Pregnancy after Infertility
While the news about being pregnant should bring joy and excitement, for a woman who experienced infertility it often means dealing with a mix of emotions. The months or years of trying and going through infertility treatments gloom over the joyous experience she has dreamed about. Her experience of repeated failures and disappointments make it difficult to push aside the worries and concerns.
Infertility is a crisis and often leaves the woman with grief of previous losses, as well as anxiety and fear that she might not be able to carry a pregnancy, that there is no happy ending nine months down the road.
While she deals with the motions related to pregnancy after infertility, she still needs to check her blood levels, undergoes sonograms and has frequent contacts with the fertility clinic. This feeling of “everything is still in the air” makes some women numb. They protect themselves against the pain of possible loss by being cautiously optimistic - being “a little” pregnant.
Then, if everything goes well, the woman is transferred from the fertility clinic to a new and unfamiliar team of OB/GYN professionals. Women who previously longed to lose the label of “fertility patient”, now realize that they do not fit into the world of pregnancy. Initially, they might feel isolated as if they were in limbo belonging to neither the infertile or fertile worlds.
Pregnancy after infertility requires women (and men) to make the mental shift of changing their identity from an infertility patient to a pregnant person and prospective parent. This means learning to trust their own body, embrace the changes and emotional ups and down. But, mostly, to learn a new language towards themselves that is encouraging and compassionate.
My own journey through infertility and pregnancy after the treatment not only helped me to understand what many women and men are going through, but it motivated me to offer professional support as a therapist as well.
The Journey Counseling in Frederick, is where I offer individual, couples and group therapy to all who deal with fertility issue, experience pregnancy losses, struggle with adjusting to their new role as a pregnant person or parent.
I also offer Infertility Group and Miscarriage & Infant Loss Group for Women and their partners.
Going through a range of emotions while dealing with infertility or being pregnant is normal, if you feel like these emotions are overwhelming, stealing your sleep and impacting your life in many ways, it might be time to talk to someone who understands, who validates your feelings. And who works with you on developing coping skills that empower you to feel “yourself” again.