Unbearable: Smiling Through Your Best Friend’s Pregnancy

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

It’s a proven fact that when you can’t get pregnant, someone close to you can and will. I’m not quite sure who proved this, but let’s pretend someone did. It’s just the way that the universe works. When you want something desperately, you take notice of someone else getting it. The deceitful polite among us will say that it’s never hard for someone struggling with infertility to be around a pregnant woman. Those upstanding citizens realize that we should be happy for our friends or family and never get resentful or selfish or jealous. They also ride unicorns to work and lose ten pounds when they’re on vacation in Italy.

Let’s be honest, when you’re struggling with infertility, having pregnant friends can be hard. It’s not that you aren’t happy for them. It’s not that you wish they weren’t pregnant. And most likely, it’s not like you’re going to steal their newborn from the hospital nursery. But when you’re mind is full of “baby, baby, I want a baby,” all the time, your friends serve as tokens of the outside world. They pull you out of the trying-to-conceive-trance. Pregnant women serve as reminders and triggers, when you need distractions.

Pregnancy is such an amazing time in a woman’s life. It’s filled with hope and excitement and anticipation. No one wants to be negative when they are around a pregnant woman. Yet, for those struggling with infertility, their emotions aren’t always light and optimistic. They have some hurt that they’re carrying around. Couple that pain with intense guilt for ruining your friend’s cheerful outlook and you’re looking at a whole lot of awkwardness. When the pregnant and the infertile get together, there are just so many things that neither one of you want to say.

None of this means that women having a hard time conceiving can or should cut off contact with their pregnant friends. Resentment and sadness should not cause you to permanently distance yourself from a close relationship. But hopefully, you can all be understanding about the difficulty of the situation. When your best friend is pregnant and you’re trying desperately to become so, you still have to attend their baby shower. You might get out of helping them register and attending Lamaze as the back-up partner though.

However you’re feeling, you need to be honest with those lucky ladies carrying around an extra 20 pounds and a whole lot of acid reflux. And yes, you need to smile for them. Be happy for them. Tell them what an amazing mother they will be. That selfish part of your heart will be screaming that it’s all unfair and you should be choosing between the “Starry Night” and “Counting Sheep” themed mobiles too. But the better part of you, the one we don’t mind presenting to the world, will be thrilled that one more miracle will be born into this world with an amazingly loving mother. You can smile for that.