Reflections on Infertility at 6 Months

It’s time for me to break the blog silence, and write again. In my last post, I mentioned it has been hard for me to write when I know others out there are still struggling. We are so grateful to be about six months through our pregnancy with baby “Casper.” We also understand our pregnancy might sting for some people. The hard thing about overcoming infertility is when you know other people are still dealing with that nagging pain and emptiness that used to feel way too familiar to you too. I have a friend who has been going through fertility treatments far longer than we have. She and her husband have experienced more loss and heartbreak than anyone should ever have to endure. They are wonderful people, and Chris and I want them to get pregnant so badly. And here we are moving forward, and watching them go through the process again. It’s unfair. It’s cruel. It’s a reminder of how we should never take what we have for granted. We pray for them, and for all those of you who are still struggling, everyday.

Our struggles with infertility have definitely shaped how we’ve approached sharing our pregnancy. For starters, Chris and I have not posted anything at all on social media about being pregnant. I remember how much those posts used to break my heart, and I’d never want to bring that pain on someone else. I’m still not back on Facebook, and have been away from it for almost a year. The reasons are twofold–first, I find myself wasting too much time on it when I have an account. Second, I still don’t like pregnancy announcements! I find myself a little bit jealous and judgey when I find out people are pregnant, and assuming it was probably a cakewalk for them. Today, I learned perhaps I shouldn’t automatically jump to those conclusions.

 

Today we took our first parenting course at the Los Angeles RIE Institute. The RIE philosophy is all about respecting your baby, and treating him/her as a person with feelings, rather than an object. The RIE principles really resonate with Chris and me. Our class had five couples in it, and we were really surprised to find out one of the other couples had achieved their pregnancy through IVF, as well. This community is bigger than we realize. It made me feel less alone.

Every infertility situation is so unique. Midst the joy, anxiety, and gratitude of my pregnancy, every now and then I think about the future. Of course, I find myself regularly wishing that “Casper” was already here, and wanting to speed things up. In those moments I have to remind myself to be thankful for this opportunity, this pregnancy, and this journey. I don’t want our baby to arrive a minute too soon. I want him to grow strong, so when he’s here, we can simply enjoy being the parents of a healthy baby boy.

In other moments, I find myself having the realization that this pregnancy is not a cure-all for the challenges we’ve faced. For a long time, during the phases of fertility treatments and ups and downs, I thought of pregnancy as the finish line. After becoming pregnant, I quickly realized infertility had left some pretty thick emotional scars, which resulted in being a fairly anxious mommy-to-be. Even despite meditation, therapy, positive self-talk, and affirmations I found myself being uncontrollably anxious in the beginning. We bought a doppler device so I could listen to our son’s heartbeat in these challenging moments. That little tool helped me so much in the first trimester. Now that I can feel our son moving, I have relaxed a even more. Every milestone helps me to overcome the tormenting fears of the past.

Our hearts are overflowing with the gratitude that this pregnancy is going smoothly. We met with a perinatal specialist in weeks 10 and 20 to double check on our sons growth and development. Both times I felt exceedingly anxious in the days right before our appointments. And both times, the doctor told us everything looks “perfect.” What a huge sigh of relief for Chris and me. Every bit of positive information about our son makes me feel more confident and secure in this pregnancy.

 

 

23 thoughts on “Reflections on Infertility at 6 Months

  1. g2the4thpower says:

    I am so glad to hear from you guys! Happy all is going perfectly. So great! It’s normal, all that you’ve been feeling. Pregnancy after dealing with fertility issues, for me, was much different from a run of the mill, ignorant bliss healthy pregnancy. I was less nervous as time passed and the pregnancy progressed, but it wasn’t rant shaken until my baby arrived safely in my arms. Your little Casper will be here before you now it! Wishing you a comfortable, healthy, and happy final trimester! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MrsD says:

    Your post perfectly sums up everything I’ve been thinking/feeling lately- from the constant fear of something going wrong, to the “survivor’s guilt” of knowing how many others out there are still struggling, and the decision not to make any social media announcements. Very well-written and SO TRUE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • heatherhopeful says:

      Thank you! I’m so excited to follow your journey with your little girl. It is crazy how much they grow at this stage. We’re almost 24 weeks, and hearing your description of 27 weeks made me realize this growth spurt is just getting started. ❤

      Like

  3. True Hugbo says:

    Welcome back. I very much understand where you are coming from. My son is almost 4 months old and pregnancy announcements still sting. There is a sense of pain and loss that won’t go away. Our fertility psychologist explained it as a bit like being in remission from cancer – you’re never really cured. I wonder if, one day when we decide that our family is complete (likely after #2) I will be able to more fully move on.

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  4. srabird says:

    Lovely to read your update, glad all is going well. I totally understand where you are coming from – my good friend just got pregnant with her second baby on their first night with no contraception. I went home and cried!! She has no idea of course, but the scars are still there despite me now being pregnant myself.
    I hope the next three months continue to be good for the three of you, It’s going to be May/June before you know it! xx

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  5. ashleykyleanderson says:

    Heather!

    First, I can’t tell you how long I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you! Things have been so busy since Ross came into our lives, as I think you might understand, and there has been a lot on my list that hasn’t gotten done in a timely manner lately. I’ve thought of you so often over these months and wonder all the time how you are doing. I read your most recent post a while ago and was so excited to hear about the updates in your life, but I completely understand that blogging is different for you now. I feel the same way, even though there have been things I’ve often wanted to say; it just hasn’t always felt right.

    So… is there some baby news you’d life to share?? I’d really love to hear about it and maybe see some pics! I hope everything went smoothly during delivery and that you guys are all just enjoying being together right now. They are such precious days and they go by so unbelievably fast! I can’t believe Ross will already been 5 months old this week because it almost feels like he just got here– and yet, it’s hard to even remember what life was like before him already. I am so excited for you guys and this time in your lives. You are going to be really wonderful parents!

    I know you’re staying away from Facebook, but if you ever find your way back, come find me! I’d love to keep in contact with you and watch baby grow– email is good too! You’ve been there pretty much since the beginning of my blogging journey through IVF & surrogacy, and I appreciate your friendship and support through some of the most difficult experiences of my life more than I can say. It means so much!

    Also, in celebration of Casper, I have a little something to send you! Could you send me your address? I promise not to wait as long to send it as I did to write this!!! 😉 Send me an email! ashleykyle.anderson@gmail.com

    Love to you & Chris. xx

    Like

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