Tag Archives: baby loss

Mom after IVF = Obsessive Mom? (a post written 9m back)

Well not only IVF but has the struggle to have a baby of our own (after multiple ectopic pregnancies and a couple of failed /cancelled IVF cycles) turned me into an obsessive mom?

Let’s see.

My sister-in-law visited us last weekend and we (my husband, she and I) had one of those late night conversations. She rightly pointed out how she was hurt and probably even offended when she came home to see Baby B when Baby B was 5days old. I was in a separate room when it happened but apparently she was too eager to take Baby B from DH and DH was t ready to hand over Baby B to her. They had some sort of blowout where both were hurt and ended up saying hurtful things to each other. I won’t go I to the details here.

Mind you, this is a almost 6-month old story and many still hold a grudge or our (DH and my) behaviours back then have been engrained on them …including my in-laws and maybe even my parents though I will leave them out here as our slate is clean.

She (for the most part rightly) pointed out that she cannot fathom to understand how long we (DH and I) have waited for this “precious” baby given our history. She doesn’t know how it feels but understood the “whys” behind our feelings. The biggest thing according to her DH and I forgot (or missed or did not consider) according to her is how long she’s waited to be an aunt, how long my in-laws have waited to be grandparents. I quietly listened and took her point onboard for the most part. DH and are the youngest in the family and more listeners than talkers.

While I understand and get her point, I would like to stress that NO ONE in our family (DHs or mine) know what it feels like to go through what “I” went and then what “we” went through and I’m sorry to say this out loud but that very statement alone gives me and DH the freedom to behave how we want when it comes to our baby. We’re not being nasty and neither have we run away with the baby or anything. First time parents are anxious, apprentice, hormonal…you name it and just multiply that maybe by a 1000!

This combination of being first time parents after our history makes us super duper protective about the little one (leave alone her jaundice, weight issues etc etc). My general nature would have been to be protective about my baby and these last few years have made me even more protective about her. So yes, what SIL said is taken on board. Maybe I am a tad bit obsessive or over-protective, maybe I’m not having a life of my own or taking my mind off anything but Baby B. Ultimately, that is my choice and unfortunately no one knows or will ever know where such feelings are coming from. Anything they think or feel is ONLY and ONLY a guesstimate.


My dream

Something about me that most people don’t know is that I have dreams and the next morning, I seem to remember many of them in detail (thought they don’t make sense most of the time!).

Last night I dreamt I was 7 months pregnant. We were expecting a baby boy and were setting up our new home for the newest addition to our family. Our baby was born prematurely and was kept away from me for days but in the end it was all fine. Our baby was most perfect with his ten little fingers and ten little toes. He was our baby and I was his mother. He had my looks but had his father’s eyes and nose. Everyone in the family came to see him when we got him home for the first time. We put him down in his crib and doted on him. I felt blessed.

My dream reminded me about this post I read on my babycentre forum a few days ago and I thought I should share here. This lady has so aptly put what most of us feel about being mothers but are probably unable to put into words…

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better. 

I will be better not because of genetics, or money, or that I have read more books but because:

I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again. Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.

I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life. 

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold, and feed him, and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot, or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me. 

I count myself lucky in this sense: that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see. Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured.

I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend, and sister because I have known pain. 

I know disillusionment, as I have been betrayed by my own body. 

I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.

I have succeeded.

I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely.

I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and that life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

My best friend is pregnant

One of my best friends (lets call her K for now), is pregnant. She did not give me the news herself, but her sister (lets call her J) who is my other best friend and also the only friend who knows about our fertility issues called and gave me the good news.

Although K has been living out of the country for a few years now and we barely speak on the phone now thanks to ‘whatsapp’, I still thought if and when it came to such news, she would tell me herself. However, I think J had something to do with this – she handled telling me the news very delicately and made sure that if I did I have a reaction (for example, if I felt like crying, had gulp in my throat …any of that) she would be there on the other side. To my surprise, I didn’t have much of a reaction partly because I knew K had been trying to conceive (TTC) and it was only a matter of time and partly because I am quite pepped up in general at this point in time since we are in the middle of our first IVF cycle.

