How to be there when someone else is pregnant

The greatest betrayal of all and now you’re having your nose rubbed in it. Yip, your work colleague, a friend or a family member is pregnant. How on earth are you going to deal with them and the baby they are carrying. It feels so personal. How could they do this to you and why the hell is it not you that’s pregnant… why them? Feelings of pregnancy envy, pregnancy jealousy issues, betrayal …these are all understandable. I have experienced this and here are some tips that I hope will help you.

Being the eldest of 3 children, with 2 failed engagements and no Mr Right on the horizon, I decided that I wanted to have a baby on my own. I kept thinking all my friends are getting pregnant and i can’t even find Mr Right, let alone have a baby.

The clock was ticking and 40 was a number that suddenly had a whole lot of meaning and consequences. Having worked with a psychologist and shared my decision with my close family, we worked out in detail how this would work. My parents would step in as ‘active secondary parents’ and my siblings would be very involved too. Then, my sister fell pregnant. My own sister. We were so very close. The evening it was announced, I felt like a knife had cut through my heart. The greatest betrayal of all. Not only would she have the first born but it felt like she had stolen what was supposed to be my baby. I was devastated. I tried my very best to hold it together at dinner but I needed so desperately to scream and cry and just collapse. I was so distraught.

This left me with a very big decision. Am I able to accept and be part of my sister’s pregnancy or was it too painful? It was one of the biggest decisions I made and one that I would need to be at peace with. Well, a few years on and I’m so eternally grateful that I was able to overcome this. I’m still without a baby despite 10 ivf attempts but everyday I am so thankful that we have our little niece. She brings me such joy. When I had my miscarriage, it my my niece who brought me a smile. We have the closest relationship.  I would die to think I could have missed out on her birth, her first crawl, her learning to talk and our absolute love for each other. With her I’m able to be a crazy fun aunt and it has rescued me from my hurtful ivf world so many times.

I remember the very day when I made my decision to accept my sisters pregnancy. The choice I made had the biggest repercussions in  my life, and thankfully, it was the right decision. Little did I know that my sister would become my egg donor in due course. Be careful of the decisions you make when you are hurting as theses can change the course of your life. I could have lost a sister and a niece but instead, gained my two greatest supporters!

So this is the scenario I wanted to share with you so that you see there can be a silver lining. Feel the pain, cry but move forward. Be there for that person. It will bizarrely make you feel stronger within yourself.

Here are some tips to help you through your situation when someone announces they are pregnant:

  1. Weigh up your relationship with that person. Is it going to cause greater pain in the end to not be part of their journey?
  2. What are the benefits of being part of their journey?
  3. What would you lose out on if you weren’t part of their pregnancy/ baby?
  4. What if you had your baby, would you be sorry that you hadn’t been part of theirs?

In the end, everything has consequences. Just think carefully about what you feel comfortable with and what you don’t.

Feel welcome to send me an email (cathy@ivfsupport.co.za) or Facebook message (https://www.facebook.com/IVFSupportSA/) should you have any further questions.

And remember…

You are not alone!

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