After two years of trying naturally and eight months of IVF, I’m finally pregnant! It was our 4th embryo transfer that ended up working, right when we were starting to give up hope.
At first we were shocked and ecstatic.
We told our parents right away and then waited to tell our friends. I had heard that after twelve weeks, chances of miscarriage decrease, so every week that passed I felt more relieved. My whole first trimester was spent trying to relax and be happy while at the same time waiting to hit week twelve. I thought it was normal not to feel too excited before that milestone; I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
I made it to twelve weeks. We shared the big news with everyone. Now I would relax and just be thrilled right?
That excited, relaxed feeling never came.
I created other milestones to hit instead: hearing the baby’s heartbeat, genetic testing results, and the first ultrasound. They came and went and yet, I still felt something was missing.
I started reading all the pregnancy and baby information I could, I enrolled us in prenatal classes, and we began decorating the nursery. I did all the things that I thought pregnant women do. None of those things however, gave me the inner butterflies that I expected, and that made me nervous. One day, I went into baby stores to shop. Other women told me that this had been an exciting moment for them, but I just looked around the store and left empty handed. This lack of enjoyment made me feel inadequate. The intellectual part of my brain was planning for the baby, but what was going on with the emotional part?
Luckily, I found an article about women getting pregnant after experiencing infertility.
The article explained that many women who’ve struggled to get pregnant don’t feel that gut excitement that others experience; we’re waiting for something bad to happen.
So much time was spent dealing with disappointments and heartache that our brains became trained to deal with bad news instead of good. It’s easy enough to tell yourself “It’s okay, be happy now, everything will be fine!” but harder to actually believe it.
In talking about this issue, I’ve realized that it’s not just the pregnant women who are walking on eggshells; it’s our partners too. My husband was adamant that we wait to tell all our friends until that twelve-week mark. I told some friends earlier and he got upset with me. After our argument, I realized how three years of infertility stress had affected us. He wanted to wait because he feared the baby wouldn’t survive, I wanted to tell so that I could mirror my friends’ enthusiasm.
I’m 22 weeks now and everything is going well.
We’re getting ready for the baby, and on some days I feel joy and wonder of what’s to come. On other days, I just feel overwhelmed and worried about the future. Now, on those not-so-excited days, I give myself a break. I know that my husband and I will be caring, loving parents. I also know that the emotional part of my brain will catch up to the intellectual part; it’s just a matter of time.