Seeing people around you getting pregnant. Having their second or third baby. Growing their families. Not giving a second thought to what infertility feels like. Laughing about getting pregnant the first month they tried. There can be so many triggers out there.
If you're dealing with infertility and feeling jealous of pregnant friends, it's okay to feel whatever you are feeling.
A bit of jealousy goes to show the strength of what you want. It's living proof of your hopes and dreams and everything you long for.
But when jealousy eats away at you, it starts to feel sour. It's a constant reminder of what you don't have, of what you are missing, and it makes you feel like crap.
What can you do when your jealousy is overwhelming you?
First of all, I encourage you to not squash it down and pretend it's not there. Attending baby showers, slapping a smile on your face and making like none of it bothers you will only make it worse.
Instead, I encourage you to acknowledge it and to see it for what it is: a feeling that makes you feel like crap.
I encourage you to find ways to help release that ball of jealousy. I always found a zumba class worked well for me or speed walking on the treadmill. Basically, anything that gets you moving.
I also encourage you to rethink your boundaries. Are there certain things you do or people you see that make you cringe? If so, it's perhaps time to start saying 'no'.
Next, what can you do and who can you hang out with to take your mind off it? Perhaps a new hobby, spending more time out in nature or hanging out with friends that don't have kids yet. Anything that doesn't trigger you.
Also, what new feelings can you allow in? Like playfulness, peacefulness and reassurance. Jealousy can become a habit so adding in new habits that uplift you or soothe you can help crowd out that feeling of jealousy.
Do what's best for you
For now, if you want to say 'no' to attending your friend's daughter's birthday party, do it. If you want to go on a trek, do it. If you want to hang out with a new group of friends more, do it. If you want to start meditating every morning, do it.
Put yourself first and do what feels right for you.
That's not to say that your jealousy is to be put in a box and forgotten about. It will still be there, but it will gradually lose momentum.
In time, you might find that a baby shower now and then doesn't kick you in the gut as much as before, as long as you respect your limits. You might even find that the odd insensitive remark goes over your head, as long as they don't happen too often.
But before you get to that point, you may feel the need to avoid certain people, certain events, certain situations.
That's you looking out for yourself and taking care of yourself.