June 30, 2022

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pregnant or not People going through IVF you don’t have to guess

5 min read

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker

I am well aware of what Kourtney is going through (Picture: Dimitrios Kamboris / Getty Images for the Met Museum / Vogue)

‘Are you pregnant?,’ my colleague said in front of four others as we waited for the elevator. ‘You are standing strange and acting very strange too’.

I wanted the floor to swallow me up.

I recently had my first round of IVF and went through weeks of hormone injections, an egg retrieval operation, and an embryo implantation. My stomach was bloated and tender, and I felt insecure and anxious.

I waited for a terrifying 10 days to see if the embryo gets implanted in your womb and the pregnancy occurs. It’s painful to say the least, but I went to the office where I was contracting at the time. I needed to keep myself and my mind busy with other things.

It didn’t take long to make the first comment.

After making my excuses, I spent the next few weeks watching team members look at my midsection and finding oversized outfits that didn’t cling to my round belly.

I had also gained a little weight due to hormones, so I wasn’t surprised that people had their doubts, but it was incredibly stressful for me to speculate about it in such uncertain times.

Thankfully, that round of IVF was successful and resulted in my three-and-a-half year old eldest son. But it wasn’t for several weeks and follow-up scans that I felt comfortable and confident with pregnancy to tell coworkers at work.

Of course, once my son was born in the sweltering heat of 2018, I soon forgot about the dreadful memories that kept asking me if I was pregnant in the early stages of IVF.

But from time to time, something or the other would remind me of that time and how insecure it all made me feel. Often it is seeing other women, even celebrities, in the same position.

This happened recently while I was watching the second episode of Kardashian’s much-awaited Hulu Series. Kourtney – the oldest of the Kardashian sisters – talks candidly about undergoing IVF treatment, in hopes of having a baby with her new husband, Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

Katherine Houghton with her son

I’ve always felt it’s better to wait for the news than to demand it (Picture: Katherine Houghton)

In early May, shortly after the episode aired, Kourtney posted a photo of herself to Instagram while vacationing in Lake Como, Italy. She is wearing a skin-tight green dress and looks sexy, curvy and natural, in my opinion.

Unsurprisingly, the comments left on Kourtney’s Instagram posts were largely about her body, with followers commenting on her size and weight in great detail.

Of course, this is nothing new for the Kardashians, whose vast cumulative wealth has been accrued from behind their body image. But after such a personal revelation about her IVF struggles, the comments felt particularly brutal.

I commented after comment after guessing followers on everything from her belly size to her breast size.

While our lives may be different, I am well aware of what Kourtney is going through.

My youngest son, who is just nine months old, is the result of three rounds of IVF. The first round resulted in a miscarriage, the second did not work, and the third resulted in her.

In the meantime, I put on almost a stone in weight. My body was made to feel like it was in the early stages of pregnancy for months, and I didn’t feel like myself at all. The hormone levels I was taking made me feel incredibly nauseous and at times it was difficult to continue normally.

If I was pregnant then people would understand but I could not talk to people about IVF in the same way.

As a result, I hid myself as much as I could. I didn’t want questions, I didn’t want to hide the pills I was taking every few hours, and I really didn’t want to talk about it.

I told a few people in my trusted circle, and I did so to give me as little space to go through it as I could. I wanted my loved ones to know why I was being sober, or why I might have looked a little different. Shouldn’t be bad for an update.

Fertility treatment takes everything away from you. It’s a physical and mental journey where you are patted down for weeks if not months and not knowing if there will be a baby at the end of it.

For many people, including me, this leads to some weight gain and a lot of bloating — something that Kourtney talked about on The Kardashians.

‘Everyone on social media is always like ‘Kourtney’s pregnant, Kourtney’s pregnant’. She’s gained so much weight,'” she tells her mother, Kris Jenner, in the latest series.

I suspect Kourtney Kardashian was open about her IVF journey — which has put on hold for now — in the hopes that the public might be a little more sensitive when commenting on her photos, while showing that it’s not that easy That’s more than some celebs would lead you to believe.

Of course, in the age of social media, there will always be people who comment ruthlessly and without hesitation, no matter how the person on the receiving end feels.

But no matter the circumstance, no one should be asked directly whether they are pregnant or not. They may have been hoping and praying to get pregnant, they could have had multiple miscarriages, or they could just be a normal woman whose stomach, god forbid, appears a little bloated after a meal.

I have always felt that it is better to wait for the news to be delivered than to demand it. Being famous, or being a Kardashian, shouldn’t absolve you of that little courtesy.

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