Pregnancy After Infertility

Well here you are.  After traveling down the long, winding road of infertility you are now pregnant.  Congratulations!  Or, maybe you're not ready for congrats just yet.  You may find you're feeling a bit...cautiously joyful.  Or straight up anxious!  For so long you had your eyes on the prize--baby.  But now you may find that there are a number of new questions you're faced with:

"What if I have a miscarriage?"                     "Why don't I feel connected to this baby?"

"How will I tell my friends who still aren't pregnant?"                     

                                   "Will I ever get to relax and enjoy this pregnancy I waited so long for?"

Pregnancy after infertility can be a mixed bag of emotions.  Pure joy, raw fear and unexpected ambivalence all tend to rise to the surface and catch you off guard.  "I've been waiting so long for this!  Why can't I just relax and be happy?!"  The short answer--because you are human!  All of that time that you spent hoping and dreaming and praying that this would happen means that once again your heart is feeling vulnerable.

When joy feels dangerous: When the heart is vulnerable, go slowly and go gently.  Allow yourself the space to experience the joy of achieving pregnancy.  If it feels too risky, carve out an allotted time each day that you allow yourself to feel excited.  Comfort the heart--talk with a friend, engage in self care and validate your feelings by acknowledging the fact that hope has felt like risk for a very long time.

When you feel disconnected: It is normal to not feel immediately bonded to this pregnancy, fertility issues or not.  It takes time to transition and there's no right or wrong amount of time that it will take.  Also, you may not be ready to trust your body.  You may have felt resentful towards your body and you both may need  a little more time to heal.  As you head down this new road of pregnancy you'll have to figure out new ways to communicate, comfort and trust your body as you travel towards this new destination together.

When you're "the enemy": Prior to getting pregnant you may have avoided pregnant women and babies like the plague (side eye to Target).  So it may feel a bit awkward to be here and even more so when you think about telling your friends who are still struggling.  At the end of the day, your friends will likely love and support you.  But it will be important for you to reflect on how to talk to your friends about your pregnancy in a way that is both sensitive and respectful of their feelings and experience.

When you can't relax:  Transitioning into pregnancy after infertility is an adjustment.  Pregnancy does not erase the roller coaster you've been on.  Most women find that with some time they figure out how to navigate the transition and ease into pregnancy and motherhood.  It helps if you have one or two people you can talk to about how you're feeling.  And if you find that the transition is harder than you thought it would be, reach out to a counselor who can help you find ways to cope with the anxiety, rebuild your relationship with your body and transition into the identity of motherhood.

Be vulnerable.

Let yourself be deeply seen,

love with your whole heart

practice gratitude and joy...be able to

say 'I am thankful to feel this

vulnerable because it means I am alive',

and believe 'I am enough."

You are worthy of love and belonging.

-Brene Brown