I already have one healthy, two-year-old son, so I know I should be grateful. I am. But I just can’t help feeling jealous of other women’s pregnancies.
It’s a very specific jealousy, too. I’m envious of women who are at the same “stage” as me – women who also have a child who is two years old or younger, who have been lucky enough to fall pregnant.
I never used to be like this. But after I experienced a miscarriage earlier this year, I’ve started to view other women’s pregnancies with green-eyed rage.
Shortly after my miscarriage, I was sitting at home mindlessly looking at Facebook. My son, Jack, was napping. There, amongst all the updates about my friends’ moods and lunches, was a photo that stood out.
My friend from mother’s group, Libby, had posted a photo of her son. He was holding up a sign that read: “I’m going to be a big brother by Christmas!”
I know that I should have been happy for her. I should have phoned her, or even sent a text. But instead, I shut my laptop in fury, and then burst into tears.
It’s embarrassing to admit such jealous, immature behaviour, especially because I know that Libby and her husband had undergone IVF to conceive both of her children.
I know it wasn’t easy for her to fall pregnant. And I know that I should be happy for her. But all I could think was that she was getting something that I wanted and that I couldn’t have. In my mind, I accused Libby of showing off about her pregnancy. I felt that she was gloating and boasting. I wished that she’d never posted that photo.
Later that day, I congratulated Libby on Facebook and then shut off the notifications so that I wouldn’t be reminded that yet another woman was pregnant and I wasn’t. (Post continues after gallery.)
And then, it just kept happening. It seemed like all of the women who had a similar-aged child were getting knocked up, while I was still waiting for my period to come back after my miscarriage.
It wasn’t just about women I knew, either. Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton – two women who were pregnant at the same time as me back in 2013 – were having babies. They were moving on with their lives and getting everything they wanted. I had nothing.
The last straw was when I saw on Facebook that my high school friend Ashley had given birth to her second child. Her eldest daughter, Sophie, was only a year old.
That night, my partner had to hold me as I cried.
“It’s so unfair! Why does Ashley get to have another baby? Sophie is so much younger than Jack. It’s not fair that Ashley got pregnant so quickly. I’ve waited so long for another baby. Why does Ashley – and everyone – get everything they want in life, and I get nothing?!” My partner stroked my hair as I cried and he didn’t say anything.
Listen: A heartbreaking story about miscarriage. Just weeks earlier. (Post continues after audio.)
What could he say, anyway? I knew I was being ridiculous and selfish. A good friend is someone who feels happiness for others, who can put aside their personal problems to celebrate the achievements of their friends. And I couldn’t do that for my friends. All I could think about was my own loss.
I don’t think these feelings of jealousy will go away, not until I get to have my next baby. It won’t be until I’m holding that baby and filled with happy mummy hormones that I will be able to celebrate the pregnancies of others. (Post continues after video.)
So for now, I’m just going to shut off Facebook and the gossip websites because I just don’t need another happy pregnant woman in my life.
Whether it’s Kim Kardashian or my oldest high school friend, I can honestly say that I don’t want to know anything about their pregnancies. I’m already suffering. I don’t need to be reminded of what I don’t have.
Have you ever been jealous of your friends? What made you feel jealous?