Sunday, September 8, 2013

Identity Crisis

This post is as hard to write as it will be for some to read (particularly anyone that has experienced infertility or issues with getting pregnant). So, I apologize in advance and consider yourself warned. 

Hearing pregnancy announcements, particularly unplanned pregnancies, have been a kick to the gut since about 3 months after we first started trying to get pregnant. It definitely got worse after we got my unknown infertility combined with the hubby's mediocre swimmers and worse still after William and Ethan died. Every announcement was a painful reminder of what my body couldn't do right on its own...get pregnant without assistance or carry my babies to term. As a result I am very sensitive to the affect of pregnancy announcements. 

And here is where I am having a bit of an identity crisis...and trouble sharing our news because I am indeed pregnant. And the kicker is it was not planned. I'm not sure how it was possible but it happened. 

I will preface everything I  about to write with I am grateful and this baby is very much wanted. Let there be no mistake in that. There is a lot of surprise, confusion and fear which takes a person to crazy town every so often and I know that is where most of my mixed up thoughts come from.

With Maxwell just turning one, another baby wasn't a topic if conversation other than, yeah, maybe some day we'll try a last round of IVF. I am completely freaking out about how another baby is going to fit into the mix with a toddler that will not yet be two. The logistics of it all are too much to think about.

I can't quite reconcile my infertile self with  the reality of an unplanned pregnancy. I had accepted my fate...pregnancy was not something that could "just happen." We would need help. I found a sense of security in the planning involved in an IVF cycle. But a surprise like this...just getting pregnant randomly has destroyed that identity, the sense of security and what I thought I knew about myself. 

And then there is my history of loss, preterm labor and premature water breaking. I am a wreck thinking about how this new baby has such a small chance of arriving without issue. With all I know it's hard not to freak out. I am officially the master of the short end of statistics. Make something improbable and somehow I will be that improbable case.

I can't help but feel a little detached and a hefty dose of denial that this is's sad, but true, that my confidence in this pregnancy resulting in a live baby is almost nil. I fully expect to have a miscarriage or something else to go wrong because that is the kind of luck I have. No pregnancy bliss here.

Of course, the universe saw what I wrote in a previous post about my babies, past and potentially future, being from the same IVF retrieval and thought that was hilarious. This baby is not from "the batch" and I worried that my comfort in the thought all my babies would be batch mates would change how I feel about this baby. I am letting go of that slowly but surely...I have to.

The final kicker,  mother lode of stress and heart ache is estimated due date is 3 days before William and Ethan's due date. That means that every pregnancy milestone is nearly identical to least until 24 weeks when they made their far too early arrival. The anxiety and tears this realization has brought about shakes me to my core. Yes every pregnancy is different, especially this one, but this is just too much to not freak out about. The week surrounding December 4th is going to be incredibly difficult this year, even more so than usual. 

So there it is...if you've made it this far I hope I haven't offended, hurt feelings or lost your support. I think I need it more than ever.


  1. Oh my word, Jess. I just blindly assumed that you guys had decided you were ready for another round of IVF with your embryos. I didn't realize this was such a surprise for you! Wow! That's great, of course, but I also understand all the mixed feelings about the embryos and the timing. Sending lots of love to you, your boys, and this unexpected gift.

  2. I have written and rewritten my response and can't seem to find the perfect words... Forgive me if this does not come out right.

    I cannot imagine how turned up you must feel carrying a "rainbow" on the same timeline as the boys. How unreal an unexpected pregnancy would feel and the bewilderment of it all. I know you are a compassionate, loving, sensitive and incredible mama to your three boys. One moment and one breath at a time. We stand in loving support of you.

  3. Oh wow - yes, so much. Lots of good. But lots of very conflicting and heavy emotions for you for sure.

    Finn was due one week before Cale's due date and arrive 15 days before Cale's birthday. The timeline did freak me out at times, but mostly it comforted me - because it connected my babies. So even though we hope this little babe of yours DOES go past 24 weeks (and that in itself will be hard as I'm sure it was with Maxwell - why him/her? and not them?) and even though they aren't front he same batch - they are from the same love, the same fear and hope AND they are sharing something else with their siblings - this time (literally, the season) that you carried them and loved on them.

    Very happy for you. Very hopeful. xo

  4. First of all, congratulations!

    My boys are 18 months apart. I won't lie, the first 6 months were pretty rough. But you figure it out, lower your standards a little, buy a nice leash for the toddler :) I mean leash-backpack. (We don't use it often but it makes an excellent threat to keep him from running off. "Do you want to hold my hand or do you want to wear your leash backpack?")

    I know that must be so bittersweet to be on such a similar timeline as the boys. But just like you got through your last pregnancy, you will get through that too.

    Big hugs.

  5. Wow. Like Brooke I assumed this was a planned pregnancy. I'm just sitting here in such shock. I think about all my own thoughts on getting pregnant again and how I feel like I have a choice as to when and if this will happen again. There is a sense of security in feeling like I have some control, but to have this just happen. I understand the need to have SOME freaking control. So much emotion and fear. The same timeline as the twins?!? I just can't help thinking about how this would feel if it were me and it scares me so much. I empathize as much as I possible can and send as much love as support through this message to you as I possibly can. Lean on your tribe, that's what we are here for. Xoxo

  6. Wow and congratulations. I know it will be scary, but what a blessing.

  7. Wow is right! So happy and hopeful for you and scared with you at the same time. Lots of love!

  8. Oh, Jess. Of course this is wonderful news. But totally loaded, as is anything related to pregnancy... especially for someone who is classified as infertile.

    The timeline would make me nervous, too. I'm sorry that there is and will always be such a paradox between what you're feeling and how things should be. Cautiously excited and anxious along with you.

  9. I completely understand. Michael's pregnancy was unplanned.... and his due date was a week after Nicholas and Sophia's. After the years of IF, loss, rough pregnancies, bedrest, and the NICU, Michael's pregnancy was healing and his infancy, in that it has been so much more normal than Bobby and Maya's, has been as well. The timeline was hard at times, I wont lie to you. But that being said, I hope that your pregnancy gives you the healing that mine gave me.