I have written and erased this post so many times since November 1st. It has been on my heart and mind that long and I am still struggling daily to put into words the things I have felt through this period. The time during which we tried for this baby was not as long as some people experience (or continue to experience). I think that's what has kept me hesitant--knowing that too many people still live the heartache of infertility daily. I cry for those people, and even those I don't know, at least weekly.
To start, the best I can do is talk about how pregnancy after infertility has felt for me. I have no idea what other women (or men, since dads are impacted, too) feel. Maybe some things are universal--I believe they probably are. However--disclaimer--these are my own personal feelings about my own personal infertility and pregnancy journey.
Blessed. Totally and fully. After 16 months of trying (after nearly a year apart), after hundreds of dollars thrown away on ovulation kits and more pregnancy tests than I ever want to see again, after multiple doctor's visits (some better than others), after endless tears and relationship tension and heartache. There is nothing I could feel but blessed by that little blue plus sign (and two pink lines, and the little screen with the word "pregnant") for the first time ever.
Fearful. Over so many things. Everything? Around week 8, just before our first ultrasound, I experienced "not feeling pregnant" for the first time. Cue hysteria. If I'd kept up with my What to Expect reading, I would have learned this was normal, but at the time it was so scary. And I cried a bunch, to my husband's dismay. Miscarriage statistics are terrifying and I couldn't get them out of my head until I got to see our little baby's heartbeat. Even between appointments, before I could feel regular movement, I would have moments of panic at the thought of losing it all in an instant.
Grateful. For so many reasons. Some might consider this the same thing as blessed but I categorize these emotions separately. I am eternally grateful to the universe that I have been given the opportunity to become a mother. Yes, I have been a full-time Mom for years, but to be the mother of a child I can love uninhibitedly and without interference? Totally priceless. The fact that I also get to grow this baby inside me is a miracle and I do not take one second of it for granted.
Whole. The hole in my heart has been filled since November 1st. A hole I wasn't sure could actually be remedied. Wanting a child is one of the most primal human urges and the ability to soothe that urge through pregnancy--or adoption--is the most amazing thing on the planet. The ability to love and raise a tiny person is an absolute privilege (and huge, awesome opportunity).
So that's where I am now. Two of my coworkers are pregnant--one about two weeks behind me and another just found out last week. Both of them got pregnant without trying or effort. (Both had been separated from their spouses for a while before joining them here, like me. Unlike me, one got pregnant 2 months after arriving and the other after just one week in country.) While I know that they will love their babies, I feel that perhaps my feelings about pregnancy are a bit different. Because I wanted this for so long, tried for this for so long, and literally ached for this baby rather than was surprised by it--I think I am honestly able to enjoy my pregnancy more. I feel like I can appreciate every part of it. I know both the heartache and the joy, and that makes the latter about a million times sweeter.