Oct 22, 2014

All the feelings

About a week after Cece's due date, I took a home pregnancy test.

My cycle was late, and I was pissed. All I could think was how PCOS was once again acting up, and how this would affect everything - especially if we decided to do another IUI. I was calling my doctor the following week about my cycle and I wanted to tell them I'd ruled out pregnancy.

So I bought a cheap test (why waste money on something that's going to be negative), and drank some hard cider. I figured if I had to once again see a negative test, I might as well have a few drinks the night before. Because hello - the tests are always negative.

On a Saturday morning I took the test, and then set it aside as I bustled in and out of the bathroom and our bedroom, putting things away, getting dressed for the day, etc. I glanced at it before the three-minute wait was up, and when I saw a plus sign (indicating a positive result), I stopped in my tracks.

I looked at it in confusion, then laughed and said, "well that's wrong." I woke up Ben to show him and he just kept saying, "what? what?" I went out to get a digital test and later that morning I put them side by side.

Pregnant. 

This doesn't happen to me, I kept thinking. What the hell kind of trick is the universe playing?

72 hours and five pregnancy tests later (I mean, I bought them, I might as well use them right?), I sat on our couch, confused and feeling guilty.

All I could think was I'm one of those stories now. The stories that people with good intentions but who haven't dealt with infertility, tell someone who is in the midst of infertility hell to try and comfort them. "Oh don't worry - I had a friend who tried for years, and they did an IUI that didn't work, they did an IUI that did work but she had a miscarriage, and then she got pregnant naturally." These stories are normally followed by a, "it could still happen for you." 

I fucking hate those stories.

Now I'm one of them. A cliche, a statistic.

It felt like a betrayal of my body. (I mean really? Years of holistic remedies, then pills and shots, and now you get pregnant on your own?)

It felt like a betrayal of the infertility community.

For years I wished and hoped and prayed to "just get pregnant," but when it happened I didn't feel like I deserved it - I know so many people who have been through so much more.

Someone would tell me (with the best of intentions), "I'm so glad it just happened for you." I know they meant it in a good way (so we didn't have to go through another pricey procedure with all the medicine, etc.), but it made me feel like they were only happy because we conceived "naturally."

I (obviously) didn't know what to think.

I was simultaneously clinging to this pregnancy and distancing myself from it. Every time I went to the bathroom I checked for blood. Every time I'd start to feel happy I'd think, "well, if it works out."

When I threw up every day for weeks I wasn't appreciative that the baby was growing, I wasn't happy I was showing symptoms, I was miserable, and I felt guilty for not savoring this experience, because I knew so many women who would give anything to have it.

It wasn't until I was 10 weeks (past the point I'd gotten with Cece) that I even let myself believe it was real - but even that I would caveat in my head, thinking, you're not out of the woods yet. Something could still go wrong.

At 12 weeks all still looked great - it was time for me to start believing in this pregnancy.

I had a few hard days after that - still sick, exhausted, and as I sat in tears one day I had a realization.

Just because you want something, doesn't mean it won't be hard.

This could apply to anything - job, marriage, relationships, etc. So I'm letting it be what it is. I'm pregnant, and I'm overjoyed by that! But I'm also recognizing this might be hard and overwhelming, but at the end of the day it ultimately doesn't matter how we conceived this baby.  I wouldn't be ashamed or feel guilty if we'd had another successful IUI, so I shouldn't feel that way about conceiving on our own.

Having this baby won't take away the years or heartbreak and pain, and it won't make me fight any less for the rights of people dealing with infertility. In fact, it will probably make me fight harder because it shouldn't take four and a half year.

So here's to the next few months, and riding out this journey as best I can. I promise to be honest, even if it's not always pretty. Thanks for coming along.

13 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I think this line sums it all up: 'Having this baby won't take away the years or heartbreak and pain, and it won't make me fight any less for the rights of people dealing with infertility. In fact, it will probably make me fight harder because it shouldn't take four and a half year.'

