Family, Infertility

Pregnancy after Infertility

Last year, I read the blog of a woman who, after years of infertility, had finally become pregnant. She mentioned that though she had sympathy for those who were still struggling with infertility, she could no longer empathize. It was as if the news of her pregnancy had wiped away all the years of pain that she had experienced, seemingly to the point where she could no longer relate to those within the infertile community. I remember reading that, and wondering if the all-consuming pain of childlessness would be completely erased from my memory the minute I held a BFP in my hands. But that hasn’t been my experience. I haven’t forgotten how it feels to be infertile, and as this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week begins, I find myself in the odd position of being completely able to empathize with those trapped in the endless cycle of treatments and two week waits, while feeling simultaneously undeserving of and grateful for the gift of life that God has deigned to give me.

Pregnancy after infertility, in my experience, has been an interesting emotional adventure. I begged God for this for so long, and now that it’s been granted – I find myself wondering why God gave me this gift as opposed to someone who has been waiting longer or someone who has been through more trauma than I in their pursuit of parenthood. When people congratulate me, they sometimes say that I “deserve”this, and though I appreciate that and take it as a compliment – I also know that it is not true. I was given this gift as a grace and a mercy from God. I did nothing to deserve it, just as the childless woman has done nothing to deserve childlessness. I am overwhelmingly grateful. But my gratitude doesn’t negate the fact that there are still so many thousands of women who are in pain, waiting on their miracles. And hundreds whose prayers for miracles will never be answered with a “yes.” The fact that God has seen fit to gift me in this way humbles me, more than you could ever imagine.

Another effect of pregnancy after infertility is my inability to feel completely comfortable with pregnant women for whom pregnancy came easily. As I read books, articles, or forums written by women who got pregnant ‘on cue,’ I find myself feeling alienated. Their light-hearted attitudes toward getting pregnant and their ability to complain with ease about their various pregnancy symptoms seems almost sacrilegious to me! I understand that they are just venting and “being honest,” which they certainly have the right to do, but I can’t make a statement like “I wish I weren’t so sick!” without feeling like I’d be wishing away my child! Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t felt amazing over the course of the past few weeks – but my ability to be consistently grateful for my “ailments” has surprised even me!

I have a heightened sense of fear of things like loss and secondary infertility. It took what feels like an eternity to finally achieve this pregnancy, I would be crushed if I could not carry this child to delivery. And crushed if getting pregnant again took just as long – or longer. So I will cherish every moment of pain, illness, or exhaustion – because who can say that this will ever happen to me again?

Finally, there is a bit of a change of identity. For so long, I subconsciously have identified myself as an infertile. I hoped for a child, but over time I became less and less attached to the idea that it would ever actually happen. Now that is has, I am not sure what to make of things! Honestly, I am still in a bit of shock and disbelief. We’ll see how that sorts itself out over time.

I am still praying and hoping daily for those of you who are where I was. It’s such a tough road, and no one should have to do it alone. I hope that, this week, I can do my part to raise awareness and support for those still fighting to become parents.

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4 thoughts on “Pregnancy after Infertility”

  1. I appreciate the sentiment in this post and wanted to share my take on it. I wholeheartedly agree about pregnant fertiles; I’ve started following other women outside of the infertility community who’ve become pregnant so easily, and I often find I can’t relate. I end up unfollowing real fast. On the other hand, pregnancy is rough! The end result is totally worth it, but some women do have it really bad during their pregnancy. I don’t mind hearing what they’re experiencing as long as there is not a sense of wishing they never got pregnant in the first place. Some fertiles will honestly come right out and say, I’m not sure I’m going to go through with this, or I can’t wait until this is over, or what was I thinking!!!??? I actually had a friend and coworker tell me, I don’t know if I would have gone through with the pregnancy if I found out it was twins, I don’t know how you’re going to do this. Really!?

    But I don’t mind women explaining how sick they are or expressing their struggles when you can also tell how excited and grateful they are. I can now sympathize and offer support, because I’ve actually had a really rough time with hyperemesis (can’t keep any food or water down), and now that I’m in the second trimester, severe back pain, a constant burning rib pain/pressure, and intense heartbur (plus the hyperemesis hasnt gone away yet). It absolutely is a struggle and I don’t feel like I need to hide that fact, but 99.9% of the time you will see a beaming smile on my face and hear the excitement and passion in my voice, especially when I speak of my baby girls and this pregnancy. I don’t know, I guess what I’m saying is there’s a way to express your discomfort and pain without sounding like an ungrateful fertile or slapping the infertility community in the face, and if you’re having a rough pregnancy, I think you deserve a bit of sympathy and understanding.

  2. I am on of those “1-8” people who are considered “infertile”. I was told by my doctor over 4 months ago it was impossible to get pregnant with a child. me and my husband tried over a year with no success. Was after that I decided to check with my doctor to see if something was wrong and that is when I got the news. I honestly gave up hope when he said that but my husband kept saying “anything is possible”. Feeling so helpless is not fun and having something you wanted for so long stripped from your dreams is a living nightmare. I prayed night after night for what felt like forever because I was so desperate. I am very happy to say that I am now 2 weeks pregnant and things are going great! I am not sure if its the praying or countless things I tried but whatever it was worked! Last thing I tried was this (http://bit.ly/1Ga6a5b) and I feel it is what did the trick but I know god had to of had a part in it! Don’t give up ladies as I myself recently found out their is always hope! God bless!

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