What a great idea. Change all the pictures of babies into other things: Seeing birds, dogs, cats or stars, instead of babies.
Backing up a bit, to me, the world has always been divided into roughly two types of "infertile" women. Those who couldn't bear to see other people's babies and those who found it hopeful and liked seeing them.
The Gamut of Emotions While Trying to Conceive
Bet you're guessing that I'm in the first category. It's not all that flattering to admit. I would have liked to have been able to be gracious and loving with other people's babies while I was trying to conceive. I didn't feel that way. I couldn't fake feeling that way. I felt jealous. I felt ungracious. I felt sad. Frustrated. Upset. Reminded of what I still didn't have. I wondered if their success was going to mean my failure. I felt older and more damaged and less lovable.
Boy, that's a mouthful. But that was how I felt seeing other people's babies.
I looked up the words envy and jealous. Here's the definitions from Merriam-Webster:
1: painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage
2: obsolete: malice
3: an object of envious notice or feeling <his new car made him the envy of his friends>
1a: intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness
1b: disposed to suspect rivalry or unfaithfulness
2: hostile toward a rival or one believed to enjoy an advantage
3: vigilant in guarding a possession <new colonies were jealous of their new independence — Scott Buchanan>
These definitions actually kind of annoy me. They don't really get to the heart of the matter. Nor do they adequately explain the difference between the two words. After reading for a while, I learned a few things about these two words. First thing I learned is that the word jealous came into being before envy. The second thing is that jealousy is more about the other person while envy is about what the other person has that we would like for ourselves.
What I know.
Fertility Treatment Saving Grace: The Details
Envy and jealousy are not the same thing. The difference in the definitions were my saving grace while I was in fertility treatment. Those differences were what allowed me to forgive myself for the feelings that I had towards my friends and their babies. Or strangers babies. Or anyone's babies.
Here are the differences as I understand them; or more, as I redefined and reclaimed these words. As simply put as possible.
Jealousy is wanting what the other person has. Wanting it, having them not have it. Envy, is wanting what the other has, but not needing for them NOT to have it.
OK. Try two.
I never wanted to take away anything from someone else. I just wanted for myself, what they had. That somehow seemed more forgiveable than a feeling that their happiness and contentment should evaporate.
Coming back to Unbaby.Me. An application that would permit you to identify pictures of babies, which then changes all images of babies to other images. Examples: Dogs. Cats. Birds.
I will just say that if that had existed while I was trying to conceive, I would have gotten it.
Cats, dogs, birds. They just don't make me jealous.
Lisa has over twenty-five years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for seven years and is currently Patient Advocate and Blog Editor-in-Chief.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.