From infertility to pregnancy and moving forward with new life

Guest post by Chloe

By: jaliyajCC BY 2.0
A few years ago I wrote about trying to conceive while sharing a house with a soon-to-be-mama. Times moved on, they moved out (of their own accord), and we moved on.

When we moved on it was after hearing that I don’t ovulate “normally” — that my tubes were likely blocked. That pregnancy for me, was not going to be about a lovely surprise, but (I felt) a difficult, traumatic and very medical process. I was not going to be a Mama, probably not ever. I couldn’t face the hospitals, the trauma and I certainly couldn’t face failure. The choice made itself.

We were gutted — really gutted. My beloved was incredibly supportive. He tried to understand, he tried to be okay with it, even though I knew it was hurting him so bad. He always wanted to have children.

I went to some strange places in my head. I went to thinking he was better off without me, that I was better off alone, forever. It was horrible. But slowly I forced myself to talk (in my head) about the benefits of being childless. After all, didn’t that mean we could go to music festivals every year, have our house to ourselves, have money and partake in foreign travel, whilst our “baby-laden” friends would be scrimping and saving and struggling? A bit extreme, I know. But slowly, we talked, slowly we got there. I got there.

I was not going to be a Mama, and that was awesome for me. It took nearly a year. And even then it still hurt. So you’d think that a change in this would be amazing… of course it would.

That change happened on the 3rd May, this year. We found out that we are pregnant.

I had spoken two conversations — one with a friend about another one of my very late periods and another with a nail technician I had never met before — that made me decide to do a test to rule out pregnancy before my most recent doctor appointment. I bought the test in a small local chemist. Two-pack. Cheap. I lectured myself down the street in the rain: “You have to stop doing this, life is gonna be great, you’re not pregnant, you can’t get pregnant, don’t be stupid. Stop hoping… it hurts.”

Then I took the test. It was positive. I genuinely believed the test was faulty. I was torn between a massive urge to run into the street and scream at passers-by “I’M PREGNANT,” and the ever-present feeling that this was not possible, I was not pregnant, and the test was wrong. I walked home in the rain. I dropped my paperwork on the floor, and it stuck there like glue. I left it. The wind was cooling my neck. The moment is so clear.

I told my beloved as soon as he got in from work. I told him it had been an odd day. I told him about the test. I told him it was faulty. He told me I was pregnant. I told him he was stupid. I took another test — positive. I sent him (in the rain, on his push-bike. Oh how he loves me!) to the supermarket for two more “good quality” tests. Both positive.

My beloved was convinced from the very moment I told him. The hug he gave me in that moment was the best hug I have ever had. It made me feel, “I am loved, I am whole, I have my beloved, and maybe… just maybe… I’m pregnant.”

I told my mum about the tests, we told my dad and my brother, my beloved told his family. We went to the doctor. We had a scan. I am pregnant. A real living baby. On that day suspected to be nine weeks and four days. And I was numb. I felt empty, scared, hopeful, and strange. I did not cry at the scan. My beloved did, his emotions so clear, so happy!

I had expected to feel amazing. Vital. Blooming. Overwhelmingly happy. And I am now. But I was numb for four weeks. It has taken four weeks to accept that what I have always wanted is here. That it is true. But still I feel a sense of loss. I have lost the non-Mama life which I had worked so hard to accept. It makes me sad to think about these things. I am realising now though, that I do not have to be Child-Free to do all of those things. That our child is not a weight around our ankles (like I had schooled myself it was), but the wings which set us free.

We will be at festivals. We will attend our rallies. We will still socialise. We will travel the world. And we will be a family. We will be parents. And that is amazing!

Comments on From infertility to pregnancy and moving forward with new life

  1. I had a very similar experience to you. Except that I grew up knowing I didn’t want children. Was with my husband, decided to have kids because “that was what was next and why not?” Discovered I couldn’t have kids. Was upset, but upon reflection remembered that I didn’t want children after all. Also took me a year to accept fully. Was very happy to not have kids, just like what you said.

    Eventually split up from my husband (not kids related reasons), met another man, got a job overseas was all prepped for the move and lo and behold, I was pregnant. It took me weeks to accept this. Now I am in week 18, and I’ve moved into the tentatively excited but oh so worried about something happening to the baby in my womb. I am now excited about the future.

