Dealing with the Pregnancies of Others While Struggling with Infertility

Everyday women around the world learn they suffer from infertility. In the past, suffering from infertility meant there was little hope for them to conceive a child if their own. With medical advances, it’s now possible for many of these women to conceive, but it’s often a struggle to get there. One of the most difficult parts of infertility is watching your friends and family members conceive so easily while you struggle. When facing this situation, these women put on what I like to call “the brave face of infertility.”

What is the brave face of infertility?
The brave face of infertility, is when a woman learns that someone close to them is expecting a child, and hides their pain while pretending to be happy for them. It sounds awful, I know, but being happy for someone who has achieved what you want so badly is difficult. As someone that suffers from infertility, I have found myself in this situation more than once. Of course, I’m usually genuinely happy for my friend or family member, but sad for myself.

Keeping up the act:
One of the hardest parts of putting on a brave face is keeping up the act. It’s natural for a pregnant woman to want to share the details of her pregnancy with her close friends and family members. However, when you are struggling to get pregnant yourself, hearing those details can often be like walking on glass. If your friend isn’t aware of your infertility, chances are they have no idea what kind of pain they are inflicting. If you choose to keep your struggles a secret, and want to keep your relationship strong, you are forced to keep the act going. I find that after a while it gets easier to deal with certain pregnancies, and at some point I actually get excited for the new arrival. Just give yourself time and keep your distance until you are ready.

You don’t have to be brave:
Today, infertility doesn’t have the stigma it had in the past. Nearly everyone knows what infertility is, and what it entails. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to announce it to the world, but if hearing the details from a friend or family member hurts you, you might want to let them know. Explain to them that you are excited for them and care about them, but sometimes it can be a bit much. Chances are they will completely understand. In my experience, not only have they understood where I was coming from, but they have also become my biggest cheerleaders.

Infertility is difficult for anyone to deal with. Sometimes putting on a brave face is the only way for you to make it through your day, and that is okay.

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