I had the opportunity recently to share my fertility story over on a site called My F Word. The host, Selina has been through several years of fertility problems, and has a section where others can share their tales on her site. There’s a real mix of lives in there, I urge you to go and have a read if you are experiencing similar issues. For me personally, for a while now I’ve been wanting to get the last few years written down, for my own benefit but also for any other women out there experiencing secondary infertility, to hopefully see that you are not alone. Here is my post.
This post has been on the go, in draft for a while now. Each month I think I’ve found a new way to deal with the dreaded Two Week Wait (TWW) but the reality is I haven’t, so I’ve put this off for another month to see if I find that miracle distraction. Now I’ve reached the two year mark of trying for another baby, it seemed as good a time as any to put this out there. For any woman trying to get pregnant dealing with the TWW royally sucks. You’re looking out for the tiniest of symptoms that may or not mean pregnancy, but those symptoms are rather cruelly the same as getting your period. Lovely, no? Personally I find that the first week is fairly easy and passes without too much thought, but week two, ooh that’s the struggle. Those negative thoughts start to creep in and I often find myself lying awake at night running through various scenarios. I sway from completely normal to teetering on the precipice of doom the next. And it’s around this time that I catch myself staring at women with pregnant bumps, feeling that empty space in my heart. It’s an altogether rather horrible cycle to be in.
When you have a child, you get told so much. Oh my, so much information is thrown at you, either by yourself from reading books and online, or by professionals, friends, family and strangers. Everyone wants to reveal their tips and tricks to you. You get told how amazing it is, how exhausting you will find it, how babies are hard work, how times flies and how much they change. You get warned about the body changes, the sagging boobs and the slight potential change to the, erm, downstairs department and you get told about the stretch marks, but does anyone ever tell you about, ‘the fear?’ Let me just explain what I mean (sidenote: there’s no dramatic music when saying the words, the fear, although you can create if you want) I’m talking about that overactive imagination that kicks into gear as you’re trying to sleep at night, creating horrible scenarios from harmless activities or days out. Scenes are replayed in your head with alternative, horror endings. It’s all just tricks of the mind of course, but this parental fear wasn’t something I was prepared for when I became a mum.
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’ve been struggling a bit recently, really struggling and it’s two particular things that have been making me feel like this. I last wrote about not being pregnant back in February, and I’ve kept quiet since then because you try to focus and look forward as much as possible, don’t you. However another month has nearly gone by and I have to say that in the last few days, for some reason, I have been finding things hard. I’ve been feeling like this groundhog day cycle is never going to end. And alongside this, the kid has been pushing me as hard as she can. She has reached a new phase in her little life and I am finding that she swings from, ‘super happy’ to ‘angry moaning minnie’ constantly, and that’s actually quite tough when it’s all day, every day. Things seem to have come to a head and I’ve been feeling a bit like I’ve been wearing Eeyore’s sad face, complete with my own little grey cloud.