For the past five years, my husband and I have been trying to conceive and at times, Facebook has been my worst enemy. You just never know when you're going to open that little blue-and-white app to find another acquaintance is dropping the pregnancy bombshell that sends you into a frustrated tailspin. At this point, I've seen so many Facebook posts every woman who's trying to conceive (TTC) dreads reading, and have a tried and true method for dealing with each one of those surprises.
My inner monologue when I see one of those Facebook pregnancy announcements or perfect photo of an acquaintance with her 17 perfect children, is fairly predictable at this stage. It starts with "Ughhhhhh" and then moves on to "Well, that's very nice for them." I'll admit that when we were first trying to get pregnant, that second part was more of a fake-it-til-you-make-it sort of statement I'd repeat to myself, but as time has gone on, it's very much genuine. Although so is the "Ughhhhh" part. Infertility is the weirdest thing, spread so unevenly around and so unpredictable. Social media puts that imbalance right in front of your eyes on a nearly daily basis.
Holidays, of course, provide many opportunities to be reminded that most of the world is pregnant or very fertile, and I sometimes choose to stay off social media on those days and avoid the extra infertility reminders. But sometimes Facebook statuses creep up out of nowhere and hit you when you least expect it. As a trying-to-conceive mama, here's my rundown of tough-to-take Facebook posts.
"I'm Pregnant With My 22nd Kid"
I mostly don't begrudge people their fertility, but I think if you've struggled to conceive in the past, we can all agree that seeing pregnancy announcements when it's more than your second kid is hard. And we all have those friends who are on their fifth kid and when you're still trying for your first and all you want is to redistribute just a hair of that fertility.
"Does Anyone Want My Kid?"
I've complained about my daughter (whom we adopted a few years into our infertility journey) on social media before, but always in a way that explains that she's adorable and/or I love her, but jeepers that was an awfully long day today. Not in the way that makes it seem like you'd really trade your kid in for a different model after they refused to nap again or threw their dinner on the floor. "Anyone want a 12-year-old?" posts really make me throw a side eye in the general direction of the computer. Truthfully, I'd sacrifice quite a lot of things to get to the point of having a slightly snotty 12-year-old, thank you.
"Surprise, I Didn't Know I Was 6 Months Pregnant"
Are you kidding me? I mean, I know people are legitimately surprised, but how are you legitimately surprised?! TTC moms literally cannot understand how pregnancy could surprise you because we have been tracking temperatures and plotting calendars for years. If we were twenty minutes pregnant, we'd know it.
As much as news about seemingly rampant pregnancies is a little hard to swallow in your Facebook feed, miscarriage news from friends or acquaintances is much more difficult. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, and am often grateful that I haven't had to endure that experience. I hate seeing any sort of news or even insinuation of that sort on my Facebook feed.
Mother's Day Gloating
Before I became a mom, Mother's Day was the absolute hardest time to log in to Facebook. It's almost as though your doctor should warn you about Mother's Day on Facebook when they're talking about your infertility situation. Partners gloating about how wonderful their wives are just made me want to throw something. I wanted to be gloated about so badly before I became a mom. My husband's not really the type to gloat, so that hasn't completely come to fruition now that I am a mom, but those posts made me so irrationally jealous.
Father's Day Bragging
Second only to Mother's Day in the list of holidays that are the hardest for TTC women might be Father's Day, and all your mom friends bragging on how amazing their partners are at being dads. If my desire to be a mom was strong, my desire to see my husband as a father was stronger, and my heart broke even more on Father's Day as I was reminded to worry about whether he'd ever become a father. Luckily for me, he knew in his heart he'd be one one day, so there was only one of us in the house who was nutty that day.
All The Other Holidays - Easter, Who Knew?!
This year I was scrolling through my Facebook feed on Easter, nonchalantly catching up on the usual cute children in Easter garb photos. Little did I know that Easter is apparently the latest holiday for announcing pregnancies. Who knew?! Certainly not I, but you've been warned for next year.
General Pregnancy Complaining
I turn into an annoying bouncing angry emoji when I see Facebook posts complaining about how awful being pregnant is. I would pay thousands (and many people do pay many thousands) to be in that miserable place.