Apparently this cycle is all about the negative emotions.
I finally get it, you guys. I’ve seen posts and blogs and comments about pregnancy/baby envy, but I was still firmly in the positive, happy, hopeful portion of TTC, and it was easy to see those ladies, those babies, those posts and share in their joy without that joy being tinged with green. I understood it, but I didn’t understand.
But now? *deep sigh* Now, I cringe when I get an email from family with another photo of my oh-so-pinchable second cousin. Now, I mostly steer clear of Facebook. Now, I notice every. single. pregnant. lady. in the great wide world. And I feel just a little bit sad when I do.
It’s a strange feeling. On the one hand, I am still very happy for them. I’m happy for my cousin, I’m happy for the FB friends, I’m (actually, way way more) happy for all of the fellow now-pregnant bloggers. But opposite that is still this darker feeling that I can’t deny exists, even as I try to shove it down. I didn’t want to voice it aloud here for fear of hurting those who have been lucky/blessed/persevering, but at the same time I want to be as honest as possible.
Baby envy is a thing. It happens. It’s only natural, considering the circumstances. I think it’s better to acknowledge you have it and then do what you can to mitigate its affects. Since I wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m (unfortunately) almost always dealing with all these emotions publicly. Since acknowledging I have it, though, I’ve started taking the time to feel the sadness, the twinge of jealousy, then set it aside and really focus on the joy. And it’s helping. A bit.
As with everything, I also realized that my reaction to these otherwise happy occasions said more about where I was emotionally than anything else. And the reason this envy has reared its head now, in this time, is because I still feel hopeless. My confidence that this will work – eventually! – has been shaken and I’ve been having a hard time building that back up. That shakiness has opened me up to jealousy, and I know – I know – the moment I get that confidence and hope back, the baby envy will dissipate, fading away like a breath on glass.
The problem is, I haven’t been doing a very good job of rekindling that confidence. In truth, I haven’t been trying at all. A twisted part of me thinks that the more hopeless I feel and the more convinced I am this won’t work, the more likely it’ll actually take this time. It’s like reverse jinxing, and no matter how much I tell myself that it doesn’t work that way, I can’t back myself out of the mindset.
I am, frankly, afraid to hope again. I am afraid of letting myself be vulnerable.
So my question to you is: how do you back out of that mire and open up again? How do you find the courage to hope and be vulnerable? Or is it better not to?