This started very early in my fertility journey. Right at the beginning, when I still had no idea how long we’d struggle, a friend texted to tell me she was pregnant. I had to lock myself in the bathroom at my office.
It surprised me, and I felt ashamed. Why couldn’t I be happy for her?
The truth is, it has less to do with other people’s pregnancies, and more to do with the fact that I’m reminded I feel like a failure. It makes me feel less-than, and not-good-enough. Basically, it immediately triggers a scarcity mindset.
By the way, when I found out that same woman was pregnant with her second child a few years later, I threw a desk across the room. I call it externalising, read more about it in our specially-designed course.
A lot of people around me told me to “stay positive”, that they were “sure it’s all going to work out”, and so on. And although I could, at times, choose to have an optimistic mindset myself, hearing this from others just made me feel like my emotions weren’t valid – like I wasn’t allowed to feel sad.
It made me feel really alone and often angry with people around me, who couldn’t just acknowledge I was going through something tough. I ended up not talking to most people at all because it just made me upset.
Now, trying to have a second child, this is happening all over again. People expect me to think it’s much easier now that I have a child and keep reminding me to be thankful for what I have. Trust me, I may be the most thankful mother on earth, but I must still be allowed to feel that it’s unfair I can’t take having another one for granted, like so many people around me.
Comments about genetics
There seems to be an almost automatic need to talk about who the baby looks like, or ‘takes after’, as if it’s the most important thing.
Honestly, I’ve very much come to terms with our decision to use an egg donor, and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of our unique story. But throwaway comments about appearance or likeness remind me that seeing my looks in my child isn’t something I’ll ever get to experience.
The rational side of me doesn’t think it’s important at all, but it still feels unfair. And, I guess, it continually reminds me of the trauma we’ve been through, to get to where we are.