IVF · Pregnancy

When Pregnancy Isn’t the “Happily Ever After” of IVF/Infertility

Yesterday I watched as a cup of blood and giant clot off stuff just emptied out of my body. Between tears and sobs I reassured myself, out loud, that it would be ok. That the baby was fine. That likely it was just another round of blood clots. (see my post at week 10 for the first miscarriage scare). I scooped up the “stuff” (yes, it was still just as awful to do as the first time), put it in a mason jar and off Andrew and I went for another four hour trip at the ER department.

And yes, the baby is just fine. It was another traumatic blood clot episode. Which may happen again. Because, last Tuesday at our full, high risk ultrasound, scheduled because my blood work “failed” the Spina Bifida portion of the maternal screening, it was discovered that I have a) Placenta Previa- full, b) low/failed placenta and c) shortened cervix. All of which are high risk for premature birth and not conducive to a vaginal birth (c-section) due to the health risk to me.

The only miracle: our little baby girl (squee!) is totally, completely, healthy and just fine.

However, as the OB pointed out, until 24 weeks (which I am three days away from 20 at the moment) the baby wouldn’t be viable if she were born prematurely. And even at 24 weeks, the health complications are extreme.

So. As of last Tuesday I have been on modified bed rest. Meaning- staying home from work, light household chores only, no heavy lifting (anything beyond a two litre pop bottle, which I don’t drink but there you go), limited standing on my feet and…. NO YOGA.

Just when I was starting to feel better physically and looking forward to renewing my yoga practice and actually enjoying being pregnant. This week was spent processing emotionally the possibility of modified bed rest (and not working), of worrying over how my failing lady parts would affect the health of my baby, of requiring a c-section and not having the opportunity of a vaginal birth and not being able to practice yoga asana, something that has been an important part of my life for over a decade.

While going through IVF and the years of infertility procedures and treatments, I viewed pregnancy as the “Happily Ever After” ending to a long and arduous journey. It was the end goal, roll the credits type event. And although I wouldn’t trade being pregnant for not, this pregnancy has been far from sunshine and roses.

Like every aspect of conceiving and (in)fertility, this pregnancy has been difficult at every single step. And yet so precious.

It’s almost ironic that someone as “crunchy” and “natural” as myself has had the most medicalized conception and now, very likely, birth (c-section). I’ve been forced to re-evaluate what is the most important part of this process: having a healthy baby.

Regardless if the journey there isn’t what I had hoped- conception was filled with pain and awful procedures, I likely won’t be an active, fit yoga pregnant lady enjoying prenatal yoga with my beautiful round belly, and I very likely won’t have a natural birth.

But should I have a healthy, full (or almost) term baby girl, THAT is what matters most.

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8 thoughts on “When Pregnancy Isn’t the “Happily Ever After” of IVF/Infertility

  1. After my first home birth (third pregnancy in 3 years) was less than “perfect” and I tore A LOT etc etc my midwife reminded me that I was having a baby and not a birth:)

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  2. Oh, wow, mama. What a lot to have to process. I’m so glad your baby girl is okay, though. Do you knit or crochet or embroider or anything like that? If you do, making some baby things might be a good way to pass the time while you’re having to rest.

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