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How to Enjoy Pregnancy as an Infertile Woman

I went to two baby showers this weekend. They were the first showers I had been to in two years. The last one I went to, I ended up spending half the time in the bathroom crying or trying to make it look like I wasn't crying. I was miserable. I was mad at my body for failing to do something as easy as have a baby. They call it the miracle of life—but let's be honest, babies are a dime a dozen. They are given to so many women, it's a wonder that a successful pregnancy is actually a very difficult feat, scientifically. After that shower, I swore I wouldn't attend any more showers until I ended up pregnant myself. I needed to protect my heart, and seeing all the happy mothers-to-be unwrapping baby blankets and bottle brushes was something I had to put a limit on for my own sanity.

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Fast-forward to this weekend, and I found myself twelve weeks pregnant, eating chicken salad sandwiches and fruit on a stick, crossing off baby items on bingo cards and smiling as tiny hats and socks were held up and cooed over. One of my friends went through several IVFs, the other was celebrating her rainbow baby after a second trimester loss. Both of these friends are dear to my heart, and they have endured struggles. Forcing down my morning sickness, I went, because I wanted to show the same support that both of them had shown me through the years of my own infertility, and finally, my long-awaited pregnancy.

How to balance the miracle inside me with the incredible amount of pain and determination it took just to get this far. How to balance my intense joy with the possibility of a baby by the end of the year, with my anger and bitterness of how long it took to get to this point.

I have a baby inside me, two inches long, with a beautiful heartbeat, and I am still infertile. The thoughts that have taken over in my head the last few years have not gone away. I watched the guests eating cupcakes with blue frosting, maybe even sharing their own stories about the essential baby items, and I would feel the grief curling around my stomach, slowly twisting it into a knot. I had to remind myself that I was pregnant too—that I am going to have a baby too, and that this should make me happy.

And I was. Really, I was, but it took consciously reminding myself several times that I am not the same person I was two years ago in that bathroom, eyes red and swollen and from crying. I am not that person, but I am. That piece of my past always be a part of me and I will need to learn how to co-exist with it. How to balance the miracle inside me with the incredible amount of pain and determination it took just to get this far. How to balance my intense joy with the possibility of a baby by the end of the year with my anger and bitterness of how long it took to get to this point. How to balance my fear of a miscarriage with the optimism that my child deserves. I'm slowly learning how and where that balance resides.

RELATED: An Open Letter to the Ladies of Infertility

Every day that passes, I am allowing myself to enjoy this pregnancy more and more, for however long it lasts. It includes attending the baby showers, even through my own insecurities. I had a great time this weekend, and I think I am slowly on my way there.

Image via Twenty20/julimehrmann

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