Stuck Between Two Worlds: Pregnancy After Infertility

Countless blog entires and chat room conversations deal with the deep isolation that comes with infertility. The inability to share one's fears and struggles can be debilitating on numerous aspects of one's life. Many of us take solace in our fellow infertile friends we've made through social networking and blogging. It's a tight knit community that allows for meaningful bonds to be formed, where one's sadness is met with endless words of support and virtual hugs.

And then one day, someone finally gets the much desired BFP. It is a day of celebration, shared on some level by everyone. Words of congratulations and excitement are passed around. One of us has finally made it to the other side of the dark tunnel, opening the door for more hope to be experienced by others, and that someday, we will all meet on the other side. Unfortunately, the good news doesn't happen to all at the same time. Some, most, are left behind.

As the initial beta numbers turn into updates of heart beats and ultrasounds, you may find yourself in a different type of isolation: after countless months/years of TTC, you know better than to announce to the world you're pregnant at 7 weeks. And yet, you're also no longer experiencing the grueling day to day of infertility treatments. This infertility to pregnancy purgatory can feel endless and lonely.

There is no right way to move on to this next chapter. There is no magical moment when suddenly you can proudly announce to the world that you too are with child. That time of accepting your undeniable luck can take weeks and even months (it took me over 5 months to finally admit that I was really going to have a baby). Meanwhile, you tread lightly. Trying to take everyday as it comes. Finding friends who can support you during this time can be even harder than finding friends who are coping with infertility. (Early) pregnancy after infertility can ironically turn into a time of longing for the camaraderie you'd shared for so long with other infertiles. Meanwhile, those who are still in the trenches assume that you must be in complete bliss, but in truth you're living in great fear; fear of having to start all over again, fear of finding out that you never "graduated."

My advice would be to find a couple of people (close friends or family) who have been there for you in real life through the tough times (doesn't have to be limited to IF struggles). Sharing the news with someone will encourage you to begin to embrace this new chapter. Don't deny yourself the right to be happy. And remember those who are still struggling and don't forget what it felt like to be in their shoes -- all of those dreadful pregnancy announcements on Facebook are still just as unacceptable now as they were then. Stay in touch with your IF friends and continue to offer as much support as is asked of you. Yes, you will indeed lose touch with many of them (either be it their choice or just the evolution of life), but some will remain your friends forever.

Being pregnant after infertility doesn't mean you no longer belong to the infertility community, it simply means you are a symbol of hope to many and an advocate for infertility to a new community -- the pregnant/parenting community. You still carry a responsibility to raise awareness for the 7.3 million who are still fighting to have a family of their own.


 
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