Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bust an Infertility Myth for National Infertility Week - Secondary Infertility

Myth: If you already have one child, you know you are fertile and will have no problems conceiving again.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the largest nationwide non-profit improving the lives of people diagnosed with infertility posed a challenge for national infertility week to bust Infertility Myths. 
Infertility comes in many forms. A diagnosis of infertility comes after a couple has been "trying" to get pregnant for 1 year without success for women under 35 years old and for 6 months for women over 35. Infertility can be caused by a multitude of reasons, from both the male and/or the female's side.
Secondary infertility means that a couple already has one or more children and is now having difficulty conceiving again.  

Well, let's bust a myth! This is kind of a compilation of a few previous blog posts of mine:

I hate the word "infertile"...It makes me feel incomplete, inept, imperfect, inadequate, and wanting. This struggle of infertility is emotional beyond belief. It's a cycle that goes with the female cycle...starting with despair but quickly moving to hope, remaining hopeful through the injections and ultrasounds, then onto the waiting, the unsureness, the bouncing between scared and praying and hopeful and dreaming and excited, then, the despair starts again...this is a monthly process that I have been enduring for almost 3 years now.

So, I had one baby already, right? The next one should be easy. Heck, getting pregnant the second time should be a breeze...well, then why is it that after years and years of trying am I still not pregnant? I just recently found a bunch of information about "secondary infertility" and had never even heard of the term before. I have been trying to conceive (TTC) for #2 for almost 3 years, seeing fertility specialists, taking Clomid, injectibles (multiple kinds), doing IUI's, timed intercourse, temping, taking Metformin, trying Soy Isoflavones, Vitamin B complex, and losing 40lbs, and we're still not pregnant. Haven't even seen a positive pregnancy test since I got pregnant with my little girl.

I didn't realize how common secondary infertility actually was. Over 30% of infertility patients are dealing with troubles getting pregnant after already having one child...and because we already have one child, the emotional rollercoaster that people who are TTC go through is often downplayed because we already have one child. I hear things all the time like "Be happy with your one baby" or "at least you have one" or "there's no need for fertility treatments because you have a child"....

I know how hard it is to get pregnant and couldn't imagine NOT having my daughter, but having my daughter here while TTC is HARD! Not only do I have to go to all of the fertility appointments and put needles in my tummy and go to doctors appointments often and deal with ALL of the emotions that surround TTC, but I also have to take care of my daughter while doing so. On top of that, my daughter is ALWAYS asking me for a baby sister or brother. She talks about what she wants to name him/her, about having twins, about how she will play with him or her and he or she will eat from mommy's boobies...

Also, not only do I feel the feelings of being a failure (because I did it once, but can't again), feeling guilty, angry, depressed, blaming myself, but I also feel extra guilt for not being able to add a sibling for my child. Then, my very well meaning friends, family, and strangers, are constantly asking (well, not so much anymore, because I've told everyone we're having problems TTC) "when are you going to have another child?" "when are you going to give her a sibling to play with?" "why did you decide to only have one?" and we still get the "just relax, it will happen" and the "as SOON as we stopped trying we got pregnant, you should stop trying" and the "temping/ovulation predictor kits/IUI's worked for us"...

We always wanted several children and we both come from large families. It's hard not to become overly protective or attached to the one child we do have for fear of never having another. There has to be some kind of balance with raising her to be independent.

Well, I am grateful for my child, I love her soooo much and I couldn't imagine my life without her...AND, I want another baby soooo bad! I have watched so many people get pregnant and have their 2nd and even 3rd children since we have had our first. Because I already have one child, we have lots of friends with children her age...this means that MOST of them have siblings, many of them have had babies since knowing them, and we get to watch all of that with a big, fat smile on our face, trying to be happy for them, while trying not to fall apart inside.

I just wanted to write this because I know that I am not the only person here TTC#2 with difficulty and just like many of you, I HATE that our TTC emotional roller coaster is taken for granted because we already have one baby. It does NOT make this journey any easier.

Ok, I have said my piece. For all who are TTC, Sticky Baby Dust to you and for those who are TTC#2, Sticky Baby Dust and peace in your heart to you. Let us enjoy the one (or more) that we have, and remember that we are not the only ones experiencing this emotional struggle. My wish for you is peace in this journey.

For more information on Infertility or to possibly help someone you know that is struggling with infertility, please see the websites below:
Infertility 101: http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/what-is-infertility/ 
National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW): http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/home-page.html


  1. Amazing post!! Thank you!! You explained this so well... My comment is basically one big ditto for every point you made.

    PS: I'm glad your cycle looks like it is going to work out this month!! Fingers crossed for you :)

  2. :( I hate that you are going through this. But I do have to give you a round of applause for enduring it. I dont think I could have ridden the emotional coaster you are on for as long as you have! Every time I hear of your struggles I hope that its the "right time"for lack of better term and you have your wish come true :)