I have been discussing back and forth with myself for a while now whether to write about my current struggles. Somehow it feels wrong not to write about it because of how powerfully it dominates my experience of pregnancy and everyday life at the moment. On the other hand it also feels wrong to use this space to ‘complain’ about anything related to pregnancy. I’m afraid it might be hurtful to those of you who are still trying and going through the trials and tribulations of fertility treatment. If you think it might, please stop reading.
I feel guilty and sad that I’m not able to enjoy my pregnancy at the moment. Instead I’m worn out physically and mentally from being sick (i.e. throwing up) and nauseous constantly – every day, all day for nearly a month now. I will spare you any more of the details, but I feel like I’m being put through some kind of grueling initiation ritual.
Throughout the years of living with infertility, pregnancy seemed somehow to be an elusive, inconceivable dream destination. I never thought too much about or researched what it might be like between the point of getting a positive test result and giving birth (that scary and wonderful part). In reality, pregnancy is obviously not the destination. It’s yet another necessary and, as it turns out, difficult part of the process that will hopefully lead to us having a baby.
Physically, I’m feeling much worse than I ever did during IVF. This, to be honest, is actually a bit of a shock. Maybe I just assumed I would be one of the lucky ones who don’t suffer too badly with nausea etc. Or maybe I just never thought about it. Naturally the entire focus was on getting to this point, not what might come after. Before, the most difficult part was the fear that you might never become a parent and that you were going through all that for nothing. This is the big difference. No matter how difficult times are for me right now, I have something I never had before – concrete reason to believe that it really will be worth it in the end.
Nevertheless, it’s not just a matter of feeling rubbish physically. What is really getting to me is the effect it is having on my emotional state. I’m realizing how difficult it is to keep your spirits up when you are suffering physically. I want to be happy and feel the joy of finally being pregnant. But I hardly can most of the time. I try to conjure up the moment of seeing that heart beat on ultra sound and feel the joy and amazement, but it feels like ages ago. The fact that I am pregnant feels abstract to me in some way. I have to really focus my mind on it to get even the slightest sense of joy and to remind myself how lucky, grateful and thankful I am to even be pregnant at all. That I might be suffering right now, but it’s all for a good cause and that the chances that we will have a baby are now as high as ever. Most of the time though, being sick just takes over in such a dominating way that there seems to be no space or energy for anything else. Every single day everything is about the very immediate battle of eating and keeping it down. The only advantage being that I also don’t have much space for worry in my head.
I know it will ease off in a couple of weeks (hopefully) and I know it’s no big deal and nothing to fuss about – in the grander scheme of things. But I feel worn out nonetheless.