Like most moms, I love Instagram. A few times a day I'll turn my brain off and scroll through a happy feed of coffees and babies and puppies, for at least a minute or two, while my baby naps. I love seeing images of friends from far away, and I love watching hilarious Insta stories. But if I have to be honest, there are so many reasons why Instagram is the worst when you're trying to conceive (TTC).
I fully admit, now that I'm a mom, that I'm part of the problem that made scrolling through Instagram so hard when my partner and I were trying to start our family. I used to be scrolling through Instagram photos of cool European cities or coffees with the perfect pour, and so often I'd hit a pregnancy announcement and commence a day-long argument with myself. Yes, I was happy for them. I love babies! More babies in the world, yay! And yes, I was bummed for myself all over again that I didn't have the same announcement to make.
When my husband and I were at the beginning stages of trying to start our family, I used to daydream about the day I'd get to make the announcement that we were finally joining the club. Usually, it was enough to distract myself from that inner battle of happy versus sad that seemed to always reappear thanks to Instagram.
Because Of The Pregnancy Announcements
The most obvious TTC mood killer, at least for me, was the unexpected pregnancy announcement sneaking into my Instagram feed. As I mentioned above, it was also when I felt the most like a terrible person for feeling so jealous that someone else was pregnant. I didn't wish they weren't pregnant, I just really wished (and most days still wish) that I was pregnant, too.
Because Of The Constant Updates
Once there's a birth announcement, most often you'll get constant bump updates. Ugh. Double ugh when the bump is especially cute and you can pretty much guarantee you won't look nearly as adorable if/when you finally get pregnant.
Because Of The Birth Announcements
Duh, this is what comes next and it's equally exciting and heartbreaking. I would think, "Yes! New life in the world!" followed by "Why not me?" Then there was the grumpy emojis bouncing around my head for the rest of the day.
Because Of The Adorable Kids With Their New Siblings
Now that I'm a mom through adoption, my biggest wish is that my husband and I will be able to add a sibling to our family for my daughter. Watching videos of photos on Instagram of kids meeting new siblings for the first time always brings me to tears. Always. Then I watch over and over again because it's just so darn sweet.
Because Of All The TMI
I've never been one to share much more than generalities about our infertility struggle, but some people find great solace in the Instagram community. They share a large amount of information, usually concerning the reasons they are in the infertility journey, like endometriosis, for example.
While I refuse to knock anyone for how they choose to deal with infertility, those posts always send me straight over to WebMD to see if that could be what's going on with me, too, even though I've been thoroughly (and I do mean thoroughly) checked by many, many doctors and know it's not the case.
Because Of Adoption Jealousy
You know what my kryptonite is, as a mama who's waiting for an adoption call at any minute, while also TTC? Adoption agency Instagram accounts like this one, who post when families are matched and when the baby is born and in the arms of their adoptive parents. It brings me to tears many times a week, especially when there's a brand new family of three, because I know that feeling and it is glorious.
Still, and as fun as it is to watch families be made, it also reminds me of the long a wait my family might be in for.
Because Of All The Hashtags
The day before Mother's Day was coined Birth Mother's Day and I am not even ready to admit to you how much time I spent looking through the #birthmothersday hashtag. Much too much time, I can tell you that at least.
Because Of The Holidays
Holidays are truly the hardest when you're TTC or dealing with infertility. It's the day when everyone gloats and #humblebrags about their amazing family and how wonderful their children are. Now that I am a mom, I do try to be conscious about that sort of thing, because I know how much it can hurt your heart to read if you're still waiting for your family. Before I became a mom I found Instagram so hard on holidays that I wouldn't even look at the app until that wave of posts had past.