You find out your route to motherhood will not include a pregnancy, and instantly everyone in the entire world is pregnant all at once—your sister, your cousin, your best friend, everyone.
Your Facebook feed is covered in announcements from excited couples, you can’t walk through the mall without noticing a perfectly round belly in every store, the maternity section in Target seems to be taking up half the store and you’re the only one not shopping in it.
Letting go of the idea of a pregnancy is devastating for many women going through fertility treatments or waiting for an adoption placement. It’s painful and although we know it will likely leave our mind entirely when a baby is placed in our arms, it doesn’t make it any easier while you’re waiting for that day.
Next time you open a pregnancy announcement, consider these options for how to handle it:
I’m serious! Cry! I can’t remember how many times I just needed to cry and how much better I felt afterwards. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself! For many of us the loss of fertility is a huge trial, and it’s hard to see people experiencing pregnancy. Sometimes we have this perception that we aren’t allowed to mourn our loss because we have moved on and are excited for our adoption journey. It’s okay to be excited about adoption and sad about the loss of your ability to carry a child. Let yourself be sad if you need it!
2. Get involved.
You’ll be surprised at how helpful it is to plan your cousin’s baby shower or take a friend baby shopping. For one, it helps to stay busy but it also helps to start getting excited about your future baby. Your day is coming, too, and you are allowed to be excited! Have fun looking at baby clothes and chatting about what you’d name your baby. Prepare yourself for the rush you might experience if you get a last-minute placement!
3. Attend support groups.
Surround yourself with people who can relate. Adoption support groups and panels were so helpful for my husband and me. We would stay late talking to complete strangers because they understood what we were going through, and we could laugh and cry with each other. If you can’t find a local support group, search online! You can find all sorts of adoption, loss, and infertility Facebook pages and instantly find new friends who feel your pain & your joy.
4. Help other adoptive families and/or birth moms.
Nothing will make you feel better than speaking on an adoptive panel or doing service for a birth mom. Getting involved in the community really takes you outside of your everyday world where you feel surrounded by pregnancies. Get involved in the world of adoption! I can’t count the number of times a panel, support group, or even a Facebook group inspired us or brought back the excitement we were wanting and needing to feel. Surround yourself with positive adoption experiences!