Pregnancy After Infertility

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Myths and Facts about Pregnancy after Infertility

Myth: “You will be ecstatic when you get that positive pregnancy test.”

Fact: There are many non ecstatic feelings aroused by that positive test. Most couples experience shock and disbelief. As one RESOLVE member said, "During eight years of infertility I had fantasized how I would react to the news we had waited to hear each month. I had dreamed how I would shout it from the roof tops and call everyone I knew that didn't happen. When the doctor told me...all I could say was 'are you sure?' I sat at the table, numb, trying to absorb what I had just heard. I guess what I feel is that I am protecting myself again." There is also a great deal of fear and anxiety, especially about pregnancy loss. Often there are symptoms, such as spotting, that escalate that fear. For many people, the anxiety is somewhat eased by an ultrasound showing a uterine pregnancy or by carrying into the third trimester. For others, especially those who have previously lost pregnancies, anxiety can remain until a healthy baby is delivered. One pregnant woman said, "My first 4 pregnancies ended in miscarriage...I cannot bear to hear people say, 'Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations!' No, it is not wonderful...being pregnant is frightening and anxiety producing and a situation in which daily life feels like walking on eggs."

Myth: “You will feel welcomed into 'The Fertile World,' getting support from family and friends, so you won't need RESOLVE.”

Fact: Although many couples do enjoy sensitive and empathic support from family and friends, isolation is not automatically overcome by the news of pregnancy. Pregnancy, achieved after years of testing and treatment, remains a different experience. One RESOLVE member, pregnant with twins, reflects, "It feels so strange to be catapulted into a world of fertility after struggling with infertility. I go to Mothers of Twins Club meetings, LaLeche meetings, exercise classes for pregnant women, etc., but I find it difficult to identify with other mothers...I'm disturbed at the number of times people express negative comments to me about having children...Early on I used to explain to them why these twins were so dearly wanted by us but now I'm growing tired of explaining."

Myth: “You'll be so glad to leave RESOLVE behind.”

Fact: It's important to realize RESOLVE's impact on others once you've found resolution. RESOLVE still relies on our volunteer network and support to grow our outreach and find others who are diagnosed with infertility.  You can still be part of RESOLVE's network!

Myth: “Pregnancy (or parenthood) will resolve your infertility. You'll no longer be affected by infertility.

Fact: This myth leads to much misunderstanding. Other members might presume pregnant couples no longer need RESOLVE's support. Pregnant couples are set up for disillusionment, as they find many infertility issues and emotions are still affecting them. One woman shared that, "Being pregnant after infertility does pose some special problems...The fear of another failure was almost paralyzing at times. I waited to buy maternity clothes until I had nothing wearable in my closet...When we bought a baby crib, part of me was sure we were wasting money...so my infertility colors my pregnancy, and my need for RESOLVE remains."