharing their good news might make another person feel envious.
How to manage pregnancy envy
I don’t think it’s possible to completely remove the feelings of pregnancy envy when you have been struggling with infertility. When you hear that person after person is becoming pregnant it can feel oh so unfair, that you who has been trying so hard for many months or years and would make an awesome mother isn’t able to get pregnant but the lady from the local community centre seems to be the most fertile being alive.
The sad truth is that pregnancy doesn’t discriminate, trying harder or knowing you would be an amazing parent doesn’t come into it. It sucks and it’s not fair. When you feel pregnancy envy rising inside you there are some strategies you can use to cope:
Unfollow updates on social channels
If someone in your life announces they are pregnant or discusses their pregnancy journey on social media it can be hard to read for someone who is unable to get pregnant. You can choose to hide their updates or unfollow them temporarily. They will never know and you won’t have their latest status shoved in your face every time you open facebook/Insta.
Decline the baby shower invite
This is a tricky one, and how you deal with it will depend on how close you are to your pregnant friend. But in all honesty if attending the baby shower is a triggering thought, it’s ok not to go or make up a white lie to say you are busy, honest.
If the person you are feeling pregancy envy towards is someone you encounter on a daily or frequent basis, you could try and be honest with them. Tell them that you are of course happy for them but explain that hearing them talk about their pregnancy makes you feel sad because your are struggling to conceive yourself. Most people would totally understand this and probably had no idea how you were feeling. If it’s someone you don’t feel you could be quite so honest with perhaps try switching the subject when they mention their pregnancy so you don’t get drawn into a long conversation about this weeks update.
The best way to deal with pregnancy envy is to accept that your feelings are valid, forgive yourself for any feelings of jealousy and build an understanding support network around you. If you don’t have anyone in your life who really gets how your feeling consider joining a group like the Hoopsy fertility community. Our community is built with people just like you in mind to discuss their fertility journeys and seek support and advice from other members in the same position and from experts.
Our team are also on hand to offer advice and support throughout your fertility journey. You can contact us anytime.