Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a few thoughts on pregnancy after IF...

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I guess when I was TTC I just assumed that when I got pregnant and stayed pregnant past the first trimester that I would be able to let go (somewhat) of my infertile mindset. And what I mean by that is the mindset that made me believe that the chance of me having a real live baby was slim. The mindset that most days caused me to doubt that I would ever get the much desired baby belly. I was just thinking this morning how I still can't believe I got a positive pee stick, I nearly pulled out the bag containing the 16 I took during IVF #2 just to remind myself that I did indeed get two lines. I got those first two lines on September 9, 2010 and, yet, I sit here on January 25, 2011 still in shock and disbelief. How is that normal?? When we first found out, I was ecstatic, but I kept myself guarded just in case. I kept thinking that I would be able to exhale once we reached the second trimester. Nope. I sort of expected a miraculous feeling of "this will happen" to pop into my mind. Even after seeing her on the ultrasound at 15 weeks it still did not feel real. When we went back to my parents and had the "gender reveal" it still just felt like a dream. I even hesitated letting the photographer take pictures of us with our "it's a girl" balloon because I just didn't accept that I had reason to be holding such a message.

I figured I would snap out of my post infertility daze once I started feeling her move on a consistent basis. THEN it would all be real, right? Well...just to make things more complicated, I have an anterior placenta. Now that I know what that means, I think that all infertiles should be given the gift of a posterior placenta. I have tried to remain patient while waiting for consistent movement, but after our most recent ultrasound showed a bouncing baby, I just felt robbed. I was 21 weeks and didn't feel any of it!!! Even now, at 23 weeks and officially 6 months pregnant, I only feel her a few times a day. Let's just say that not being able to feel her movements has only furthered my infertile mindset of disbelief. I may be able to say the words, "I'm having a baby", but I don't know how much I believe them. I still check the tp each and every time I go to the bathroom, assuming that I will find spotting or loads of clear fluid. When I asked the OB about my cervical length I *wanted* to hear that it was over 5cm, but I kind of assumed it would be shorter so that I could obsess over the "what ifs". Instead it was 5.2 cm, plenty long enough and nothing to worry over.

So why am I unable to let go? I have done the research and with my age and health history, I have a 99.7% chance of actually having a baby in May. So, why don't I believe it? Why am I unable to wrap my mind around the fact that in less than four months MBL and I will go from being a family of two to a family of three? I guess part of me is kind of worried that I am still unable to picture having a child in our house. It worries me because I feel like I am not bonding as much as I should with this baby. I should be nesting and prepping and reading up on what to do before baby comes, but I just can't let go of my infertile self. I guess two years of disappointment makes it hard to think that what I dreamed of happening might actually happen. I just hope that reality comes and smacks me in the face soon because there is a lot to be done and, also, I'd kind of like to spend the last few months of this pregnancy relishing in my belly and the wondrous gift that I've been given. I just wish someone would have warned me that being pregnant after infertility would mess with my mind just as much as infertility itself did.

(p.s. I am in no way complaining...I just pictured everything being/feeling different and I needed to get these odd emotions off of my chest)


  1. HI here from ICLW!

    I am struggling with a lot of the same things right now. I am 14 weeks and each time I keep telling myself I will believe I am pregnant when I see the first ultrasound, or after I hear the heartbeat, but I am still struggling. I was just told yesterday that this is very normal for IVF Pregnancies.

    Lots of hugs from your newest follower!!!

  2. I can't say much about this from personal experience, but based on other blogs I've read, I think this feeling is normal. Unfortunately, I don't know that the wounds ever heal completely.

    (((hugs))) Thinking of you!

  3. I'm nine weeks behind you and several times a day I catch myself thinking, "holy shit, I'm pregnant!" I also still am experiencing much of what you described, so it helps to know that I'm not alone and that it probably won't go away.

    For me, I get stuck on my other losses and that I still don't have an answer as to why they happened. Four times it didn't work out and this one will? Really? PLEASE?

    Hugs to you.

  4. I think this is a very normal response and I have read it over and over on other pregnant after IF blogs. I don't think there is every a "After IF" - does it ever go away? We all know that it can be snatched away. We hear of that happening.

    That said, please enjoy what's happening. I'd give my left pinkie to switch with you, even if it would make type awkward for a while.

  5. I have been trying to figure out how to say the same thing for ages! You're not alone.

    If it helps, I didn't feel her move on a regular basis until 28 weeks. I was constantly terrified because I couldn't do kick counts or anything. Now, she kicks so hard it hurts. :)

  6. I'm due in five weeks and it STILL doesn't seem real. Things are happening, showers, nursery coming together, birthing classes, doctors talking about early labor and what to do, the appointments have switched to weekly and soon will include internal check ups and I STILL don't think it's hit me that there will be a baby here.

    I honestly don't think it will hit me until I'm in active labor or until that baby is in my arms. Maybe not even then...it may take a while to sink in that I'm a mom.

    It's normal - it's a 9 month period of holding your breath, doing your best to think positive, of doing what is best for the baby you have to trust is there and OK. You're so consumed with what they tell you to do that I think the idea that a child is really inside there is so out of orbit your mind just cannot wrap itself around it.

    I have found that I just enjoy each day as it comes. I enjoy the bumps and kicks. I enjoy the swell of my belly. I enjoy the waddle I now have, I even somewhat enjoy the pain my pelvic region has on a daily basis because I know that pain means my body is doing what's best for the baby.

    I'll enjoy the baby when s/he gets here - until then, I'm enjoying what is "real" to me today.

  7. Stopping by from ICLW...
    I think that the feelings you are describing are completely normal! Dealing with IF totally messes with your mind and makes you second guess everything. I hope you are able to find some way to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

  8. Oh, honey, I just wrote a post about this, too. About the fact that every time I think reality has hit, I realize later I'm still in a fog of denial and surrealism. Even with preterm labor and a shortening cervix, I STILL am having a hard time coping. It's part of what we go through.

    I'm so sorry you aren't able to feel the movements as much as you would like :( It really is so magical. Enjoy what you are getting, and honestly, I hope she doesn't punch your cervix like mine - that part you don't miss, LOL.

    Anyway, I think we all go through this weird sort of disbelief that it could all really happen after all the time spent trying. Take lots of pictures :) So that it doesn't seem like a dream later!


  9. Oh my gosh - this is an awesome post. Not because you never let go of the worry, but because it's amazing how IF continues to play in your life... even after achieving pregnancy. I am totally there with you... although not as far along, I have to talk myself into believing it and allow myself to feel a tinge of excitement. I am waiting for the same no-worry mindset, but I think all you can do is trust and believe.

    You're in my thoughts! Hugs :)

  10. Here from ICLW. I can relate to this, as this is exactly how I felt during my pregnancy. I only really exhaled once I gave birth. Now I look back and my whole pregnancy was an anxious blur. You are not complaining -these are common feelings I think a lot of infertility survivors have during their pregnancy. Hugs.

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  12. I have felt the same way when I got pregnant with my son, by 18-19 weeks I started to relax a bit and believe the 99% statistics that you quoted. Then at 20 weeks without warning I lost him due to incompetent cervix. Now at least I know that I was right to worry! Ha, no, just kidding, I want to tell you something: worrying about it beforehand did not make the loss any easier. Does that make a difference? are you preparing yourself in case you get another dissappointment? well, from my experience, no amount of worry will prepare you, so remember that the worry serves no purpose.
    I am a lot less worried with this second pregnancy I think. although now my chances are only 90%. at least I learned something