Emotional Limbo

You know how sometimes you’re feeling all kinds of things, but you just can’t get the words out to talk about it?  Well, this is that kind of post.

Sometimes I can’t remember who I was before infertility.  Does it matter?  I suppose not.  What matters is who I am now.

People often ask me if I’m relieved now that I’m done with infertility.  Am I done?  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t deal with some aspect of that struggle.  A big part of what I deal with is figuring out who I am now that I’m on the other side of it.

I still get annoyed when people make stupid comments about getting pregnant.  The whole “just relax” thing still makes me irrationally angry, even when it’s not said to me or about me.  Yes, stress can affect your fertility, but it doesn’t cause infertility!

I’m irritated when people make innocent comments assuming that it was easy for me to get pregnant.  I generally politely correct them, but the assumption bothers me.  It’s silly because I certainly can’t expect the world to know that we struggled.

Pregnancy announcements still make me catch my breath.  They don’t knock the wind out of me, but I still get uncomfortable from time to time…and then I feel bad for having that kind of initial reaction.

I still have so many friends who are struggling, and supporting them is so important to me.  Is being a part of that community preventing me from moving on?  Is it helping me to remember where I’ve been?  Is it giving me an opportunity to learn about the pregnant side of infertility?  Do I even belong there?

I feel guilty for being pregnant when others are not.  I feel like I shouldn’t be grappling with all these crazy emotions when my journey was so much shorter than others.

So much of me is still in the infertility game.  I feel more comfortable there than I do at the OB, and I’m finding it hard to let go.  Maybe I don’t need to let it go though.  Maybe I just need to figure out how to incorporate it into my new life.

I need to be prepping myself to be a mother, but being pregnant is still so surreal to me.  I still check for blood every time I go to the bathroom.  I’m counting down the days until viability.  Is that morbid?

I’m supposed to be all giddy and excited about my babies, and of course I’m thrilled about them, but I have such a hard time believing that this is actually happening for us.

It’s like I’m stuck here in some sort of limbo.

I’m pregnant, so clearly something is working.  My babies are growing and healthy, so I must be doing something right.  Yet I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy when it comes to my body.

I know that my infertility isn’t my fault.  I know that we couldn’t get pregnant on our own because of my endometriosis.  Rationally, I get that, but my head still wonders why my uterus decided to fill itself up with so much gunk as to make growing a baby impossible.

I just wonder what it’s like to have a normal pregnancy.  I’m sure some of these feelings are typical for many pregnant women, but I’ll never really know.  Does it matter?  Not really, but I’m curious as to who I would be as a mom if we hadn’t struggled.  I’m curious as to who I will be as a mom since we did struggle to get here.

I don’t know if any of this makes sense, but that’s okay.  It feels good to get it off my chest and out of my muddled brain.

Comments

  1. I’m a few weeks behind you. Makes total sense. I just dont think we’ll be completely out of the limbo stage anytime soon. Because when our babies are born and we’re in the mommy groups and hear someone talk about getting pregnant easily again, it’s going to suck all over again.

    So maybe the way out is when we’re done having kids and are just trying to get them through school. The thought sucks, but I figure, might as well get comfy in limbo land because I dont really fit anywhere else.
    .-= Jin´s last blog ..Things I’ve Learned So Far =-.

  2. I know that my journey was so much shorter than many, and sometimes that makes me think that I don’t “get” to have the feelings that I do, but I know that irrational. So I’m going to share them!

    It’s so hard for me to imagine, even though my belly jumps around and I can feel someone kicking me pretty constantly, and I go to the OB all the time, that I am actually pregnant and I am actually going to birth a baby. I still check for blood. And I’ve been able to breathe a little better the last week, knowing that a baby born now has an excellent chance of having a completely normal life (after a bit in the NICU).

    This whole experience is just so – it’s so up in the air 100% of the time.
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Lately =-.

  3. It doesn’t HAVE to make sense – it’s what you’re feeling, after all! I can’t even begin to imagine the conflicting emotions.. but it’s to be expected after the journey you’ve had to get where you are today. I think that you’ll always use your knowledge and empathy to help others, it’s just part of who you are as a person. It’s nothing to apologise for!

    And while I know nothing of pregnancy, I think that being worried for your babies and being doubtful of your body, is fairly common for first time mums? Just keep doing what you’re doing, and time’s going to keep on flying by! xx
    .-= Aly´s last blog ..Baby Steps =-.

  4. I love this post. Honesty is so refreshing. You do a wonderful job of helping us glimpse into the mind of someone who’s dealt with infertility.

    I sometimes wonder what if I would be a better mother, be more prepared if I had been trying to get pregnant. Getting pregnant, no matter what is going on in your life, comes with a HUGE rush of emotions and adjustments. Getting pregnant wasn’t on my radar, so it took me a good while to adjust to the information (and was a big part of why we didn’t tell anyone for a long time).

