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Is Pregnancy the Same After Infertility?

Sarah Preston Gorenstein

I read this great piece on texashealthmoms.com the other day by a woman who finally got pregnant after more than two years of trying to conceive, struggling with infertility. You’ve probably seen it circulating the interwebs or on Facebook, where I found it, but if not you must read it. It’s a moving and very relatable account of how infertility has robbed her of the joys of being pregnant, killed her innocence, rained on her pregnancy parade. I worry about this happening to me, should I ever get so lucky again.

Though I have far bigger fears that haunt me, sometimes I wonder: If I ever do get pregnant again, how would I be able to enjoy it after everything I’ve been through with infertility?

After my last embryo transfer, I was convinced I was pregnant—at one point I even thought, “Twins?” And I was admittedly VERY freaked out at the thought of having multiples. How would we handle twins!? Though we've always said we'd love to have three kids, twins at this point pretty much terrifies me.

During my grueling two-week wait—the last one was particularly hard—I had a moment of clarity and certainty that this transfer had worked. I was nauseated and peeing a lot; I couldn’t sleep; I was beyond exhausted, and having weird dreams when I could sleep; and my boobs were killing me in that way that makes you think you’re pregnant. For a minute there, I started doubting my choice to implant two embryos—seriously, how would we handle two more kids right now?! I started questioning a decision we’d spent months poring over.

How silly I was to worry about this, of course—neither one of the embryos took, we still don’t know why.

I’d do anything to have that feeling of fear again. I’d give anything to feel nauseated, tired, hungry, bloated, worried. It seems like such a far-reaching goal, even though I’ve already been pregnant and have been blessed with a healthy child.

The odd thing is, I can’t actually picture myself pregnant again. It’s such a distant memory now… Pregnancy seems like something that happens to other people, not me.

I remember feeling this way about getting married, too—I remember telling my mom that I couldn’t picture myself finding someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and taking that proverbial walk down the aisle. She said it would happen, but I didn’t believe her. Not that this is such a huge milestone, but Jay and I are celebrating four years of marriage this month.

So, I’m making this promise to the universe (and my husband): If I ever get to be pregnant again, I vow not to waste one minute being afraid of the unknowns. I won’t let infertility rob me of my happiness any more than it already has; and I certainly won’t let it rob me of the joys of pregnancy or motherhood. I look forward to swollen thankles (that’s something I vividly remember!), sleepless nights, and total strangers rubbing my belly. I’m used to getting ultrasounds every other week and my body jacked up on so many hormones I hardly recognize myself, so that part's no big deal to me.

But what I look forward to most is my son getting to experience it with me. There‘s a part of me that doesn’t feel finished with my family yet, and he’s a big reason why. I love that he tells me I’m his “best friend” but I’m 35 years older than he is; I want to give him a best friend that's a little closer to his age.

Has infertility, or your struggle to conceive, left you too afraid to even enjoy being (or for that matter, getting) pregnant? Leave a comment.

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