I remember when I was first pregnant. The first time around. We had been trying for about 4 years, and getting pregnant was not an easy road. I found out on Labour Day 2001. I was already about 8 weeks along. Although my husband and I had been trying for some time, I really never expected it to happen. After all, month after month we kept having a negative outcome.
I was beside myself with happiness, yet always cautiously optimistic. Right from the start, there were complications. Here we go. I knew it was too good to be true. Bleeding and cramping. Was it a clot or implantation? Was my beta level not doubling like it should? Who knew? Each visit to the doctor revealed a strong heart beat with no signs of fetal distress. That baby was hanging on….at least until one night in October , in my 15thweek, when I went with my mother to see CATS. I missed almost the whole show as I keeled over in pain in the washroom. I was having a miscarriage.
By later that night I was in the Emergency Room scheduling a D and C for the next day. And that was that.
Talk about the carrot being dangled in front of our nose. After all, I was past the first trimester…things like this are not supposed to happen after twelve weeks, right? I had already told EVERYBODY. My work colleagues knew. I was wearing maternity clothes and never in my life was I so happy to be gaining weight.
That glee was short lived, however, and I had to come to terms with the fact that we were not going to meet this baby as scheduled in April 2002. And so we were back to the drawing board.
My dreams were shattered. All around me were friends and colleagues who were announcing their news. This one got pregnant on their honeymoon. Or that one forgot to use birth control one night when she and her husband decided to finish a bottle of wine while ‘cuddling’ on their couch.
Was I jealous? No. I was envious. I wanted to be those people. I wanted it to be easy for us just liked it seemed to be for everyone else.
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. Our experience with getting pregnant was the same as for so many other couples out there. And I see it more and more in practice every day. Women come in and in addition to dealing with losses or miscarriages or the inability to conceive, they are have to explain why they are not pregnant to family members and friends who ask them incessantly why they still do not have any kids. The amount of pressure that is put on women to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and deliver full term healthy children is astounding.
Similarly, for many women, including myself some 13 years ago, this pressure is insurmountable and for many the beginning of a long road of anxiety and depression.
Why is it that our very personal business is suddenly everyone else’s?
Managing the Expectations of Friends and Loved Ones:
The fertility journey for many is a time of high anxiety, stress, and a boatload of pressure. When things do not go as planned, it becomes easy to lose sight of what really matters. We must rely on friends and loved ones. We must confide in those we trust. Most important, we must never lose faith.
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