Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Baby Steps: Surrounded

Posted October 1, 2010

For a few weeks now I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this blog post without alienating anyone. I finally found some inspiration in the pages of the latest infertility book that’s sitting on my nightstand. So I’ll dive right in…

As of late, my life is filled with Facebook announcements, giddy groups of women and growing baby bumps. I am literally surrounded by pregnancy! And I am really struggling to figure out how to digest it all.

My heart goes out to each and every woman I know who is expecting. Some are taking the rollercoaster ride for the first time; others are more experienced with carrying a baby on board. When I hear the happy news, my gut feeling is one of absolute excitement. I’m enthralled to know that – in a few short months - they are going to welcome a new member to their family. Shortly thereafter, another intense emotion takes over…

This overwhelming feeling is the one I don’t know how to deal with. The emotion comes on in a wave when I take a step back and look at the bigger picture – people all around me have something that I want. It’s not just one baby announcement; it’s joy, after joy, after joy. I am literally green with envy! Gosh, it sounds horribly selfish, doesn’t it?

I find myself wanting to ask the nearest expectant mom a million questions. How did you do it? Did you have any trouble? What worked for you? All of those are not exactly questions appropriate for friends of friends, work colleagues or sorority sisters you haven’t talked to in years.

When I circle back to reality, that feeling of envy is followed by a heavy lump that sits right in my throat. It even hurts a little. I’m familiar with this one – it’s called guilt.

So I’m looking for some guidance. Since I’ve made my struggle public, it is even harder to avoid those awkward moments. But I want to share in the happiness, too. How do I squash the bad feelings from taking over the good?

Christine is an associate producer at WRAL-TV, which includes research for 5 On Your Side and producing the 10 p.m. weekend newscasts on Fox50. She lives with her husband and three dogs. Christine is chronicling her experience as she and her husband struggle with infertility.


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  • mamalu Oct 4, 2010

    Christine I truly know what you are going through. My husband and I tried for years than I lost three pregnacies. It was then that we decided to be foster parents and help someone else's children which ended up to be a great experience and lead to us adopting a baby girl.
    Whenever my coworker had a baby shower I would make sure I bought them great presents because it was like I was buying what I would want. Finally I realized what I was doing and started to buy a nice gift and whenever possible I would not attend the shower just give my gift.
    Please stay close to your husband during this time. The guilt and stress do really take a lot out of you. My three pregancies came years after we stop thinking about it. That time was very sad but I will always remember when I found out I was pregnant and told my husband.
    I will say a prayer for you to receive this gift and that you have some peace during this time.

    A viewer who cares.

  • Zelda Oct 4, 2010

    Infertility is one of the hardest struggles in life. Your feelings are entirely normal and valid, but that doesn't make them any easier to bear. It could be helpful to seek out a therapist with experience in this area just to have your own personal sounding board as you go through this challenging time. Humans don't like ambiguity and uncertainty -- it's one of the hardest psychological states. And when it goes on and on like this, it's extremely stressful. Hoping for a good resolution for you and your spouse.

  • mksnow Oct 4, 2010

    My husband and I have tried for over 3-1/2 years now, with one miscarriage last Fall. Meanwhile, 3 close friends have gotten pregnant (one completely by accident), and my cousin is on her second pregnancy in less than a year. Before I was laid off, there were literally 30 pregnancies in my office at a large corporation between Dec 2006 and May 2009. I have had moments of being eaten alive by jealousy and sadness, followed by waves of shame and guilt for not "being a bigger person" and rising above those feelings. I've started to realize, though, that because of all those pregnancies, my life has been full of beautiful babies to play with, and at a remarkably low diaper-change to bouncing-giggle ratio.

    To Mugu and JAT: The blog is called "Baby Steps". Of course everything is tied to babies. Your advice is not helpful; it's pressure from the other side and mockery. When discussing feelings that can't be helped, it's better to keep silent if you can't empathize.

  • brentsara Oct 1, 2010

    I totally understand and can empathize with you! During our long 3 yr struggle - all 3 of my best friends were pregnant at the same time! And 2 of them got pregnant again - at one point I just had to hand the phone to my DH when I got the news b/c I couldn't take it. It is normal and understand to have your feelings. I too would suggest an online support group - you may even try - they have an infertility board. And the other suggestions sounds good to. Please try to protect yourself as you need to and as others have said your true friends will understand! Peace to you during these time - Sara

  • mccloud1228 Oct 1, 2010

    I feel what you are going through.....I've been there before.

  • anclontz Oct 1, 2010

    I want you to know that there are a lot of women out there who feel exactly the same way as you do right now. I was one of them. All my friends were either pregnant or had children, and I felt so much envy. All I wanted was to be them. Everytime my husband and I were out in public and I saw someone with a child or pregnant, I would frown and look at him. He knew exactly what I meant. I tried for a year and half, before I really got down to business with my health and fertility. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy at all. I cut out all sweets, sodas, bread, rice, anything that wasn't healthy for me for 4 months. I was there too. It will happen for you, like it happened for me. I honestly have no idea how I ended up pregnant because I wasn't cycling at all, it was a miracle from God. Just know that the feelings you have are normal, and not to feel guilty because I had them probably worse than you do. "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act."

  • karmstr9 Oct 1, 2010

    I can't say that I know exactly how you feel and I am not going to try. The one thing that I can address that no one else has mentioned is that you should trust in someone much stronger than you - The Lord Jesus Christ. Is it going to be difficult? yes. Will there be disappointment? yes. Will you feel alone? sometimes, yes. I know that if you put your situation and your heart's desire in the Lord's hands and allow Him to guide you, you will always have Him to lean upon no matter how hard the road ahead will be. I know that from my own life. Even though my situation is different, we can still trust the same God. His ways are not our ways and our paths not his paths. He knows what is best for us - even when we don't understand it. Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
    Trust in Christ! He will carry your burden!

  • Mugu Oct 1, 2010

    Jat, I agree... this is the problem with Amerika. People always pining for what is around the corner. Enjoy life, when you want to feel good, go to Banana Republic and get a new outfit and enjoy a nice meal. I like life simple.

    Happiness is.

  • mandrews34 Oct 1, 2010

    It helped me to think that I am going through IF, and several failed IVF cycles, in order to one day help others in the same boat. Your talent for writing, and access to a widely read website, allows you to reach many. Your honesty about your feelings is therapy to lots of women experiencing the same thing. You are not alone in this and neither are the many women in the same boat.

  • JAT Oct 1, 2010

    Mugu - I agree. I've read some of her pasts blogs and everything - everything - is tied in some way to having a baby, from getting married, to getting a dog, to cutting her hair. It's unhealthy to put that much pressure on yourself and the act of conception. Too many couples get married and immediately start trying to get pregnant. They should enjoy getting to know each other and doing stuff that they won't be able to do once they do have kids. When so much focus is placed on one thing, it becomes an obsession and until that is dealt with, there will be no happiness in life and that's a sad thing. Life is too good not to enjoy it.