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What to expect when you're NOT expecting

Has anyone ever told you, "Hey, you're going to feel ALL the pregnancy symptoms, your body is going to make you feel pregnant, but guess what? None of those symptoms are actual pregnancy symptoms."

No? Didn’t think so.

Sure, I was told that progesterone can make you drowsy, make your boobs tender, and maybe even cause cramping, but guess what? All of these are also pregnancy symptoms.

To be fair, I am guilty of googling symptoms way too often. Every little twinge, ache, dream, emotion, you name it – I google it! The problem is that every single thing I google pops up as "you might be pregnant!" And that’s EXACTLY what I want to hear! Of course, sometimes you actually are pregnant (yay, thanks google!)… however, other times it felt like I was tricked.

After my first two IVF attempts, with fertility center #1, I felt nothing. I figured no symptoms = no baby, right? I still googled, and guess what? No symptoms = baby for a lot of people! (HOPE!) I could be pregnant because Google said so, but I wasn't, so the confusion remained.

During my third transfer, the one that stuck with fertility center #2, I felt ALL the symptoms. So if no symptoms for me = no baby, this time I had symptoms which for me, consequently, actually turned into a pregnancy! Finally, at least I could tell when I was pregnant and when I wasn't. I was happy, it felt like I finally understood my body, hooray! (This third transfer resulted in miscarriage, but knowing my body now felt like the silver lining).

Then came transfer number four, the one after the miscarriage. All the symptoms were back!! I didn't feel AS tired and my boobs were just a little sore but hey, SOME symptoms were there. And yet… I wasn't pregnant.

I felt so confused. How will I be able to tell if I'm pregnant… how can I keep my confidence up during those 11 days next time?? Next time came around with ALL the symptoms this time. Everything hurt, headaches, very intense dreams, peeing ALL the time, the whole shebang! I stayed so positive because of this. I literally began planning my life for the next month thinking I would be carrying this baby. And sure enough, eleven days later came the BFN… WTF???

No one told me I would feel this pregnant and not be pregnant. It’s like thinking you won the lottery and then never receiving the check. You planned your future around this, you thought you had all the right numbers, and apparently you misread the ticket. Forget the vacation, the new car and the feeling of relief… it is all taken away from you in a moment.

Because of this roller coaster I feel like I lose my mind every time. Was I making all that up? Of course not! Progesterone and estrogen trick your body into thinking it is pregnant. I've never understood or believed that until this last transfer. I’m not sure if all this is of any use to anyone… all I know is that this part sucks. I feel even more lost and confused than ever before.

How do I stay positive moving forward? All the little signs were my personal signs from God, I felt. I would smile at every pain, every bathroom break, every nap, and yet nothing was happening all along. I felt like I was being cheated on, lied to by my own body, the one person who I'm supposed to know the best was tricking me! How could I not know myself? Maybe its a test to just trust, but I'm not sure how to trust anymore if I cant even trust myself...

If you’ve been in the same boat as me, all we can do is just keep moving forward. Not worry about how I felt during the last five transfers and remember that each try is like a blank slate. I know, WAY easier said than done, but it is actually true!

I’m human and as my therapist says, "How can you notthink that way? How can you not go back to the other transfers?" So maybe that's the little reminder… that we are human, we want to hold on to hope, hope gets us through the day, and it’s okay if we are sometimes wrong because maybe next time that hope will lead to a BFP (Big Fat Positive) pregnancy test.

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