Feeling Like a Fraud

First, a huge THANK YOU for all the love on my BFP post! It means so much to me.

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I feel like a fraud telling people we’re pregnant. Before you get your panties in a bunch: We’re not telling everyone, just a handful of family and friends who knew our test date (and my Twitter peeps, of course). When I texted M with the beta results, and then my family later on, I felt really weird typing the words “We’re pregnant!” It’s the truth, but it still feels wrong somehow. I feel like I need to qualify every positive statement. For example:

We’re pregnant! There’s no guarantee that it will last (as we all know), but for the time being, we’re pregnant.

And when someone jumps too far ahead, I’m quick to bring them back to reality.

So, who will you have as your OB? 

Well, if this turns out to be a viable pregnancy, I suppose I’ll have to think about that.

Part of it is my own fear of losing this one, too. Part of it is trying to avoid letting down my loved ones again. I don’t want to get their hopes up.

But their hopes are already up. WAY up. On the drive home from my embryo transfer, my mom giddily said, “Oh, I think we’re expecting twins!” I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that there was a greater chance of this not working at all.

Then there’s the guilt. It’s a form of survivor’s guilt, or so I’ve heard it described. Not that I think I’ve survived infertility just because I got a positive pregnancy test, but I have come much further than a lot of other women who have suffered longer and harder. Our first IVF cycle couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s more luck than I believe I deserve, and that makes me feel really guilty.

It doesn’t help that I had to schedule my first prenatal appointment already. Thanks to the oil boom, there’s a HUGE influx of people to this part of the state, so doctors are booking way in advance. I was lucky to get an appointment for the very last day of January, when I will be (gods willing) 10 weeks. I wanted to wait at least until after the first ultrasound with the RE, but the OB’s office warned that that would mean mid-February at the soonest.

Oh, and get this! My OB’s clinic has started conducting prenatal orientation GROUP appointments. Basically, a group of barely pregnant women meet with a nurse to go over their medical history, then learn all the dos and don’ts of pregnancy, 4 weeks before they see the OB for the first time. I’m sure it works brilliantly for the average fertile, but I’m not her. There’s no way I’m going to sit among normal fertiles as they chatter with delight about pregnancy boobs and complain about not being able to eat sushi for 9 months. I’m happy to go through the orientation one-on-one, but this group thing is not for me.

A month ago, I promised to open my heart to our potential baby, so in that spirit, I’m trying my hardest to quell my negative thoughts, and to actually think positively about this pregnancy. I want to think about baby names and nursery decorations without feeling like I’m jumping the gun. A friend and fellow loss mom told me, “Don’t let the loss fears overcome your joy. You’ll never regret being excited and hopeful, no matter what happens.

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24 thoughts on “Feeling Like a Fraud

  1. Every step of an infertile’s life is controlled by infertility. Even if you get pregnant, deliver your baby and go on to have a healthy child. Then you have to deal with survivor’s guilt and all the IF friends you have made, suddenly you can’t to them the same. I am on the opposite end, struggling with dealing with IF friends who have gotten PG. I not only feel guilty for feeling jealous, but guilty because so many IFers have miscarriages, after I have already felt anger at them getting pregnant. It just keeps going in the most cruel and vicious circle of life. I have an IF friend who has since had 1 boy and is pregnant with twins. She says she STILL gets upset when fertile friends get pregnant easy. It doesn’t matter she now has kids. It’s like alcoholism – you always have it.

    • It’s awful how it rules your life! Every time I got upset or jealous about someone else’s pregnancy, I couldn’t help but think, I’ll probably make some other infertile feel that way some day. I don’t want to, but it’s pretty much inevitable. She may see me on the street and not know I’m infertile, but it probably wouldn’t matter anyway.

  2. Group OB sessions? Um, not for me either! That’s crazy! I can just see shocking all the other fertiles by mentioning that this is pregnancy #8 for me and I’m an expert at being pregnant and not bringing home a baby! Oh well, I’m glad you got an appointment but I can see how that’s hard to schedule without being further along.

