“Congratulations, you’re pregnant!”
If you’ve struggled with infertility, you know how elusive these words are. But you're here and you finally heard them.
Seeing those two pink lines on the home pregnancy tests that were stark white month after month and sharing that moment with your partner in a way you wondered if you ever would feels indescribably meaningful.
All of that work, the tears, the sleepless nights, the dates you had with “Mr. Wandy” all finally seem worth it.
But if you’re really honest with yourself, it’s not just pure joy, is it?
You’re excited that your dream of becoming pregnant has come true. You feel doubtful if you can truly celebrate this moment because you’ve been so disappointed in the past. You’re also afraid. You wonder what if the pregnancy doesn’t progress smoothly, or worse, what if you lose this baby.
So you protect yourself.
You try not to think about bringing this baby home, telling yourself you’ll start thinking about the nursery after 24 weeks and you’ll think of a name when you hit the third trimester.
You don’t want to jinx anything.
Pregnancy doesn't cure the wounds inflicted by infertility.
Your friends and family may wonder why you have such a lukewarm response to the pregnancy you fought so hard for. They don’t understand why you’re not shouting it from the rooftops and feeling blissfully happy.
You may even start to doubt yourself, wondering why it's so hard to enjoy these moments that you dreamt of for so many months or years.
No matter how long you’ve been on your infertility journey, you have experienced pain, disappointment and devastating loss along the way.
The anxiety before every ultrasound appointment as you wonder how many antral follicles you’ll see or what your lining is
Not knowing what the new protocol will be or how crazy it will make you feel but finding the courage somewhere deep inside to try again
Searching for privacy in the most public places to inject yourself because you cannot be 5 minutes late on your trigger shot
Hearing the heart-sinking news that this wasn’t your cycle
You’ve been forced to accept a certain level of helplessness and loss of control as you just watch and wait and see what happens.
None those experiences are erased just because you are pregnant. Those feelings of anxiety and uncertainty may continue with you through your pregnancy. You may find yourself “preparing for the worst” as a way to protect yourself from further heartbreak.
This is very normal but it doesn’t have to be that way.
You choose how you experience your pregnancy.
Your experience of this pregnancy can go one of two ways.
One way is you’ll tell yourself that you’ll breathe easier, be happier, feel better after you hit certain milestones like the end of the first trimester or viability.
However here’s the honest truth: those milestones never feel as relieving as you think they will. There will always be anxiety, worry and and a new milestone to chase and that anxiety is linked to so many of the complications you’re worried about experiencing.
The other way you can experience this pregnancy is by being patient with yourself.
Recognize everything you've been through and acknowledge the grief you’re carrying. This could be grief of lost babies, the grief of failed cycles or not being able to conceive naturally.
Acknowledge that this experience will impact how you get through this pregnancy but it does not have to define it. (Tweet that!)
When the happiness start bubbling up, allow yourself to feel it. When you feel overcome with gratitude for how far you’ve come, embrace it. When you feel excited about bringing a baby into this world, honor it.
You will not jinx your pregnancy by enjoying it. (Tweet that!)
You have been through so much, you deserve to enjoy every special milestone that you hit from here on out.
You deserve to feel whatever you feel.
Whether it's angry, sad, happy, ecstatic, jealous, lonely, whatever it may be...you deserve to feel it. You do not owe anyone an explanation for how you feel about this pregnancy and no one gets to decide how you should feel either.
You're charting unknown waters, and it's going to be a mixed bag of emotions. Ride the waves and give yourself permission to feel it all.
If you're feeling particularly stressed or anxious about how the pregnancy is going or if baby will be ok, join me for a free webinar to help you overcome the fear and anxiety so you can stay pregnant as long as possible.