Monday, January 7, 2013

Pregnancy announcements

At my last count, at least 20 friends or family members have gotten pregnant in the same time frame that we've been trying to get pregnant. That's not including coworkers or people I see at mass but don't know personally. I have had such an interior struggle with each and every one of these announcements. It's like a battle warring within me: on the one hand, I'm thrilled for the bearer of good news (and a new baby!) and so happy that another little soul has come into the world...on the other hand, I can't help but feel a stab of sadness that it's not me making the announcement. (Will it ever be me?) Even writing that, I cringe at how selfish it sounds. Hello - someone else's pregnancy is not about me.

But still, it's hard to tell my broken heart to take a back seat. Emotions are so tricky! Mine especially feel out of control lately. I want to be happy for and with newly pregnant women. I really do. And there was a time before our fertility struggles that feeling happy for a pregnancy came naturally. For example, it shocked me a little this morning to think back to a particular announcement about two years ago, before I was married. I knew they had been wanting to be parents for a while, and the joy I felt at hearing their good news was pure and undiluted. I rejoiced with them, wanted to hear all about how they found out, and wanted to dream with them about their new baby whose face they would see in nine months.

Flash-forward to yesterday: I feel terrible about this, but upon hearing the same good news from the same couple, it was all I could do to think of the right words to say and smile convincingly despite the sudden ringing in my ears, constriction of my heart, and strong desire to run away, run away! I asked the right questions (I hope) but my heart wasn't in it at all. Honestly, I feel embarrased at myself. I'm trying to give myself some slack - sometimes I think of myself as one of the "walking wounded," which doesn't seem that far from the mark - but I feel guilty for not being able to whole-heartedly rejoice in my friends' announcement without a "Why not me?" reverberating in my aching heart.

Sigh. I hope that if we ever get to the "other side" of this painful journey, I'll be back to my earlier joyful self. I hope my heart isn't becoming shriveled from the constant strain of longing. (I also hope I'll never forget the pain of infertility - it struck me that maybe someday the tables could be reversed, and I'd be the one making the painful-to-someone-else announcement.) And most of all, I hope I'm not becoming a selfish person, an "incurvatus in se" - twisted in on myself kind of person. As my husband often reminds me, you don't need a child to become a saint!



  1. Found you through Rebecca. There are so many of us who have been here, I'm sorry your heart is so broken. Speaking from "the other side", you will never forget, trust me.

  2. Thanks, ania. That's very encouraging to hear!

  3. This is one of the hardest things for me, I feel so guilty about it. And I hate that so much--I want to feel perfectly joyful about other peoples' pregnancies, too! We've been trying for about the same amount of time as you, and I would imagine we're somewhere around (at least) 20 friends/family as well--including about 8 in the few weeks after our miscarriage. I thought I was getting "better" with the announcements, but then a friend announced hers in December and I had what was probably my most embarrassingly selfish reaction yet. (I held it together outwardly until after I left, though.) Ugh.