For some women hearing a friend or family member say “I’m pregnant” brings excitement, but for others it can be really difficult to hear those words. With POI one of the hardest things for most women is learning of the impacts on their fertility, and while you love the person making the pregnancy announcement, it doesn’t make it any less difficult.
It’s ok to feel sad or even jealous.
When you get that phone call from your friend, or your sibling is sitting in front of you with their news, it is perfectly normal to feel a mix of emotions. You might be pleased to see their happiness, whilst feeling heartbroken for yourself, and you don’t need to feel bad for that. All emotions and feelings are valid.
It’s up to you how you want to respond, whether you put on your best poker face and congratulate them, then have a little cry later, or explain to them that it’s quite hard for you to hear that despite being pleased for them. Anyone who loves you and knows your circumstances will understand.
It’s important to try not to bottle up your feelings by letting them out at some point, this allows you to process, understand and work through them quicker. Holding on to jealousy may cause resentment towards the pregnant person, who really doesn’t want to hurt you, they love you enough to want to share and have you involved in their personal news.
Give yourself some time to gather your thoughts and do something that makes you feel good, whether it be watching your favourite tv show, having a nice hot bath, or a rant about how you’re feeling to a partner. Having nurturing compassion towards yourself will help to support you through your time of need. Think of what you would say if a friend came to you with the same problem, what would you say to them to help? Now say it to yourself. It is important to give yourself the permission to look after yourself. If you are invited to a baby shower you do what is best for you whether that is going to the party, popping in only for a short time, or not going at all. If it is a close family member or friend who is having the shower, it’s usually best to explain to them your reasons for not wanting to go, they will support your decision. If it is a distant work colleague who has invited you, it is totally up to you how much information you share as to why you can’t attend. It is ok to put yourself and your feelings first.
Being in the child’s life.
It is totally up to you to choose how much of a relationship you want to have with the baby, so it’s important to let the friend or family member know your comfort level with involvement. When it comes to a family member’s baby, often the role of Aunty is one that child-free women thrive in. It allows you to have a biological bond with a child, offer the motherly love you have, and your family member will welcome the help and appreciate having someone who they know has their child’s every interest at heart. Being an aunt to a family member or close friends child, is an extremely unique relationship, a quote that really resonates in
“Only an aunt will love you like a mother, keep secrets like a sister, and behave like a friend”.
While it may never replace the loss of having your own pregnancy, stepping into this role could find you the fulfillment you feel you are missing due to your POI. But again, if you think it will hurt too much to have a close relationship with another child, that too is fine, and you’re well within your rights to keep as much distance as you think is healthy for you.
If you feel like you have no-one to share how you are feeling with, please reach out to Daisy Network, our team and members understand what you are going through, and are always on hand to help talk things through.