10 Ways to Cope When Others are Getting Pregnant and You're Trying to Concieve
I know how hard it can be to hear about your friends and family members becoming pregnant when you are trying to conceive. There is a constant tug-of-war between the joy that you feel for those who are pregnant coupled with the disappointment that you feel for yourself. This dichotomy of emotions can be difficult to navigate and to be honest, there is no perfect way to navigate it gracefully.
In an effort to help those who are going through the waiting game of trying for a baby, I've put together a list of ten ways to cope when others are getting pregnant and you're trying to conceive.
10 Ways to Cope When Others are Getting Pregnant and You're Trying to Conceive
1. Acknowledge difficult feelings: This is one of the hardest things to do but by acknowledging when feelings of disappointment, frustration, anxiety and even jealousy comes up, don't push it away. Your feelings are valid. Sit with them for a few minutes and then try your best to move on.
2. Set boundaries with others: It's perfectly okay to let your loved ones know what does and does not work for you during this difficult time. I know that I get triggered by the comment, "just be patient" so I have been honest with my family members how that comment isn't a source of comfort for me. Aditionally, don't be afraid to opt out of conversations in the workroom with your pregnant co-workers. It's entirely okay to step out of the room when you feel those uncomfortable thoughts creep up and you just need some space.
3. Say no to triggering events: If you get invited to go baby registry shopping, and you don't want to go, don't go. It's okay to say no to events that might be too hard for you to cope with right now.
4. Keep a weekly gratitude list: One of the best ways to get your mind off what you don't have is to keep a list of what you do have. Make a weekly list of all the people, experiences and items in your life that you are grateful for. Seeing it listed out on paper can be a really powerful practice and help you realize how fulfilled you really are while you continue to wait for that baby.
5. Say a mantra: Create a mantra that you say each time someone tells you the news or each time you see an announcement on social media. It can be as simple as "The universe will continue to provide for me" or "I am actively cultivating a life of abundance and grace." Say this mantra to yourself anytime you need.
6. Limit social media usage: If you need a break from pregnancy and baby talk, think about taking a break from social media. It's perfectly okay to step away from actively viewing other peoples' life on social media and instead focus on being present in yours.
7. Join a support group: There are several support groups that specialize in infertility issues and offer great resources during this difficult waiting time. Check out this article that explains one's woman experience with support groups. It's a really good read.
8. Talk to friends or family members who have been in your shoes: It can be really helpful to talk with others who have been in similar experiences as you. Do not suffer alone. A little empathy can go a long way.
9. Practice reframing: Reframing your experiences can be a powerful way to cope with disappointment. While it is imperative not to dismiss your feelings, it can be beneficial to reframe your feelings and find the balance between disappointment and hope. One example of this is to thank your body when you get your period because it means that your body is doing exactly what it needs to shed the old and make way for the new, creating a safe and healthy space for your future little one. Then have a glass of wine! Also focus on the fact that when you and your partner decide to try for a baby, then you are in fact, at the start of the new baby experience. Celebrate that you are in a place in your life where a new baby is welcomed and hoped for.
10. Let go of guilt: Women tend to carry a lot of the weight during the trying to conceive process. It can feel as if our bodies let our partners and us down when we keep getting those negative tests. Don't dwell on these feelings of guilt. Accept that you have those thoughts but then try your best just to let them go. Guilt does not serve you. It's not your fault. It's not your fault. Just remember that.
If you have any other coping techniques or advice, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Photography by Brittany Renee