I got pregnant the natural way and gave birth through normal delivery. I am not telling my story or someone else’s with infertility problems, but I want to give a third party’s point of views about dealing with in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Every time I got pregnant, I happily announced it to the whole world through Facebook and text messaging. My friends will tease me that I’m so good at making babies every year. It’s so easy and fun to talk about it because I conceived normally. However, I have people close to me who have wished for years to at least have one baby but they can’t. I honestly didn’t know how to share the good news without feeling guilty that I could make them feel worse.
If they want to share their fertility issues, I openly listen and give them encouragement. A close friend of mine had to deal with several ectopic pregnancies and another relative has to deal with several miscarriages. The world seemed so cruel to these couples and, in a normal situation, hopeless. One of these couples didn’t give up the fight to have their own baby so they tried IVF.
The Anxiety of an IVF Parent
On their first successful IVF, my friend secretly informed close friends and family, but she had a miscarriage at 28 weeks. On their second attempt, they did not tell anyone until the second quarter of pregnancy. It’s the fear that they might lose again their baby.
Their anxiousness is no surprise. After several attempts and miscarriages, a couple who have successful IVF usually contains their excitement until the child’s birth. Most of the time, excitement is replaced by fear and worry because the probability of miscarriages are higher and their past failures are a huge contributor to increasing anxiety.
Another challenge is the transition from being infertile to a mom-to-be. For a long time, my friend is used to her status— a successful career woman and a loving wife. My friend said that she felt out of place after getting pregnant because she no longer fitted into the world of her infertile group but not fitted too to the people who can easily conceive. Later on, after realizing that pregnancy for her will be a difficult phase—- physically and emotionally, she chose to remain in the infertile group. Maybe, she felt that her pregnancy is riskier than a regular one and it’s because of the infertility issues. She felt that she can still identify herself with her infertile friends.
At one point, she also felt that she doesn’t have the merit to complain about her pregnancy symptoms like the terrible morning sickness. She felt that people might think she should just be thankful that finally she had her own baby and shouldn’t complain.
Looking for Support
Pregnancy because of IVF can cause the feeling of isolation which is the same thing felt during the struggles with infertility. Before the third quarter of my friend’s pregnancy through IVF, she and her husband deal with their anxiety and health issues on their own. However, my friend admitted it could have been easier if they welcomed much earlier the help from their families.
In the case such support is unavailable or inadequate, you can also search or identify your support network. Aside from family, you can consider getting a therapist and it is much better if the therapist had to face infertility issues as well.
If there’s a support group, join and be active. These groups aim to help IVF parents to effectively cope and develop effective communication with each other. A support group can either be a traditional or online setting. Online support groups are as effective as face-to-face conversations.
You’re a mother-to-be. Act like one!
Every expectant mom feels the anxiety. I always mentioned that to my friend during her pregnancies. Whether she has the baby inside her the normal or unusual way, she should treat her baby like a normal mom should. Indulge the baby with good music, lots of good talking and storytelling. Don’t let any worries stop you from bonding with your little one. Join a yoga class for pregnant mothers and shop for the best stuff for your baby.
There are lots of stories on the Internet about IVF and its challenges. Here’s a blog post I just read today.
Also, do you need more resources on how to handle your IVF and pregnancy journey? Check out the products here.