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Friday, March 20, 2015

Pregnancy Reveals And The Social Obstacle Course

Is it just me, or is everybody pregnant right now!? We did have a record breaking cold winter, so I guess I know how all of you were keeping warm at night, huh? Anyhow, with pregnancy comes the inevitable reveals; to family, to friends, to co-workers and eventually… to Facebook, along with all other social media outlets. This used to happen around the third month mark, or beginning of the second trimester, but I notice more and more that people are waiting until their fifth month or later. New trend or simply the reality that we are all getting older and aware of the complications we could face? Who knows!

But, my point is, as natural and acceptable as it is to want to share your good news with the world there are a lot of women out there who just can’t handle it. I, thankfully, am NOT one of those women but I know many who are. Just the thought of opening up their news feed and seeing yet ANOTHER baby post can bring them to tears. Not because you are intentionally trying to hurt them, but the truth is… it can be painful.

Now, I said that I am not one of those women and I meant it. But, I admit, it does sting… a little. It tugs at the heartstrings. It is another reminder of what you have not been able to accomplish for however many years. When will it be MY turn? It is a reminder of loss, and you know how when you are grieving the simplest things can dig into that old wound? It’s kind of like that. Only for some women, it is excruciatingly painful. They beat themselves up over it, block their expecting friends news feeds at the first sign of a sonogram, avoid pregnant friends and co-workers, skip out on baby showers and limit their exposure to anything BABY. And no, for those of you who are not aware of this behavior, I am not exaggerating.

I do appreciate the heads up that my closest friends and family give me before posting. I don’t require it, but it is welcomed. And most of the time I am completely fine about it (or I have a 15 minute meltdown with DH and move on with my life). My struggle has nothing to do with their joy! They didn’t get pregnant to hurt me; they got pregnant because that’s what non-fertility-challenged people do. I guess I can understand why some women would do this, but I can’t really relate to it. Single people don’t avoid married couples because they can’t get a date, for example. Or do they? I don’t know.

For me, being able to be a part of someone else’s joy and happiness means the world. I have planned at least four baby showers for others throughout our time TTC and have loved every minute of it. I’ve held newborn babies within hours of their birth. I still look at the baby catalogs that come to our door and dream about the nursery I hope to put together one day. And don’t get me started on how much I love our nieces! In fact, my SIL just gave us a garbage bag FULL of their old baby clothes and their bassinette and it was fun to go through and put away for later, it didn’t bring me to tears. In fact, they made me laugh because I keep saying if we ever have a boy he is going to have to love pink!

So, why doesn’t all of this depress me? Because I still have HOPE. And maybe that’s the difference between me and these other women. Maybe they have no hope left. Maybe when/if I get to that point I will understand how they feel.

I agree that people should be delicate about their announcements and not plaster their whole wall with it, throwing it in your face day after day. And, it’s probably inevitable that you will hurt someone’s feelings out there by doing so but I believe that you should share your news because while you might hurt one you are likely giving many others a little glimmer of hope. And, if you have a story like ours to go with it and share that too!

When the time comes, I will definitely share. Probably cautiously later as my other 35+ friends seem to be doing, but I will. And I’m not going to be made to feel guilty about it either… especially not after everything we continue to go through.

Side note: To all those so-called “awareness campaigns” on Facebook that use fake status updates such as “oops, we’re pregnant” to get attention, you are not very AWARE are you? Bringing our attention to one cause while crushing another is not cool at all. Cut it out!