    But I feel so good about “meeting” someone who had a similar experience to me. It’s not talked about in the terms of accepting no kids, but in trying harder/have IVF/do adoption vein. So to “meet” another person who decided to accept her fate in a positive manner, it is wonderful.

    • Thank you! Lovely to meet you too!!

      I think in a practical way it has been a coping element for us, but also helped me to think about the options openly. We considered adoption, but I always felt I would not be ‘good’ at that, I have close friends who have chosen to remain child-free and I could see the benefits of that lifestyle even though it was not what I would have chosen given the option.

  2. I can’t relate to your struggle, but I wanted to comment to say that I am so, so, so happy for you. πŸ™‚

  3. Congratulations! All teary-eyed and so happy for you all!

    I can certainly identify with the numb feeling – I was told when I was a teenager that it would be difficult for me to fall pregnant, and that after I turned 25, it would be nearly impossible without lots of help. I mourned the loss and eventually planned out an awesome single life…then promptly met a guy and fell deeply in love. 10 years, 1 miscarriage and nearly 3 very much wanted kids later, the numb and surprised feeling has still hit me every time that I’ve taken a test. (It also smacked me when I was told that the first ob/gyn was incorrect, and that I’m probably not going to have fertility problems.)

  4. This is so beautifully well written. While I wasn’t infertile, I was always ho-hum about having children, even leaning toward wanting to embrace being child-free. And when we got pregnant by surprise I had some of those similar “I’m happy…but…hmm..what does this mean for my child-free plans?” I love that you wanted a child, but still mourn that childfree life that you had accepted. I think that’s a beautiful and authentic explanation and insight.

    Many happy thoughts to your budding family.

  5. CONGRATS! And YES you can still do all those things while also sharing your life with the joys of a child. I do! lol Best of luck!!!!!!

  6. Thank you and congratulations! I relate so much to your post. For five seriously long years hubby and I tried and failed to conceive. I convinced myself I would never be pregnant, never get to see a baby with my loves eyes. We decided instead we would adopt; it would be wonderful but it hurt so much. Especially when every woman seemed to be pregnant around me. We filled out our adoption paperwork and two days later found out i was pregnant with our little monster. It is still hard to cope with the fact that i dont have the life i convinced myself i would, but i wouldnt change it. There are very few posts on here I get to relate to, and so few times I cry tears of joy for a stranger. So again, thank you and good luck.

  7. I am so, SO happy for you. All the loves! πŸ™‚

    I know so very much how you felt and what you went through. I spent two years trying to get pregnant, resigned myself to the fact that since I had a terrible cycle with barely any periods that it wasn’t going to happen, and built a life with my husband around being childfree. Then, just like that – bam.

    I took 5 tests before I believed it was true. My husband was convinced after the first one, and he called me a dork, but I just kept peeing on things because there just wasn’t any way it could be true in my head. It still didn’t become real until that first ultrasound at 11 weeks.

    And now the new journey starts. A whole new way of thinking, as you said. It changes things, it absolutely does. And it’s okay to acknowledge that. πŸ™‚

    • Honestly, it still doesn’t feel real! I have fears of all sorts of ridiculous things happening. But I am also very, very excited!!! So is my beloved, he woke me At 4am one morning to tell me how Excited he is!!!!

  8. I can really relate to you post and am so glad you wrote it. It gives me a little light at the end of the tunnel.

    My hubby and I have been trying for two very long years to conceive, primarily because a year of that as far as can be told I simply wasn’t ovulating, but every doctor I went to patted me on the head and said “There, there, your young and healthy. It will work out.” But it didn’t. Earlier this year I was started on Clomid and we moved on with our lives, I had spent so much time waiting for something that might never happen and that fact burned a hole so deep in me it shocked me. January rolled around, my birthday, events to go to.. but the clomid didn’t seem to be working. No cycle, so I tested and came up posative. I must’ve stood there and shook for five minutes before running out to tell my husband. Sadly, I ended up miscarrying in mid February at 8 weeks. Since then it has been a roller coaster of waiting and hoping against hope. I find days I am doing like you have… trying to convince myself that there may never be that baby, and that we can always try to adopt. Telling myself to stop deluding myself, it will never work. Your story gave me a little bit of hope. I can only hope I am as lucky as you are. Thank you. Congrats to you and your (soon to be growing) Family!

