Perpetuating the Infertility Taboo

As I mentioned in a recent post, I will soon take on a more public and impactful role in the wider infertility community through volunteer efforts with an organization whose mission  is focused on infertility awareness, support and advocacy.

Outwardly, my volunteer efforts will focus on helping other people who are experiencing infertility, however, my motivation for taking on this role is not  purely altruistic. Aside from all of the usual benefits that people get from volunteering their time, I am hoping that this more public role will force me out of my comfort zone and get me talking more about infertility, and my own experience with it in my day to day life.

While living with infertility, I did not like to share many details about what was going on with friends and family. I was always honest when people asked if I wanted kids, and would freely share that we were trying, but that was usually the extent of it. As I have written in earlier posts on this blog, the reluctance to share many details extended even to other people in my social circle who were also experiencing infertility (though in this case, the reasons for not wanting to share were much more complex).

The sad thing is that I think at the time, my instincts were correct, and I was emotionally better off by not sharing. Even now, when I am sharing my experiences with others who are in the midst of their own infertility struggles, if the topic of being more open with their broader social circle comes up, I generally advise that the less said the better. Instead, I give them ideas of how they can connect with other people also experiencing infertility, or steps they can take to protect their emotions from the repeated painful reminders that being infertile in a fertile world can bring.

Unfortunately, infertility remains one of the last taboos. Probably the closest analogy I can think of is the perception of mental illness, yet I think even mental illness has come a long way in the last ten to twenty years in terms of public awareness, and acceptance of the mentally ill.

All of these factors lead to a vicious cycle: the general public has many misconceptions about infertility; as a result, infertiles who choose to share their struggles find themselves facing ill timed or intrusive questions, or receiving unsolicited advice from caring friends and family who are trying to be supportive (not to mention much worse from others who may not be as well meaning); leading to infertiles deciding they are safer to keep quiet about their struggles; resulting in an uninformed public and the continuing taboo.

There is the odd person who has the emotional and mental make-up to take on the role of advocate while in the midst of their own struggles, however for most people, I think it is more realistic to advocate once their own infertility is resolved (however that resolution may happen). Therefore, I strongly believe that in order to break the vicious cycle, and properly educate the public about infertility, it is up to those (like myself) whose emotional resources are no longer drained by infertility.

And yet, despite promising myself that once I had Baby Boy I would be more open about what we went through and share my experiences with friends and strangers alike, to date I  think I have failed miserably. The reasons for this failure are many.

I am generally at peace with my own experience with infertility. Yes (as I explained in a recent post), the scars are there, but they are just that – scars. Infertility is no longer a gaping, weeping wound, nor even a fresh scab that can easily be picked to bleed again. It depends on the day, but I would guess that it has an impact of 5% to 10% of what it used to (and much of this is actually due to the positive after effects of infertility, which I also described in the aforementioned post). Therefore, I think I am in an excellent position to advocate and share my story every chance I get.

However, the reality is very different. When I do bring my experiences up in conversation, I tend to keep it vague – I say that “it took us a long time”, or maybe (the odd, odd time), I admit to doing “fertility treatments”. And while I wish that I took every available opportunity to share even this amount of information, I usually only bring this up when I suspect that the person in front of me may also have experienced (or be currently experiencing) infertility. And when I share even these fairly neutral statements (from behind my current shield of motherhood, and growing pregnancy belly no less!), my stomach is clenched and my heart is racing, and I feel completely naked and exposed.

Therefore,  I completely understand why infertility remains a taboo topic, because despite my best efforts so far I have not been very successful in doing my small part to change things. I am looking forward to what I hope will be growth and healing as I take on my new role, and slowly, step by step become the advocate I’d always hoped I could be.

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New Beginnings

Lotus Flower, Innisfree Garden, Millbrook, NY

The experience of infertility has been on my mind a lot lately. There are a number of reasons for this – a big reason is that I am on the verge of stepping up my involvement in the infertility community in a big way through a volunteer role with an organization whose mission is to educate people about infertility, and advocate for, and provide support for people who are infertile. Needless to say, I am super excited about this opportunity.

Something else that I am super excited about is that I am pregnant again! I haven’t blogged since I found out (on either of my blogs), for all of the usual reasons, but at 21 weeks along, I am more than halfway through this pregnancy (I just updated the details on my “TTC Journey” page). Once again, I am enjoying an uncomplicated, fairly symptom free pregnancy, and am looking forward to welcoming Baby Boy’s little brother into our family.

