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.
When it comes to talking about fertility, some prefer to keep problems behind closed doors. Perhaps fearful of confirming their issues out loud, or maybe fearful of letting emotions get the better of us. Not being able to have a baby is a hugely emotive topic. But having problems getting pregnant isn’t something we should be ashamed of when talking to others. If someone asks the question, as I often am of, ‘so when are you having another one’, they shouldn’t be surprised when they get the truthful answer of, ‘we’re having problems with that actually’. I shared a photo on my Instagram page recently and the positive response that it had overwhelmed me. Several women shared their own stories of fertility problems, and just knowing that others have walked the same path helped immensely. A lot of people commenting praised my honesty in sharing. And that’s something I vowed I would always do on this blog, share my story and be honest, especially on this topic. For my own benefit and to hopefully make any other women experiencing the same, feel like they’re not alone.
When I was trying to get pregnant with Olivia, things didn’t happen quite as quickly as I hoped. Because of this, I found myself feeling very negative each month when things obviously didn’t work. After a fair amount of ‘woe is me’, I realised that I needed to do something about the situation. I couldn’t control whether the biological act itself worked, however I could start doing things that were positive to get me out of my negative rut. One of the things that I decided to try was acupuncture. Despite my reservations as I HATE needles, the last time I had a blood sample taken I got serious top lip sweat and woke up crumpled on the floor, despite this, I thought I could at least give it a try. I found Anna on the British Acupuncture Council website, made my first appointment and found I had nothing to worry about. Anna was lovely and completely put my mind at ease. And despite the odd situation of having needles sticking out of me, I hardly noticed them and oddly felt incredibly relaxed! Since seeing Anna, I’ve only ever heard good things about acupuncture and the many ailments it can help with, I got in touch to find out more about this ancient art.
When my husband and I were ready to start ‘trying‘ (cringe) for a baby, it felt like every where I turned I’d see a woman with a massive pregnancy bump or pushing a buggy containing a tiny new baby. All of a sudden, it felt like everyone else was pregnant and I wasn’t. My eyes were drawn to every car, with those signs saying ‘Baby on Board’, I felt like people were rubbing it in my face that they had a baby and I didn’t. Everything I saw was baby related, even any magazine I picked up included articles about ‘fertility fears’ and how, ‘being over 30 meant that it would be much harder to get pregnant’. I felt incredibly sad and I felt a lot of pressure (from myself) everywhere I turned I was being reminded of the fact that I wasn’t pregnant but everyone else was.
First proper post, here we go, its a biggie. I started to write this a long time ago and my baby is 8 months now, so starting on the road to ‘try’ and get pregnant seems like a lifetime ago (about two years to be precise). Having a baby was something my husband and I knew we both wanted and were heading towards after getting hitched. We knew it was part of the bigger picture and I just assumed it would happen straight away when we were ready. I was on the pill for about 15 years before thinking about babies, which, I actually can’t believe it was that long when I see it written down – that’s a huge amount of time! (sorry mum!) It was only when my husband and I decided we were ready to start trying (I know, ewww!) that I started to read information online about coming off it the pill, when you should stop taking it when trying for a baby etc. It was on one of my many interweb searches that I stumbled across this website. Nat Kringoudis is an Aussie lady who is a natural fertility expert and a Chinese Medicine Doctor, amongst other things. She is a firm believer of healthy living, eating well and not being on the pill. Nat is all about getting to know your body and recognising the signs your body gives you when you are fertile each month rather than masking these signals with the pill. It’s clear from reading her site that she sees a lot of women in her practice to help with fertility issues and many of these women have been on the pill for a long time before trying for a baby.