This is pregnancy after infertility or loss……Aug 07, 2023
I was just a woman, standing in front of a pregnancy test, praying for it to be positive.
For any woman who has dreamed of becoming a mother, there is a brief moment that we all share. A common point in time that unites us. A moment that we will always remember.
Those three minutes when you stand in your bathroom with the timer ticking away. Where you look at that pregnancy test in front of you, squinting. You put it down and walk away, trying to distract yourself. Only to be led back in anticipation. Your palms are sweaty. Could this be the one? The moment that changes your life forever? Images of your pregnant belly flash before your eyes. You can almost feel the joy and magic of motherhood.
And when those two lines appear. Everything stops for just a moment. The excitement and joy are like nothing you can describe. It feels like you’ve just jumped out of an aeroplane and are free-falling through the air. It’s exhilarating and you want to shout it from the rooftops…..
This is the moment that unites us all but also divides us.
For some, that feeling of excitement and joy is felt throughout your whole pregnancy. You start telling your friends and family amid excited screams and lots of jumping up and down. You open up your search engine, researching baby equipment and immediately start ordering your baby's furniture. And then you head to the hardware store to pick out the colours for your nursery. Every doctor's appointment and scan is approached with happiness, and you share your growing baby bump on Instagram and Facebook. It’s perfect.
But for some of us, that feeling of excitement and joy is fleeting. For those of us who have been trying to conceive for a long time, suffering from infertility, or have previously endured a miscarriage or pregnancy loss, there is another moment that occurs. In my personal experience, it was a week before the switch happened. After almost 7-years of struggling with infertility, 9 IVF cycles and 2 miscarriages, it took a week for the excitement and joy to be replaced by fear and anxiety.
I didn’t even tell my mum I was pregnant for the first 12 weeks. I didn’t want her to be disappointed AGAIN if things didn’t end well. At every scan, I held my breath, praying that the words “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat” weren’t uttered. Because I had heard them too many times before. We didn’t buy any baby equipment or decorate the nursery until the last trimester, because we didn’t want to jinx it. And I tried my hardest not to love that baby girl growing inside me, for fear of losing her. Surely it wouldn’t hurt so much this time if I didn’t open up my heart.
Pregnancy for a woman who has suffered loss or infertility is a little different than most. We crave the innocence that was stolen from us. All we want is to be able to enjoy the miracle of having a baby growing inside us. Because we have dreamed of it for so long.
We envy those who are preparing and dreaming and picking out baby names. We’re jealous that they get to announce their pregnancy in cute, creative ways, while we’re harbouring our secret for fear of losing it. We crave the normal feelings they experience. The joy without having to be afraid that it’s going to end in pain and suffering. We feel robbed of a beautiful experience.
On the other hand, there is guilt. Why can’t we enjoy something that so many women only dream of experiencing? Others would kill to be in our position. We should be grateful.
We’re angry that we have to suffer for 9 months like this. Where we over analyse every cramp, check the toilet paper every time we go to the toilet, and miss out on the magic that we and our future baby deserve.
And because we're no longer struggling to fall pregnant, we don't fit into the infertility category. We can no longer connect with the miscarriage support groups because we know how hard it is to receive pregnancy announcements inside there. As a result, our community is no longer rallying for us. The people we used to talk to have been left behind. And we're here, all alone, where no-one else understands.
And because of that. We travel this path in isolation. Inside our heads, fighting against anxiety, guilt and anger.
We ALL deserve to enjoy our pregnancy and the excitement that comes with it.
To know that we aren’t alone, that it isn’t just us, and that this feeling is completely normal.
And you ARE normal.
If you’ve been beating yourself up because you feel more fear than excitement. You can stop. There is nothing wrong with being scared. You are scared because the worst-case scenario happened to you. You are afraid because this matters and because you care. And THAT is a good thing.
If you feel guilty because you think the fact that you’re pushing down the excitement makes you ungrateful, it doesn’t. It’s hard to open your heart to the possibilities and start dreaming when you have travelled down this road before. It seems familiar. And you ARE grateful. It’s just hidden inside the fear right now. And that’s ok.
If you’re feeling like you are completely alone and that there is something wrong with you, you can stop thinking that. You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. This is what comes from grief and trauma. And while it seems like everyone is posting pictures of their growing baby bump with excitement and joy, while you’re hiding it from the world, a lot of us are afraid too. We just don’t share that image on Instagram or Facebook.
Every woman deserves a place to be seen, heard, and acknowledged throughout her pregnancy.
A place to voice the fear and lean into the joy and excitement.
Where you are constantly reminded that you are brave. You can do this. This is a new pregnancy.
And even though the worst case scenario has happened before, that this is a new chapter you are writing.
If you’re currently pregnant after infertility or loss, there is a safe place for you to voice your fears, ask your questions and lighten the load of worry.
YOUR PREGNANCY HAVEN is a community where you can share, learn, and connect with others who are on their pregnancy journey.
For more information or to join our community, click HERE.
NOTE - Blog reposted from Your Pregnancy Haven - https://www.yourpregnancyhaven.co/blog/this-is-pregnancy-after-infertility-and-loss
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