Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jealousy Revisited

Caution: Post discusses pregnancy & pregnancy wary if these are triggers for you.

I previously wrote about how hard it was being surrounded by pregnant moms at Elena’s gymnastics class. I was coming to terms with being one & done & felt like I was being kicked while I was down.


Not long ago a co-worker of mine, we’ll call her S, came to me & asked a lot of questions about getting pregnant & cycles. She was 35 & had decided to start TTC. I explained to her about cycle days, when fertility higher, etc.

I felt like I was in on a big secret as she wasn’t talking about this to anyone else. I knew what cycle day she was on, I knew when she was getting close to testing, I helped her decide when would be best to POAS to get an accurate result. I was the first person to know when she got her BFP, after her husband, of course. She never imagined she would get pregnant on their first try. She was sure they’d have to try for a few months at least.

I was very excited for her as she experienced her first pregnancy symptoms. She didn’t have anyone to talk to, other than her husband & he didn’t have the attention span I did for discussing the nuances of early pregnancy. She made her doctor’s appointments, started researching midwives, planning for her new future.

At about 6 weeks she started to have some bleeding & cramping. She asked if she should be worried. I told her I couldn’t tell her not to worry because it could be something…but it could be nothing.

It wasn’t nothing…she was scheduled for an ultrasound at 7 weeks & there wasn’t a heartbeat. They advised her that they’d do another ultrasound in a week because maybe she had miscalculated her cycle & it was just early. My friend was cautiously hopeful…but I was pretty sure of what the outcome would be. I hoped I was wrong but we’d been very careful with tracking her cycle. The next ultrasound showed no growth & still no heartbeat. She was devastated & my heart crushed for her.

During this same time, another co-worker of ours announced her pregnancy…it was a whoops, they were so happy!! As you can imagine this was like salt in the wound for S. No one knew, aside from me & her boss, what she had just gone through & how hard it was for her to have to hear everyone be so excited for our co-worker. They would have been due about the same time. Again, you can imagine her pain watching this co-worker reach milestones she should have. And ANOTHER co-worker announced her pregnancy…another whoops. Poor S was hurting so very much. We really bonded during this time. I was her shoulder to cry on & made sure she didn’t feel alone. My heart hurt over these pregnancies too. I wished it could be me. I was happy for them…but also oh so jealous of them…


After some time, S started asking me some random fertility questions again. I let her know that I was here for her in whatever she needed. I told her that I’d never ask her about whether she was trying or not because I knew how painful answering those questions could be…but I let her know I was here if she needed me…I had a hunch. Sure enough, she was pregnant, she thought, she was only a day or two late. She was ecstatic…& terrified!! I was so very happy for her…& terrified for her. But week after week passed & finally she had an ultrasound that showed a good strong heartbeat.

During this time, another co-worker announced her pregnancy…after she’d previously had a miscarriage as well. She knew the pain of loss & now the excitement mixed with anxiety of being pregnant again. Yet another co-worker, she was in her 40s & had previously hinted & hedged that she’d been trying for a very long time, announced she was pregnant! Then another co-worker, who had been trying for a second child since I’d been trying 2010, we had commiserated over treatments & doctor visits, she announced SHE was pregnant!!!

To say my work was experiencing a baby boom was an understatement!! As I was planning baby showers & advising on mat leaves, etc it hit me: This doesn’t hurt. There’s no underlying jealousy. As I thought about this, at first I thought maybe it was because this group of women had struggled & suffered. I was ashamed to think that I was able to be happy for these women because somewhere in the darkest reaches of my heart, I felt they had earned their happiness.

The more I thought about it, the more I analyzed my feelings I realized that it didn’t hurt because I had finally & truly come to peace with having one child. Those if onlys would still float through my mind…if only I had started trying sooner…if only I had more money to afford IVF…but when I was honest with myself, I knew in my heart that where I was was exactly where I was meant to be. Elena & I, our family was complete.


I do feel haunted by my ghost children though. For me, they are children that I imagine could have come before Elena, who should have been her older sibling(s). I can’t shake the feeling that Elena would have been such a great little sister, that she would have adored an older sibling(s). There are many situations when, as I watch Elena, I imagine what the dynamic would be like if there was an older sibling in the mix. I envision that ghost child. Maybe it’s because I was the younger sibling & Elena is so much like me. I don’t know…

I do know that I have come a long way to feeling content with how life is turning out. I am grateful for not being weighed down by feelings of jealousy, guilt, sadness, anger & frustration like I use to be when faced with pregnancy announcements. I hope that this will help Elena too, for her to see me genuinely & deeply content with our family, to know that I don’t feel there’s anything missing in our family. Maybe she won’t feel like anything’s missing either…



  1. That's so great that you have found peace with your decision. Congratulations!

  2. While it may seem strange to say, having a child is somehow very healing. In hindsight, I had a lot of jealousy and anger towards others (not just due to their pregnancy/family situation). There is something to be said for having a wildest dream come true, and having a child is just that! I'm glad you are at such a wonderful, peaceful place right now, sounds very healthy!

  3. It's very difficult to explain the emotions women feel when others in their community announce their pregnancies. Sometimes feelings just surprise you and can be overwhelming. The only way around them is through them (ugh). I'm glad to hear that you are feeling the contentedness you so deserve with your beautiful daughter. Your family is filled with love--doesn't sound like anything is missing to me.

  4. I am glad you found peace with your decision!! I think having those thoughts are normal. I am VERY happy with my one but I do get wistful every now and then.

  5. I'm glad you feel complete and content. I'm sure it feels good to be at peace with where you are.
    Also, I think there must be something in the water at your work. Could you bottle some up and send it my way please? ;)

  6. This sounds like healing...pure and simple. How wonderful. I'm so happy that you are at peace with all of this. And perhaps the peace will wax and wane in the months and years to come, but no matter how big or small it feels at any given moment, it will still be yours.


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