If you’ve read me before, you may have heard me say that I have wanted to be a Mom since I was about 16. I always had this longing to be pregnant…so I wanted to get married early and be “a young mom!”
Well, things don’t always work out as you planned them — which is actually great in many respects. I’m sure that life would have been fine but I also would have missed out on a lot of cool other stuff that I didn’t plan on.
That being said, delayed marriage and infertility weren’t part of my plan either. I thought the world would literally end if I wasn’t married by 30 and well, obviously screw being a “young mom” then!
The older you get, the younger 30 seems and getting married at 31 wasn’t quite as elderly as I had thought it was way back in 1999. I knew a couple years prior to that, though, that we would likely face infertility issues.
So even before I was married, baby announcements felt prickly. They were similar to engagement announcements when I was single and hope (ful?) — but worse.
Around the age of 28-29, those baby announcement start hitting your Facebook feed like once a week. They’re a little too cutesy and sometimes, seemed to come right on the heels of a wedding album. Oh really, it took you a month to get pregnant? How wonderful for you.
Ooh, the bitterness. Don’t get me wrong — and I think most women who struggle with infertility will tell you this — emotions of authentic happiness for your friends pregnancies and bitterness/sadness about your own lack one one can be separate and distinct.
There’s always a special joy that arises in my heart when I know someone who is expecting. The possibility, the new life, the happiness they are experiencing. My sisters both had babies during the time I was trying to get pregnant and I wouldn’t have wished they weren’t pregnant for a millisecond. The feelings just aren’t in the same box.
But, there’s also that disappointment in your own heart. There’s jealousy and sadness, frustration and probably some irritation. Sometimes through the process, it can feel like baby bump photos and updates, any sort of complaint about pregnancy, etc. is rubbing it your face (even when you know rationally, that’s ridiculous).
When it came time to announce my pregnancy online, I was excited but also a little sad. I knew there were many people who would see this joyous news and experience their own disappointment and frustration that yet another person they know is having a baby — and they aren’t.
I thought about the women that might be hurt seeing another pregnancy announcement. I thought about women I know that are currently experiencing infertility and honestly, how easy this process might have seemed for me.
Even now, when someone says they get pregnant “the first month we tried,” I — just being honest here — am a little irritated. Not at them, of course, but just at how easy it seemed to be. It’s not that easy! It can’t be! But I realize to some people, especially those who’ve been struggling for years, my situation may look easy — just as others look “easy” to me.
I am very blessed. IVF worked the first time — and it worked with flying colors. My body was ready for this, as evidenced by many positive results we had. It’s hard not to feel guilty or at the very least, humbled, by the enormous blessing of pregnancy.
So the hard part of announcing your pregnancy is knowing that someone may be hurt by it. I realize there are people on my Facebook account, Twitter feed, Instagram community that I have no idea are struggling with infertility. I also know of several who are.
The answer is not to hide your good news — as it should be celebrated — but to do so with a kind and empathetic heart and a prayer for the ones who aren’t there yet.
And as I finish this message, a tear is coming to my eye, because I’m thinking of all of you out there who aren’t there. I’m sorry it’s so hard right now and I’m sorry that it doesn’t seem fair. It’s not fair. I hope you know that some of us out here get it — and we are praying and hoping for you every step of the way.