Pregnancy after infertility: what can be better than that? Maybe that can be the next Geico commercial:
“People who switch to Geico sure are happy.”
“How happy are they?”
“Happier than a pregnant woman after seven years of infertility!”
Perhaps this may very well be true for those who never experienced loss. However, even a single early loss of pregnancy can jeopardize the rightful joy of a newly discovered pregnancy. The thinking is that if it can go wrong once, it can go wrong again. Until people experience this first hand, they are likely to take things at face value and celebrate the good news right away.
For those who may be finding out about a friend’s pregnancy much later than expected, you may be confused or even upset over having been left out of the loop. If so, please try to understand that the delay in sharing the news is not about you.
For those who may be on the infertility side of this, here are a few words of advice as you proceed down the road towards your elusive goal.
- Be careful with whom you share your infertility struggle to begin with. Not only will this prevent unsolicited advice on what you “ought” to do, but it will also allow you to have full control over when you announce your pregnancy, if and when it finally comes about. Otherwise, you may be put in a position of having to change the subject or lie outright when people ask you for an update on where you are on the journey.
- Be careful what you share about your struggle. Once you do decide to share that you are having a difficult time conceiving, it may be a good idea to stick with very general terms. Once you share the specific problem you are having, especially if it is rather severe, people may assume or ask you if your pregnancy (when you get there) is the result of certain technological advances. Not all options are viewed as equally appropriate by all people, and if you end up going with an option that an individual disagrees with, you’ll find yourself with the added headache of trying to justify your decision or avoid acknowledging that you did indeed “get help.”
- Be careful about who knows the timing of your attempts with artificial reproductive technologies. If you are planning an intrauterine insemination or an in-vitro fertilization cycle, those whom you have alerted to the fact will want an update on whether or not it worked. They will have a pretty good idea of when you should know the answer, and they will notice if you are being evasive. However, if you do tell them of a positive pregnancy test as soon as it happens, and God forbid you lose the baby, you will then have to share this devastating news with the same people as well. Otherwise, they will assume all is still on-track and talk to you as if nothing has changed, and this can be unbearable.
While it may be difficult to imagine anything putting a damper on a pregnancy when you are trying for so long just to get there, the challenges of infertility do not disappear overnight. For some, only childlessness can be cured, but full fertility cannot be restored. Still, pregnancy can be a time of rejoicing even after loss; it just might take a little longer to soak in and get passed the anxiety.