You can see them from a mile away. It’s been apparent in the sudden change of a friend/acquaintance’s pinning activity. There are less, “PERFECT margarita,” & secret drink recipes and more baby/pregnancy pins. Or maybe it’s the infamous, “Facebook silence,” I’ve noticed again & again just before the big announcement hits. Someone who posted at least once every day may, suddenly, drop off the newsfeed for a while. Reappearing again with the ultrasound photos, or the adorable pregnancy announcement ideas you’ve pinned a thousand times yourself in your own Pinterest board.
Ever since October, I have literally lost count of the number of these announcements I have seen. From the cute pumpkins atop all those colorful fall leaves, to the This Is What I’m Thankful For of Thanksgiving, & the now, “presents,” of crisp December, the announcements have been everywhere. There have been at least three in the past week alone from those I follow on my own social media accounts.
& it’s not that I’m not happy for all of these new doting parents to be, that’s not it at all…it’s just that I’m profoundly sad for me.
For someone who has pinned these adorable announcements with the intention of using them for their own pregnancy for over two years now, it’s discouraging at best to never arrive at this point yourself. The pregnancy announcements I’ve seen during this time are probably in the hundreds. More than that, when we entered into infertility TX’s, we were both naive. We really believed with that first IUI things may work out for us…& then the second came…& the third…and then the IVF…all ending the same, without a pregnancy announcement. I’ve been on fertility meds. for 9 months now, throwing my hormones & my body into hyperdrive. I don’t even feel like the same person anymore & I have nothing to show for it.
So, if you’re like me, & you’re not quite yourself anymore thanks to all the medications & the losses, keep reading. If people have had a full throttle view of your vajayjay & probed you more times than you can count, keep reading. If you’ve had to unfollow most of the pregnant people on your newsfeed, keep reading. If you cry after every pregnancy announcement & have also lost count of all the times you’ve tried to bargain with God, keep reading.
- Know your limits, especially during the holidays. Do you need to unfollow that acquaintance you don’t even know that well who just posted 1 of the many pregnancy announcements you’ve seen in the past 3 months? Do you need to skim past any pregnancy photo quickly? Do you need to stay away from places like the mall where a slew of adorably dressed children are jumping up & down inline for Santa?
- Know what you have to do to keep going. This is a loaded piece of advice but it all boils down to self-care. The holidays are an immensely difficult time for a lot of people for many different reasons. If they’re hard for you too, that’s okay. How can you take care of yourself during this time?
- Don’t forget to enjoy the holidays. For those of us struggling with infertility, it is easy to lose sight of the magic of Christmas-as well as other holidays-when we’re disappointed month after month. Our eye is on the prize &, while that is sometimes a good thing, it can also distract us from the good that is around us. What special holiday memories can you begin with your spouse? What traditions can you start with friends & family?
- Don’t stop believing. *cue Journey song. Elisha from waitingforbabybird.com posted some very good thoughts on this topic yesterday. It was titled To The One Who Can’t Buy the Baby’s First Christmas Outfit. It talked about witnessing another woman who was holding one of those too cute onesies with those words on it. She didn’t put it into her cart & walk away…instead, she cried & the tears seeped into it. Further into the post, Elisha talked about stepping into hope & buying the outfit anyway. While I would’ve stepped into a logistical mindset in thinking, “You don’t know what size your baby will be in when the next Christmas rolls around,” I don’t any longer..you see, she points out that this outfit would not be for them…it’s for you…for the moments you need to hold onto some tangible form of hope.
If you’re 1 of 8 couples struggling with infertility this holiday season, I am sincerely sorry & hope and pray that the next holiday season will be different for all of us. Until that times comes, however, please know you’re not alone. Please take care of yourself this holiday season. & please don’t stop believing miracles happen. ❤