Over the last two years, I think I have matured in dealing with pregnancy news amongst friends and family. Since DH and I both come from large closely knit Indian families, a lot of our first cousins around the same age-group got pregnant, had babies, went on to trying for second babies over this period. On the friends front, a similar story, many of our friends had baby number 1 or were TTC baby number 1 around the same time we started off in 2011.

After our first ectopic pregnancy in 2011:

I grieved for the longest time and barely got out of the house. The sight of anyone with the slightest bump brought tears to my eyes. Suddenly it felt like everyone was pregnant (I know that wasn’t the case but if just felt like that at that point in time). I saw them at the bus stop on my way to work, on the bus, at work, at my yoga class, at the grocery store, at restaurants, at mall…even bumped into them when we went for quiet walks in our neighbourhood in the evening. It made me sad and made me cry (I will admit that I might have been a little jealous too!). I welled up because their bump reminded me of what I had lost and made it slightly more difficult to move on.

At this point, DH and I lived in London far away from family and friends in India. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) estimated that 1-in-90 pregnancies are ectopic pregnancies. So my way of getting around pregnant women was to start counting pregnant women I saw (up to 90). I know it sounds silly but at that point, for me these 90 women represented the 90 (in the 1-in 90) that probably didn’t suffer ectopic pregnancies since was the 1 (in the 1-in-90). This changed my attitude. When I saw them, I was not longer upset or jealous. Instead, in my mind, I prayed for a happy and healthy nine months for them and hoped they realised how lucky they were.

Pregnancy news in amongst friends and family, however, was a different story. I didn’t feel like making social gestures and calling people and congratulating them. In fact, I remember telling my mother and mom-in-law to keep all family related pregnancy news away from me. Being away from home helped this situation.

After my second ectopic pregnancy in 2011:

In retrospect, I might have been depressed after the second failed pregnancy…at least for the first couple of months. I found myself being indifferent towards strangers who were pregnant and I just couldn’t get myself to meeting friends and family members who were pregnant (they must think me rude but they didn’t know better) The 1-in-90 concept no longer worked.

By then, I had been part of a forum for ectopic pregnancy (http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a734235/ectopic_pregnancy_-_new_hopes). The women on this community are absolutely amazing. The forum helped me deal with my loss, address my fertility issues, educated me, helped me heal, and made me stronger to TTC again. Over a period of time, I took comfort in accepting my situation and as difficult as it might be, I started dealing with pregnancy news more practically than emotionally.

About six months after the second ectopic pregnancy, my best friend J got pregnant. When she gave me the news, I was truly and utterly happy for her. I forgot about my situation and remembered the days when we talked about ‘one of us getting pregnant’ as teenagers, as young girls falling in and out of love, and then as married women. I knew at that point, I was going to be there for her. For the first time, I was not jealous of another pregnant woman, not thinking why not me and no sad feelings. If I had a few tears, they were only and only for her happiness.

After my third failed pregnancy 2012:

Almost a year had gone by since the second failed pregnancy. We had also moved back to India in close proximity to family. Pregnancy news and new borns amongst family and friends poured in. J had a big bump by then and I can count at least 3-4 close friends and family members who were pregnant.

While I was dealing with another loss and trying to accept the fact that my reproductive system was failing me time and again, I forced myself to put on a smile and attend baby showers, shop at baby stores and talked baby stuff. DH kept reminding me that I came first and that I didn’t have to go out on a limb and be brave about this. But I wanted to…these were really close friends and I wanted to be there for them. I had come around to accepting our situation and I couldn’t be in the hiding forever.

I guess there is no right or wrong way to deal with pregnancy news after an ectopic pregnancy or when you are dealing with infertility. This is what I’ve learned:

  • Time does heal – it doesn’t erase what happened nor does it make you forget…but it helps to accept yourself and your situation;
  • Don’t hesitate to share your feelings with your partner or loved ones who can just be there for you;
  • Feeling jealous is normal and doesn’t make you a bad person. Over time, these feelings will change too;
  • Most importantly, you are not alone. There are several women out there who would be able to relate to your story. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them!