You did it! You have made it through the infertility challenge. You have crossed the finish line and you have your long-awaited positive pregnancy test. Although all infertility journeys are different (IUI, IVF, ovulation stimulation), they are also the same. They all include tears, waiting, worrying, wondering. But it’s over and you have made it!
Not long after celebrating the conception of your sweet miracle, the reality sets in. The waiting, wondering, and worrying is still very present. Even though you want to shout from the rooftops, “I’m pregnant!!!!”, there are 5 unexpected pregnancy emotions that you may be experiencing.
Common Unexpected Pregnancy Emotions After Infertility
You may have not seen this pregnancy emotion coming, but now this thief is showing its ugly face. Stealing your excitement. It’s finally your turn. Your turn to post on social media, gender reveal parties, baby showers, and bump pictures. However, there is a part of you that knows how that feels. The heartache that was felt reading other people’s posts and seeing their photos. The tears you shed late at night when all the world was asleep and you could take off your brave mask and be the broken person you feel like you are. Be assured that you are anything but broken. You feel conflicted and want to safeguard others from that heartache that you know so well, but you also want to celebrate. What to do? What to do?
This is THE BIG ONE. Never have you been more scared. You went from having nothing to lose to everything to lose. The dream of a baby, a lifetime love, a home filled with sweet Dreft smelling blankets and clothes, an opportunity to share holidays and birthdays in the most amazing ways is so close to becoming a reality and yet so far away. 40 weeks away to be exact. The fear of losing those hopes and dreams can drive every, single, thing you do. What you eat, how you lay down, what you wear, and even how you wash those lady parts. This unexpected pregnancy emotion can consume your every thought and dictate your every action. It is maddening.
Were you not supposed to just be happy? Shouldn’t you just be thankful and live in these precious moments? Tell that to the lady that gets up at night to go to the bathroom and has to turn on the light to make sure that there is no blood on the toilet paper. That lady feels like she has no control these days, only fear for what can be lost.
Read More: Coping With Pregnancy After A Miscarriage
For a while now you have been getting “it” on the regular. By now it actually may have seemed more like a chore. Dance on Mondays, take out the trash for pickup on Wednesday, have sex on the 11th, 12th, 13th. All the while, you were maintaining a physical relationship and sharing intimacy with your significant other. Once those pretty little lines appear on that pregnancy test your intimate relationship comes to a screeching halt. Despite conflicting opinions, you may be abstaining in fear that any sexual act will cause you to lose your pregnancy. This seems like one of the only risks you can control, and by gosh, you are going to eliminate this risk even if you are isolating yourself from your partner. How could you possibly be feeling isolated with a little love growing inside of you, with you all the time? You may feel totally alone, and yet, not alone at all. What you may not have realized all along was that you were experiencing physical acceptance by your partner that you are now longing for.
Read More: Struggling with secondary infertility? Here are 6 Things You May Not Know.
Along your infertility journey friends have been made. You may have confided in others that are experiencing the same heartache in hopes of combating loneliness. Once you conceive and find the nerve to tell your friends that are still fighting, you may notice that they ghost on you when you need them the most. You were counting on those friendships that were built out of honesty and trust to carry you through the fear.
In addition to building friendships, you have probably become pretty comfortable with your fertility specialist and their staff. After all, they have seen your goods spread eagle on many occasions and sex is always a topic of conversation. How can you not become comfortable with these people? They are surely beyond happy for you and wish you nothing but a healthy pregnancy, but then…there’s the door. It seems like you are no longer part of their exclusive group of infertile patients.
You now find yourself resuming care with your obstetrician. After that long and painful journey, you show up at the OB office as just another pregnant patient. But you’re not just another pregnant person. You didn’t just lay on your back, have a drink or two and get frisky, or have a late Saturday morning tangled up in the sheets. You drove to appointments and HAD to be on time, set timers for alarms, injected your sore rump with medications day in and day out. To say you are just another pregnant patient is insulting to the process that it took to get you here.
If you’re like most women you repeatedly emphasize that this is your miracle baby and that you are willing to do anything you have to to maintain it. They weigh you, make you pee in a cup, maybe an ultrasound, and once again you are shown the door like everyone else. In reality, there was probably some tender patient care, but it probably did not live up to the connection that you so desperately need right now.
Whew. It’s like cleaning your house to only then realize that there is an entire downstairs you have not touched yet. A whole other level with all new things and the same amount of square footage. AHHH! How can this be? Haven’t you done enough? Nope. The medications and/or injections are continuing, the doctor’s appointments are still happening, and new work is beginning. Most spontaneous pregnancies start the journey with a positive pregnancy test. Not yours. Your journey started SO long ago. You may not find yourself jumping out the gate, but instead trying to find that second wind. Don’t feel alone in this pregnancy emotion as most women are exhausted physically in the first trimester from the physical changes taking place.
The unexpected part of this pregnancy emotion is that you may feel exhausted mentally and emotionally, in addition to the physical exhaustion. A great way to combat this pregnancy emotion is to sleep when you can, stay hydrated and nourished with healthy foods, and squeeze in some light exercise (walking) if you feel up to it and your doctor agrees. Physical exhaustion will exacerbate mental and emotional exhaustion.
Read More: Pregnancy Safe Fitness Ideas
Happiness, excitement, and pride are all pregnancy emotions you anticipated. Those may have been the ONLY pregnancy emotions you anticipated. Just know that your emotions are running high if only because of the hormones and changes your body is experiencing. Be kind to yourself and don’t shame yourself for feeling anything that may be perceived as a negative emotion. Don’t keep them to yourself as a dirty little secret. Find comfort in knowing that you are still not alone. You are now in a group of women that most likely felt the exact same way once becoming pregnant after infertility. Talk to your provider about your pregnancy emotions as there is support available to carry you through this pregnancy.
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