A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Dying Barren and Alone

Hello, Ostrich. It is Nurse Lovely Pants from Dr. Petrel’s office. I’m calling with great news. Your pregnancy test today is positive. Your HcG levels are very reassuring.  We’d like you to continue with your medications for…

Friday’s HcG: 260

Today’s HcG: 668

After I got the message on Friday, I wandered around my home trying to find something to do. I’ve spent so much time thinking about how to get pregnant, but so little time thinking about actually being pregnant. I am entirely unprepared.

I’m still not sure what to do with all this. I’m not exactly happy as much as I am relieved. We now know this Ostrich is capable of getting pregnant (albeit with a lot of intervention.) That is certainly farther than I’ve got before. What I am not capable of is thinking beyond that. All I can say is that when I checked with the nurse 30 minutes ago, I was still pregnant.

What do non-infertile people do when they find out they are pregnant? Do they plan nurseries? Start researching daycare? Buy ironic onesies? I have no such urges. Mostly, I just keep thinking I haven’t gotten my period yet.

I wish I could feel that unbridled excitement I’ve witnessed in others so many times. I wish I could use multiple exclamation points about how I’m sooooo happpppy!!! Right now, I’m still just sooooo shocked!!!

If I’m being honest, I feel like a bad person. I know so many couples that would be over the moon right now. Tap dancing in the streets kind of shit. Some of you are probably a little angry with me, which I understand. But I can’t exhale. I can’t feel “happy.”

I do, however, feel grateful. So I’m going to start there.



  1. thebarrenlibrarian · December 8, 2014

    I feel happy for you!

    • thecommonostrich · December 8, 2014

      Thank you so much! It’s taken a while to get here, and I’m harboring a whole ton of denial. It sinks in eventually, right?

      • thebarrenlibrarian · December 8, 2014

        Give it a month. Or until the morning sickness kicks in. Its just now starting to feel “real” to me now that im bumpin a little bit 🙂

  2. mamajo23 · December 8, 2014

    I so get this feeling. When I got that call it felt like a bit of relief mixed with new panic to lose it. I am hoping you are slowly able to start feeling happy as things progress.

    • thecommonostrich · December 8, 2014

      Ex-actly. I’m still expecting my doctor’s office to call and tell me they got my results mixed up. Because at this point, that feels more probable.

      It’s donning on me very slowly.

      • mamajo23 · December 8, 2014

        Totally ok- it doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful. I just hope that slowly you can feel true happiness and gratitude and treasure that little life growing inside you.

  3. My Perfect Breakdown · December 8, 2014

    You don’t have to be excited or happy today. Maybe you will be eventually once the shock wears off and the fears dissipate. Give it time and appreciate the small things for now.

  4. Reb · December 8, 2014

    I agree with all the others! You don’t have to feel happy, and I’m sure none of us would be mad at you. We all know well enough how our difficult experiences can shape our emotions. We’ll just all feel enough happiness for you, until you get to a point where it’s more real and more sure. Congratulations!

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      Thanks for picking up my slack in the happiness department! I am getting there, little by little. It’s just a bit surreal…

  5. julieann081 · December 8, 2014

    I didn’t feel immediately happy either. It IS shocking and it took quite awhile for me to get over that (if I am over it . . .). I’m happy for you and sending lots of kind wishes your way!

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      Thank you so much, dear! I’m really glad to hear that other people have struggled with this early on. I am not a weirdo! At least on this subject. 😉

  6. Haisla · December 8, 2014

    Woohoo!!! I am totally tap dancing on your behalf!!!! I can understand your shock and disbelief, though, and just hope that it will soon be replaced by total joy. You so deserve happiness. For the time being just savour the sense of gratitude. This has made my day.xxx

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      And your comment just made mine! It starting to don on me, but veeerry slooowly. The most I will commit to right now is making a list of foods high in folic acid.

  7. labmonkeyftw · December 9, 2014

    Oh Ostrich, hurrah! I AM sooo happy for you! Those are lovely betas, right on the money.
    It totally makes sense to be stunned and sober about this. Remember from now and forever: there’s no right way to be pregnant. You can sail about benignly smiling at the world from your warm and rosy state of fecundity. You can carry on as normal and remember to pick up a crib eventually. You can be happy, you can be stunned, you can be frustrated: it’s your body and your life, and there’s no wrong way to do this (folic acid and alcohol tenets aside).
    It is, however, a new adventure, and I’m excited for you to be on this road!

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      You’ve nailed it. There is no right way to be pregnant. I’ve long held that there is no right way to handle infertility- we’re all just figuring it out on our own. There is no reason that pregnancy doesn’t follow a similar set of (non) rules.

