Does the green-eyed monster of jealousy sometimes threaten to overwhelm you when you see a pregnant woman or hear of yet another friend or relative getting pregnant? If so, you are NOT alone.
Do you have to fight down the choking feelings of jealousy when you see a pregnant woman—whether you know her or not? Do you wonder why her and not you? Feelings of jealousy when others seem to achieve easily what you are trying so hard to get are normal. They are, in fact, almost universal amongst those struggling to get pregnant. So, give yourself a break and stop feeling guilty.
We humans are amazingly capable of holding two feelings at the same time. Just because you are jealous does not mean that you are not happy for your pregnant friend. It does mean that you may need help coping with pregnancy jealousy during your infertility challenges.
6 Tips for Coping with Pregnancy Jealousy During Infertility
If the pregnant woman is a friend or relative that you will have to interact with, it helps to be honest with her about your feelings. Tell her how happy you are for her, but admit that you are a little jealous. Ask for her forgiveness if you are not as wholly involved in her pregnancy as you otherwise would want to be. The chances are good that she will understand and bringing it out in the open helps diffuse the power of the negative emotions.
While you may be happy on some level for your pregnant friend or relative, remember that you do not have to fully participate in all the trappings and celebrations of her pregnancy. Be selective on how much you participate. It is not only OK, but it is also a showing of mental health to pass on the baby shower and gender-reveal parties if you feel too overwhelmed. Make an excuse, send a present, and get a mani-pedi that day.
Focusing on what we want but don’t have highlights our feelings of negativity and jealousy. Use this time that you are trying to conceive to dive into something other than yourself. Take up skydiving, knitting, rock climbing, or sculpting. Learn a new language and plan a trip to practice your skills. Don’t let infertility sideline you from living a full and enriching life.
There is no one magic lifestyle change that will enhance your fertility. However, common sense for healthy living will help your general health and support your emotional health as well. One of the most important things you can do is get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
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There is no prize for suffering through your infertility struggle alone! Get help from a support group and/or a therapist. If possible, find a therapist that is knowledgeable about the unique issues with infertility. We have resources to help you find someone.
What have you done to help you cope with pregnancy jealousy during infertility?