Monday, February 12, 2007

Fear.

Much as I want to be excited and happy about this pregnancy, I'm afraid all the time that something is going to go wrong, and I'm going to lose the baby.

And I know that this is "normal" for almost all women in early pregnancy.

But there is nothing like getting pregnant after infertility...I just keep feeling like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like it just can't be possible that something could go right when I had gotten so used to things going wrong. But the reality of it is that it really didn't take that long...which just feels like one more reason it won't work out: because I haven't paid my dues long enough on the old infertility merry-go-round.

And I know that there's no such thing as the kind of cosmic accounting that I think must be taking place, that in reality, difficult (and good) things happen to good people for no rhyme or reason, all the time. Yet I can't seem to shake the feeling that someone or something is going to "notice" that I got pregnant too easily, and take it away.

I feel sad that I've been robbed of the innocence that so many people have when they get pregnant. I feel sad that I'm afraid that anytime I log on to a pregnancy discussion board or post about it here, it's going to somehow jinx it. I feel sad that I can't seem to be happy that right now, as far as I know, everything is just fine.

I posted about this on a pregnancy forum that I frequent, and got some amazing advice from someone who has been down the infertility road and is currently pregnant.

She said that witholding my excitement and joy of being pregnant would not make it hurt any less if I did end up miscarrying. So after that long period of disappointments, I should enjoy the pregnancy while I have it. And even though it's scary, you really have nothing to lose by letting go and being excited for what you have right now.

So I'm going to do my very best to try to let go of this fear blanket I seem to have wrapped myself in. I can't protect myself from being hurt if something happens, but I can trust that if it does, I will be able to get through it.

And maybe, just maybe, everything will turn out ok.

19 comments:

Jennifer said...

You are me a few months ago. I am 5 and ahalf months pregnant w/twins after a long and hard road and I still struggle with that shoe-dropping fear. So many of us do. Reading your blog (and so many others) reminds me that we are not alone.

You just cleared some very big hurdles and seem to be on a excellent path. Congrats! Good luck and keep trying to shrug off the fear!

Karen said...

And I know that this is "normal" for almost all women in early pregnancy.

Actually, it isn't normal for almost all women. So far as I can figure, it's only "normal" for women who are pregnant after infertility. It's one of the things that infertility does: it robs us of our ability to be happy about pregnancy, though it's all we've wanted.

Your friend on the pregnancy forum is correct... withholding your happiness now won't make it any easier if you (heaven forbid) miscarry later.

I miscarried in October at 12+ weeks. I had withheld telling anyone (with a couple of family exceptions) until I was just shy of 12 weeks. I had spent twelve weeks not believing for one second that I was going to deliver a baby in April. (It didn't help that I was bleeding for the entire duration of my pregnancy) But you know what? The thing that made it bearable was that I didn't miscarry until AFTER I spilled the beans to most people. It meant I had a support structure and people who could understand why I retreated from the world for a couple of weeks. I'm fine now, but I appreciate that I had people to support me when I needed them to.

Be as happy as you want to be right now. You deserve to be.

Michelle said...

Aw hon, I think what you are going through is natural for those of us dealing with infertility. If you read my posts through January 2006-October 2006 you will see that all along the way I was paranoid. I was afraid at any moment my hope would be torn to pieces. We didn't buy her furniture until I was 8 months pregnant because I was still afraid that something would go wrong. And then when it was time to deliver I was afraid I would deliver a stillborn.
I also wanted to be one of those women who got to pee on a stick and be surprised and excited when I was pregnant...but for me it was so medically driven. I did IVF and everything was timed to a T.

So, I believe what you are feeling is completely normal, and while it's great to focus on the positives-- I think it's hard to not have some fear.

Baby Blues said...

I'll be praying for your safe pregnancy. It's definitely scary but embrace it, it's happening.

Heather said...

This post really spoke to me. I'm going through something (at work) and I have to let go of my fear blanket. I can't change the outcome. I will make it through whatever happens. I need to stay in the moment. Thank you for the reminder.

mandolyn said...

Figured I'd stop by- I finished my Cherry Coke at Melissa's Virtual Bar and thought your words were rather familiar.

Shedding the fear blanket. It sounds like such simple, matter of fact advice. And it is, it's just harder to actually do. I am currently 6 months pregnant. It does get a little easier to come out from under the blanket as more time passes. I still keep mine near, though.

I absolutely agree that you should let yourself be happy- you do deserve it. Congrats!

