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Finally Relaxed?


a blog by murgdan, Jan. 5, 2010

I cannot count the number of times I was told to "just relax" in order to get pregnant. Friends told me to relax. Family told me to relax. I even told myself to relax. While I learned that there are multitudes of well-meaning, yet hurtful phrases told to those of us trying to conceive, “just relax” was the one I found to be the most defeating.

My shame and self-blame was like nothing I had experienced before. I had the innate sense that my body was doing what it was supposed to do. I trusted myself. Hearing educated friends and loved ones berate my own mind-body connection destroyed my trust and broke me down. Even having a diagnosis, and knowing that my husband’s sperm were the infertility culprit, didn’t really tone down my own disappointment. I read about women who were able to conceive despite dismal sperm counts because their bodies somehow allowed this to happen. Why wasn’t this happening to me?

Lab tests, ultrasounds, semen analyses, IVF, FET, we forged through. Despite having the cards of count and morphology against us, we succeeded in achieving pregnancy.

Time to celebrate? Of course! Time to relax? Hardly.

The first trimester crept by with the speed of a slow-moving glacier. Moments of blissful content were punctuated with exclamation marks of fear. What if it doesn’t work out? What if something is wrong with the baby? What if I wake up tomorrow and this was all just a dream?

When will I be able to enjoy this pregnancy like any other “glowing” mother?

The thing I’ve come to realize is that I will never be “just like any other” glowing pregnant woman. I carry the experience of infertility with me.

I marvel at the fact that almost none of our family or acquaintances know how we got pregnant. Sometimes I giggle at the thought that they think that we actually had sex to end up in this state.

For most people we are just “average” and while our pregnancy is greeted with excitement and sincere congratulations, I sometimes feel like it is never enough. Pregnancy still feels like an impossible triumph and I wish everyone could appreciate it as such.

While colleagues attempt to carry on conversations comparing pregnancy and birth experiences, I struggle to relate. Why do I still feel like an outsider? How is it possible I have reached the seventeenth week of pregnancy and still don’t “fit in”?

I still catch myself rolling my eyes at maternity stores and smirking at the mere mention of baby showers.

I may always feel different. My experiences have changed me. Sex had nothing to do with me getting pregnant, and I will always feel that this miracle I’m carrying is one notch above any other regular miracle.

I have a special sense of gratitude and amazement surrounding this pregnancy — one that I hope remains with me for all of my days.

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