If there’s any one person most of us would like to see get pregnant, it’s someone who has struggled to get there. Although pregnancy announcements are never easy to cope with, the idea that a fertility friend who has been through tests and treatment herself finally has a happy ending to her journey ought to inspire us all with the knowledge that it is possible – and that it may happen to us too. And yet, no matter how happy we know we ought to be, it doesn’t always feel that way.
Rather than joy for a friend, what often arises is a sense of abandonment and fear – that yet another of our dwindling band of friends who don’t have children has finally stepped over to the other side. This can be particularly acute if you’ve made cycle buddies with a group online, or have been regularly meeting up with others who are experiencing similar problems. It is one of the most helpful things to be with others who understand, but if they gradually start getting pregnant one by one when you aren’t, you can end up feeling like the last wallflower left sitting on the sidelines.
It isn’t always easy to feel joyful for a friend’s pregnancy, even if you know she has had fertility problems in the past, when you can’t help wondering whether you will ever be the one making the happy announcement. People often feel that it is wrong to have this kind of response and think that they ought to be able to be delighted when a fertility friend gets pregnant, but it is important to accept these feelings for what they are – something which is pretty inevitable really – and to be kind to yourself if you are left upset and unhappy.
It’s impossible to know what lies around the corner, but try to accept your friendships for what they are at any given moment in time. Fertility friendships can last a lifetime, but sometimes they don’t go beyond the days of tests and treatment – and yet they are no less important or valid for that.