Getting a positive pregnancy test result after trying to conceive unsuccessfully for some time is an exhilarating moment.
At last, you can put fertility tests and treatment behind you and get on with the rest of your life just like any other mother-to-be. Or at least, that's the assumption - but it isn't quite that simple for many women who have taken a while to get pregnant. The initial excitement at the positive pregnancy test is often overshadowed almost immediately by an overwhelming sense of anxiety. Of course, all pregnant women worry, but this tends to be worrying on an entirely different scale. Women may have lost confidence in their bodies if they have failed to get pregnant many times in the past, and they often suppose that fertility problems will inevitably lead to pregnancy problems.
I interviewed dozens of mothers and mothers-to-be when I was researching my new book, Precious Babies, and some common themes quickly emerged. Many women had found it so hard to believe they could be pregnant that they'd kept buying more pregnancy testing kits until they'd finally had to come to terms with the fact that they couldn't all be faulty!
The fear of miscarriage had dominated many pregnancies, and a number of women confessed that they didn't ever feel that they were 'properly' pregnant or that they were really going to have a baby. Some were so worried about tempting fate that they waited until the last possible moment to buy maternity clothes or things for their babies. One of my aims in writing Precious Babies was to help women understand that these feelings aren't unusual and to offer reassurance. With that in mind, I've put together some tips for any readers of TheBabyWebsite who may have had to wait to get pregnant.
Pregnancy After Infertility
If a pregnancy test says you are pregnant, then you really are pregnant! Worrying about problems that might arise won't stop them occurring, so try not to let your pregnancy be dominated by worries. During early pregnancy, there are sometimes odd little aches and pains and even some spotting or bleeding. Do see your doctor or midwife if you experience any of these, but don't immediately assume the worst. You don't need to wrap yourself in cotton wool when you are pregnant and it is all right to carry on with your normal daily activities. If you follow your common sense, you aren't going to do anything that could lead to problems
Never worry about asking too many questions when you see your midwife or doctor, however trivial you feel your worries may be. It's important to feel reassured, and midwives and doctors will be used to dealing with concerns. Pregnancy isn't always easy and sometimes sickness and exhaustion can make things really tough. Complaining about how pregnancy makes you feel isn't the same as complaining about being pregnant. If you found any complementary therapies helped you to relax when you were trying to conceive, they may be useful during pregnancy too. Make sure you tell your practitioner that you are pregnant so that the treatment can be tailored accordingly. Do go along to any pregnancy-related groups, such as antenatal classes or pregnancy yoga, that interest you. It is really helpful to meet other pregnant women, and you have just as much right to be at an antenatal group as any other mother-to-be. Once you are pregnant, it is important that the midwife or doctor looking after you is aware of your fertility history, but if you don't want to tell all and sundry that is a perfectly legitimate choice. At the same time, if you are proud that you are finally pregnant after a long wait and want to tell other people your story, you may find that you soon discover other mothers who are in the same boat. Remember that having had problems getting pregnant doesn't mean that you will automatically have problems being pregnant. Try to enjoy your pregnancy - after waiting so long for this, you deserve to relish every moment!