I am … devastated? … to hear the happy news

May 28, 2009

Some other-people’s-pregnancies I deal with better than others. I wish I could just be endlessly HAPPY for all pregnancies and babies, without having to project my own selfish disappointment into the mix. But unfortunately, that’s not how it has worked. I am sure many of you can relate.

I have been trying to figure out the pattern — why do some pregnancies upset me so much more than others? For couples who have been trying a long time, I am ecstatic. I think I feel like their pregnancy is a sign of potential victory for me.

People who were married after me are generally more upsetting to me, as well as people who got pregnant right away.  People who had the misfortune of announcing the happy news of their pregnancy in one of those weeks or months when I was feeling rather depressed continue to twinge my heart even in weeks that I am feeling better.

I just found out that this Sunday there will be a baptism at my church of the sweet, lovely baby whose birth met all three of these unfortunate, depressing (to me, not her) criteria. The couple in question got married after me and pregnant on their honeymoon (or shortly thereafter).  They announced the pregnancy right around the time that I was starting to suspect all was not well with my womb.So, I was happy for them. But not a happy person.

They have been in California for the past year, so I have not seen them or the baby. I just got an (ecstatic!) email to report that they are returning this Sunday for the baptism.

I so desperately want to be nothing but JOYOUS about this. It is the baptism of a baby! Her parents are great people! This is nothing but a good and wonderful thing, right?

But I can’t seem to get my emotions out of my own little pool of disappointment.

I can’t avoid church, as I have other obligations at that service and must be there. And once there, I won’t be able to avoid the lovely, outgoing parents or all the other churchgoers who will be bustling around and chattering “isn’t-this-wonderful!” It is wonderful. But why can’t I convince my depressed self of that?

Any tips? Your favorite coping mechanisms?



  1. Coping mechanism 1 (most effective method): avoid the service! Are you SURE you can’t get out of it? Mechanism 2: march right into the fray and march out. Don’t hang back and make everyone say, “have you seen the baby?” Go up to the mom, congratulate her, say the baby is beautiful, give her some small appropriate present, and then run for the hills. With Miss Manners as your advance guard, how can you be accused of bitterness? Mechanism 3: the truth…? I know, overrated. You could just say that you’ve been trying to have a child and right now being around other people’s children is hard.

    I don’t really know. I might just stew if it were me. Good luck!

  2. avoidance! isn’t that terrible? i’m glad to see that i’m not the only one after reading the misfit’s comments..but, it’s not always possible.

    other than that, i just put on a face and grin and bear it. i do what i HAVE to do, but no more (go to the service, but miss the lunch afterwards, etc…)

    that is what always gets me about all of this, that we are the one’s going through the emotions yet we also have to just play nice.

  3. Thanks for your advice! It’s so hard — I hate carrying around this sadness at events that really OUGHT to be happy. But here we are!
    In this case, it turned out to be a non-issue in the end. (Thank the Lord!) The happy family decided to postpone the baptism so they could gather more of their extended relations. And then they did not even show at church.
    I was a wreck on Pentecost anyway, so there was little emotional capacity for much else. It was right after my ovulation, and as you can see from the post above, my hormones get a little *CRAZY* then. I cried all day anyway.

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