Thursday, October 20, 2011

Re-learning to trust

Today, while commenting on a fellow blogger's post about her recent BFP.  I realized something about my own fears, and probably the fears of many infertiles, when first getting that BFP after struggling with infertility for so long.  I think part of what makes our worries so strong, isn't just the terrible, gnawing fear of losing what we've worked towards for so long, but is also the lack of trust we have in our own bodies to do that which they were designed to do.

Infertility, for so many women, represents a failure of our bodies to be able to do something that it seems should be as natural as breathing in and out.  We begin to hate ourselves, doubt our femininity, and hate what we think of as our "broken" bodies, as month after month our hopes at conceiving are not just dashed, but stomped into the dust in a painful, bloody show.  We watch, helpless, as our bodies bleed out yet another month of beautiful dreams of a baby already so real that we can feel the curl of their little hand wrapped around our fingers.  It's a betrayal, a deception!  Our bodies look normal, but inside something is wrong, and we can't help but feel we have failed as a woman, a wife, a girlfriend, etc.

Furthermore, many of us have not only experienced first hand the pain of repeated chemical, ectopic, or blighted ovum pregnancies, miscarriages, cervical issues, preterm labor, and other losses, but we have watcher our sisters in the IF community going through them as well.  So really is it any wonder we find it near impossible to trust our bodies to do what they are supposed to do, once we do find ourselves clutching that positive pee stick?

After holding my own positive pregnancy test, watching to see if the tests would grow darker before even thinking to hope, crying in panicked relief over each successive beta test and then each ultrasound, I quickly realized I had completely lost faith in my body, and I was expecting the worst at every moment.  Doctors, midwives, family, books, all told me the safest place for my little one was and would always be, tucked away in my perfectly designed by nature womb, but it took daily affirmations, the baby reaching viability, and a lot of visits to the OB and midwife, to really begin to believe them.

There will always be fear, I know -- after all, I'm almost 30 now and my own mother and grandmother have never stopped worrying about me -- but at 32 weeks I prefer feeling confident that my body knows what it is doing.  Something could always go wrong, but I prefer to have faith in my womb, in my cervix, and in myself.  I prefer to believe, that regardless of what it took to get here, nature made me perfectly to carry this little one to term and deliver her safely into the world. 

I guess all I'm trying to say is, there is hope for us all, and we can learn to trust our bodies again but it is a long road for any IFer staring down at two pink lines.  In the meanwhile, don't let anyone tell you that you are worrying for nothing, that your fears are silly, or that you should just relax and celebrate.  Take your own time finding your peace with your body and your pregnancy, and enjoy what you can until you are able to enjoy more fully. 


  1. Yes. Exactly. If I couldn't trust my body to work it's reproductive system properly, how in the world can I trust it to protect one of the most important things in the entire world, my unborn child(ren)?

    Every time a worry creeps in about whether or not I will see a heartbeat at the next ultrasound or whether I will make it out of the first trimester, I have to remind myself that thousands (THOUSANDS!) of women are walking around everyday, their body doing exactly what it is supposed to do and protecting their children. Why would mine be any different?

    It's just so hard to do!

  2. This post rings so true for me. First I hated my body for not conceiving on its own the way it was supposed to. Then when IVF led me to pregnancy I thought 'finally if did something right'. Then it broke a blood vessel and I ended up in the hospital and I hated it again. But it seemed to turn out okay and didn't hurt my babies. And I was grateful. And the final betrayal was last week when my body either produced a blood clot that separated the placenta or my cervix failed me.

    Now, I have very little faith in my body. I can only hope that with some medical help and luck I will be able to bring a baby into the world at the right (safe) time.

    It's so good to know that some IF gals can conquer this.

  3. The way I explain it to people is that it is really hard to believe good news after you've received so much bad news for so long. Part of the grieving process for me meant that I had to let go of the HOW we started our family and focus on the ultimate goal of HAVING a family. There was a part of me that had given up on pregnancy... Just because I wanted it, didn't mean that it was in the cards for me.

    When we started getting good news it was hard to trust that the good news was real. And hard to believe that I might actually get to experience this much wanted pregnancy, that part of me had already grieved the loss of.