Fertility treatments take away some fun things- including the excitement of a positive home pregnancy test. While you can take a test at home, the hormones in fertility medications can sometimes lead to a false positive so why do that to yourself? So instead, I went into the office (at 6am of course) for a blood test and waited for the usual “sorry but it didn’t work” phone call. This time, when my nurse called later that day with my positive result, I didn’t believe her. I assumed there was a mistake. So two days later when I went for a follow-up bloodwork, I had to get to the bottom of this. After the blood was drawn, I stalled putting on my coat to make sure the name sticker they put on the blood tube actually belonged to me. If there was a mix up, I needed to know now. So that day, I waited for the nurse to call and apologize for the mix up. But when she called and said my numbers were increasing and I should come in next week for an ultrasound, I started to wonder if this was real. Nah. It couldn’t be. So I didn’t let my husband come with me for the ultrasound because, as I said to him, “there’s nothing to see and nothing to talk about until 12 weeks”. I was so traumatized that I still didn’t believe it and figured even if my numbers look good, something else must be wrong. To my shock and surprise, Thank G-d, all was looking good. I went back the next 4 weeks for weekly ultrasounds. Each visit, I continued to doubt and expect the worst. But every week, things were still progressing. I then started to believe it medically, but emotionally, I just couldn’t accept it yet. I refused to get excited or talk about it, even with my husband. And when I told some of my immediate family, it was all very anticlimactic. “I’m pregnant but we’re not hugging or anything… we’ll see what happens”- What a party pooper I am. And still today, at 27 weeks thank G-d, I am constantly afraid that an ultrasound will reveal no heartbeat or that I’ll see blood the next time I go to the bathroom. That fear hasn’t gone away.
There was an article recently written by Amy Klein titled “After IVF: Pregnant, but Still Stuck in the Past “ where she shared similar sentiments, but better worded. She says “The bad feelings don’t go away just because the event is over. You can’t all of a sudden turn the switch on for happiness….And even though you’re safe, you are constantly reminded of the past, replaying it over and over in your mind… I’m still mentally preparing myself for the worst….. the trauma of everything suddenly being over. The knowledge that I’ll have to go through it all again. And maybe again. I’m so sick with worry by the time we get to our weekly ultrasound that I can’t even look at the screen. I keep my eyes on my husband’s face until I see him smile, and only then can I venture a glance to check that the baby is there. But it’s there. The baby is there! I hardly believe it.” (Read more here: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/17/after-i-v-f-pregnant-but-still-stuck-in-the-past/?_r=0)
I don’t want to sound ungrateful or unenthusiastic. Believe me, I’m beyond thrilled. But it’s scary. Scary in a way that people who don’t experience this will never understand. I’ve been afraid tell people, to accept it, to celebrate or talk about it. I often change the subject quickly. I’m guarded. Rightfully so. But with each day and each milestone, I’m healing. I’m started to relax a little and believe that this is happening. I am starting to accept that it’s okay to be happy and to feel blessed. My doctor said it beautifully. She told me “you won’t feel better until your baby is born, and even then, you’ll forever be worrying about something else – worry is now a part of who you are and who you’ll be as a parent”. And so instead of letting it paralyze me, I remind myself, every day, that these feelings, and this worry in particular, it’s a blessing.
EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Atime.org is hosting a conference on Fertility & The Jewish Couple in Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, 5/31/15. There are a variety of workshops to choose from including navigating the system, infertility, recurrent loss, as well as nutrition and how to keep your relationship strong. Please see this link for more details and how to register: