Early Pregnancy after Infertility
First off, it’s been a while since I last posted so in case you’re wondering about beta #2 it almost doubled and came in at 379. I would have loved to have gotten at least a doubling rate within 48 hours but this is still very strong progression and promising for sure. My first ultrasound will hopefully be next Monday but I didn’t previously have an OB so getting an appointment has been tricky.
It’s been interesting this last week since our second beta… I’ve been anxious, happy, hopeful and downright scared. When I say this, a lot of people don’t understand. Everyone goes through some anxiety in early pregnancy people might argue, and that is very true, but what those who have never suffered with infertility don’t understand is just how magnified it is for those of us who struggled so significantly to get to this point in the first place. Fear is fear, and I don’t mean to discount anyone’s journey. We are each navigating our own paths and our feelings are valid. But what I try to make people understand is that they may not be able to relate as well as they might think.
When an “infertile” becomes pregnant, it doesn’t change the fact that they are still technically a victim of infertility. And while yes, both the fertile and infertile pregnant moms-to-be are anxiously awaiting that first ultrasound to know all is well with the blossoming life within, it’s also important to note that the infertile is still on daily medications that serve as a reminder that she and her body can’t do this on their own. They need medical intervention.
A pregnant “infertile” woman waiting for that first ultrasound is like a man at the horse race track who, at his wits end, just bet his life savings on a horse named Lucky and is watching with sweat pouring down his face as Lucky barrels around the track vying for the one lone first place finish. It’s do or die, and it can feel like that to a pregnant infertile. We have invested so much into our cycles that once we get that elusive positive hpt it becomes a lifeline to everything that we’ve worked so hard towards. A light at the end of a very long dark and grueling tunnel. And if for some reason Lucky trips up… we aren’t sure how we are going to move forward.
For me, this cycle was it… next was surgery, surrogacy or even adoption. We weren’t quite sure. The pressure that an infertile feels after emptying bank accounts and sacrificing so much is truly immeasurable, and certainly unexplainable. It may seem like this weird club that we the infertiles don’t invite our fertile friends to, but trust us, you don’t want in. Be grateful you’re privileged to not understand. Be happy you will likely never know these emotions I try to convey. It is a blessing you didn’t struggle, and I am genuinely happy for you that you didn’t. But it can be difficult when women think they can relate to our journey when we’ve been down very different paths.
On the flip side, many women who have battled infertility for years and years welcome their pregnancies with open arms. Every wave of nausea, every sharp pain in my boob, I smile. I feel reassured. I feel grateful. In a way, I am privileged to see pregnancy through this lens. It makes all the hard parts of pregnancy a lot easier to bear when you are just so immensely happy to be in this moment in time, finally. It can be very hard to express all this to the fertile mom who struggled in her pregnancy, who hated pregnancy, or who maybe even doesn’t always love being a mom. All of that is okay. We are different. But that is alright. It just needs to be acknowledged as so…
Anyways, my point is that I’m in a weird state of limbo at the moment. I am still pregnant, at least my First Response hpt yesterday tells me so, but how pregnant, how viable, remains to be seen… I am definitely a ball of nerves waiting for the first ultrasound. Not only am I anxious to see that it’s progressing, but I’m also anxious to find out how many are in there. My gut is telling me one based on my symptoms and beta hcg numbers, but you never know until you know.
Okay, now for a little rant, my apologies in advance. Today on my Instagram a woman who was successful on her first IVF posted about how devastated she was that only one of two stuck. I can understand being disappointed and sad, but she apparently hasn’t been able to stop crying since her ultrasound. For me, as someone who has put 2 embryos in 3 separate times prior (though never once gotten a positive or to hold a baby), I understand a connection to an embryo. But I also believe in gratitude for what you are afforded in this journey. To not be able to acknowledge enjoy and love fully the one that DID make it is quite sad to me. Sure will I be a little sad if not all 3 of mine make it? Maybe… though I believe this to be likely, but I’ll be also be so very grateful for whatever I’m blessed with.
I believe everything happens for a reason. We may not know or understand, but I don’t think I could ever pull my focus away from the beautiful life building inside me after all I’ve been through. Perhaps it’s because in the grand scheme of things she hasn’t really struggled like I have. She hasn’t lost 6 embryos like I have. She hasn’t hardened like me maybe. Perhaps that’s it. But I think a little gratitude goes a long way when so so many women would willingly trade shoes with her in an instant.
I will be grateful. I will love fully. Whatever I may blessed with.