Are you pregnant after IVF?
If you are then congratulations, and also, you are very normal if you are feeling a mix of emotions!
The emotional journey of IVF can be hard, exhausting and like a rollercoaster.
Then you finally get the good news. You are pregnant. Perhaps, you’ve been here before and then experienced a miscarriage. Perhaps, that’s exactly what you are fearing.
Some people expect to find out they are pregnant after IVF and just feel happy. Then they get there and are confused or disappointed that they don’t.
Here are some examples of the different emotions or challenges individuals experience when pregnant after IVF.
Please note that it’s normal to feel conflicting emotions at this time. Plus, importantly, there are things you can do to help yourself and get help with.
Relief and excitement!
The successful outcome of the IVF treatment can bring immense happiness and a feeling of accomplishment. You might be feeling huge relief and a sense of joy.
It’s okay to feel these even if you also feel some of the below. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves it’s safe to feel excited. We have an incorrect notion that feeling too happy might jinx things. That’s not how it works.
Anxiety and Fear
Despite the happiness, it’s common for individuals who’ve been through IVF to experience anxiety and fear at the same time as the relief and joy. The journey through infertility might have left emotional scars. You might have lost faith in your body or trust that things will work out smoothly for you.
Some people may feel guilt at not feeling great, constant joy. Like they ‘should’ feel a certain way. Remember the ‘shoulds’ are made up and feeling mixed emotions is normal.
Some mums also feel guilty that they’re feeling stressed as they worry this might damage the baby. This is part of a worry cycle and can be addressed along with anxiety.
Ambivalence or doubt
Often after a long emotional journey, a defence response is to numb emotions. Some mums sense this numbness and find it confusing which just feeds either worry or feelings of guilt. Some mums struggle to attach to their pregnancy for fear of not being able to cope if anything goes wrong. Again, this is a very understandable protective response which can be overcome as you learn to reconnect with your body and why you want this baby.
Pregnancy and birth are inherently uncertain times. This can be hard to manage after a difficult or long experience of IVF. There are risks with all pregnancies and births. Nothing is guaranteed. Part of building emotional stability and confidence is learning to manage this uncertainty and focus on what you can control or manage.
Attachment and Bonding:
Some mums struggle to attach to their pregnancy for fear of not being able to cope if anything goes wrong. This disconnect can lead to other emotions (see above) and also can interfere with building an emotional connection with the baby.
Sense of identity:
Not being able to easily conceive can challenge someone’s sense of identity. This can have a knock-on effect to confidence. Some mums carry a sense of their body ‘failing’ somehow. As part of building confidence for birth, reconnecting to a strong sense of self is important.
In Confident Childbirth, we will explore:
- Emotional regulation and balance
- Managing uncertainty and stacking the odds in your favour
- Self-compassion and grounding
- Resilience and confidence boosting
For more details, email us on email@example.com