    • II wanted to wish you some good luck with your journey. I think probably the best thing I did was force myself to move on from the wanting, but that is such a hard thing to do. I think I am quite a strong person, but it has been the very hardest thing I have ever had to do.

      It sounds like you still have other stops to make on your journey, just don’t forget that it’s you and your hubby who are having a life, and you have to let that be the most important thing, no mater how much you ache for a little one to share it with.

      Sending you lots of love, and a big hug xxx

  9. “I genuinely believed the test was faulty. I was torn between a massive urge to run into the street and scream at passers-by “I’M PREGNANT,” and the ever-present feeling that this was not possible, I was not pregnant, and the test was wrong.”

    We tried for just over a year before I became pregnant (and also wrote about it here). When I took my test, I honestly thought the test was lying. Not wrong, not faulty. Lying. I teach a bunch of traumatised children with massive issues who give me grief all day every day. It was the end of a long and hard school term. I was projecting.

  10. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing: the “you have to stop doing this, life is gonna be great, you’re not pregnant, you can’t get pregnant, don’t be stupid. Stop hoping… it hurts.” really resonates with where I’m at right now – in our case every Maybe so far has ended up being a Big Fat No, so thank you for reminding me that one day it might be a Yes πŸ™‚

    Good luck!

  11. What a beautiful story, I’m SO HAPPY for you and your beloved. I hope the pregancy goes smooth and you’ll have a healthy baby in a couple of months.

    Your story made me cry. I hope for everyone who’s going trough a similar rough patch that their dreams will one day come true.

  12. i remember your other post.

    and then i read this. and i had goosebumps!

    congratulations! i hope that you have a very healthy and happy pregnancy.

  13. I find it surprising and helpful how many of us can easily relate to you. I also just thought “Wow, that is so like my story..” while reading.
    Like you I had medical reasons and we decided to not put ourselves through IVF etc. although it was so hard for us to accept. But you get by, as you say.. settle into another life, struggeling but giving your best and ultimately being happy.
    I took my pregnancy test in week 14. While I was waiting for the result, I found out my grandma had died in the night. When it came out positive, I just threw it away and went on with my morning to get ready for work. I didn’t even consider it to be right. It had to be some kind of fault and after all the 2nd line was not really strong strong. It was probably just another fault of my hormones. While on the train it suddenly dawned on me that there is nothing such as “slightly pregnant”.
    So I got another one. And indeed that one was faulty because I made a mistake in doing it. We had to wait for the next morning to buy another one and I opted for a really expensive one with written words on it and it actually said: “pregnant”. I was still not believing it and found an OB who would see me the same day. I told my partner not to even come because they were probably just going to take blood and we’d have to wait a few days.
    Well, what I ended up coming home with was an ultrasound-picture of our 14-week-old-whirlwind baby and the notice that I would be a Mum this summer. I was in shock and at the same time I wanted to phone everyone screaming: Guess what, I’m pregnant.. I really am. Next day my parents came over on a 24 hour flight for my grandma’s funeral and I just told them, I probably had the most life changing 48 hours of all of us.
    We’re in week 30 now and going strong while not totally without problems.
    My whole life has changed, I couldn’t finish the last step of my teaching training due to a cervix insufficiency, I had to say goodbye to my dream of climbing a 6000ender next summer but it doesn’t matter – because we’re experiencing the biggest miracle of all, just as you girls do as well – and those who don’t yet hopefully will one day.

    While I never talked about my infertility issues before I am now very open and just tell people that I haven’t been able to have kids for years and had been told I wouldn’t have any, but I still do. I feel that it not only helps me to be open but hope that it helps others as well.