While my husband and I are not committing to “never again”, the reality is that in all likelihood, our family will be complete once this baby arrives. This means that after six years where trying to conceive, infertility, and pregnancy were such a big part of our lives (at times overshadowing everything else that was going on), we will be closing the door on our reproductive years.

This is, of course a wonderful place to be. After having lived through the anguish and uncertainty that infertility brings, both personally, and through the stories of the hundreds of infertile people I’ve connected with (online and also in person), I know how incredibly lucky we are to get the “happily ever after” ending.

And yet, the last six years are so imprinted in my mind, that it’s still hard for me to see ahead to the time where something that was so front and center in my life will no longer matter. I cannot get my head around never again worrying about the ins and outs of my menstrual cycle, never buying another ovulation prediction test, nor needing any more fertility clinic appointments. Even something as matter of fact for most people as taking birth control after this baby arrives has me torn and confused, as it is diametrically opposed to everything I’ve been working towards these past six years.

For better or worse, infertility (and everything reproduction related) seems to have seeped into my identity and affected my world view to such an extent that in order to move forward beyond infertility, I find myself fighting a version of stockholm syndrome now that I will soon no longer be a hostage.

Before I  wrap up, I feel the need to point out that I have seen posts similar to this one be misinterpreted by those still in the trenches.

What I have touched on here is the coming need (and hopefully) eventual ability for me to move beyond MY infertility. I do not wish to forget or erase the past, nor do I plan to ignore what infertility means to millions of other people who continue to live with that reality every day. Moving on personally does not mean that I will stop supporting other infertiles (and in fact, as I mentioned at the start of this post, I hope that in the coming years I will be able to make a discernible, positive impact on the lives of people who continue to struggle with infertility). Arriving at a healing place, and continuing to be supportive of others are not mutually inclusive.

Lastly, despite all the negative aspects of infertility, the experience has taught me a lot:

– it has opened my eyes to the many amazing advances in science and medicine that have taken place just in my lifetime, while also teaching me that all of our advanced knowledge and tools can still only go so far;

– it has tested me in a way that nothing else in my life has, and as a result taught me about my level of resilience;

– it has increased my empathy towards others who are dealing with hardship (including any number of medical conditions) in their lives; and (more to the point)

– it has taught me to never, ever take for granted the ability to conceive, carry a pregnancy, deliver a healthy baby, and be able to build your family in the way that you had planned.

Is Pregnancy Really that Bad?

It’s been interesting for me to note the changes in my body, and my mood as I progress through this pregnancy. I am now in the third trimester, and at 29 weeks have only 25% of the pregnancy left (give or take of course).

Every trimester and up to a point, every week is slightly different, but for me (as for many women who struggled with infertility before getting pregnant), the most important milestones and indicators of whether this pregnancy is going well or not have been tied to how well the baby seems to be doing. Reassuring ultrasounds, encouraging test results, and reaching that magic viability date of 24 weeks have all meant a lot more than how I may be feeling on a given day.

While it’s somethng I’ve noticed since we first started telling people about the pregnancy, it seems like in the last week I can’t escape the message that pregnancy is some horrible ordeal that must be endured and suffered through, rather than a miracle to be cherished and appreciated.

On Sunday, I started a new pre natal yoga class. The class is an hour and half long, but the first half hour or so is devoted to a talk on a pregnancy related topic such as preparing for labour, or proper nutrition while pregnant. However, this Sunday the instructor told us she was getting over a cold and since her voice was in rough shape, she’d turn the floor over to us for a discussion.

The chosen topic of discussion? Pregnancy complaints. So, for the next half hour, I got to listen to the other women discussing their aches and pains and all of the ways that their bodies have suffered over the course of their pregnancies.

Then, two days later, as I approached 29 weeks, I went online to read about what’s happening with me and baby at this particular point in time. Since I don’t think I could do justice to what I read by simply describing it, below is a direct quote from the first website I went to describing what being 29 weeks pregnant is like:

“Let’s get right to the point: You’re a bloated, water-retaining mess. Chances are good you can’t get your sneakers on or your wedding ring off, so get comfy in your slippers. Your pants don’t fit. Your shirts don’t fit. And now, thanks to the swelling in your feet, your shoes don’t fit. You can thank a wonderful thing called edema for that. Go edema!”

