Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Loss of the satisfactions of pregnancy

While I won't say that I have never fantasized about what it would be like to feel a baby moving inside me for the first time, or to breast feed, or even to give birth, I think that, for me, these are the least of the losses of permanent infertility.  Yes, I would like to experience these things, and the control freak side of me wants to gestate my own baby, if for no other reason than for the complete control over the intrauterine that would come with that.

Honestly, though, hearing my friends talk about their pregnancies over many years makes me think that, for many women, the physical satisfactions of pregnancy are darned few when compared with the physical discomforts and inconveniences.  I can happily live out my life without having experienced morning sickness, extreme fatigue, urinary urgency, varicose veins, skin break-outs, hemorrhoids, or carpal tunnel syndrome, all of which many friends of mine have experienced with their pregnancies.

Don't get me wrong: I would gladly tolerate all these things and more in order to bring my--our--healthy child into the world.  I know that if I somehow become pregnant someday, I will find these things to be minor annoyances when compared with the "reward" of having endured them.  I'm simply saying that these are things I could gladly go without having experienced.

I know there are some women who "glow" and feel terrific while they are pregnant, but they seem to be in the minority based on the stories I hear.  And even more rarely, there are some women for whom pregnancy induces potentially life-threatening conditions like pre-eclampsia, HELLP syndrome, or diabetes.

As for the "emotional satisfactions" of pregnancy, after over two years of struggling with TTC and one miscarriage, I am not sure that I would fully experience those emotional satisfactions in the same way that someone else might.  Certainly I would be thrilled and ecstatic to be pregnant, and I have no doubt that I would feel a deepening emotional bond with my baby as my pregnancy progressed. 

But at the same time, knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  I know that I would be worried throughout my pregnancy about the possibility of losing the baby or of something else going wrong.  What if, after all the struggle and expense, I miscarried again, maybe even farther along this time?  What if something was wrong with the baby?  What if I gave birth too early, resulting in lasting serious complications for the baby?

As a former nurse, and after over two years of TTC and being a part of this online community, I am almost too informed about "the shadow side" pregnancy and childbirth.  So I think it would be hard to set aside what I know could go wrong and feel fully emotionally satisfied at being pregnant. 

For me, the real emotional satisfactions would come when I finally hold my baby in my arms.


  1. I have the exact same feelings you do about pg...although grateful for the opportunity and experience...but terrified of what we know and all the "reproductive traumas" we have had to endure in all our TTC stories. I will only feel elated when it's 100% and all.

  2. Beautiful post. As I look back on my own journey, I realized that I had such a *need* to be pregnant, or so I thought...and that need was completely tied in to my need for a family. For me, I thought that they were one in the same. And for many, they are. But now that we have our daughter through adoption, I wouldn't have it any other way. While I still possess the desire to be pregnant someday, it's awesome to know that, as you said,the real emotional satisfaction comes when you hold your baby in your arms.


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