So, it hasn’t sunk in yet – that I’m pregnant, I mean. I’m not sure when it will. I asked a pregnant IF friend of mine when it would seem real, and she joked, “Oh, at about 20 weeks.” When I first got the call about the BFP, I was overjoyed and incredibly relieved, of course. J and I were hugging, I was crying and smiling at the same time. It was what you’d expect after four years of struggles. I was surprised by the feelings I was having right after that, though. I realized that I was a little anxious, and that I was focusing more on the odd way my body was feeling than anything else (crazy bloated, burping more than I thought possible for one person, nervous-making deep inside cramping, and boobs that seem to glow with pain). What hit me is that I haven’t been nearly released from the clutches of IF yet. I’m still thinking the way I did during my IVF cycles: How is THIS hormone going to make me feel? What weird side effects are going to crop up? What time of day should I take which medication? What should I do/avoid? I want it all to go well, and I want to do everything right.
It hit me that what WASN’T in my head was that A BABY (OR BABIES) WILL RESULT FROM ALL THIS. A baby who gazes around at everything wonderingly, who giggles when I tickle her belly, who grabs at my face with his clumsy fingers, who falls asleep on J’s chest. I think it just takes time to get there after struggling with IF for so long. I’m not concerned. In time (God, Universe, Whatever-willing and knock on wood), this pregnancy will be mine. Eventually, it will be about me and the baby/babies, and not about the RE, injections, and estrogen patches. Eventually, we’ll have baby things around instead of a sharps container and syringes. It’s just funny to realize that a transition does have to take place.
I think this transition has to happen for my family, too. We’ve already told my parents and my sister. They knew we were doing a donor egg cycle, and knew about all the other failed attempts. Since they were so acquainted with this cycle’s schedule, there wasn’t any way to wait until the second trimester to include them (though I warn them repeatedly that things are far from certain yet). I think right now they’re mostly relieved that we might not have to suffer anymore – that we might have finally reached the other side. My mother said she is only just letting herself imagine being a grandmother. She had just wanted me not to be in pain anymore. The end of suffering was the goal. Again, the end result of an actual baby was kind of lost in the struggle.
J’s family is different. We haven’t included them in any of the details of our IF struggles, partly to save his mother (ill with MS in a nursing home) the worry, and partly to give me some privacy. They were impatient for us to have kids, were worried about us, knew we were “doing our best” in some vague way, and knew not to bring it up. That’s all. My initial instinct was to wait until the second trimester to announce to them, but somehow it’s feeling wrong now to keep them at such a distance when friends – our supporters through all this – already know. It seems wrong to hold them at arms-length, even if it means that they have to mourn with us if things don’t go well.
I’m excited to experience their relief and joy, almost more than with my own family, oddly. It’s complicated and scary, though, because we’ll be telling them a lot at once – that we went through 4 rounds of IVF, that we ended up having to use donor eggs. I’m a little intimidated by it all. For some reason, I get all old-school when it comes to my in-laws, worrying that they think I’m a bad daughter-in-law when I gain weight or because I couldn’t produce a baby. I worry that they’ll think less of me because we had to use donor eggs. I don’t know where that fear comes from, because they’ve only been loving and supportive of me, and after all, we DID use their son’s sperm.
J was thinking he’d tell his father first, and can explain the whole situation to him then. Then I can have the honor of telling his mother (his father will be there, too, because he’ll be holding the phone for her). For some reason, it’s very important to me that J tell them how very hard I tried. At the moment, we’re thinking we’ll tell them after the first ultrasound, when we know exactly how many critters are growing in there. We’ll make it clear that it’s still very early, that they need to keep it to themselves, and that things are far from certain yet. It makes sense to include them in that “inner circle” of supporters, the people who will be there for us if – well, just if. They deserve that. It’s just kind of huge. Telling them will definitely make it seem more real.
Meanwhile, I’m going to focus on being positive and excited. To continue to choose hope over fear…and to relish a blessed puke-free window of time.