Friday, January 15, 2010

How to Cope With Pregnant Friends During Infertility

By FaithAllen (click here for link)
When a person struggles with infertility, one of the biggest challenges is hanging around with pregnant friends. Seeing your pregnant friend's body grow and change to accommodate a baby is a painful reminder of your own inability to conceive a baby. Maintaining a friendship with a pregnant friend during infertility can be hard to do, but losing that friendship might be even more painful. Here is how to cope with pregnant friends during infertility.
  1. Give yourself permission to be upset. When your friend first tells you that she is pregnant, you will likely feel a strong urge to cry. As soon as you can get some time alone, allow yourself to shed those tears without feeling any guilt. It is okay to be sad for yourself upon hearing this news.
  2. Decide whether the friendship is worth the pain. If your pregnant friend is really just an acquaintance, you might want to distance yourself from the friendship. Now that your lives are taking 2 different paths, you might not find a whole lot in common during this stage of life. However, if your pregnant friend is a true friend who you would like to keep in your life long-term, make the commitment to push through the pain in order to nurture the friendship.
  3. Recognize that maintaining this friendship is challenging for your pregnant friend. Your friend is likely having many concerns about how to interact with you. How much do you want to know about the baby? Would telling you that the baby is kicking hurt you worse than finding out that your friend withheld this information from you? Your friend will likely have to make just as much of an effort as you are making.
  4. Talk with your pregnant friend about your feelings. Because both you and your friend likely have some concerns about how this friendship is going to work over the next nine months, get the issues out on the table now. Provide your friend with guidance about how much you can handle hearing about her pergnancy. Listen to her concerns so you can continue to be a good friend.
  5. Pretend your friend has a basketball under her shirt. Sometimes a little bit of denial can be a good thing. Instead of constantly thinking about the growing baby in your friend's body, try pretending that your friend has a basketball under her clothing so you can focus on her rather than her body.
  6. Be patient with the friendship. Both of you are going to be emotional throughout the duration of the pregnancy. While she is dealing with pregnancy hormones, you might be dealing with fertility hormones and other treatments that affect your mood. Give each other the space to get a little crazy without holding it against each other.
  7. Allow yourself to grieve. It is painful to watch another person live your dream. Give yourself the time and space to cry when the pain builds up.

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