    I’m going to have to ponder that quote- “you’ll never regret being excited or hopeful”…. Part of me still really thinks (wishes) that I could just keep myself so negative that I won’t be surprised when bad things happen. It’s not a great way to live but it still feels protective to me. Like a stinky old security blanket that I wrap myself in. Anyway- you definitely deserve to enjoy this! All the best

    • Oh, it’s definitely a protective mechanism. The thing is, even if you don’t allow yourself to be hopeful or happy, it will still be devastating if something bad happens. And you may even feel even more guilty about not having enjoyed it while you could. That’s what I’m trying to remember.

      Apparently, these group “intake” sessions are quite popular. I just wish my clinic had presented it as an option, not a requirement.

  3. I’ve lost 5 (poss 6?) and not being happy, hopeful and excited certainly doesn’t dull the pain when it goes wrong. ENJOY it! Be happy proud smug and grateful and try not to worry about the what ifs. Life is so unfair and there will always be someone worse off, but you’ve been through so much too and you DESERVE to be happy! Good luck good luck good luck xxx

  4. Please do not have survival guilt. I have never been pregnant and just got the news yesterday my IVF failed. However, hearing another one of us has finally gotten pregnant gives me hope through my sadness that maybe one day I can experience the same as you 🙂 I wish you a healthy pregnancy and baby!

      • I understand. Just enjoy your time. I know its hard not to feel guilty, but you worked hard for this. Nobody wants you to feel bad or downplay your joy because of them. Its hard because you want to remain sensitive to everyone’s feelings, yet you want to be celebrating too. Its a hard thing to balance and its strange to me to think that the natural fertiles never have to feel this way.

  5. I felt guilty that my first IVF cycle worked, but all of us have been through more than the average woman abd we all have differing issues. While I understand being worried, make sure to take the time to enjoy the fact that you are pregnant! Woo hoo!

  6. I’m with the others. You’re not out of the club because you got a positive beta (congratulations on yours). Or a positive sonogram (may you have many). Or a safe and rewarding birth (may the months to your getting there pass quickly and uneventfully). Or a health baby in your arms (may you get at least one of these out of this pregnancy). We all work so hard to be here and to get there. We all deserve it. Neither getting nor not getting the prize makes us any less deserving. I, like the other comment posters, wish you all the best and draw hope from your positive experience.

  7. I am so there with you. I’ve told my boss and a few of our friends down here who know what we’ve gone through but every time I say “I”m pregnant,” I have to follow that up with “as long as we see a heartbeat” or “as long as everything goes well, our due date is in August.” I hate that I’m saying these negative things when I want to be positive, but I’m not naive to what can happen and I don’t want other to get too excited just in case.

    I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel comfortable just saying “I”m pregnant and due in August!” without a chaser of “as long as the heart’s still beating in our next appointment,” and that makes me so sad. Infertility sucks.

    I’ve also had a lot of the survivor’s guilt lately. I’ve been censoring my posts and Tweets so that I don’t talk about it much or seem too excited because I don’t want to cause anyone pain.

    On a different note, what’s up with those group appointments? I would not feel comfortable saying my medical history in the presence of a bunch of ladies, fertile or not.

    • It really does suck.

      I think they do the history part privately, but still, I’m not going to sit with a bunch of probably-fertiles for Q&A. True, I might learn something new, but it’s not likely and not worth the anxiety.

  8. That advice from your friend is PERFECT. Accepting this good news will most likely be a process, but it sounds like you are on your way. I struggled with some guilt too, but just remember that in life there is always someone who has a worse hand than you do, but that doesn’t make you any less deserving of good things that come your way.

  9. I felt similar guilt as our first IVF went off without a hitch and both embryos implanted. It’s hard to not compare yourself to others. Then at every appt I’d leave excited but soon after start feeling nervous about whether the babies would still be there at the next appointment, or early labor etc. Once an infertile, always an infertile.

    • So true! Oddly enough, just today, when my RE was going through my chart on the computer, she said, “Oh, I have to change your diagnosis. You’re not “infertile” anymore!” It took all I had to bite my tongue.

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