There are a lot of things I wasn’t expecting once I got pregnant after years of infertility.
There are things that I wished others who were successful after infertility would have expressed to me.
If you’ve read this blog for the past 9 months you know that Chase and I got pregnant with our miracle baby after being told I wouldn’t ever be a biological mother after our 2nd failed IVF cycle.
Here’s what I’ve learned after having gone through infertility to now being pregnant.
Feeling alone and isolated.
If you choose to wait to tell your family then the first trimester can be a long 3 months. Waiting to share can bring feelings of isolation and being alone. Many questions pop up and if you haven’t told anyone you may feel there is no one to turn to for help. If you’ve kept your infertility journey private it can cause those first few months of pregnancy to feel like a long lonely journey.
I felt alone during the first trimester. I didn’t share with anyone online knowing that a lot of friends and family followed our infertility journey.
Feeling fear/Infertility PTSD.
Feelings of fear and “Infertility PTSD” can be present during the first trimester as well as the whole pregnancy. Anticipation with each cramp, twinge or spot of blood bring thoughts that you’re miscarrying. Each time you use the bathroom you check for blood on your underwear. During the first and second trimester (due to not feeling movement) you feel you don’t belong at the OB or midwifes office. You feel you aren’t technically an infertile anymore, but you aren’t technically pregnant either.
At my 16 week appointment I felt I didn’t belong there. That I didn’t deserve any of this happiness, and felt guilty because so many friends, were still struggling. I relived those feelings each OB appointment. Once I started a hypnobirthing class, I learned to relax and calm my mind. I would listen to a relaxation track in the waiting room which helped calm my mind. It did eventually get easier, but it took essentially half the pregnancy.
Feelings of now what do I do?
Once you’re graduated from the fertility clinic it’s time to decide what doctor to go with. Up until this point you’ve only had to focus on you. Now the focus is getting the right doctor. The one who supports you in getting extra ultrasounds or doppler checks to help calm your anxiety and fears. Other questions now plague your mind; Do you want to breastfeed or bottle feed? What items will you need/not need for the baby? What pediatrician to go to? If you aren’t considered high risk then what birthing route you want to take? What birthing class to take?…etc. All questions for a pregnancy you aren’t sure is going to last.
I wasn’t high risk, but chose to get early monitored by our fertility clinic. I had my first OB appointment at about 10 weeks. We made sure everyone in the office knew that this baby was a miracle after years of infertility. My hope was that they would be more compassionate and understanding towards us and our struggle. In between each appointment was scary. So we bought a doppler to ease our worries, and it helped.
Feeling is this is what I really want?
If you’re like me, and didn’t grow up being excited to become a mom, you get that little reminder throughout pregnancy whether this is for you or not. You have to decide to make a change mentally, or to let this question linger throughout your pregnancy. Change is hard, and sometimes it can be just that, not wanting things to change.
I was never one to long to be a mother as I grew up. I believe a lot relates to my experiences as a pre-teen/teen and helping raise my siblings, because my parents were divorced. After years of infertility we are now growing our family, and it will be a huge change. Our life will revolve around a new baby, and that is a huge change.
Feeling that this is really hard.
Pregnancy is hard. It can be hard on your mind, your body, and cause emotional breakdowns. But so is going through infertility and fertility treatments. When going through infertility, you can have hard days and complain a lot at how you long to be a mother. When going through pregnancy, you can have hard days and complain at how you long to have your body back. Both sides wish they were in the other persons shoes. Aside from wishing to be in the others’ shoes, both sides of the fence are hard to deal with and for different reasons.
I don’t complain on social media. I don’t like reading others’ negativity, and that’s not where you express your negativity and frustrations. However, I did not expect to feel so exhausted, tired and barely able to move the last few weeks of pregnancy.
I compared pregnancy/labor/delivery as training for and running a marathon. So far the comparison is pretty close, except I’m using my uterus as my main muscle instead of my legs, core and butt. Regardless, if you are training for a marathon or growing a human, it is HARD work. Pregnancy is hard, going through infertility is hard, but I wouldn’t change that. Experiencing both has helped me be more compassionate towards those going through hard trials.
Those who have been on both sides of the fence (infertility and pregnancy), would you add anything or change what I have written?
My hope is to help someone know they aren’t alone with any of these feelings. I hope the few things I’ve listed help someone who has experienced their Big Fat Positive (BFP) and are now experiencing all the feelings associated with being pregnant.
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