By Natasha Hogan
Dear newly pregnant mummy,
It’s a wonderful identity, isn’t it – ‘newly pregnant’? However, if you’re like me, you’ve been through the absolute ringer to actually become pregnant. Infertility is so devastating, especially when your friends are falling pregnant all around you. You’ve quite possibly had a positive pregnancy result in the past but lost your little angel before – or even after – making it to the ‘safe’ 12-week stage.
Please take joy in this very moment. You are pregnant! You are feeling brave enough to let yourself read the most amazing magazine any newly pregnant mummy could read. While it’s called The Natural Parent Magazine, some could say that you didn’t follow nature by having used IVF or another procedure to become pregnant. Well, to that I say… bollocks! No matter how our long-awaited babies were conceived, we all let nature take its course after that. Whether naturally or artificially conceived, we have little control over whether the baby makes it past day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5 and so on… it’s really not up to us.
So, smile your heart out: you are now a ‘mummychiever’! What is a mummychiever, you might ask? Well, it’s a term I’ve coined for a woman who has grinned and beared it through all of the testing and poking and prodding, and who has finally beaten the odds and beaten infertility. That’s you! You are now carrying a very much wanted, and very much loved, baby in your belly – even if he or she has not yet arrived. Congratulations!
Why am I writing this letter to you? Because I was you, and I want to empower you! I worried, of course (as all newly pregnant mums do), up until the 12-week mark, before we finally told our family and friends that we were pregnant. However, then I continued to worry each step of the way. You might be feeling that way, too. Unfortunately, I found it hard to connect with other mums-to-be when I was pregnant. I think this was because of that secret, almost constant worry and concern for my unborn baby – I really felt that my worry was ‘different’ to those who hadn’t experienced infertility. Not too extreme, just… different.
Because it had been such an ordeal to become pregnant, I would have gone through hell or high water to hold that precious baby in my arms, to have taken him or her safely to term. I couldn’t wait! Despite my worries, I still had a baby shower, like nearly every other expecting mum, and I enjoyed researching everything that I’d need for the baby. I was especially interested in keeping things as natural and safe as possible for my new baby, and I spent hours upon hours researching which nappies were best (re-usuable), which sleeping clothes were best (organic cotton), etc!
I’ve learned a lot from the experience of being pregnant after infertility. In hindsight, if I’d realised what strategies I could have put in place, what personal-growth work I could have done, and what things I really needed as a previously infertile mum-to-be, I would have enjoyed the entire experience of pregnancy, birthing and new motherhood a lot more. It’s a bit like planning for a wedding – you should really be preparing for life after the event, not just for the one day! If I’d known what I know now, I would have had the pregnancy and birthing experience that I’d hoped for. I would definitely have been more relaxed! Beautiful mum-to-be, I want to share my mummychiever experience and discoveries with you, so that your entire experience is the best it can possibly be.