I attended another baby shower this weekend. That’s the second one in as many weeks, and I have at least four more in the next few months. So many new babies. So many newborn cuddles.

So many months of waiting.

So many pregnancies. So many moms to honor.

So many months of infertility to mourn.

So many new lives to celebrate. So many adorable, little outfits to buy.

So many negative pregnancy tests to ignore.

So many laughs to share.

So many tears to hide.

So much to feel, it’s overwhelming.

My dear pregnant friends, I am so happy for you, but I’m jealous too. I am so excited to celebrate you and the wonderful gift of life, but at these times more than any other, I wish I could be you. I wish I could celebrate my own pregnancy. I wish I could experience the great joy of carrying life within me again. But these days are not about me. They are about you, and I am so happy for you. I am so blessed to be able to celebrate you as we await the arrival of your beautiful new babies.

RELATED: When 30 Looks Different Than You Planned: Our Struggle With Infertility

There have been so many pregnancy announcements recently. So many gender reveals. So many baby showers. So many birth announcements. So much to celebrate. So many growing bellies. So many glowing faces. So many expanding families, filled homes, full hearts. So many new babies. Some of you are carrying your first child. Or it’s your third. Or your fifth. No matter how many children you’ve already brought into the world, I am so happy for you.

But I’m also jealous. I wish I was pregnant right now.

I wish I was expecting another baby, my third child. I wish my son could say he’s going to be a big brother again. I wish my daughter could wear a sweet, little shirt announcing that she’s become a big sister. I wish my husband and I could spend our evenings debating baby names. I wish I could experience all the joys and struggles of pregnancy againthe bulging belly, the swollen ankles, the crazy cravings, the aches and pains, all of it. So many wishes. So many prayers. So much hope. And so much disappointment.

But I am so happy your wishes are coming true. I know how many of you have struggledstruggled to get pregnant, struggled to stay pregnant, struggled to decide if now was the right time to welcome another child. You have struggled and suffered, but now you have so much to celebrate, and I am so excited to celebrate with you. New life is always something to celebrate, and I am so happy to be able to share in your joy.

RELATED: As You Pray For a Miracle Baby, My Friend

So if there are cracks in my facade, I’m sorry. If my smile sometimes looks a little fake or forced, I’m sorry. If my hugs are occasionally a little weak, I’m sorry.

I really am so happy for you and consider myself blessed to be able to celebrate with you, but from time to time, my jealousy peaks out.

It whispers of those dreams I have, those wishes I have made that have not come true for me. But my joy for you is real. I am so happy for you, and the dream of my children one day playing with your children gives me hope. I have so many dreams for us.

RELATED: Dear Friend Waiting For a Baby

When I see your pregnant belly and your healthy glow, I choose to celebrate you. I choose to focus on you, and when temptation strikes, I choose to focus on the joys of my own past pregnancies. When I attend your baby showers and gender reveals, I choose to celebrate you and to remember my own showers with joy. When I hold your newborn babies in my arms, I choose to celebrate your baby and to relish that newborn baby smell. I choose to be joyful. I choose to be happy. I choose to focus on the two beautiful children I’ve already been given rather than the ones I hope to have in the future. So to my dear pregnant friends, I am so happy for you.

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Shannon Whitmore

Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and freelance writing on topics such as marriage, family life, faith, and health. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.

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