*Trigger Warning: This post involves discussion around natural pregnancy. Be well.*
What emotion, besides grief, has been the most omnipresent one on my infertility journey? Guilt. I have dragged that heavy feeling around like it’s a secret talisman for the past 4+ years of TTC. It reared its ugly head early in the game. My friend became pregnant their first month without protection while I was on month 6 of struggling and I was so angry. Fate was such a bitch and I just didn’t know how I could stand it! But it didn’t take long for that flash of anger to be replaced by the searing heat of guilt. My cheeks flamed and I cast my eyes down as a strangled breath caught in my throat. How could I be so cold? I should be overwhelmed with joy for my friend and yet I was not. How could I be such a person? Who feels like this?!
It turns out that most people who are dealing with infertility have experienced the intense guilt that comes with the territory. Guilt over anger that it isn’t your turn. Guilt at questioning God’s plan for you. Guilt at not feeling joy for others successes. Guilt over wanting anything this badly. Guilt at not valuing your marriage higher. Guilt at not taking good enough care of your body. Guilt over every minuscule decision you made on the months that didn’t work out.
Guilt. Heavy, suffocating, guilt.
I thought it would go away if/when I managed to conceive. With my first pregnancy, we conceived through IVF with the help of ICSI… I had nothing to feel guilty for. I had worked my ass off to get to that pregnancy and had thrown a lot of science and money at it. And yet, I did. I felt bad for my friends that were left in the trenches that month, having not been as lucky. I felt a little removed from the whole thing because I didn’t really know where I fit in the community anymore and then guilty for feeling that way too!
And so, dear readers, it is with further guilt that I have a confession to make… I am pregnant again. This time naturally. In the month leading up to our planned FET, while taking Suprefact to turn off my ovaries, we managed to conceive on our own. A feat that had never happened before in the 48 months of us trying like hell to become pregnant. And what was the first feeling that I had when I saw the stick turn positive? Guilt (actually fear, because of the meds I was on… but once that was removed guilt quickly took its place).
Guilt, naturally. I wish I knew how to remove it.
I hope that none of you are hurt by my news, it is your anticipated pain that drives the guilt home so hard. I remember what it was like- to be on your end of the guilt stick- and now I ask you, humbly, to consider what it must be like on my end. Here I am, getting what I have always hoped for- a miracle. And the guilt does change the taste of it.