Becoming pregnant does not mean you will suddenly feel fulfilled, excited and full of joy. It can come as quite a shock when how you thought you would feel and how you actually feel do not marry up. Previous loss or indeed losses can add to this. When embarking out on an infertility journey, the initial goal can be to become pregnant. Then it can shift to staying pregnant, a healthy pregnancy and for some to having a live birth and baby in your arms. It is incredibly difficult not to be flooded with feelings of fear, overwhelm, anxiety, worry, grief and a multitude of emotions having experienced a long fertility journey and loss. This can very much over shadow any excitement or joy that you very much want to feel, thought you would and expect and deserve to feel.
Pregnancy after Infertility or Loss
Pregnancy for some can feel incredibly lonely and isolating. You can feel like 'I should be grateful', 'It's what I have wanted for so long, now I have it and yet all I feel if fear, anxiety and terrified'. Others may even comment how excited and grateful you 'must' feel and how wonderful for you. Yes it is wonderful. Yes it can be exciting. But after wanting something for so long, the fear, a very real fear of losing that something, someone, can become overwhelming. Particularly if you have had previous losses. Whether it was a pregnancy loss, baby loss or loss of a loved one. We definitely need to change the narrative around how we define loss too. Loss is such a personal experience and it not just tied to loss of a person, it can be loss of identity, relationships, confidence, failed induction, failed IVf cycles, our period and gut wrenching and secret loss with each monthly period cycle or indeed anything that you feel you have lost while on your journey. It is all relative and your feelings are valid.
It can be hard for others to understand how you are feeling. It can indeed be hard for you to understanding how you are feeling. All feelings, there are no bad ones, are trying to guide us in some way. It is when we begin to listen to them, process them and learn from how we are feeling that we can begin to move forward. To understand what is going on internally for us. To explore any old route maps, beliefs, values and responses that are no longer helpful. These can be deleted and new ones installed so we can move forward in a way that feels right for us. In a way that we feel emotionally in control of all that is going on for us, around us and what we choose to listen to, see, hear and take on board.
It can be very empowering and I believe anything that helps you to feel that way when you are at such an exciting yet vulnerable time in your life is well worth exploring. It has been a game changer for me. My only wish is that I had explored this earlier. But it is helpful now, and can be helpful at any stage in life.
If you would like support with Perinatal Anxiety, Loss, Grief or Trauma. If you would like support with your emotional wellbeing from conception, to pregnancy and on into motherhood. If you are curious and open to exploring how you can feel in control, heal and move forward in a way that feels right for you please feel free to get in touch.
I look forward to connecting and chatting with you.