When you are trying to become pregnant, they seem to be everywhere don’t they? There just seems to be no escape from those good old pregnancy announcements.
And people seem to be just coming at you and wanting to give you lots of information about how EASY it was to conceive. Phrases like “He only has to look at me” and “We weren’t even trying” can actually be like a giant stake through the heart of us girls whose address the infamous stork has forgotten. Gah!
Not to mention the green eyed monster that appears as the ugly sister every time.
You may even get an ironic flashback to having a pregnancy ‘scare’ in younger years. When you start seeing baby strollers and nappies everywhere and your heart starts beating that little bit faster – only to heave a sigh of relief when your period arrives (if only you knew back then, eh?).
It’s that, but in reverse!
It seems that super-fertile, pregnant women are just being drawn to you like a magnet. It’s the announcements that come without warning and you feel like someone’s punched you in the stomach – you are literally winded. They are the ones that can leave you feeling like a barren, hopeless and useless excuse for a woman.
I’ve always said that it’s really difficult to be happy for someone else, without feeling sad for yourself at the same time. If you’re reading this blog I know you can relate, my friend.
The Inner Critic
What can follow here (if you don’t check in with mindset and practice loving self-care regularly) can be a spiral of self-loathing and anxiety. You start to believe the awful stories you are telling yourself …
… Your body must be very broken. You don’t deserve a baby. You’re never going to be happy. You are not a ‘proper’ woman …
Can you imagine the damage those thoughts can have on your fertility and on your everyday life when they are on a constant loop inside your head?
I can. I’ve been there. It’s not a place where life can thrive.
Of course we cannot stop the announcements or the words as they come out of people’s mouths when they share their happy news – but it doesn’t have to be this difficult, I promise.
So what can you do to protect your heart and your mind?
- Re-frame it. Instead of saying “Why her?”, ask ” Why not me”? instead (but perhaps not in the way you’re thinking). Because I’m an antenatal educator too, I spent month after month on my fertility journey in close contact with many pregnant women. People ask me how I did it. Well, I made a conscious decision to choose to allow the pregnancy energy to inspire me. To let it feed my faith, instead of break me. Don’t get me wrong – I did the ugly crying sometimes too. But I learned over time to align myself with my goal of pregnancy and I reckoned something would surely rub off on me. So take a deep breath and dig deep, find your inner smile and ask yourself “Why not me?”
- Journaling. Take a deep breathe, smile and walk away. Then write furiously about your feelings when you get home. I have been known to smile and nod like one of those dogs on a car dashboard when I was face-palmed with a pregnancy announcement. The problem here is that holding that hurt inside is damaging. So get out your pretty journal and your lovely pens and vomit out that negative emotion, without censorship and without guilt. You can always burn it later if you want to. It’s not going to harm anyone for you to release those emotions. It harms you and your fertility when it stays within to fester.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude. Yes, yes I know you think I’m crazy in this moment and hate me saying that – but remember, I was you! When we practice gratitude regularly it keeps us in the now, rather than in the past and the future (which is where those of us who are challenged in the art of making babies tend to hang out more often than we should). Two conflicting emotions cannot occupy the same space at the same time, so you owe it to yourself to challenge the feeling of lack, with reminding yourself what is good in your life. Give it a go. You will notice your load lightening when you literally stop and notice all that’s good in your life. Yes I know your heart aches for a baby, but when you stop and smell the roses, I promise there is more chance of achieving your dream.
- Affirmations. In line with my first point above, I’m a huge believer in the power of the mind when it is harnessed correctly. I’m also a huge believer in affirmations/empowering statements as a way of moving to a happier state of mind. They actually alter the neural pathways between your mind and body – so when they are repeated regularly, the subconscious takes on the new message as reality. But you must be intentional and consistent with them. Great ones for fertility include:
1. I release unhealthy beliefs and all that blocks the flow of life.
2. I love and respect my body.
3. I release all fears about time and age.
4. I am worthy and truly deserving of being a mother.
The above are the very tips I recommend to my clients when we are working together. Yes it takes a little time and commitment, but it’s so worth it.
Pregnant women are everywhere, it’s true. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could separate their experience from yours and even feel genuinely happy for them and say ” My baby is coming to me in the right way and at the right time” and mean it? It is possible. And you are not alone.