Seriously?? I was shocked to read about what a horrible state I was in. I really didn’t think things were so bad. I felt my feet, and my shoes seemed to fit fine. I checked to see if my fingers were swollen, and was easily able to slide my rings off. And as to clothes fitting? Like the vast majority of women, by the third trimester I’d been wearing nothing but maternity clothes for several months. So while I did feel like I’d gotten a lot bigger over the last few weeks, my clothes were made to accomodate that, and felt as comfortable as always.

I realize that pregnancy results in a lot of changes to a woman’s body, not all of which are pleasant. And I realize that for some women, these changes and side effects are more severe and can be extremely uncomfortable, and even prevent them from functioning normally on a day to day basis. I am by no means trying to minimize the very real physical symptoms that prevent many women from enjoying their pregnancies.

My issue is that lately it seems that everywhere I turn, everything I read and hear seems to be telling me I should be miserable, when in fact I’ve probably never been happier. Yes, I’ve been lucky that the pregnancy symptoms I’ve had have been mild in comparison to what some people go through, but I know I’m not the only woman out there to have a positive pregnancy experience. And yet, the focus everywhere sems to be on the negative.

I even see this in my day to day interactions. People are constantly asking me how I’m feeling, and even before I answer, sympathizing that I must be feeling so uncomfortable due to [fill in the blanks with the malady du jour]. After a while, I felt like I was letting people down if I didn’t have some unpleasant story to share, so it got to the point where I was actually relieved to be able to share that in the last few weeks my back and hips have been feeling really sore.This seemed to satisfy them more than my earlier answer that everything was great.

Crazy, yes? But par for the course apparently.

Documenting the Pregnancy Experience

Last month, I started writing in a pregnancy journal that my mom got me for Christmas, in order to document more of the details of this pregnancy. At first, the idea of a pregnancy journal terrified me. As I have written elsewhere on this blog, my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 11 weeks. As expected, this experience (in addition to 3+ years of infertility) changed my expectations for and experience of pregnancy forever.

In dealing with the aftermath of the miscarriage, I spent a lot of time with a friend who’d lost a pregnancy at 20 weeks about a month before I got pregnant, sharing our grief and trying to heal. I remember very clearly being with her about a week before her expected due date, and talking about whether she was going to do anything special that day. It turns out she had a small ritual planned, where she would open her box of mementoes of the pregnancy/baby and spend some time with these objects. The box included ultrasound photos, plaster impressions of her tiny baby’s feet, and a belly book.

I hadn’t heard of a belly book before, so she explained that it was similar to a pregnancy journal, and that it was where she had documented her pregnancy through weekly pictures of her belly. Upon hearing this, I still remember the two very strong emotions I felt. First off, I felt incredibly sad for her that she had this tangible reminder of the joy and expectations that she and her husband had for the lost pregnancy, and how difficult it would be to look through the book and contrast her grief against the memory of how she had felt while the pictures were being taken.

The second strong emotion I felt was relief for myself that I did not have a belly book, pregnancy journal, or any similar chronicle of my ill-fated pregnancy. The only remotely comparable thing we’d had was pictures of the pregnancy pee stick showing those two magical lines, which I deleted from my computer several weeks after the miscarriage because I couldn’t face accidentally flipping to them. The lack of a belly book or pregnancy journal was purely a fluke – it is totally the sort of thing I would have gotten if I’d been in the baby and pregnancy section of the bookstore at the right time.

When I got pregnant this time around, even though I was comfortable buying small baby things fairly early in the pregnancy (as I was able to tell myself they were for my eventual baby, whether it be this one or another one), I couldn’t bring myself to get a pregnancy journal or belly book, which would be so intimately tied to this pregnancy and baby.

However, when we told my mom about the pregnancy, one of the first questions she asked was whether I was keeping a pregnancy journal, and after I said no, she highly recommended I do. So, it was no surprise when I got one under the Christmas tree from her, but it still took me a few weeks before I was able to get over my fear and actually write in it.

Since then, I have written 3 posts with details of how our appointments went, or what new milestones we’re experiencing. I write when I’m in bed, just before going to sleep, while feeling the baby moving around inside.

In one sense, the journal is more about facts than this blog – a detailed explanation of how the anatomy scan went, a documentation of my weight and baby’s heartbeat, and other such factual details which I want to remember, but don’t feel quite comfortable boring my blog readers with.

