Writer Kelsey Holland had spent months struggling with her battle with infertility. Now more than 29 weeks pregnant, she opens up about her ongoing battle with her infertility and sense of self inspired by her pregnancy.
She compares her pregnancy to an ongoing mistrust in her body as her pregnancy continues that feels much like PTSD or anxiety. For weeks, she could not enter the nursery she and her husband designed and found herself constantly saying "if the baby comes" rather than "when the baby comes."
In emphasizing the emotional toll of her IVF journey, she delivers these words or wisdom and solidarity to women in a similar position:
Give yourself permission
Kelsey emphasizes the importance in allowing yourself to process your feelings of skepticism and mistrust in your own body. Carrying a child after a struggle with infertility can be scary and emotionally draining. She recommends surrounding yourself with those who validate your feelings and experiences, and pushing aside those who think telling you to "relax" is a message of solidarity.
Find a provider you trust
With having lost a relatively high amount of trust in your own body and its functional abilities, it's vital to find providers who are there to support you. Kelsey said her OB went above and beyond, even inviting her to come hear the heartbeat when anxieties were high. Your constant questioning on your baby's health and other anxieties can feel like a burden on the people around you, but finding a midwife or OB who can answer your questions and act as a support system will be extremely beneficial to your pregnancy experience.
Sign up for a birth class
Kelsey and her husband took Bradley classes in hope of restoring some of the intimacy that IVF robbed from their relationship. Not only were the classes fun, but the two learned a lot about their pregnancy and birth, medical consumerism, pain management techniques, and a variety of other labor suggestions. These classes prepare your for the eventual birth and prepare you for the emotional tolls that giving birth can take, making it a worthy investment for IVF patients.
Connect and discuss
Pregnancy is a psychologically and physiologically challenging time for all women, and having gone through IVF does not make it any easier. Kelsey suggests that power lies in creating a coalition of women who allow themselves to be vulnerable, honest, and supportive of one another while they encounter road bumps. This coalition can make pregnant women feel less isolated through helpful advice, feedback, and genuine empathy for one another.
While following some of these words of wisdom, Kelsey suggests that IVF patients who have a successful pregnancy will feel less alone and more comfortable in their journey. Thank you, Kelsey, for these beautiful words of wisdom that will definitely help others.