Pregnancy after infertility can give rise to unexpected feelings like anxiety and self-doubt. It's important to be aware of that.

Pregnancy After Infertility: Four Feelings I Wasn’t Prepared For

In Pregnancy by The Modern Belly

My long-time readers may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet recently. I now finally feel ready to share the good news that our recent IUI was a success and I am now 9 weeks pregnant, and what’s more, with twins! (I’ll address the whole twins thing – and it’s a big thing – in a different post.) I always imagined the moment I find out I’m pregnant as pure happiness, and in many ways it was. But after the first burst of joy and excitement, more feelings emerged – ones that I didn’t expect. I knew deep inside that infertility changes you, and that getting pregnant won’t miraculously undo all the damage that infertility does to your mind. And sure enough, although I was ecstatic to be finally pregnant, the infertile in me gave rise to some very unexpected feelings.

Self-Doubt

Some women have elaborate plans for how they’re going to let their significant others know of their pregnancy: wrapped onesies, a positive pregnancy test in a box, a message in a fortune cookie. After I got the call from the nurse with my positive beta results, here’s how I told my husband: “So… it looks like there’s a chance that we may be pregnant. But we won’t know for sure until the second beta.” Our next few weeks were a series of “we won’t know for sure until”s – not until we see a gestational sack, not until we hear a heartbeat, not until the pregnancy symptoms really kick in. When you’re so used to disappointments, it’s really hard to suddenly let yourself celebrate. You try to protect yourself from the potential heartbreak of losing the pregnancy by denying it even exists.

Guilt

I love the online infertility community – these women (and occasional men) are the best support group I could hope for. They are always there for each other, to encourage, to answer questions, and to give a warm virtual hug when things go wrong. In a way, getting pregnant feels almost like betraying them. So often we vented together about our struggles with infertility and how painful it is to see all those pregnancy announcements, and now I’m suddenly on the other side. It feels unfair that not all of them are getting their good news now as well.

Anxiety

Another side effect of being involved in the infertility community is knowing too well all the ways that things could go wrong. Miscarriage, ectopic, pregnancy loss – you see these terms way too often and you know that this might happen to you too. Whenever one of my pregnancy symptoms subsided, even for a short while, I was concerned that this might mean the pregnancy is vanishing with it. It’s 10pm and I’m not exhausted? I hope it’s not a bad sign. My boobs didn’t hurt when I woke up in the morning? My body must be trying to tell me something. During my struggle with infertility, I often misinterpreted side effects of drugs as pregnancy symptoms, only to find out that they were not. Now I finally had pregnancy symptoms, and all I was doing was thinking how they might be going away.

And there was one more feeling I wasn’t prepared for.

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