      Thanks for your ever rational comments, my dear!

  8. mrsaligators · December 9, 2014

    It’s a very normal feeling. My friends and family close to me who know that I’m pregnant act like I’m a circus freak because I’m not over the moon excited and already planning my baby shower. I’m excited – but I’m also terrified. For us dealing with infertility or RPL, we only know this story not working out…that’s our experience…so when it finally does, it’s hard to accept it as real. Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy!

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      Thank you so much! I feel better knowing that other people also struggle with excitement but also fear and disbelief. I haven’t told any of my family, just two close friends. And I plan on leaving it that way until I’ve worked through some of my own emotional baggage.

  9. g2the4thpower · December 9, 2014

    So what did you end up doing on test night? Go to a nice dinner with hubby? How did you celebrate??

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      We did celebrate! We went to a fancy movie theater (that serves mocktails) and went out to dinner. It was a really lovely evening, because we were processing all this together.

      If you can swing it, I highly recommend spending that time with your partner– regardless of outcome.

      • g2the4thpower · December 9, 2014

        That sounds lovely! Great advice. 🙂

  10. g2the4thpower · December 9, 2014

    Congrats, btw, of course!!! I’m only a tad angry with you. 😉

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      HA! Thanks!

      And I know that “tad angry” feeling all too well. I’m a little angry with myself, truth be told. “Be euphoric, goddamnit!”

  11. Elizabeth · December 9, 2014

    This update made my day! Congratulations. 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      Thanks! Your comment just made my day. It’s starting to become a little bit more real every day.

  12. pajamamommas · December 9, 2014

    Congratulations! That’s fabulous news!!!!!!
    And ditto all of the wise comments above, especially “there’s no right way to be pregnant.” Being pregnant is kind of a major life transition, so it makes sense that it would take a while to sink in. And of course it feels even more risky since it has taken so much time/effort/$/angst to get here.

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      I do wonder about that– when you’re coping with IF, it feels like the stakes are higher.

      Thanks! I’m slowly getting used to the idea. 😉

  13. waitingbetweenthelines · December 9, 2014

    Wonderful news and congratulations… I can completely relate to the your reservations though and I’m sure as time passes and the pregnancy progresses healthily, you will be able to breathe out and enjoy.

    • thecommonostrich · December 9, 2014

      Thanks so much! I’m still dipping my toe into the waters, so to speak. If it weren’t for the persistent exhaustion, I don’t know I’d believe it at all.

  14. lucy50 · December 10, 2014

    I came online tonight just to check on you. I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU! What I’ve learned in the IF journey is, oddly, getting pregnant almost seems like the easy part. I mean, it’s not easy. It took me almost three years. I still feel awkward in prenatal group conversations. I still feel weird about buying baby stuff. People ask me if I’ve planned the nursery and I’m like, no, I’m just trying to get through doctor’s appointments right now. It never goes away. I will pass along to you what someone told me: Enjoy being pregnant, just enjoy it and don’t look back, you’re pregnant, and the shit is working the way it works, and in the end, everything will be all right no matter what because it always is.

    You’ll find the IF community a little different after you become pregnant. Not bad or good different, just different. Just like everything else is different now.

    • thecommonostrich · December 10, 2014

      You’re awesome. I do appreciate how excited other people are for me. I am too- but it’s mixed in with a whole shit load of emotions I was not expecting.

      I spent the past 2.5 working so damn hard to get pregnant. This seems deceptively easy by comparison. Of course, I’m not too far along at this point…

      Thank you (and your friend) for your excellent advice: I do want to enjoy this part, especially because I didn’t think I would ever get here.

  15. Stefanie @ My Crazy Beautiful Life · December 10, 2014

    My therapist always tells me, our feelings are always valid, we feel how we feel, and we can’t control our feelings. You’ve been through so much to get where you are. I think it’s perfectly normal to need some time to adjust to your new state. Congrats!

    • thecommonostrich · December 10, 2014

      Thank you! It is starting to settle in, so the happiness to disbelief ratio is leveling out. I had so many expectations around getting pregnant that obviously proved wrong. I think I also had expectations on how I’d react, like it would be all glee all the time. What I’m realizing is that IF brought with it a whole set of emotions I hadn’t accounted for. Regardless, you and your therapist are dead on!

  16. Pingback: Currently | The Parenthood Diaries
  17. melisskavits · December 12, 2014

    I know I’m a little late to this but just saw your post. You are allowed to feel however you want to feel- thats the deal in this terrible infertility journey. However, let the people around you be super excited and happy for you!! Yay! Hoping so much that things continue to look good for you 🙂

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