I stumbled upon the term Secondary Infertility during one of my many Google searches last year. The phrase empowered me somewhat, because suddenly what I was experiencing had a name! This was good, it meant I could find a resolution and get to the bottom of things. But, it hasn’t been so. I didn’t think my husband and I would be that couple who’d have problems getting pregnant second time round, that happens to other people right? That wouldn’t happen to us? But here we are, a year and a half down the line and still no baby joy. After having a really early miscarriage in December 2015, I’m now experiencing what is known as ‘Secondary infertility’ (SI). Doctors describe it as, ‘the inability to conceive or carry to term a second or subsequent child’ and SI now accounts for six out of 10 infertility cases. The reasons could be a number of factors, but experts say it might be because women are having babies later in life, they’re stressed and tired already with their first child or from work, there might be a hormonal imbalance after their first pregnancy or there might be an underlying medical cause. In my case, there is no set explanation, there’s nothing physically wrong, things quite simply just aren’t happening.
I dread the ever asked question from well meaning others, ‘do you want more children?’ or comments like one from a friend a while back, ‘you’d better get a move on or you’ll have a big age gap’, ha! It’s not like I’m not trying mate! At times I feel like Kevin The Teenager, I want to shout out loud that, ‘It’s so unfair!’ but obviously, I don’t because, you know, crazy lady. I’ve started to set a small amount of self-preservation by no longer talking about ‘when I have another baby’ because the disappointment I feel each month is too much to bear. I don’t really take my daughter to play parks anymore (she’s gets exercised, don’t worry) when all I see are women with children my daughters age, and babies in buggies. I took her to a farm recently during the week and every woman there had two, if not three children. I wanted to bundle the kid back in the car and drive away, it hurt just to be near them. I’m starting to dread new pregnancy announcements. One a few months ago joyfully informed me over text that it happened, ‘first time, no issues at all!’ despite knowing about the problems I’m having. I’ve also been sent scan pictures and a video clip of friends finding out the sex of their baby. I quickly delete these from my phone.
Sometimes I think that blogging actually makes my situation a little harder. Certainly in using Instagram a lot of the women I follow are pregnant or have recently had babies. I try to deal with this by quickly scrolling past any baby related photos. I bear these women no ill will, it just hurts a bit, that’s all. The kid is also at the stage now where she talks about having a sister. She refers to a little girl at nursery as, ‘her sister’ sometimes and that utterly breaks my heart. I often hold myself back at breaking down at the pure innocence of the situation. She has no idea how desperate I am to give her a sibling. And admiring a beautifully sketched picture of her family in my friends hallway recently, after making enquires about where she got it from I thought why am I bothering asking, I can’t purchase something like this yet as my family isn’t complete. I’m regularly told to remember that at least I have a child already, and to count myself lucky and I do, I really do. I realise we have more than some have. I feel huge guilt about feeling the way that I do at times. But is it wrong of me to wish that my family were whole? To be able to know that I have had my babies and to be able to get on with my life, look forward and know that we one entire family?
I feel like I’m moaning here and I guess I am (I totally am) but it’s not like this all of time I promise. I just long to get back to a sense of normality. And when I say normality, I mean a month whereby I’m not desperately looking for signs that I might be pregnant, or enduring the hugely stressful ‘two week wait’ from ovulation to getting your period. That sucks royally I’d just like to note. Even writing this post I’m also madly scouring the internet for information on ‘hormonal imbalances’, it’s never-ending. But hey, I have some little hope that we will get there in the end, be it naturally or via the ever more likely looking route of IVF. Hopefully this will just all be part of my story and when I have my next baby, I’ll be able to laugh about the journey I had to go through to get them.