However, one of the surprising things I’ve really enjoyed about the journal is that it is also much more personal than this blog. While the blog is primarily about my feelings and experiences, my journal entries are written to my baby, and focus on him. I honestly don’t know if he’ll ever read them (I think the fact that he’s a boy and not a girl makes it less likely that he’d ever be interested), but as I write”you” instead of “the baby”, and “daddy” instead of “my husband”, without fail tears of joy come to my eyes and I feel an uncontrollable outpouring of love and an intense connection to the miracle growing inside me.

23 Weeks 3 Days and All is Good!

I won’t even bother making excuses! I think I just need to resign myself to the fact that I will be writing a new blog post every month instead of every few days, and just go with it, so here goes…

Even though I am now more than halfway through this pregnancy, the reality of being pregnant still fills me with wonder. Every morning when I wake up, one of the first thoughts I have is how far along I am that day, and the comfort that this knowledge brings me. Wednesdays are extra special, as that is when my pregnancy enters a new week, which means my fruit based pregnancy ticker (which is attached to my signature on one of the infertility forums I post on) bears me a new fruit. These little rituals help me believe that this is happening for real, and that sooner rather than later we will be blessed with meeting our baby boy.

Along with counting down the days, I am loving the experience of being pregnant. Every night before I go to bed, I stand in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom and relish the curves of my naked body, staring in wonder at my growing belly and changing breasts. Throughout the day, when I walk by a mirror I sneak glances at my silhouette, and when I am washing up in the bathroom at work (assuming nobody else is around), I smooth down my top so I can get a better view of my belly.

Since I last wrote, we have had our anatomy scan, and two OB appointments, and everything continues to be progressing perfectly! Our risk of Downs based on the triple screen testing was determined to be extremely low at 1 in 20,000 (compared to the 1 in 200 or so that is statistically expected for a woman my age), the anatomy scan did not reveal any red flags, baby’s heartbeat is strong, and my weight gain is on track. I really could not have asked for a smoother pregnancy. With each new milestone and piece of good news, I say a silent “thank-you” to my baby for his part in making everything so perfect.

A Telling Experience

Hello, poor neglected blog! I have had two posts that I started sitting in draft for several weeks now. I don’t really have an excuse (well, a weeks of Christmas busy-ness comes to mind, but other than that, no excuse!). I do have some time today to try to catch up a bit, so here goes.

Once we moved from the first to the second trimester, my husband and I turned to the crucial question of who to tell about the pregnancy, and when. Up until 12 weeks, the only people who knew about the pregnancy were: our fertility clinic in Toronto; our fertility clinic in our old city; my acupuncturist in Toronto; and my acupuncturist in our old city. And that’s it. No family. No friends. Nobody else.

I was pretty sure a few people had guessed (based primarily on my lack of drinking), but we hadn’t admitted to anything.

We had decided a long time ago that we wouldn’t be posting a splashy announcement on facebook (that will have to wait until the baby is born!), nor would we be sending out a mass email to all of our contacts announcing the news. Yes, someone my husband used to work with sent the following email a few years ago: “[Wife] is preggers!!”. Not for us.

Our original plan was to tell our families at Christmas time, which would coincide with the 17 week mark of the pregnancy. My husband actually wanted to wait even longer, until our anatomy scan at 18 to 20 weeks, but I didn’t think I could hold out that long.

Our first OB appointment after being released from the fertility clinic was at 13 weeks 5 days. Unfortunately, it was rescheduled last minute, and my husband was unable to go to the new appointment time, so it looked like I was going on my own. However, my mom and step dad were coming to our house for lunch the day before the appointment, and in the end we decided that if we told them the news that day, then my mom could come to the appointment with me (the OB and hospital are actually right across the street from her house, so even if she couldn’t come along, I would have wanted to park in her driveway).

So, that’s how it started! The following weekend we told my husband’s parents and my dad and step mom, and then started sharing the news with friends as we saw them/spoke with them.

Sharing the news has been wonderful. It’s a relief to finally be able to tell people about the pregnancy, instead of pretending there’s nothing new with us, and it’s great how excited everyone is for us. Nobody knows the full details of our infertility struggle, but most people we’ve told know we’d been trying for a while, and some know about our miscarriage and/or fertility treatments. So they understand on some level that this pregnancy did not come easy.

