how to relax and enjoy your pregnancy after infertility treatment

Bliss!! In one short word, this is what we expect to feel when we are finally pregnant after years of trying, after hundreds of shots, and after spending loads of money on infertility treatment.

Fear, anxiety, and nauseous are what many of us actually feel.

Each of us has an image in our heads of our fantasy pregnancy, and infertile women have had years to guild this image. We are going to be glowing—no, make that radiant. Some women may get pimply and blotchy, but not us—our complexion will be smooth as the proverbial baby’s bottom.

Oh sure, we may have a touch of morning sickness, but it be the kind that is more annoying than life altering, and make for great stories to tell at parties when women sit around and compare war/pregnancy stories.

We will grow big, but not get fat and give birth to a child that is the healthy and will soon be sleeping through the night.

We are going to be happy. Our sorrow and anxiety will be wiped away with the + on the pregnancy test.

Ahhh, if only imagining made it so!

In fact, you may be blotchy, cranky, anxious and suffering from hemorrhoids. We can’t help with the blotches or hemorrhoids, but we may be able to help with the mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Are Pregnancies After Infertility Treatment More Stressful

Well, they don’t have to be, but they often are, and it helps to go into pregnancy being open to all possibilities. Infertility patients may be more anxious just because they have wanted this pregnancy for so long and have worked so hard to get it, but infertility patients also tend to be older, which increases the risk of the pregnancy. Also, infertility patients may have experienced recurrent miscarriages. Many women report that they feel like they are holding their breath waiting to lose this pregnancy until they pass the point in the pregnancy when they have miscarried in the past.

Coping with Anxiety and Stress in Pregnancy after Infertility Treatment

I love Dr. Ali Domar. She has been on the Creating a Family Radio Show many times, including recently talking about her latest book, Finding Calm for the Expectant Mom: Tools for Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and Mood Swings During Your Pregnancy.

On the show, Dr. Domar shared many ideas on how to cope with anxiety, fears, and depression in pregnancies following successful infertility treatment. One idea that I particularly like was called by the fancy name “cognitive restructuring”, but basically that means challenging negative thoughts.

Dr. Domar suggests asking 4 questions when faced with fearful or anxiety producing thoughts.

Question 1: Is this thought contributing to your stress?

Question 2: Where is this thought coming from?

Question 3: Is it logical?

Question 4: Is it true?

Let’s put this technique to work in a real life situation. It’s the middle of the night and you are 4 months pregnant after years of trying and awake worrying that you are going to lose the pregnancy. Your thoughts begin to spiral.

“I’m probably going to lose this pregnancy. It was too good to be true. My body has never known how to do anything right when it comes to baby making. We are not going to have the money to try again, and I will never be a mother.”

Question 1: Is this thought contributing to your stress?

DUH! Yes!!

Question 2: Where is this thought coming from?

Dr. Domar says that most thoughts come from two places: something someone said to you in the past or it is your fear talking. In this case, it sure sounds like fear talking.

Question 3: Is it logical?

Although it is possible that you could lose the pregnancy, unless your doctor has expressed concerns, it is not likely. The vast majority of pregnancies once they get past a couple of weeks, are not lost.

Question 4: Is it true?

No. It is speculation not based in reality.

Try this technique. It really works.

You can find lots more tips and tricks for handling the stress of a hard won pregnancy after infertility treatment by listening to this Creating a Family show with Dr. Ali Domar, Pregnancy after Infertility-How to Relax and Enjoy.



Other Creating a Family resources you will enjoy:

Did you find your pregnancy after infertility treatment to be stressful? What were your fears.

Image credit: Mary Lock