    • Being pregnant now has made it so much easier to talk about my infertility, but thats almost a non-plus I suppose as clearly I am no longer ‘infertile’. I didn’t tell hardly anyone that I was infertile, even my closest friends have only known that there were ‘issues’, and this forum has provided me with a fantastic outlet to feel like my issues have been shared, and understood by others (Thanks for that Ariel & Co.). It has been so much easier for me to talk to the interwebz, than real people who’ll talk back, and ask questions…

      I was advised by several people to talki to someone when I posted my question on Offbeatfamilies, and even though I knew I should I still strugled with that. I did share a little more with a close male friend of mine, and I really do think it helped to life the weight from my shoulders, and stopped me feeling like I was holding a horrible ‘dirty’ secret about my infertility…..

      I also found it difficult to tell people I was pregnant at first, but it got easier, if thats the pattern then maybe I should have done the same with my infertility…..

      Thank you for your time and comments πŸ™‚

  14. I know how this feels! After two years, one miscarriage, and discouraging news from my husband’s doctor, I found out I was pregnant right when I had given up hope. At an emergency ultrasound after some heavy bleeding, we found out it was twins, both perfectly healthy. And now that they are three months old, I still can’t believe they are real. It can really mess with your head to go through so many emotions! I wonder if parents who didn’t face such challenges have to pinch themselves every day, too, just because human life is so unreal.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story! The part I really relate to is your reaction to learning that you couldn’t have children. While I haven’t been in that exact scenario, I have been known to build up walls to protect myself against despair — when I get bad news, I spiral out to the worst-case scenario quite easily if I don’t pre-empt it by trying to convince myself of the benefits of my new situation. And I can be pretty good at it, like it seems you were.

    While there are some truly great and valid benefits of being child-free, I’m glad that you’ve reached a point of acceptance and are starting to negotiate what parts of the parental lifestyle you plan on keeping and which you’ll let go. Knowing what’s actually important to you, and being able to let go of the rest is a skill that is VERY useful in parenting, so actually, what you’ve gone through, as surreal and painful as it’s been, may end up serving you very well in this next phase of life. Congrats!

    • I do hope so. I’m not a planning personality but I do like to be prepared! And I am very very good at convincing myself of positives. Not so much on the negatives! πŸ™‚ Thanks x

  16. I’ve been through three failed IVFs (unexplained infertility) and have actually come to see the struggle as a blessing rather than a curse. I look around my life and try to picture a child in it and it’s impossible, and I do worry if we ever do become parents that I will mourn the loss of my freedom. But I feel that at least I have run through the different scenarios of fitting a child into my current life instead of being consumed by parenthood, and that is reassuring…just in case. I’m happy for you and hope you can find a balance with your little one!

  17. Wow! What a response. Thanks everyone. It was a very cathartic process for me to write this, and doing so helped me to move forwards. I’m just just travelling back from a weekend re-enacting 1640 in Holland, and will respond further tomorrow πŸ™‚ I’m overwhelmed!!!!

  18. Thank you so much for writing this–it gives me hope. We’ve been trying for a year-and-a-half and, like you won’t be pursuing fertility treatments or adoption. My husband and I have begun the process of starting to accept that it might never happen, and some days are easier than others (as I’m sure you know). Maybe we will get pregnant or maybe we won’t, but it’s nice to know that even if you do work through it all, it may actually happen when the time is right.

  19. When I was sixteen, I had a fairly significant surgery and was told that I would likely never conceive or carry a child to term. At that age, it was easy to accept. I wanted to be a mother and assumed I would eventually adopt. Due to very heavy and painful periods, I was on the depo shot (less birth control, more period regulation) and found myself pregnant at the age of twenty. At the time, raising the baby was not in the cards for me. So I chose an adoptive couple and to this day (eight and a half years later) still believe that they were destined to be my sons parents. One ectopic, one miscarriage, and the better portion of a decade later, my “we’re going to try our luck again” daughter is over a year.

    I genuinely believe that we get the children we are meant to have.

  20. This was a beautiful read, I stumbled onto this post searching ‘new pregnancy’ and I’m so glad I read it. I am in an almost identical situation. I had convinced myself that the child free life was going to be better for me ( for the most part) had almost given up on fertility treatments and did not know how I was going to go with the next stage but then 2 days ago was told I was pregnant.. Safe to say I slept very little that first night!
    Congratulations on your wonderful, life changing news I hope it’s everything you dreamt it to be

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