Infertility Symbols and a Little Bit Pregnant
A Little Bit Pregnant
You can be a little bit pregnant. I was, twice.
Each time was a pregnancy that was not viable or sustainable. Each time, the numbers in my blood that proved I was pregnant would not double or reflect a growing pregnancy.
For me, both positive pregnancy tests were quickly followed by bleeding that made it clear that the pregnancy was not progressing or surviving. There was no question, not in my mind and not in my doctor's voices when I spoke with them.
At least there was no question, that was a silver lining, only in retrospect. I went immediately into grieving. Deep grieving. Crying, feeling deep down, bone marrow disappointment, frustration and fear. I isolated and found solace in being alone and slowly, incrementally slowly, rejoined the world, through the lifeline of a few dear friends.
Sometimes the pregnancy will progress farther and you will sit on the possibility of the pregnancy progressing properly, safely, with the baby in your arms at the end of nine months. You will balance between hope and fear. Straddling them both as you breathe through your days, hoping that the bleeding doesn't commence or continue. Fearing that it will all just go away, as quickly as a breath.
Do you feel crazy through this?
Most of us do. Many of us have moments of calm and serenity, quickly followed by intense fear and even terror. Some of us start praying, (I did), when that was never a possibility before. Offering and bargaining. I know I did that. I shudder when I think what I offered to give up, just to have the pregnancy progress and the infertility to be behind me.
Working with Symbols of Infertility
There's a reason that a roller coaster is so often the symbol of infertility. The ups and downs are significant, the unexpected dips can make your belly sink so quickly that you have to hold onto something or gasp out loud.
I love roller coasters. There's a roller coaster that I have been on many times. Probably about twenty times over the last fifteen or so years.
I know where the dips are, where the curves are, what's coming next. I remember quite clearly the spots when my stomach will feel like it's been left thirty feet behind me.
And yet, each time, it feels unexpected and unmanageable.
Why don't we get used to it? Why don't we get used to the ups and downs of fertility treatment? Why don't we learn to modulate our reactions and expectations?
Hope you weren't expecting an answer.
For me, it was directly related to the amount that I cared and wanted my baby. I am a passionate person, about many things. This was different, life changing different. When the stakes are so high and the desire so much higher and then you throw in the expenses and the medications and the appointments and the possibility that it won't work, doesn't it make sense?
If you're feeling crazy, you are not alone.
Let us know how we can help. We are here.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.