I’ve had a lot of fellow infertiles who have, after a long struggle, had their babies in the last year. When fellow infertiles have their babies it is such a mix of emotion and I find my reaction to each one is also a mix. I can be over the moon, so incredibly happy for them and others I can feel insanely jealous and pissed off. I also wane between the two…..jealous and extreme happiness. It is a very awkward place to be and those of you who have come full circle on this journey probably feel the same as well. To me there are potentially six stages:
1) Starter/Newbie – Just entering the wide world of infertility. Overwhelmed and trying to come to grips with the new reality. Reaching out to anyone who will listen.
2) Infertile/Veteran – Been around the block a few times. Many BFNs leaving you frustrated, hardened, anxious and at times dark and lost. Looking for those with hard technical facts.
3) BFP – A miracle! Overjoyed, excited, cautious but euphoria over reaching this milestone. Extreme relief that IVF has worked, thankful, gracious and shouting from the rooftops!
4) Preggers for real – Past the first trimester and the reality of actually being pregnant is starting to sink in. Anxiety between scans and relief or fear after each scan.
5) Birth – An unbelievable day when you finally meet your baby. Emotional, relief and happiness that you have reached your goal. Ready for the next steps.
6) Mother – Past the initial adjustments to being a parent and now falling into a routine. Babies now interact with Mom and Mom can’t imagine her life before baby.
What I have learned is that infertility is a journey and you can not always relate to other infertiles (or former infertiles). The stages of infertility have different emotions and challenges based on the situation you are in. I always feel so guilty when I feel jealousy towards another infertile. It is not a nice feeling. Mostly because these are people you have been at the same stage with at a previous point and have found solace and support from each other, while now the relationship has changed. I am sure this goes both ways, those who are pregnant or have given birth probably feel guilt over their happiness while others are still waiting for their BFP. It is a difficult situation as your support structure in an infertility group is constantly changing and we are all trying to be sensitive to each other.
I get so much joy out of following others journeys. To me it gives me hope, that one day I will get there too. But some days it is harder to be happy for others success…. jealousy rears its ugly head. I guess I am just human.