Allie said...

I'm in the same boat dear. 9 weeks in... panic stricken... and sometimes... overjoyed...

My prayers are with you.

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

I think what you're feeling sounds totally reasonable - and I definitely don't think that you're less entitled to it because you didn't suffer with IF for as long as some of us have. It doesn't matter how long you struggled - the insecurity that comes with IF is still real.

I think your friend gave you very good advice - I've tried every approach on all my failed cycles - from being positive to being pessimistic. Thinking somehow that if I expected the worst then it wouldn't hurt so bad when the worst happened. and that is definitely wrong. It still hurts just as bad, yet you have robbed yourself of enjoying that hopeful feeling for even a short time.

The worst can happen - it happened to me at that first u/s. And there's nothing you can do to prevent it. But letting the fear of that take over isn't going to make it any easier if it does happen.

This may be a time when you need to try to let the more logical side of your brain take over. (I know, easier said than done) Statistically the odds are very much in your favor at this point. You will most likely see a strong healthy heartbeat at your u/s next week.

So try to enjoy it! I'm rooting for you!

The Town Criers said...

Have a virtual drink on the house--especially to celebrate this pregnancy.

I think the fear is very normal. But it is good advice--my therapist gave it to me too because I refused to tell people or plan for anything even when we were 5 months along. I wasn't fooling anyone, but somehow talking about it was too scary. But it's true--there is nothing you could do now that could protect your heart from that hurt. And hopefully, that hurt will never arrive.

Hopeful Mother said...

I'm going with happy... we don't get enough opportunities to be happy. I've spent too much time over the last 9 months worrying... so even though I am just a tiny bit worried, I'm trying to let the positivity wash over me.

I want us ALL to have good news next week!

Nickie said...

You're boringly normal for a post-IF preggo.

Your forum friend is absolutely right. I remember very distinctly on one of my highFSH boards, a gal who had just dealt with a m/c at 11 or so weeks. She posted about how the biggest regret she has about the whole situation was that she spent 11 wks dreading and expecting this outcome. Looking back, she wished she had enjoyed and felt joy for every moment she could in the pregnancy b/c as an infertile, this might have been her only chance to be pregnant. I remember that nearly every day with this pregnancy. Expecting the worst only keeps you from enjoying the moment.

Even still, I get nervous sometimes too and that's when I pull out the doppler! LOL

Adrienne said...

Congratulations. And don't let your prior IF rob you of the joy of this pregnancy. You deserve the joy.

Kate said...

I think what you are going through is totally normal for many women, but especially those pregnant after IF. But please, don't think that you had it "easy." Easy is getting pregnant the first month you go off birth control. That's easy. Nothing about your story sounds easy to me. Yes, it could have been worse, it could have taken much longer--but that doesn't mean it was easy for you. Don't let this rob you of your excitment.

Speaking from my experience, I fully agree with the woman on your forum. Try to enjoy it as much as you can because expecting the worst is not going to make the loss any less painful. I think you need to acknowledge to yourself--as you already have--that things MAY go wrong. But you can never prepare for it. And if you feel like you may be jinxing it by doing something (like buying maternity clothes before 12 weeks or ordering the crib), don't do it. Do what feels right.

Hang in there. I know this is easier said than done.

Stacie said...

Congratulations.

Your post sums up exactly how I felt for my first trimester. The second trimester was a little better. Then, even in the third, if I hadn't been solidly kicked in a while I got nervous. The good thing about constant u/s and non-stress tests was the twice weekly reassurance that the babies were still alive.

You aren't alone in your fears. And, again, congratulations!

Sami said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one feeling this way... I've taken to looking at it as one hurdle down - x number to go... it helps most days.

ellie said...

Yup, now that the shock is wearing off- we too are feeling alittle cautious-- and I am trying desperately to let that go. I think after having repeated "no, I am not pregnant" soemthing like over 100 or so times last year-- it is just plain hard to think, yeah, I really am. And that I am going to get to keep it. We are cautious beings us IVFers...so I am not saying run out and buy baby clothes-- but I think you'd be ok if you smiled and had some small joy. Tell folks when you are ready--we told a few close friends and family-- and if something goes wrong they will all be there to hold my hand -- that would be the benefit of sharing it.

Susan said...

Oh gosh, I JUST posted about this same exact thing. I find it comforting to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way. Here's to hoping that NO MORE SHOES drop anywhere near any of us.

Karen said...

how are you doing now? Still okay?