by Lynn Polin
I hated everything about being pregnant. I hated the constant nausea, the restless nights, the way my body looked and how it felt. The movements and kicks felt foreign to me too and, truth be told, kinda freaked me out. Pregnancy glow? Yeah - that wasn’t me.
And I was infuriated about it because I deserved and wanted to enjoy every last bit of it.
See, I worked hard to have my 2 girls - 10 rounds of IVF hard. I spent 6 years of my life in doctors’ offices getting probed by ultrasound wands, getting my arms poked for blood draws and administering shot after shot of fertility drugs in my belly and bum. All I ever wanted was to conceive and be a mother. When I did, I felt an intense amount of guilt for complaining about it because this is what I wanted right?
No matter how you conceive, pregnancy. Is. Hard. It puts a strain on your body physically and emotionally. You don’t feel well a lot of the time, your feet swell, your back hurts and you can’t walk up a flight of steps without gasping for air. Just because you wished for it, worked for it and paid for it does not negate the fact that it is not glorious. And remember when you told everyone that you couldn’t wait for the morning sickness and would never groan about being pregnant? Yeah, that old you didn’t really know what she was saying so forgive her innocent ignorance.
You have permission to complain about pregnancy after infertility. You have permission to be angry at the fact that you worked really hard to conceive and are struggling to relish in it. Pregnancy is complicated and yours, despite your journey, is not immune to these blips. Embrace it, accept it, grieve the kind of amazing pregnancy you envisioned and ground in the fact that yes, this is what you wanted, yes, it is more difficult than you imagined, and yes, this too shall pass and your little miracle will be in your arms.
I’m going to share something really hard, so take a breath before reading on….
You also have permission to complain about being a mom because being a mother is incredibly difficult and taxing. So forgive that old you who said she couldn’t wait to be up all night with her screaming infant because she really had no idea that this is what it was actually going to be like. Sure you love your baby and wouldn’t want it any other way. But parenting is hard, like unequivocally hard. You are not a “bad mom” for wishing your baby would sleep a little longer, cry a little less and be a little more cooperative. You are being a mom who is doing the absolute best that she can.
Offer yourself the utmost compassion and grace during these life changes. You have been through an incredible and most likely traumatic family-building journey. You deserve to be a mom. You deserve the time and space you need to complain like other “normal” moms do. The truth is, you may have reached parenthood in a different way but you are not exempt from the beautiful chaos that comes with it.
You are enough, Momma. You are enough.
Lynn Polin is a wife, mom, fertility coach and volunteer, and a fierce infertility warrior. Her coaching practice is Kindred Beginnings in South Jersey.