For anyone who has struggled to conceive, finally discovering that you’re pregnant is truly a dream come true. That said, it’s not all sunshine and roses once the lines on the stick turn pink. Many former infertiles (this writer included) feel anxious, conflicted or even guilty about finally nailing their HCG test.
For those who can relate, here’s a list of the many ways life after infertility can be an even wilder roller coaster than the trek to get there—all from women who have been there. Some are fun, some are serious, but if you’re one of the one in 10 U.S. couples who have struggled to get pregnant, you’ll definitely relate.
You know you’re pregnant after infertility if …
#1 You’ve been taking prenatal vitamins since 2013.
#2 There’s a picture of a five-week-old embryo in your baby book.
#3 “You’re so relieved to have morning sickness; every time you throw up, it’s cause for celebration!” — Amy Wruble, 44, Santa Monica, Calif., mom of two (spontaneous) and the blogger behind Carriage Before Marriage
#4 The thought of conceiving via sex sounds as quaint as making your own soap or lighting the house with a kerosene lamp.
#5 “You can’t allow yourself to be happy about any of the milestones—or the pregnancy for that matter—just in case there is another disappointment and this is the one that breaks you.” — Erika Hernandez Cohen, 36, Chicago, mom to twin one-year-old boys (IVF)
#6 “you feel guilty posting any photos of your bump on social media because you don’t want to make other women struggling to become pregnant jealous.” — Jessa Taylor*, 29, Boulder, Colo., mom to a six-month old baby boy (spontaneous after a year of fertility treatments)
#7 Foreplay for you means your husband swabbing your butt cheek with an alcohol pad before stabbing you with a three-inch, progesterone-filled needle.
#8 You spend hours online comparing HCG levels with strangers with names like BabyDust317 and GoBabyGo! because you think you might be pregnant with twins.
#9 Your baby announcement is a jumble of acronyms: “After 2 years unexplained IF, 3 failed IUIs (all BFN), 2 IVFs with ICSI, we finally have our BFP!”
#10 “You don’t want to complain about any symptoms you experience because you know you should be grateful. But ugh, the constipation.” — Taylor
#11 “Are disappointed with how few ultrasounds are done during a low-risk pregnancy.” — Kristen Engle, 32, Elmhurst, Ill., mom to four boys under age 5 (IUI twins; spontaneous; spontaneous)
#12 You freak out if your boobs suddenly aren’t sore … or sitting in the back seat of a car doesn’t make you want to puke … or the smell of chicken no longer sends you sprinting to the bathroom.
#13 “If you opt for the Jewish genetic screening panel on the off chance that one of your distant Scandinavian relatives was harboring a dark religious secret.” — Merritt Salverson*, 40, Madison, Wis., mom to a 17-month old daughter (spontaneous after two years of fertility treatments)
#14 “if you cancel a non-refundable Bahamas vacation over fear of in-flight miscarriage. True story.” — Salverson
#15 You gleefully drop trou every night for the first 10 weeks or so, so your partner or friend can continue administering your progesterone shots.
#16 Nothing baby-related is bought until you’ve passed the 24-week mark.
#17 “You take frequent trips to bathroom to check your undies for blood.” — Carrie Downs, 39, Trenton, N.J., mom to three kids (Clomid, Clomid, spontaneous)
#18 The notion of twins doesn’t even freak you out because at least that way you’ll get more for your money (IVF is expensive!)
#19 The video below of a wife telling her husband they’re pregnant after 10 years of marriage and five years of infertility makes you weep like a baby. (OK, you don’t have to have experienced infertility—anyone would tear of at that!)
By Leslie Goldman