The Pregnant Infertile

the-pregnant-infertile-flickr-textMonth after month I lived a Groundhog’s Day of monitoring my basal body temperature, urinating on ovulation predictor sticks, consuming fertility drugs, giving blood, putting my feet in the stirrups, evaluating cervical mucous, deciphering ovulation pains versus menstrual cramps, holding my breath for the two minutes my pregnancy test took to determine my fate, crying after the result window revealed another failure, swallowing my heartache, and vowing to try again… and again… and again.

I was broken.  My body unabashedly denied my fervent efforts to build a family, and no matter how hard I tried to look on the bright side, the fear of never achieving my dream was devastating.

But one uncharacteristically breezy July morning, I was given the news I’d waited years to hear.  

I was… pregnant?

But how?  

I mean, I knew how.  But still…. HOW?!?!

Every second of every hour of every day of every month of my pregnancy seemed perched atop a teetering toothpick.  I awaited a disastrous end to my most awaited dream, feeling it was all too good to be true.  But with each visit to the OBGYN, the shock of my pregnancy slowly swirled into a reality.

Never before did I feel more beautiful.  I don’t really know how I looked to everyone else, but in my mind’s eye, my body was unstoppable.  I posted photos of my growing bump on Facebook, feeling intensely proud of the baby living just beneath my skin.  I wanted to celebrate each day of my pregnancy as if it may be my last.

Because as a woman who struggled to conceive, I know firsthand how precisely the planets must align for some women to carry a child.

I enjoyed my pregnancy.  Immensely.  But even still, I analyzed every cramp, pain, body excretion, and movement (or lack thereof) possible.  I tried to relax.  I failed.  I tried to believe in miracles.  I didn’t.  Instead, I ticked off the days on the calendar and exhaled in teensy, tiny increments for nearly ten months.   

My fears were complicated by an enormous sense of guilt.  I don’t know why infertility does that, but it does.  I felt guilt each day for celebrating what I knew so many still struggled to achieve.  My experience with the infertility community led me to believe that, for the most part, the reproductively challenged were supportive of one another’s successes.  Regardless, the celebrations were cloaked with heartaches, and for that, I often found myself struggling to make eye contact with the women still in the trenches.  I was secure in the fact that I’d always championed for others, yet I wondered how sincere I’d seem now that I found myself on the way to motherhood.  I could tell them I had faith their day would be coming soon, but the truth was, I didn’t know – even with my own miracle inside – if I really felt that way.

It wasn’t until my baby was home for a few weeks that I finally felt on solid ground.  It wasn’t until then that I was able to fully exhale and admit to believing that miracles can actually happen.

I now have a child.  A perfect child.  And quite possibly an only child, because even though he is proof of a beautiful miracle, I doubt I’ll ever stop feeling infertile.  Only now, I’m a grateful one.

How did your struggle with infertility affect your pregnancy?

What do you think?

The Pregnant Infertile

Jennifer Bruno is a credentialed trainer by day and a freelance writer and aspiring photographer by night. Raised in rural Kansas, Jen moved to sunny Florida after college where she met her husband, who married her despite hearing her sing Dixie Chicks karaoke. Shortly after saying “I do”, they moved to New York City to fulfill their dream of living amongst the bright lights and skyscrapers. They currently share their cramped apartment with two modelesque miniature dachshunds named Millie an ... More

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4 comments

  1. Cait says:

    My first was an accident and now that im ready i feel like it will never happen

  2. Carrie says:

    I can so relate to this and I posted about this topic recently on my own blog. The scars of infertility fade, but they never seem to go away completely. My little girl just turned 2 and I still can’t believe she’s here sometimes. Now that we are TTC #2, I am a little worried that I’ll have trouble again. The worry creeps in again…

  3. Julie says:

    I get this so very much. I have two beautiful biological children that surprised us. One is 3 and showed up not long after my husband was laid off. She is an amazing little person. My son is almost 3m old and showed up after a devastating ectopic and two early miscarriages. Infertility makes you anxious when those two lines finally appear, but dealing with three losses makes you almost insane when those two lines appear.
    I did deal with guilt with my son because I was headed for a c-section and I was grieving the loss of the birth I wanted. I felt selfish for being sad that I could possible have a c-section. How many women would do anything for a baby and here I was getting upset because my baby might not come the way I wanted him to. I finally told myself that it was ok to be sad for the loss of my dream, but to remember that no matter how he got here, to rejoice that I was going to have a baby. After 24 hours of labor and little progress I did end up with a c-section, but because I’d allowed myself a moment to grieve it all turned out ok. Now, he is just my son and I am happy he is here. 🙂

  4. Katie says:

    My husband and I tried to conceive for 3 years, 1 of which was filled with huge doses of fertility medications and the accompanying side effects. Now that we have successfully conceived and I am finding that I’m less excited than I thought I would have been. I want to laugh and dance and be thrilled about all of this, but I’m still too scared to celebrate.

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