Struggling with fertility will always be a part of you, and you will always advocate for others who are struggling with it as well. But I can understand why you've struggled with feeling guilty and uncomfortable because you don't want to be that person who is like, 'see, just be patient and it will happen for you'. But you get to choose how you move forward after this and instead of belittling people's experiences and being pollyanna positive, you'll be the kind of advocate who holds the other person's hand and let's them know that you know how hard it is to struggle with this and how hopeless they feel. You don't have to insert your happy ending into your advocacy.

All that said, I am so happy for you guys. I'm so happy that your story took this unexpected turn and I can't wait to meet baby Shaw as I know he or she will be showered with love. I am glad that you are shifting towards excitement and acceptance, and I am happy you are done puking! :) But like you said, just because you want something doesn't mean it won't be hard so I fully expect complete honesty from you during this pregnancy!

Love you!

reinventingerin said...

Ditto to everything Lisa just said!

Nora said...

One of the many reasons I love you is for your honesty- it's not always roses & unicorns in the world and I'm glad you remind us of that.

I'm pretty sure Lisa takes the cake for the best comment; she sums everything I think & feel for you guys.

Baby Shaw is one lucky baby and I can't wait to meet him/her.

San said...

I don't comment often, but I had to say today: I am over the moon happy for you. And yes, it does not matter how you conceived... much less, that it happened naturally after all the time and effort you put into trying to get outside help. It does not matter. What matters is that your body finally cooperated and you're having a little baby growing in your belly! :)

CharisFaith said...

And you made me cry again but that's because I love you and I know I hardly ever comment but I have been praying for you and Ben. So very true about the fact that this is wonderful but might be hard and overwhelming. I think in this world where we see Hollywood reality it's easy to mistakenly think that it not supposed to have any difficult aspects. Watching friends go through pregnancy the difficult aspects do exist and it's not all rainbows and butterflies. It is amazing and wonderful and I am overjoyed for you and I too second what Lisa said. Hugs!!!

Stephany said...

I love your honesty and your bravery and your vulnerability. I love that you can acknowledge all of the feelings that come along with being an infertility warrior that is now pregnant. Things aren't always easy, even the things that we want the most. Hugs and love, friend.

Amy said...

I felt this/feel this. 2 1/2 years, 6 miscarriages, failed fertility treatments, PCOS. We stopped all vitamins, supplements, drugs, and decided to pursue foster to adopt. I still used opks, we still charted and had timed intercourse, but in our hearts we had given up. I ovulated for the first time in over a year, but the latest I had ever ovulated in my life, my RE flat out told me with an ovulation that late and my poor quality eggs there was no way we wouldn't miscarry if we got pregnant. We're due in May, baby was still going strong at our last check. It's been such an adjustment of thinking. I just keep telling myself maybe all this means it's really meant to be this time. And I pray the same for you!

Amber said...

You are my favourite. So honest and brave and I know your readers appreciate that so much. I think all the feelings you described are probably to be expected, even if they aren't completely welcome, and I think the best way to handle them is to address them directly - exactly like you're doing!

So much love. xo

26dishes.com said...

Wow... I'm looking for words that I can't find. This is just brilliant. Thank you. You're right to say that it doesn't matter how this baby was conceived, but, as far as I'm concerned, this baby and Cece were conceived exactly the same in one major way. They were both conceived in love; both wanted. Every single women dealing with infertility is blessed to have you as an advocate.

Katelin said...

I seriously love everything about this Becky. There are just so many feelings. All of them. I don't really have anything to add that hasn't already been said except a whole lot of love and hugs your way xoxo

Kathleen said...

I totally know how you feel! And I don't think people really understand unless they've been through infertility too. I never came to enjoy being pregnant even though I dreamed of it and prayed for it. And honestly, motherhood is the same way! I love it and want it so bad...but it is hard! Regardless, I'm still so happy for you. :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Pregnancy after intfertility is a new kind of mind fuck. ((((())))

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

You are the ultimate warrior, Becky. Seriously. Also, that feeling of being overjoyed, but overwhelmed: welcome to your first taste of parenthood, friend. =)

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