Thursday, October 28, 2010

Facebook... sigh...

I found this news article about those going though infertility and handling Facebook pregnancy announcements at Untangle Me.

Totally. I do like using Facebook to keep in touch with friends but I've hidden one or two people because I can't handle their comments on their ongoing pregnancy. I like them and I'm happy for them but it is too hard to have dangling in front of you whenever you open Facebook.

Yet do you find yourself clicking through all their photos during pregnancy and even after the birth? Oh gosh yes. I guess I'm so intrigued and so fascinated by what I cannot have or my body won't do.

The initial announcement is hard. I do understand the desire to celebrate and share the news with everyone. I'm sure I'd want to do that too, to some extent, if I were pregnant, but I can't always handle it on the receiving end because of where I'm at.

I'm sure posts like this sounds quite self-centered. After all, pregnancy news is good stuff. She's having a baby!

I get that. But since when is this journey rational? At the end of the day, it hurts. It feels unfair. It feels like you're being overtaken yet again. It feels like you are being left behind. It feels like you're not good enough.

You're still waiting. You exist in two worlds- the world where you are okay and you are celebrating with them, and you mean it and then there's the world where you feel so jealous, so freaking frustrated that it is not your announcement.

They say it doesn't really get 'easier' though... for those who have gone through infertility and whether or not you do end up having kids, they say the stab to the heart or the slight lurch of the stomach still will be there, but I think I'm hoping I get better at handling it and start to have some better ways to cope? Let's keep hoping.

Weeping into the pillow before bed isn't the greatest on the eyes the next morning, nor is randomly freaking out on the inside how much you hate your body that great for the general well-being. (Not always. But we have Issues. I know.)

Anyway. So what should we do? There's gotta be a way to function like semi-normal. A list would be great of course.

1. Don't use Facebook. (Easier said than done.)

2. As the article mentioned, use the 'hide' option. It is there, why not? (If only there was that option in real life!)

3. Collect a couple trusted friends to warn you if they know there is an 'announcement' coming.

4. Look at every friend on your list who is married and tell yourself that they may be pregnant soon... this sounds ridiculous, but may help to reduce shock-factor. (This was a tip a friend of mine shared with me. She's also been through a rough time with infertility and I thought this was helpful. )

5. If you know friends are trying to conceive or just pregnant and you are okay enough to converse with them about your journey, ask them if they can let you know when they are going to announce the news to the rest of the world- so you can brace yourself for conversations, etc. Explain how it can help to know beforehand.

(I've found that being open with my journey has helped my friends be more aware of how to be sensitive, though it can make me feel super vulnerable at times... I'm really thankful for them.)

Obviously it is not our 'right' to know early or know at all so there will still be tricky ones, but this can help.

6. Pray that God will help you grow a THICK thick skin, protect your heart from the envy and focus on the right things. (Pray also for a bigger picture perspective. So needed but so hard.)

Umm... Okay so there are not that many ways to prevent this. I'm sorry.

Let me know if you've found anything else that may make it better...


GMom said...

am praying for you .... xoxo

Calmly Chaotic said...

This is my first visit to your blog. I get those pregnancy announcements on facebook too and then there are the ultrasound pictures. I get that they are excited and have every right to be so i try to just scroll over and not read it. One thing that does make it easier for me is that most of our friends are not at the getting married or having children point. I like your suggestions. I look forward to reading more!

Grace said...

yes, i can totally relate to this. and you're so right! i still do look through ALL the pictures...why do we do that to ourselves?!

Browniris said...

Facebook pregnancy announcements are so seems like there is always an announcement when I am feeling especially vulnerable. I wish there was a way to screen them out.

Happy ICLW!

Barbara said...

I struggled with infertility for 3 years and then we were so blessed to have the opportunity to adopt from S. Korea in a really quick time frame. After we adopted our son, we decided to deal with two frozen embryos from an earlier IVF attempt. The subsequent pregnancy was a major shock due to my aggressive endometriosis. Anyways, that's not what this is about... After we got pregnant, my husband reminded me not to say much about it on facebook because I had such a hard time previously with other peoples' news. Sage advice. Strangely, even though I have now given birth to a baby, I sometimes still find those announcements tough. The pain of infertility still lingers even though I have been pregnant. Weird.

Amel said...

HUGE HUGS...I understand what you've written here.

What helps me so far are these:

1. Asking my closest friends to pray The Serenity Prayer for me and I've also kept saying that prayer as often as possible.

2. Making the decision not to do anything else (except than normal sex which doesn't include timed sex).

3. Learning to think of life without kids and planning the future without kids. (That doesn't mean I have stopped hoping to have a child, but at least I don't stop planning to do something 'coz I'm afraid I'd get pregnant by then)

It DOES get better 'coz I think the prayers work VERY well. The kind of peace beyond understanding has blanketed me in ways that I never expected possible.

Right now I can look at baby pictures and pregnancy pictures without too much grief or sorrow or questions for God and the feeling of unfairness. It's not my strength, it's all His help.

Sometimes when I see small kids at work and then I wave at them and they smile at me, I still want to cry, but not because of anything else other than longing to have those moments with my own child. However, I tried to think of is this way: "OK, at least that child responded to me in such a nice way and I should just cherish it."

Even though the wounds are there and the scars are there, they aren't bleeding so profusely anymore. THANK GOD for that!

Green Wannabe said...

Hey Sarah,

Hang in there, I'm praying for you. I think this is the thorn in your flesh like Paul had. And even though I'm not going through the same thing as you right now, know that some of us have similar feelings of being "left behind". That's why there are all those American movies about dreading high school reunions. There will always be stuff that we want and don't have yet or can't have at all-career -- boyfriend, husband, family, good body weight, good skin etc. I know they are not the same to you but they are very real to the people who want these things. So yea, hang in there dear girl! :)