Celebrating someone else's pregnancy

Monday, August 25, 2014

Even now, after having a healthy baby and not wanting another one right now, I have trouble feeling genuinely happy for someone else when I find out that they are pregnant.  What the heck is wrong with me?

Friday evening as my husband and I were prepping dinner, he told me that he had some news.  Being the person that I am, I just knew it had to do with someone being pregnant.  So I guessed to him that someone was pregnant and he nodded.  Then I started naming possible pregnant people.  I think it was my 3rd guess that was correct.  I'm pretty good at that game.

"Isn't that exciting news?" he said.

I should mention that they already have an almost 3 year old.

"Oh yeah.  Exciting" I said, trying to actually sound remotely excited.  "When is she due?"

"Oh it is still really early and definitely not public because she is only 9 weeks so don't mention it to anyone" he said.

"I guess she's never had any trouble" I said sarcastically and walked out of the kitchen, leaving my husband alone with his "exciting" news.

My reaction to the news kind of surprised myself.  I haven't heard about anyone getting pregnant lately so I haven't had to react.  Most of my friends are done having kids or are getting ready to give birth at any time.  There are a few people who are waiting in the wings (namely my Sister and SIL), but I am not even sure that either of them are actively trying at this point.  

Why is it that I can't be happy for someone when I find out that they are pregnant?  I am immediately filled with jealousy, anger, and resentment.  Shouldn't I be over these feelings at this point?  I have my baby.  he is healthy.  I love him.  I am finally starting to feel more relaxed and happy with things in my life so why is this one area still sore?

I am wondering if I am forever going to feel this way.  Will I never feel happy when someone announces that they are pregnant unless I know the full back story?  If this was their first try or an oops, will I forever be jealous of them even though it is not their fault?  I obviously wouldn't wish the things that happened to me to happen to anyone else so I am not sure why I feel this way.  It is as if my experience with miscarriage took away the joy and happiness surrounding the miracle of pregnancy/childbirth.

Example:  A friend of a friend had a miscarriage right around the beginning of her 2nd trimester.  She then had a lot of trouble getting pregnant again.  When she finally fell pregnant last year I was genuinely happy for her.  She went through so much to have her baby so I had no feelings of resentment towards her and I got teary when I heard that she gave birth to a healthy child.

Has anyone else who has experienced loss/infertility, but have gone on to have a healthy child (or children), felt or currently feel like I do?  If you have felt like this and no longer do, what helped you?  I really want to put all of the past in the past and move forward.  I want to congratulate someone when I hear that they are pregnant...and actually mean it.

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4 Responses to “Celebrating someone else's pregnancy”

  1. I hear you. Even though I have one child, I think until I have #2, I am going to feel that jealousy.

  2. Hello from ICLW. I still have not had a baby but I totally understand where you're coming from. I think that feeling happy for some one else and having a bit of envy or pain for yourself can happen at the same time. Hopefully one day you'll no longer feel the pain and you'll just feel the happiness.

  3. I think it's common to struggle. The problem is, too many ALIers assume that once they are done with having children, this feeling with magically go away. But the thing is, after living through infertility/loss, there's a trauma that's associated with surprise pregnancy announcements. Hence, just like any trigger, we need to do some work desensitizing ourselves.

    What's been helping me to spending time revisiting the demons that reared their ugly heads during those years and making sure I work through them. The doubt, the fear of being alone, the grief, etc. All of that I'm still working on. What I've been finding is that by finding peace with this journey and all the bad things that happened, so too am I finding that the announcements no longer impact me the way they use to. Sure, I'll never be able to react the way I did before, but as I heal, so too do I do better.

    Hang in there. You're not alone.

  4. I thought I was the only one. My rainbow baby is nearly one and I still cringe when I see people with multiple children on the street. I also make blanket assumptions that their life must just be perfect and mutter to myself, "Must be nice." I keep wondering, when am I going to allow myself to be happy. I feel horrible for not getting excited for pregnant people, but deep down I still harbor resentment for them. Like they didn't have to try as hard. I even get upset when I see pregnant people I don't even know. That is nuts. Why should I care, I don't even know them.