My transfer is all set for next Thursday the 17th and my lining is fabulous and my hormone levels are cooperating.  Yet I feel sad and weepy. My heart is heavy.  Part of this is just where I am with life stuff, but I’m also feeling confronted by the idea that getting pregnant / having a baby isn’t going to sweep away the grief and take me away from all this.

I’ve been noticing this ever since I wrote about the last pregnancy announcement I got that so unhinged me.  Different people, IRL people and internet people, told me bits about how they had felt a twinge (or worse) of the bitterness when hearing about others’ pregnancies.  I’ve also noticed pregnant-after-infertility people expressing bitterness, grief, jealousy and other not pretty emotions even as their bellies swell with the pregnancies we have dreamed of.

It makes sense.  Grief as I have experienced it has been unpredictable.  My therapist says it is "episodic," and that sounds really smart and like something a therapist would say.  I’m trying to learn about grief, learn about me, but I’m also getting interested in the next steps. 

I think I have work ahead of me.  I don’t want to be bitter and jealous now, let alone when I have a pregnancy or a child or two.  I think separating the bitterness and jealousy from the sadness and grief is the first step.  I can be sad or feel a pang for what was lost, but maybe someday I won’t slide from sadness into anger and fear.  Maybe gratitude will rain on me right away, like God’s grace; maybe I’ll have the emotional / spiritual strength to lift my face and receive it. 

Of course I should feel gratitude on me now … the fact that I have a husband to be infertile with, the strength of our marriage, the resources we have to keep trying, the friends who stand by me.  The fertility problems I don’t have. 

That would be a start.

But as I prepare for IVF #5 and enter into the scared-it-won’t-work, even-more-scared-it-WILL stage, I want to think about this.  Is there a way out of bitterness and jealousy, even if grief lingers?  I’m starting to think that my 5 IVFs and counting has knocked me down a few pegs to the point where I’m expecting less.  I’m hoping that being faced with the prospect of "no babies, ever" might make me pretty happy for any babies that do come.  But I also hoped I wouldn’t gain five pounds – okay, eight – for every cycle, that we wouldn’t resort to credit cards to manage the expense, and that I wouldn’t be doing this for so long that every physician’s assistant at my clinic knows my phone number by heart.

So, pregnant people, pregnant-after-infertility people, or anyone: How is it now?  How much did it help to get pregnant, to have the baby?  When the bad feelings come, are they about what was lost, or is it "just" grief?  What triggers it?  Have you lost friends, and have you found them again?  Talk to me.

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