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TTC: other people’s pregnancies

It can be hard to cope with other people’s pregnancy joy when you are still trying to conceive (TTC)

Posted: 6 May 2008
by Laura Lee Davies

As if we weren’t aware of it already, it’s clear from the TTC forums on ThinkBaby that many of us find it hard when we hear that a friend or close relative is expecting a baby, especially when we are already having to deal with disappointment when our own plans for pregnancy have not yet succeeded.

Jealous emotions when trying to conceive
Our first emotions on hearing about someone else’s pregnancy are quite possibly made up of straight-up jealousy. Although it is a negative emotion, it is totally understandable, just as when we are perhaps looking for a job and it feels like the whole of the rest of the world is happily employed.
We can often feel despair too, especially if we believe that the other woman has not been trying for a baby as long as we have. (That isn’t always the case – many women don’t like to broadcast their attempts to the world and might well play down how long it has really taken them to get pregnant.)
If we haven’t yet turned our own disappointment into feelings of guilt (that it’s in some way our ‘fault’ that we haven’t managed ot get get pregnant), sometimes hearing about someone else’s success can make us question, ‘Why her and not me?’ We look for reasons to blame ourselves for things we haven’t done that ‘she’ has or things about ourselves that we panic over, thinking they might affect our chances of ever having a baby.
However, stress and feeling low can have a genuine affect on our own ability to conceive so let’s look at some ways in which we can cope with the news of someone else’s pregnancy.

Coping in a positive way, with other people’s joy
To begin with, remind yourself of a few key facts:
Conception, whilst not as simple as it might seem, stands a better chance if you have regular sex and that is something your hands rather than ‘fate’s’.
If you have examined your lifestyle and made the right changes to your diet (cutting out smoking and drinking too), then you are putting yourself in the best position to get pregnant yourself.
Even a couple with no medical issues and having regular sex throughout each month will find that it might take them six to 12 months to get pregnant so don't get too stressed after a couple of months trying.
And remember: someone else being pregnant has no effect on your chances of getting pregnant.

What can you do to help make yourself feel more positive
Relax – Along with lifestyle changes, relaxing can really help your chances of getting pregnant.
Talk to your partner – You might not find it easy to explain to your friend or relative why you have been distant regarding her news. If you can talk to her should find this helps, but if not, be honest with your partner. As the stress of keeping your emotions bottled up can have a very negative effect on you and your body.
Don’t feed your jealousy – Being jealous is an understandable emotion, but don’t get too hung up on it. You might want to distance yourself from your friend but try not to do this to the point where is destroys your friendship as, when your time comes, you will have the great bond of motherhood to share.
Be good to yourself – treat yourself to something, not necessarily pregnancy related, to give yourself a lift. Trying for a baby is a huge thing and you deserve a break!

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