When you are struggling with infertility, it may feel like everyone else is pregnant. And this observation may fill you with sadness, anger, discouragement, but most of all:
Whether you are just beginning to acknowledge your infertility struggle or are several weeks into the IVF process, it is common to feel jealous of other people's pregnancies. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to manage these feelings of envy and find comfort in your own experience.
- Find balance in your reaction. Start by acknowledging your feelings of pain and envy. Then, while validating those emotions, take note of any positive feelings. Chances are you do feel genuinely happy for your pregnant friend. Do what you can to express that. It may even help you feel better.
- Choose your social gatherings. If attending a baby shower is too hard for you, remember that you do not have to go. While it's important to show your love and support, you do not have to put yourself through that. Protect your energy by showing your congratulations in a more private way, like dropping off a gift.
- Talk to a counselor. Work with a professional to handle the emotions associated with the IVF process and the pregnancies of those around you. A counselor will help you find healthy coping mechanisms. They may also give suggestions for group support sessions that you can attend.
- Vocalize your concerns. If your good friend is talking about their pregnancy constantly and it is only causing harm, you have the right to talk to them about it. Be honest and tell them that while you are happy for them, it is hard for you to talk about their pregnancy that much. A good friend will be understanding.
- Prioritize self care. This is especially important if you are going through the IVF process or other types of infertility procedures. Taking time to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally is key to your well being. Unplug and do something you enjoy. You will likely feel much better.
Despite your feelings of envy, remember that every person has an individual experience. While someone else was able to conceive easily, you are working with a fertility clinic to do so. And you are not alone. About 85% to 90% of infertility cases are treated with drug therapy or surgery. This might be your individual path to parenthood, and that can be a beautiful story too.