As pregnancy announcements flood your social media, take over family gatherings, and become the topic of discussion at brunch with your girls, you wonder when it’s finally going to be your turn. You do your best to share in the joy of the moment, excited for your loved ones as they prepare to welcome their little one into the world. But deep down, you desperately want a family, too.
Trying to conceive (TTC) when everyone else is getting pregnant is difficult – mentally and emotionally. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your TTC journey.
Feel your emotions – all of them.
The news hits: your friend or family member is pregnant. After the initial wave of excitement, you may feel overtaken by sadness, jealousy, or frustration. Your emotions are valid, and you don’t have to continually stifle them or push them down to maintain a brave face. Emotions come in waves, and sometimes it’s hard to stay afloat. Find a safe space and give yourself some time alone to feel whatever you need to feel. Keeping a journal can also help you put your emotions into words and document the highs and lows of your TTC journey.
Take a social media break.
Social media has become a lifeboat for many – keeping them connected to friends and family near and far. But spending too much time on social media can take a toll on your mental health, especially when your feed is full of ultrasounds, gender reveals, and newborn photo sessions.
Keep in mind that social media is like a highlight reel. It’s where people share their accomplishments, milestones, and important life events, but rarely their struggles and heartaches. If you find yourself throwing a pity party after scrolling through the constant stream of celebration, it may be time to take a social media hiatus to refresh your mental health.
Don’t compare your TTC journey to anyone else’s.
With each pregnancy announcement, you catch a glimpse of the expecting couple’s joy and celebration. They’ve reached the finish line, but there’s usually more to their journey. It may seem like pregnancy happened for them so easily, but they too may have had a trash can full of negative pregnancy tests, puffy eyes after a night of tears, and journal pages full of heartache. Every couple trying to conceive follows their own path and encounters a unique set of obstacles along the way. So, keep trekking along your path as your TTC journey unfolds.
Remember: getting pregnant isn’t a competition.
Sometimes it may seem like a competition, though – against yourself and those around you.
You may feel like you’re competing against your own body every month. You transform your diet and lifestyle, track your cycle, and add fertility supplements to your daily routine – all to help support healthy fertility and achieve your ultimate goal. And sometimes, you may feel like you’re competing against others around you, like it’s a race to the first positive pregnancy test.
But remember, getting pregnant isn’t a competition. Even if you feel like everyone around you is winning, it doesn’t mean that you’re losing.
It’s okay to skip the baby showers.
If the thought of spending an entire afternoon talking about pregnancy and babies feels overwhelming, it’s okay to skip out. Even if your fridge is covered in baby shower invitations, you don’t have to go. Talk to the mama-to-be about how you’re feeling, and then send a gift and well wishes as you celebrate from afar.
Build a strong support system.
People care about you. But they can’t help if they don’t know you’re struggling. Share your emotions, fears, and concerns with your partner, close friends, and family members so you have a strong support system to carry some of the weight when it becomes too heavy for you alone.
There are plenty of online communities to support you on your TTC journey, too. Consider joining a virtual support group to connect with other women who may share similar experiences.
Even when it feels like everyone around you is getting pregnant, don’t lose hope. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, lean on your support system, and continue to focus on your own TTC journey. May all your dreams of a family come true.