Pregnancy After Infertility: Help Processing Your Emotions
Infertility is about more than not having a baby – it can take a serious emotional toll. It can compromise your sense of control over your life and your body. After all, many women see having a baby as an important part of how they see their lives unfolding. Many women with infertility won’t be able to conceive without medical intervention, if at all. Although you’ll certainly be overjoyed by your much-longed for pregnancy, the eventuality can come with a lot of baggage. Here, we discuss how you might be feeling during pregnancy after infertility and how you can cope.
How You Might Feel During Pregnancy After Infertility
If you’ve experienced infertility, it can be difficult to feel like just another pregnant woman. Many pregnant women assume everything will work out – but for you, it might feel quite different. Some women will even feel guilty, whether it’s because they’ve managed to conceive while their infertile friends can’t or because of the loss of previous pregnancies.
You may be thinking some of the following:
I am obsessing over symptoms of miscarriage or premature labor.
I find it difficult to transition from a fertility specialist’s care to an OB/GYN or midwife.
I desire more ultrasounds and checkups to keep making sure everything is ok.
I am nervous about my ability to carry a healthy pregnancy.
I am afraid to bond with my baby until I know for sure they will live.
I am terrified to buy baby items, for fear of somehow jinxing my pregnancy.
How to Manage These Emotions
Please know these emotions are completely normal. Other women who have experienced pregnancy after infertility have had them, and you certainly won’t be the last. However, the emotional toll needn’t mean pregnancy is a joyless experience.
Below are some tips about how to manage these feelings:
Find an OB/GYN who understands your history and concerns.
Educate yourself about pregnancy and birth. Although you shouldn’t obsess over the symptoms, doing your research can ease anxiety.
Begin to prepare for your baby’s arrival. While it may be scary, it is helpful to learn basic infant care ahead of time.
Having this baby doesn’t mean it replaces the one that is lost. You are still entitled to your feelings.
Remember, your partner, friends, and family will be there to help you through this complicated time.
Seeking Professional Help
For some women, the anxiety might warrant professional help. If you find your feelings of guilt or depression are getting in the way of your life, it’s ok to seek help from your doctor or a therapist.
Such symptoms could include extreme fatigue, insomnia, a loss of appetite, or thoughts about harming yourself.
Remember, becoming a mother is something you’ve always wanted – and it’s important you’re there for your baby. Loss and infertility have a serious emotional impact, but remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With the proper support, you can find joy in pregnancy after infertility.