From graduating college around the same time to getting married around the same time, it almost seems like, as humans, we gravitate towards people who are walking through similar life stages. This can be so exciting and fun! But, it can also bring a lot of hardships. Once you have a lot of friends who are married, it may seem like every time you turn around, you see another pregnancy announcement post on social media. While this is amazing, it can also be incredibly difficult for someone who is struggling with infertility.
Being filled with the hopes and dreams of getting pregnant at the same time and raising your children up to be best friends is so picturesque for many friendships, but with infertility affecting one in every eight couples, this image can oftentimes turn to heartbreak. If you or someone you know is dealing with pregnant friends during infertility, it can be hard to know how to best handle this delicate friendship.
On the one hand, your pregnant friend may have been dreaming of getting pregnant for years just as you, and you want so badly to be happy for her during this special time. But, on the other hand, it can be incredibly hard watching someone become pregnant, knowing that they are getting the thing that you want most in this world. It’s a delicate balance and one of the hardest things to navigate. So, I’ve got some tips on both how to deal with pregnant friends during infertility and how to find happiness for them during your darkest times.
8 Tips for Dealing with Pregnant Friends During Infertility
As someone who believes in God’s perfect timing, I believe one of the most important things you can do when dealing with friends who are pregnant during your time of struggling is to pray. Pray for peace. Pray for your friend. Pray for finding joy, and continue to pray that your day will soon come. God will hear your prayers, and he will heal your heart.
2. Have Hope
Just because it is your friend’s time for this most precious gift, it doesn’t mean that your time isn’t coming. I know that this is such a hard concept, especially while struggling with infertility. There are many ways to stay hopeful and patient while your friend is pregnant, and one way is to find a quote that lifts your spirits. 27 Infertility Quotes for Those Struggling to Get Pregnant may have a quote that strikes your heart and helps you find some hope during this challenging time.
3. Find a Devotion
Similar to finding time for prayer during this challenging time, finding a devotion to spend more time with God and find inner peace could make a huge impact as well. There are many devotions available specifically for families and women struggling with infertility. Focusing on God and ensuring that your heart is in the right place can really help dealing with pregnant friends while you are patiently waiting for your time to come.
Depending on how comfortable you are with sharing your journey of infertility, it may be really helpful to simply talk with your friends that are pregnant. If you are comfortable, share your feeling of being torn. You’re torn between being so happy for your pregnant friend and being so heartbroken. You may be surprised how much comfort you can find by letting a trusted friend in and talking with them.
If you’re not comfortable sharing your grief and struggles with your friends that are pregnant, find someone else to talk to. Whether it’s a spouse, a relative, or a guidance counselor or therapist, there is a lot of power in talking about what you’re going through.
5. Set boundaries
Struggling with infertility is hard. Struggling with infertility while having friends that are pregnant is even harder. If your friends are aware of your pain and struggles, then it can be helpful to set some boundaries that work best for you. Depending on your level of friendship and the amount of grief you are experiencing, you may want to set limits on talking about the pregnancy or even on going to the baby shower.
Especially if you have recently lost a precious baby, it may be too difficult for you to attend a baby shower, and that’s okay. If your friend is a true friend, she will understand that even though you love her dearly, there are some things that are just too hard for you right now.
6. Limit Social Media
Social media is a great tool to keep friends and families connected, but it can also trigger a lot of unwelcomed emotions. If you have a great deal of friends posting relentlessly about their babies or pregnancies, it could really provide some much needed relief to limit your time on certain platforms. Some social media apps even have settings where you can “hide” or “mute” certain people. While this may sound harsh, it’s important to remember that you are going through a lot right now. It’s okay to limit yourself from seeing certain friends’ posts if they trigger negative or sad emotions.
7. Find a Tribe
While it may be helpful to deal with your friends’ pregnancy during infertility by hiding posts, it can be just as helpful to find a tribe of women on social media who are struggling, or have struggled, with infertility. Finding a tribe of women also struggling with infertility on social media can be a source of encouragement by knowing that you are not alone in your journey to becoming pregnant.
8. Do Something Kind
This may sound cliche, but doing something for other people has been proven to have a multitude of positive effects on a person including improved relationships and lessening feelings of depression.Essentially, doing something for another person is a great way to deal with pregnant friends during infertility because it allows you to take the pressure and focus off of the current situation.
Of course, it is essential that you only do what is comfortable for you during your time of infertility. For example, if you are really struggling, it may not be the best idea to offer to host the baby shower. However, it may be kind to volunteer at your church or local shelter. Or, you could even write a kind letter to your friend about what your friendship means to you. Whatever you choose, you can never go wrong by doing something kind for your friend to show her that you still love her even though you are going through a lot right now.
How to be Happy for your Pregnant Friends
Recognize Your Feelings
In all honesty, you may not feel even the slightest bit happy for even your closest friend when you first find out that they are pregnant. You may feel anger, frustration, envy, or just utter hopelessness. These are some very intense emotions, and as someone who is struggling with infertility, you have every right to feel how you are feeling.
Feeling jealousy or any other strong emotion doesn’t make you a bad friend. You are human, and learning that your friend is pregnant can be hard. It just means that you may need some time.
Take Your Time
If you are struggling with feeling happy for your pregnant friend during infertility, then it is completely normal to need some time. It’s important that you take time to process the news and sit with your emotions. Make time to pray and journal or do anything you need to work through how you are feeling.
Only after you take time to process the news of your friend’s pregnancy can you really start to feel genuinely happy for them. Yes, you can always pretend to be happy, but it’s best to come from a genuine place of happiness through understanding your feelings and taking time to process.
Infertility and loss is one of the hardest things you can go through. It may be near impossible to keep perspective on things, especially if the wound of loss is very recent. But, if you are at a place where you can keep perspective, it can play a big role in being happy for your pregnant friends.
As I said before, just because their time to start their pregnancy journey has come doesn’t mean that your time will never come. If you feel comfortable doing so, think about your friend’s perspective and how they want to share this exciting time with you. Think about the excitement they will have when your time finally comes. I know that this can be so hard, but it can make a difference.
Be There for Your Friend
Dealing with infertility brings on so many different emotions and feelings that you may have never experienced before. You may not be at a point where you can genuinely feel happy for your friend’s pregnancy, and that may make you feel guilty. What’s important is that you find your own personal way to show your friend that you love them despite the storm you’re enduring. Whether it’s a simple congratulatory card or you feel comfortable hosting a shower for her, if you truly love your friend, you can find even the smallest of ways to show her support.
You may not be able to talk with her everyday and hear her complaining about morning sickness. You may not be able to see all of her pregnancy update posts on social media. To be truly happy for your pregnant friend while TTC, you need to find a way that works best to show your support without sacrificing your mental health.
Dealing with a pregnant friend during infertility is one of the most sensitive issues to face. Stuck between grief for your own personal struggles and wanting to feel happy for someone else’s miracle can seem like an impossible feat. If you or someone you know is struggling with this very situation, I genuinely hope that you were able to find some guidance and inspiration with this post to help ease some of your struggles.
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