The other day, I was reading the Daily Mail online, and focused on the "Femail" section. As I scrolled through the various features, I came across an article on "fertility envy" (click on link to read article). This is basically a "condition" where women like me who are TTC, but are not YET successful, become an evil, obsessed, angry, green-eyed monster around others who have successfully conceived - particularly their friends or family. This made me think about my reactions to other people's news around getting pregnant. Do I suffer from this fertility envy??? Do I become some evil green-eyed monster around others who are a step ahead of me????
Recently, it seems as though everyone around me - well every random stranger - has just become, or is about to become a Grandma, or an aunty. Apart from all the celebrities who are tweeting about their pregnancies, and daily updates on what they are wearing to cover Bump, or to highlight Bump - ie the sudden urge to strip off and wear a bikini - I don't actually have any friends around me who are pregnant. Most of my close friends are single or already well-established mothers. So I don't have to "handle" (for want of a better word) being reminded of my failings as a woman at the moment.
The other day, I was at a conference and a woman who I don't really know came up to me and started to talk to me about how she wouldn't be able to attend a Women's Conference I was organising, because her daughter was coming to see her with the new baby. The next day another lady, who I had never spoken to, also came up to me and apologetically explained she couldn't make the Women's Conference because her sister had just had a baby and was coming to the UK to introduce the baby to the family.
I smiled, genuinely, at both these ladies. I didn't know them. I certainly didn't know the new mothers in their lives, so in that respect it was very easy to feel genuine excitement and joy at their news - I think I even clapped!! Lol!And I went so far as to hug the new Grandmother my congratulations! I didn't feel sad or disheartened at my own situation. In fact - it broadened my horizon as I thought of my own parents sharing the exciting news of their Grandchild through me. And I would love for my own Grandmother to be around long enough to meet Bubba - when he or she is released to me. The joy of a new life extends beyond Hubby and I.
And in the same way, the difficulties we face also extends beyond Hubby and I. A few years ago I found a random teddy bear hidden away in my mothers "grotto" (she loves Christmas so starts buying presents from Boxing Day!!!). When I asked her about it, she said she had bought it for my first child (I have three brothers - two of whom have children already and as far as I know, neither of them received this bear). That was a step of faith on her part, and I know that when Bubba arrives, she will derive as much pleasure in her new Grandchild (even though she has other gorgeous Grandchildren - I'm her only daughter); but at the moment, as we wait each month's cycle she feels my pain as it reminds her of her own struggle to conceive (I took three years to come along - even though she was in her early twenties).
I love spending time with friends who have little ones, and love hearing some of their stories... I say some because when they start talking about the trials of labour, I know I definitely DO NOT suffer fertility envy!! I think it's good to hear what they say, and learn lessons from their experiences. Especially for those who were in the same situation as Hubby and I... as not everyone conceives straight away, and I am not the only woman who has to be investigated for conception problems.
I can't say I feel envious at others' joy. Sometimes I get annoyed with some of these celebrity pregnancies which are shoved in my face. It seems that when I want to read "News" I am offered "Gossip" instead. Do I really need to be told if someone is daring to wear a bikini to show off her Bubba Bump??? Do I need to observe whether the new mum-to-be is hiding her bump in a baggy jumper??? Do we really need the speculation of whether this Royal is carrying an heir because she holds her stomach, or that popstar is throwing up and putting on weight???
I wouldn't say this is fertility envy. I would say this is irritation at being smacked in the face every time I want to read the paper!!! I can't say this has ever made me consider or get upset about my own situation, though. These celebrities aren't personal to me - and are not in my life.
I wonder if it would be different if it was someone closer to me though. I think there has only been one time I have "struggled" with a friend's pregnancy news. When speaking to a friend who conceived with her Hubby with 1 month of deciding to try for a Baby, my heart dropped a beat, and my mind raced with thoughts of how unfair it all was, when I thought of how long it was taking me.
I hope I will always have enough of God's love and grace within me, that I can rejoice with any friend who is rejoicing. I would definitely NEVER want her to feel awkward around me just because of the journey I am on compared to hers - that's not what being friends is about. Even though there are times when it is hard to be on this journey - I still want to hear, and learn from, others who are ahead of me. When friends have become pregnant in the past, I've had the honour of walking through it with them. Hearing about their odd cravings, laughing at their "baby-brain" moments. The creation of a new life is such a beautiful thing to behold.
I can understand the raw pain for women who are TTC, and for whom life seems incomplete without Bubba. To be one among many family and friends who don't seem to have a problem can be really disheartening. As I have said before - this journey is a lonely road - more-so for us as women, I think, because at the end of the day, our bodies are designed for childbirth and if we can't fulfill that basic function, then our bodies are not working properly - at least that's how I have sometimes thought about my own body! I hope and pray that I never become so engrossed in my own difficulties in TTC that I am not able to rejoice when others rejoice. And I pray that I will never ever become so depressed about the situation, that I would push pregnant friends away from me. That would make ME even more alone.
I really don't know how I can walk this journey without the Lord's help. Because it is such a difficult, painful and lonely road. Without Him - it would be so much worse. Without the Lord upholding me, I probably would struggle with "Fertility Envy" and hide away from the rest of the female world... just in case.
- Bubba's Hopeful Mumma
- Hi. Welcome to my "taboo" blog. My name is Steph, and when I first started this, I was still in my thirties. In 2017, I switch decades! I am a Christian, so underlying everything I do and say is the Word of God, and the foundational truths I have learnt over the years. This doesn't mean I'm perfect - I am human. It just means I recognise I need God's help to live this life and try to live out His way, as best I can. So that's me in a nutshell. Thanks for taking the time to read through my blog, I hope you draw strength, hope or encouragement from what you read.