Fertility Guilt

*Trigger warning: Baby Loss

I have had this post drafted for a while, debating on whether or not it was something I wanted to share, but I have decided to go ahead with it. If you are affected by any of the topics covered then please feel free to contact me or any of the other people linked in this post.

Nothing prepares you for the way you feel when you are pregnant. Whether it was planned or a surprise, your emotions will run wild. There is that rush of love, the instinct to protect, and an element of fear in anticipation for what is to come.

While planning our second pregnancy I was aware of these emotions. I felt like I knew what was to come, and had mentally braced myself for it. This time around though, things have been different. Throughout this pregnancy I have experienced a whole new emotion that I wouldn’t usually associate with being pregnant, and that is guilt.

Fertility Guilt | https://oddhogg.com

It first came to me not long after getting a positive pregnancy test. We were extremely lucky to get pregnant on our first month of trying, something that I didn’t realistically expect to happen. We were able to decide we wanted another baby, pick a month, stop all birth control and become pregnant almost immediately.

Not everyone has that.

So many couples go through years of heartache as they wait to get that positive test. They don’t have the luxury of simply deciding to have a baby and falling pregnant immediately. They having the agonising wait to find out if this is the month that they’ll finally see the lines on the test, and the heartache when it is negative once again.

Months of ovulation tests, medication or even IVF to get what I am so lucky to get on just a whim.

And what about when they finally fall pregnant. The giddy excitement, the realisation that you’re parents and that it’s really happening, all for it to end too soon. I am SO aware of every person who has had a miscarriage recently. Of course I have always known it is a possibility, but the sheer volume of people who are dealing with that heartache has taken me by surprise.

Fertility Guilt | White Flowers https://oddhogg.com

The friends I have had since before I had Piglet are not “mum” friends. They have been been at a stage where they are choosing to have children, and therefore we are extremely lucky that we haven’t had to deal with the awful aftermath of a miscarriage within our group. It wasn’t until I met my blogging friends that the topic of miscarriage started to come up more often.

We don’t sit around dwelling on the past, but at an appropriate time Lucy mentioned the miscarriage she had before her 2nd daughter was born. At the time that it was first brought up, there were only 2 within the group who have had a miscarriage and it was easier to brush it to the side as one of those things that happens to other people. Especially as we were not trying for a baby at the time.

Before we got pregnant with this baby, my friend Nadia shared with us that she had just lost a baby. We were there for the heartache, but having never been through it myself it is not something that I am able to relate to – nor do I ever hope to be. She did share a post on the early days after a miscarriage eventually, to make others aware of what had happened.

Of course, life carried on and I became pregnant myself. I was hyper aware throughout the first trimester of the risks, especially as my pregnancy is considered high risk due to my type 1 diabetes. Although I was really quite unwell with morning sickness I tried to remind myself that symptoms are a GOOD sign. They’re an indication that the baby is growing and that all is well.

Fertility Guilt | Lilypad https://oddhogg.com

Around me, others announced their pregnancies. And then announced their losses. I analyse every bump picture before I share it. Is it too in your face? Is the caption appropriate? Does it seem negative in any way? Ungrateful?

I don’t want to be seen to ram my pregnancy down anyones throat. I alternate between being loud and proud, and tiptoeing around the topic in case I upset someone. No one has EVER called me out or criticised me (at least not to me personally) for being insensitive. It is just a guilt I carry within myself.

Although miscarriage, especially early miscarriage, is something I was always more than aware of, I have been completely taken aback by the number of babies lost at quite a late stage in pregnancy. My friend Laura writes very openly and honestly about the loss of her son Joseph. Her story is really hard to read, but it was so long ago that up until more recently it was possible to brush it aside as something that happened in the past. To naively believe that medical advances would mean that surely that wouldn’t happen in the UK these days.

Unfortunately, her story is not unique. There are hundreds of women out there who have been through the same thing, and that was a horrible realisation to come to. In the run up to Christmas Lorraine Mulrooney lost her daughter at 34 weeks. This really hit home to me, especially as I have watched her videos about it and followed her on Instagram as she shares how she has coped. Having had fertility difficulties prior to falling pregnant with her second daughter it seems a really cruel blow to take this baby too.

Fertility Guilt | White Rose https://oddhogg.com

None of these women deserve to have lost their baby. They have done nothing wrong. So why is it ok for me to sit here and still be pregnant and they are not? Obviously there is no answer, and that is what makes it even more painful for those going through it.

There is no clear ending point to this post, as really there is no real message in it. I don’t know how common it is to feel the guilt that I sometimes do about the fact that very soon I will hopefully be holding my baby in my arms.

I’d love to know if you have ever felt that way, or maybe it’s just me!

What Next?

Why not join our Facebook Group which is hub for women with all different types of diabetes. It is a safe place to ask questions, share knowledge and be open about how you are coping.

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3 Comments

  1. 4th April 2018 / 3:19 pm

    I honestly feel the same as you’re feeling. I also fell pregnant very quickly without really “trying” for both Evie and this pregnancy too and I am so aware of baby loss and miscarriage now because of others stories which are always just beautifully written hard reads. I do feel the guilt, especially when someone I know who has experienced loss or fertility issues congratulates me. On the other hand, sharing both stories on all types of pregnancy, birth and loss have really helped me realise how common it is and hopefully that raise in awareness will lead expectant mothers to always get checked if they’re worried and hopefully, in the future, more medical advances and answers

  2. 7th September 2018 / 12:39 pm

    Ah no I totally get how you feel. My friend and I started trying for our first babies at around the same time. I fell pregnant immediately, she struggled. She eventually fell pregnant with support around the time of the birth of my second child. She was ace about it, but I always worried about upsetting her with how easily I had fallen pregnant x

    • OddHogg
      Author
      7th September 2018 / 3:28 pm

      It’s a funny feeling isn’t it!

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