Wonderful as it has been, sharing the news has also been scary. With each new person we tell, the pregnancy feels more real. The more we talk about it, the more excited we get. However, facing the reality of the pregnancy also forces us to confront the fears that we’ve tried to suppress that there’s still so many things that can go wrong. I have another post started (which hopefully I’ll finish soon) which delves more into that side of things, so stay tuned.

Still Pregnant, Still Grateful

Today I am 7 weeks and 3 days pregnant. On the one hand, this should come as no surprise…last time I wrote was eight days ago, and I was 6 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

However, while my overwhelming belief continues to be that this will work out and come next June I will have a baby in my arms, I do find myself “holding my breath” about more things than I would care to admit. On a similar note, I continue to be amazed at all the things that have gone right so far.

For example, while it’s not on my mind every time I wipe, I am surprised (and very grateful) that I have not spotted even one tiny speck of blood (or any brown of pink discharge) so far. I have heard enough times that spotting is more common in IVF pregnancies, plus I am still on heparin, which is a blood thinner. Both of these factors suggest that I am at higher than average risk of benign spotting, which prepared me to expect some spotting. So I am incredibly grateful that so far nothing has come to pass.

I have had some pregnancy symptoms, but they have been pretty minor compared to what I hear of other peoples’ experience. I have not thrown up (or even come close to it); I am not suffering from fatigue; and I am not sensitive to smells. I am grateful for each of these things.

While a lot of women (particularly ones who’ve suffered through infertility or loss) want to experience pregnancy symptoms, my personal take on it is that it’s way more fun to be pregnant without the nasty symptoms, than to be pregnant and feel like crap all the time. I don’t need to throw up to know I’m pregnant, especially now that I’ve had an ultrasound and I’ve seen the tiny baby growing inside me.

All the indicators I’ve had from this pregnancy so far have been overwhelmingly positive. Both of my beta hcg numbers were strong and right on target. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did. I was incredibly happy and relieved, but I still scoured the signatures of other women on my infertility forums to see if there were others with strong initial numbers that didn’t work out, and found several whose third or fourth betas (which I never went for) dropped, resulting in chemical pregnancies.

When we went for our ultrasound last week, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that at 6 weeks and 2 days it may still be early to see a heartbeat, so I mentally prepared myself for the possibility, and told myself not to freak out if that was the case. But, again the results left no doubt. Not only was there a heartbeat, but it was strong. Everything I read said that a normal  heartbeat at 6 to 7 weeks is between 90 and 110 beats per minute. Ours was 121 beats per minute.

When we left the appointment, my husband told me that he couldn’t believe things had gone so well. He said he was so used to us getting bad news, that part of him did not know how to react now that we were finally getting good news. And I knew what he meant.

After the good news from the ultrasound, I was ready to release a layer of anxiety and celebrate the milestone. While I celebrated the two strong beta results with some purchases at Pottery Barn Kids, this time around I got myself a ticker. This is a ribbon that counts down my pregnancy day by day, and the one I chose shows how big the baby is each week by comparing it to a fruit. I added the ticker to my signature on one of the infertility forums I’m on, and I love logging in every day and seeing each day tick by.

But, there are other things that will come only once more milestones are achieved. While the risk of miscarriage is much lower once you see a heartbeat on an ultrasound, it is still there. Again, I find myself looking at other women’s signatures on my infertility forums and noting the number that had a good first ultrasound, only to find out there was no heartbeat at their next ultrasound at 8 or 9 weeks.

My next ultrasound is at 8 weeks 5 days, and while once again, I fully expect things to go well, I am holding off on creating the “pregnancy” page for my blog where I will list my pregnancy milestones until I get the good news.

I continue to be grateful for every day that passes with no pregnancy related drama, because it means that I am one day closer to meeting my baby.

What a Difference Two Lines Make

This weekend, my husband and I are entertaining two sets of out of town guests. A few days ago, I realized what a different experience this is, compared to how it would have been if instead of being pregnant, I was dealing with the effects of another failed cycle.

This morning was my pregnancy bloodtest. Afterwards, we had brunch with a couple visiting from our old city, who have an almost three year old. Oh, and they’re pregnant with their second, due at the end of January.

Last time we saw them was at the beginning of July, just before we moved. My husband had told me that they had recently started trying for number two, so wondering whether they would be pregnant yet was in the back of my mind as we went over for dinner.

We were just coming off our IVF cycle in June, which, while overall a success, resulted in no embryo transfer due to my OHSS. Instead, I had just started my medications for my frozen embryo transfer to take place later that month.