    It’s the complete other side of the coin from struggling to get pregnant – but it also comes with its own challenges and difficulties. We are no where near financially ready to have a child. This wasn’t part of our plans right now. At all. I know that a child is a wonderful blessing, but man! it also changes a lot of life plans unexpectedly.

    I hear friends talking about decorating the nursery or naming their baby and WISH that was what I was thinking about, instead of how we’ll afford health insurance for this baby and if we’ll be able to make rent each month.

    When I emailed a friend for advice about midwives when I first found out I was pregnant (who had struggled with ‘subfertility’ for two year before having her first child), she was gracious enough to recognize that I was struggling with the surprise factor on top of all the other emotions that come with pregnancy (and the hormones!).

    This isn’t to say that being surprised is similar to dealing with infertility AT ALL – I can’t even begin to comprehend the heartbreak and roller coaster of emotions.

    (Uh, this was way too long. Oops.)
    .-= OurLittleAshley´s last blog ..Adventures in Apartment Hunting. Be Jealous. =-.

  5. We have just started trying and already those facebook announcements make me catch my breath! I’m not sure there are many “normal” first pregnancies. I have a good friend that is pregnant (it took her a year to get pregnant) and she has a lot of the same thoughts you do. I know when I get pregnant, I won’t stop worrying and it won’t feel real until I am holding that baby in my arms.

    I think you are totally normal (or close enough at least). And, as I have said before, you make one absolutely gorgeous pregnant woman!
    .-= Becs´s last blog ..I Can’t Think of a Good Title Right Now =-.

  6. This post hits me in the heart. Hits me because we took such different journeys and yet I like to think we are ending up in the same place and yet your words make it sound like we’re not. It hits me because I loudly echo your guilt associated with how long it took you to get pregnant – I’m incredibly guilt-ridden when I think of my friends who started their journey before me and continue it after me. Hits me because I still look for blood, too; I think it’s natural given we’ve spent most of our lives looking (and hoping) for blood. Hits me because I wonder if I would ever be a mother, not what kind of mother I’d be, if pregnancy didn’t come so easily to me. I think it’s natural to question things – it makes us think, makes us stronger in our convictions, makes us better decision makers and so on. Don’t knock yourself for thinking; just come to peace with your answers.
    .-= Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks´s last blog ..Sick =-.

  7. I really think that if anything it makes you appreciate it that much more and makes you deserve it that much more. I’m not saying you deserve to be a mother more than the next woman but you see these teenagers getting pregnant from their “first time” and having an abortion a month down the road. Even if they weren’t ready for a baby at the time in their life I’m sure had they even known of someone else struggle to conceive they would have given it more thought.

    You struggles and came out the other side. You fought the fight and won. My just knowing you makes me so proud. I know that when I have a child I’m going to think of people like you and everything you went through. Especially to those who have trouble, you give everyone hope.

  8. You are deserving.
    Trust yourself.

    That is all.
    (Big font necessary.)
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Wedding Season! =-.

  9. Oh, Erin, I feel so so many of those things. I guess I should know now that those feelings don’t go away. I wonder every day if I’ll ever “enjoy” this pregnancy. If I’ll ever stop worrying. If I’ll ever believe this might actually be happening. But I’m an infertile forever, and I’m not sure exactly what that means for the future.
    .-= The Baby Race´s last blog ..A Few Things =-.

  10. Erin, this is why I love reading your blog. Your raw emotion and honesty in the post is incredible. I admire you and the countless women who have fought to concieve. I cannot relate to how hard that stuggle must be and I pray everyday for those going through it. I think the conflicting feelings are natural since you weren’t a “normal” mom, but I also think that you will eventually feel that everything is right. Praying for you (and Ted and the girls) always!
    .-= Cammy@ClassroomConfessions’´s last blog ..For Better or For Worse =-.

  11. You know what Erin? I think you handle all of this with sheer and utter grace. Your openness, honesty, willing to figure things, stay true to who you are and so much more is inspiring and amazing.

    For whatever it’s worth I think you’re navigating all these new waters just fine!
    .-= Nora´s last blog ..Chartering Single Waters =-.

  12. I don’t have advice or anything for you….because I can’t imagine your situation. But I do think that being aware and thinking about your emotions is probably very healthy.
    .-= stephanie´s last blog ..Bachelorette Party (not mine!) =-.

  13. Pregnant infertiles have it so hard, and I mean that seriously. You are part of such a small, elite group, it’s difficult to find your place. You don’t feel like you fit in with the infertiles anymore, because they are still struggling to be where you are. You certainly don’t fit into the “normal” pregnant category. I can imagine how this would make someone feel like they are in limbo. I want you to know that you will always be welcome in the struggle infertile group. Despite your pregnant belly, we are still here supporting you and cheering you on. There may be days where we can read pregnancy updates or can’t comment because we don’t have the right advice to give, but we are still here. I think it’s important to remain a part of this group because it helps you remember where you came from, BUT you still need to find a way to be this new person: a pregnant infertile. And eventually you will need to find a way to be another new person: an infertile mom.

