I’m convinced pregnancy after the nightmare of infertility is quite different from a “normal” pregnancy. While everything after our frozen embryo transfer has been medically the same as a typical pregnancy — something we are very grateful for — the emotions and memories of the previous year still have an impact. I think they always will, to some degree.
1. The pregnancy starts out less exciting
You’d think after waiting for so long, there would be screams of excitement, and nothing but celebration. While excitement and celebration occurred, so did plenty of hesitation. Throughout tests, procedures, and disappointments, we learned to brace ourselves. As much as I wanted to be positive, after the pregnancy test had two lines, I still had plenty of worries. I knew the faint line could disappear, and I held my breath every time I took another test — all eleven times. The line got darker, but I still had to wait until the blood test to really know I was really pregnant.
Once I got the positive from my doctor, we celebrated. We even told family. But that didn’t stop us from overanalyzing every single symptom I was — or wasn’t — experiencing.
3. Announcing early
Our choice to be public about our IVF experience came with one downside: We had to share the news. Luckily, we felt okay about sharing, but many people hesitate to share pregnancy news that early. But we knew there would be a time when people would start asking questions and making assumptions. The only real way to avoid this is to not tell people what’s going on in the first place, and in my opinion, that can sometimes be even harder than talking about it.
4. I can’t relate
Our child was conceived out of love, perseverance, and science. Many other children were only conceived out of love, or maybe even too much alcohol. This simple fact makes it difficult for me to relate to other expecting moms sometimes, because in the back of my mind I know it was probably a lot easier for them to get here. Maybe this will change as my due date gets closer, but after talking to some other moms who have been in my shoes, I know this isn’t unusual.
5. More pictures
We have more pictures of our kid. Even those who have complications during pregnancy just don’t have a photo of their child as an embryo. This was something that I always looked forward to.