We sat down to dinner, and sure enough I noticed that the wife was not drinking alcohol, in stark contrasts to the several glasses of wine that I was consuming. My heart sank thinking that here they were pregnant with #2, and we were still in this uncertain limbo.

I remember hoping that the pregnancy was still early enough that it would not become a topic of conversation. A few times throughout the night, she made little slips which impled she might be pregnant, such as saying “when the kids get older”, but overall I thought we were out of the woods. We had split up our conversation by gender, so I was catching up with her, and our husbands were chatting about their own things, when all of a sudden I heard my husband heartily congratulate the other guy.

Crap, I thought. Sure enough, we heard the pregnancy announcement, and had a (thankfully brief) conversation about how wonderful it all was.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I remembered that she was pregnant, and that several months later she must be showing quite a bit. I was so grateful knowing that I, too was pregnant, and could enjoy the brunch, without dreading an engagement with a huge pregnant woman the day of my negative blood test.

Our other out of town guest is arriving shortly and will be staying with us overnight and all day tomorrow. He’s an old family friend who I haven’t seen in many years. Two years ago, when my husband and I were on sabbatical in the US for a year, my dad had told me that this guy was living in New York City, which wasnt too far from the little town we were in, and that we should visit him at some point. I exchanged a few emails with him, but ended up not seeing him the first time we went.

We had another, longer visit planned later that year, so I was planning on emailing him to set something up. I remember the week before the visit thinking I should email him in the next few days to let him know we were coming out. I was pregnant with our first pregnancy, approaching the end of the first trimester and looking forward to announcing to our families in the next few weeks.

Instead, I started spotting, which turned to bleeding, which became a miscarriage and d&c. We still went to New York City the following week, but I never contacted the family friend. I just couldn’t stomach the idea of trying to have fun and make conversation with someone I hadn’t seen in over ten years so soon after such a horrible event.

A few days ago (maybe two days after my first positive pregnancy test), my dad emailed me to let me know that this family friend would be arriving for a short visit this week, and did I want to see him. We arranged some plans for him to arrive at our house tonight.

And once again, I thought what a strange coincidence that the reason our last visit with him was because of the miscarriage, and that the first chance we get at another visit I just found out I was pregnant again. Somehow it feels like we’ve come full circle.

Pregnancy Revisited

Four home pregnancy tests later, and I’m still pregnant. On the one hand, I’m starting to get antsy to finally go for my bloodtest and get things rolling “for real”. In some ways this time now feels a bit like cheating, like I snuck into the movie theatre when nobody was looking. But, on the other hand I feel safe and protected, and like nothing bad can happen yet, since nobody’s monitoring my pregnancy and measuring how it stacks up. So, from that perspective I’m in no rush to bring on the stress.

I’m in a great head space right now. Over the last year and a bit I have wondered how I would feel once I got pregnant again, and if the fear and anxiety of knowing too much, and my past experience would get in the way of feeling the sheer, crazy joy that I felt the first time around, not to mention the surprising, immediate connection with the tiny life growing inside me.

In that time, between twitter, infertility forums, and infertility blogs I’ve read about many other infertiles’ joy at becoming pregnant. I remember feeling jealous reading the progression of posts from those people who were pregnant for the first time – not because they were pregnant, but because of how easily they accepted the pregnancy and didn’t question whether it would last or not.

Of course, there are always exceptions, but for the most part, these people were grateful that after many months or years of trying to get pregnant, the hard part was over. Reading these posts, I felt like my innocence had been stolen, and that I would never again experience that same level of excitement at being pregnant.

The posts from those who had suffered loss(es) in the past were different. While they were also excited about pregnancy, for them the hard part was just beginning. It made me sad reading about all the fear and worry that accompanied their pregnancies.

Now that I’ve been lucky enough to experience pregnancy again, I am relieved and surprised at how great it feels to be here. The overwhelming emotion that I feel is happiness, mixed with a huge dollop of wonder. I am too busy enjoying myself to let fear and anxiety spoil my big moment for me.

I know that the odds are still on my side that this will work out. I have every reason to believe that my past losses were bad luck, and that this time will be different. And if for some reason that’s not the case, then all the more reason to enjoy every second of this pregnancy that I can, because who knows when I will next have the opportunity to feel this way again.

I know that there are many hurdles to cross before we can bring this baby/these babies home, but I’m going to take things day by day and try not to worry about them in advance. So far, so good!