Why am I writing a post about pregnancy after infertility when I am not yet pregnant, and my next chance at a positive pregnancy test is a full 2 months away?
It’s partly a combination of wishful thinking and preparing myself for the pregnancy state of mind. But mostly, it’s my recent realization that even once I am pregnant, I will still feel infertile.
I read a quote on one of the online forums that I belong to from a woman who was in the process of adopting, that “Adoption cures childlessness. It does not cure infertility.” And I totally get that. While you end up with a family, your body never did what so many of us are led to believe our main purpose is in life: procreate. It’s only in the last few weeks however, that it hit me that after years of infertility, pregnancy does not cure infertility either.
It happened for me at yoga. For some reason, I was looking ahead to the opportunity to take pre natal yoga classes once pregnant. It started out as a pleasant daydream of a glowing, pregnant me in a room with ten or fifteen other happily pregnant woman doing gentle stretches. There we were: all pregnant; all sharing the same experience; all the same. Except that we’re not the same.
And that’s when my warm and fuzzy daydream started to unravel. Because I realized that pregnancy would have come easier for most (if not all) of these woman than it will eventually come for me. I imagined some of these women saying (bragging) that this was an “Oops!” pregnancy – unplanned, or God forbid that it happened while they were on the pill or some other form of birth control. And other women saying that it took them way longer – four or five months, and that they were starting to get worried that something might be wrong, when bam! it happened. Maybe these women would even share what it was that helped them “finally” get pregnant: going on vacation that month; a few sessions of acupuncture; using ovulation predictor kits, or trying a new supplement.
Or we will commiserate about all of the wonderful aches and pains, and other side effects that pregnancy has inflicted on our bodies, and I will admit that I feel pretty good and have managed to avoid most of the usual maladies (If pregnant with a singleton, I am banking on an easy pregnancy, partly because I feel I’ve earned it, but mostly because my mother had two easy pregnancies and I also felt great physically when I was pregnant last year). And then someone (in all likelihood the woman who got pregnant on the pill) will say: “Wow, you’re lucky you’re not dealing with [fill in the blank]”. And I will think that when it comes to getting and staying pregnant, I’d trade my “luck” for any one of their’s in a heartbeat.
Given how common miscarriage is, I expect there will be a few other women in the room who have suffered losses and therefore understand that a positive pregnancy test does not automatically mean a baby in 9 months. But how many of these women had to endure their due date anniversary, their pregnancy anniversary, and their loss anniversary without being pregnant again, or having a new baby in their arms? How many got pregnant again, but suffered another loss?
Now maybe this group will not be as chatty as what I am imagining, and instead we will just go about doing our poses and beetle away home right after class. However, even without anyone sharing any details, I know there will be some women who got pregnant their first month trying, and that most of the other ones would have gotten pregnant within six months. I know there will be women who share my history of loss, but that in all likelihood they did not have to wait very long before achieving a succesful pregnancy. And I know that it’s almost a given that every single woman in the room other than me knows that she can get pregnant naturally, because she did. Even without anyone saying a word, I will still feel different, because I am different.
And this realization makes me very sad.
I lost my pregnancy innocence with my miscarriage, but I always thought that when I was pregnant again once the stress of beta numbers and the first few ultrasounds were out of the way, and I felt that things would probably work out (yes, I know that there are many, many things that can go wrong later in pregnancy, but going by the odds, most losses will be in the first trimester), I would feel like a “normal” pregnant woman. But I now know that is not the case.
To my pregnant infertile sisters – I finally understand what you are going through. You’re not one of “them”, you’re still one of “us”. And I’m really sorry that it has to be that way.