    I really loved reading this post. It’s so honest and real, and extremely emotional. I can tell you’ve been struggling with these feeling for a long time. Thank you for expressing them to us. Thinking of you always and hoping you find some peace with all of this soon.

    <3

  14. I often wonder what will happen on the other side of infertility. Dealing with it right now, I can relate to the catching your breath with pregnancy announcements side of things. My hope is that once I do get pregnant, I’ll be comfortable inside that realm. But the truth is, that I probably won’t be until much further along the line.

    I mean, it’s so hard to struggle with a body that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do that when you get it to the right spot, it just doesn’t feel right.

    In other words…I feel ya.
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..Open Letters Friday, Volume XXVIII =-.

  15. I’m not in the baby-making stage of my life yet, but I can’t imagine hearing “just relax!” on top of all of the other things that must be weighing on the mind of someone struggling with infertility (run-on sentence much?). I feel like it’s something someone says when they want to provide comfort but don’t know what else to say. It’s probably better that they just keep their mouths shut. 😛 Anyway, congrats & best wishes for a healthy pregnancy. And just relax (haha).
    .-= Freckle on the Nose´s last blog ..The first of many =-.

  16. It’s funny to me that people think that once you’re pregnant, you’re no longer infertile – from all the blogs I read and my 2 short glimpses into pregnancy were very much tainted and affected by IF. Those emotions never go away, like you said, IF very much changes you as a person. It changes who you will be as a parent and how you see the world. It doesn’t magically go away.

    Thanks for writing this post, love the honesty.
    .-= Al´s last blog ..Isn’t it ironic… =-.

  17. I’m cycling now myself (two week wait actually) and just at the end of a move to our new house, so I’m stressed right the heck out, and WAY behind on my blog roll, so I’m just now getting over here.

    I don’t say much, but I have to comment on this. This is my 6th IVF cycle. I’ve been pregnant twice before, and I’ve lost both pregnancies, one of which was twins from young, presumably healthy, donor eggs. I totally understand how you feel, because I’m feeling it right now.

    My official beta isn’t until Friday, but I’ve got a couple of positive pee sticks. I’m elated, and terrified. I feel horrible for being elated, because the date we transfered these embryos was (not by design, that’s just how it happened) the due date for the twins. I should not be so happy, because I’m still mourning that loss, and I don’t want to feel like I’m replacing them, yanno? (This is completely infertile woman un-logic, and I know that, but only other infertile women understand.)

    I feel horrible for being terrified, because I think of all my friends who are still struggling so hard, or who are currently dealing with recent losses, or who have given up entirely and are heartbroken, and I know that they’d all give ANYTHING to be sitting right here where I am now.

    I also don’t even remember anymore who I was before I was infertile, before my entire life revolved around my poor battered ovaries and my stupid broken body. It’s okay though, most of the time, because I couldn’t be that person again anyway, even if I tried. Infertility changes us and shapes us and molds us, and when it doesn’t break us, it makes us stronger and more resilient than we ever were before.

    Ummm wow. Sorry this got so long, and I don’t even know if I have a point, other than I do understand how you feel, and how you feel is utterly normal. Please don’t think it isn’t.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Vegan Fried Un-Chicken =-.

  18. Thank you so much for bringing this post to my attention. This was exactly my mindset in my post today, and it feels so good to know that I’m not alone. “I wonder what it’s like to have a normal pregnancy”… I think about that too all the time. What would it be like if I had just gotten pregnant 5 years ago, on my own… how would this whole experience be for me?

    Thank you for sharing… and I’ll join your “countdown” (and send you prayers for a healthy pregnancy).
    .-= Busted Kate´s last blog ..Pregnancy is the New Cancer =-.

  19. Hi…I stumbled across your blog randomly while going from blogs to Twitter. I was struck by your use of the term “pregnant infertile” on your Twitter account and since I couldn’t see your tweets, I came over here to read your blog. This post really resonated with me…I actually wrote a post along similar lines this week on my blog. I titled it “My Name is Glam-O Mommy and I’m Infertile.” I have a 22-month-old daughter who was conceived after a heartbreaking infertility battle. I still feel marked by what I went through to have her, although she is simply the light of my life, and I am ultimately so glad I went through all of it, all the emotional despair and hellishness that was my life when I was going through fertility treatments, to have her. I actually created a list of things not to say to people trying to get pregnant, and the relaxing thing is number 1 on that list! I would love for you to check out the post if you have a minute…maybe it will help you to know that what you are feeling is normal (I, too, struggled with feelings of failure when I couldn’t get pregnant without help) and that someone else understands too. I wish you many blessings for the remainder of your pregnancy…your babies will be so worth it and are so lucky to have you as their mom!
    .-= Glam-O-Mommy´s last blog ..Getting to Know You- Getting to Know All About You =-.

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