How do you stop seeing pregnant women everywhere?

Nov 14, 2022

They’re everywhere, aren’t they?  Yes, I’m talking about pregnant women. 

It was one of the things that hurt the most when we were trying to conceive.  And the longer I was on my fertility journey, the more my spidey-pregnancy-sensors were on high alert.  It became a talent.  I could smell out a pregnant woman from across the room. 

I could even tell when my friends were about to announce their pregnancies.  I’d watch to see if they were drinking alcohol, if they looked unwell, if they’d put on a little weight, or if they seemed awkward around me. And as soon as they displayed any of those behaviors or traits, I went into a melt-down.

As soon as I went into a shopping center my senses honed in on the heavily pregnant woman browsing baby books, the one sitting in the coffee shop gently rubbing her belly, not to mention the pregnant woman pushing a baby in the pram and holding the hand of another toddler – those hurt the worst!!

It became so bad that I found it painful going out in public. It was a constant reminder that pretty much EVERYONE could get pregnant except for me.  So, I started to distance myself from social functions, because I was scared of the pain (and my reaction) it would undoubtedly evoke.

It feels like you’re under siege by pregnant women.  It seems like all of your friends are getting pregnant. Every time you open up your social media feed, it’s filled with pregnancy announcements and people posting pics of their pregnant bellies.

In reality however, it’s not that everyone around you is pregnant, it’s that this is what you’re thinking about 24/7.  From the moment you wake up, to the moment you put your head on your pillow. Did you know that psychologists estimate we have approximately anywhere between 50 and 70 000 thoughts per day? About 85% of them are negative, and about 90% of them are the same habitual and unconscious automated thoughts that we had yesterday.

On my fertility journey, I estimate that 90% of those thoughts were about babies, pregnancy, and all things fertility. No wonder it took over my life, and no wonder I saw pregnant people everywhere!

And then we feel guilty.  Because it feels like other people’s happiness causes us pain.  And that makes us feel really shitty.  Like we’re a horrible person.  But it’s not that way at all.  You aren’t a horrible person, nor are you unhappy that other people are happy. Other people’s happiness, reminds you of what you don’t have. And THAT hurts.

So, it makes sense that if this is what we’re thinking of, this is what we’ll see.  I always liken it cars.  My husband and I recently purchased a new car.  Up until then I hadn’t really noticed any particular cars driving around.  But now, I see the make and model of the car we purchased everywhere. 

How can we apply this knowledge to help you desensitize your senses to pregnant women, and lessen the fear of going out in public?

Firstly, lets change the focus. 

Try this exercise when you go out next. Instead of turning on your spidey-sensors and inadvertently searching out pregnant women, focus on those wearing red or wearing glasses (for example).  Or, rather than it being so random, you can focus on something that you’re interested in.  For example, if you’re looking for a new hair style with the changing season, go out in search of people with hairstyles that you like. 

I know it sounds like a weird strategy, however if you can train your brain to look for pregnant bellies based on your constant thoughts, you can also train your brain to look at hairstyles.  Give it a go, and see how it works.  It may not completely erase the fact that you’re seeing pregnant bellies, but it will be a good distraction.

Another way is to change the narrative when you do see a pregnant woman.  The normal dialogue going through my brain when I saw someone in the shopping center was – of course I see a pregnant person, I’m the only one who isn’t pregnant, why does this always happen to me, that will never be me etc etc.  I was in a complete space of lack. I was looking at these pregnant women and so focused on the fact that it wasn’t me. And it hurt.

I thought that seeing all these women was me being punished. I was in a victim mentality, which didn’t feel so good. 

But what if you changed the internal dialogue?  What if you switched from a victim mentality and instead assumed that the pregnant women you see, are being called in by you. You are attracting them.  And this can be a good thing. Instead of the internal dialogue being resistance, self-punishment, lack and suffering…………you could say………YES PLEASE.

We always see jealousy as a bad thing.  But it’s ok to want what other people have.  We all do.  It’s natural to want the house your neighbors have, the wardrobe your friend has, the lifestyle your colleague has………and the pregnant belly the stranger in the shopping center has.

It’s ok to put it out into the universe and acknowledge that you want it too. So why don’t you try changing the dialogue when you’re triggered.  It may feel a little silly at first, but this is about breaking the thought cycle.  When you see a pregnant person, reframe the thought. 

Feel the desire you have to be pregnant.  Lean into how it would feel if that was you.  And instead of going into that feeling of lack, anger and victim state.  Tell the universe what you want by uttering…..



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