It is completely normal to envy your friend, relative, or coworker when she has something that you cannot have (at the moment!). Do not feel guilty of your negative feelings; you perhaps need some reassurance that ‘everything will be fine.’ It is frustrating when you are happy for a friend, yet sad for your own loss. This mental state makes it even more difficult to overcome and push away such feelings, as it is complicated to satisfy motherly and fatherly instincts. Instead of feeling bad about your stance, honor yourself for having the patience to wait.
Infertility is commonly defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (Infertility: An Overview, 2012). It is not only a physical problem, but also a social and psychological ailment. Jealousy is quite common among women who face difficulty in conceiving a child. Stop dwelling on negative thoughts about yourself; don’t let it become an obsession that eventually leads to depression and stress. Sometimes it is worse to see pregnant women around than not having a baby (for the time being!). The images of a beautifully swelled belly are like an alarm that consistently reminds you of your fertility challenges. That longing may be miserable at times, but it does not mean you cannot do anything about it.
Infertility and Aging: Seek Help
As a women ages, her fecundity decreases. While this process generally starts at the age of 32, it accelerates after age 37. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2014), if one desires pregnancy, it is essential to understand the relationship between aging and fertility. There are several medical procedures to treat the age-related disorders that impair fertility. Remember that the right diagnosis at the right time can make your dream come true.
Get more Information
Uncertainty is the lifeblood of stress. Treatment of infertility may take up to several months or years. To reduce your anxiety and cope with jealousy, you should start reading and learning more about its causes, care, and treatment. Additional knowledge will help you stay strong throughout the journey (Domar, Coping with the Stress of Infertility , 2007).
Coping with Stress
It is believed that women with infertility have the same levels of stress as cancer patients. Having a support network can help alleviate the stress caused by infertility. Many women are cautious about sharing their feelings due to social pressures ad expectations. However, regardless of what others may think, develop the courage to talk and speak out your feelings. The news of another friend getting pregnant may come to you like a lightning bolt, but stay calm and do not let the other person know about your sensitivity; it might damage your relationship with loved ones. It is very easy to avoid baby showers of friends, neighbors, and relatives by sending an excuse note; however, avoiding pregnant co-workers is a little difficult.
Do You Have a De-stressing Strategy?
Did you know that stress might be one of the reasons why pregnancy is a challenge for you? It certainly does not mean that staying happy will magically solve your infertility problem, but it can significantly boost the recovery. Consider signing up for a yoga class, as it is a wonderful way to relax the tensed nerves. Your choices are not restricted – simply indulge in anything that you like doing. Play music, read books, go on a vacation, or simply start painting to remain busy and stay away from negative emotions.
Your Spouse Can be your Biggest Strength
While focusing too much on baby-making, many women tend to forget that their spouse is equally upset about the situation. Support one another through this difficult time and enjoy your relationship. No matter if your friend’s pregnancy news brought tears to your eye or a smile on your face; do not lose what you already have – a beautiful life and a loving soul mate. Talking to your spouse about infertility can bring the two of your closer (The Fertility-Related Treatment Choices of Cancer Patients: Cancer-Related Infertility and Family Dynamics, 2011).
Take Care of Yourself
Just because you are living with infertility for a while, doesn’t mean that you will have to live with it forever! Remember that it is a medical situation which can be effectively treated through various medicines and surgical procedures. Do not let the distress and grief exhaust all your energies. Many people banish their self-esteem by considering it a failure; however, stress may be one of the reasons why you haven’t been able to get pregnant. Instead of frowning over your fate, do something about it and take care of yourself. You are not alone.
Domar, A. D. (2007). Coping with the Stress of Infertility . RESOLVE.
Domar, A. D. (n.d.). Infertility and Stress. p2.
(2012). Infertility: An Overview. AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE.
Snyder. (2011). The Fertility-Related Treatment Choices of Cancer Patients: Cancer-Related Infertility and Family Dynamics.
Female age-related fertility decline, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - Committee Opinion No. 589
Christie Hunter is registered clinical counselor in British Columbia and co-founder of Theravive. She is a certified management accountant. She has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Liberty University with specialty in marriage and family and a post-graduate specialty in trauma resolution. In 2007 she started Theravive with her husband in order to help make mental health care easily attainable and nonthreatening. She has a passion for gifted children and their education. You can reach Christie at 360-350-8627 or write her at christie - at - theravive.com.