ARTICLE: After IVF: Pregnant, but Still Stuck in the Past

I’ve been struggling a little bit with the idea of being “happy” during my pregnancy. I would never want someone to think I wasn’t happy about it– good golly, I did enough to get here. But I’ve been a little bit disappointed I haven’t been that crazed, over-the-moon, pregnant lady I envisioned at the beginning of all this.

Maybe it is because infertility is a total shit show. I feel as though I can’t trust anything. Unless Chick is moving at this VERY MOMENT, I have a tiny wave of panic that something is wrong.

Maybe it is because my mom died in the middle of my first trimester. I’m still feel that loss so acutely every day. The joy of being pregnant is tempered by the fact that my mom is gone, and Chick will never know her.

“I think I have I.V.F. PTSD.”

This comes from today’s reading selection, “After IVF: Pregnant, but Still Stuck in the Past”. This blog from the New York Times gets at about half of what I’m feeling, and probably resonates with so many of you.

Thanks to Hound Mamas for sharing!



  1. My Perfect Breakdown · April 13, 2015

    I think so many of us, who move on with life, whether it be with a pregnancy or adoption, are scarred from our infertility experience. It has shaken us to our core, and it’s not something we can just forget about. I think it’s all about how we move forward and start to let the happiness in, some days are bound to be better then others.
    Sending you love my friend.

    • thecommonostrich · April 14, 2015

      I don’t think people realize how traumatic infertility is. They get that it is sad, but not how scarred you get from it. Even when you do move past it, we aren’t over it. I just reject the idea that everything is supposed to be “fine” now, like pregnancy or adoption wipe away all the terrible things that have happened. It negates the very real pain we’ve experienced.

      • My Perfect Breakdown · April 15, 2015

        I couldn’t agree with your statement more. I think people want to believe that pregnancy or adoption after IF / loss fixes us, because it’s easier for them to believe that then it is for them to address our hurt.

  2. Jennie · April 13, 2015

    This article is me. I’m so happy to be of but did not realize how bad infertility would continue to impact me

    • thecommonostrich · April 14, 2015

      Yup. I didn’t realize that this would have a lingering effect on me either. Since the goal in all this was to get pregnant, a part of me thought that would be the end of it. It is so refreshing to know that I’m not alone in coping with the aftermath. I am not crazy! And neither are you!

  3. InfertileGirl · April 13, 2015

    Good article, and so true. It is disappointing not to feel that unbridled happiness at pregnancy (though, 24/7? Let’s be real…). And in your case, it’s a two-fold of complication. Just last night I was having some cramping (probably just round ligament pain) but I was just not feeling great, and Poppet wasn’t moving around and I was panicking. Luckily, a few hours later I felt her and all was right in the world…for the next five minutes. Sigh, I think I’ve just resigned to the fact that I need to hear her cry, and hold her in my arms to believe it.

    • thecommonostrich · April 14, 2015

      So true. I don’t know that I’ll every really exhale until this baby is born. (And then I hear I will never sleep again. Ever.)

      When I’ve been honest with people about how complicated my feelings are, most people express surprise. Like having a baby erases all the heartache. There is an implicit judgement that you’re a bad parent if you aren’t overjoyed every day. Or at least that’s the message I’ve been getting.

  4. Tracy · April 14, 2015

    I think anyone of us whose experienced infertility know how scary this can be. We want to be excited, but we just can’t get there. I think when it doesn’t come naturally and the conversation starts to change from “when” to “if” we have kids, we can never go back from that. It wasn’t an easy road to get where you are right now. You got to the pregnant part, and you tried super hard to get there. Yet, it doesn’t make everything else you’ve been through in the last year go away.

    • thecommonostrich · April 14, 2015

      Nope. It totally doesn’t. The fact that people think getting pregnant makes all this go away… it is just such a simple view of life. And any loss– in my case the one-two punch of infertility and my mom’s death– is so incredibly complex. Why can’t it be okay to have more than one feeling? And why can’t it be okay that this feeling doesn’t need to be manic happiness?

      • Tracy · April 15, 2015

        I think it’s completely normal to have more than one feeling at a time. I also think it’s completely normal that you aren’t manic happy right now too.

        Don’t put stock in what others don’t understand. If someone has no idea how long it took to get pregnant or everything that happened with your Mom dying, how could they possibly understand that it just doesn’t go away because your pregnant? They can’t. I don’t think people mean to be so dumb. They sometimes just don’t think.

  5. julieann081 · April 14, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this. I feel pretty similar to you. My anxiety takes over my happy almost all the time. ❤

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