By: Amy Hammer, CEO and Co-Founder of Metro Detroit Doula Services
Disclaimer: I’m completely grateful for the babies we have been blessed with. I am allowed to feel a range of emotion as I struggle with the difficulties of secondary infertility. Just want to be clear. ♥
I remember it well. The idea of becoming a mother had always been in my “one-day” dreams of a big family. I was 26. I remember the excitement, the anticipation, the uncertainty if we were really ready to become parents. I remember thinking, this felt special and different and we could seriously have just started a new life! How exciting it all was!
Then for those of us who aren’t so lucky to get pregnant at the drop of a hat, I began experiencing the bummed emotion that washed over me when my cycle would return at the end of every month. What was once a let’s just see what happens attitude soon turned to a this isn’t as easy as we thought it would be worry.
After reading up on becoming pregnant and other’s experiences the, “Do we want to try for a certain sex or birth month?” discussions turned into prayers for a baby of any sex, due any month.
I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility an excellent book written by Toni Weschler. It was insightful, informative, taught me a lot about my own body, how to chart, and is now in our library to stay. With lots of prayers, charts, temperature taking, ovulation sticks, sex and funky positions among other things, after 17 months of trying we FINALLY conceived. I finally stood there holding a positive pregnancy test in hand – shaking. I was on cloud nine!
Surely, trying for baby number two would be easier because why wouldn’t it be?!
Things started out the same way going from nonchalant to intensive focus. I read more and looked into other issues. This time after 24 months of trying turned into charting, it worked! Some would say all the sex is great – which was enjoyed mostly, but for those of us who have been there you can’t help but start to wonder,
“What is wrong with me? And why have I been worried about preventing all those years? This is not as easy as I thought!“
It’s heartbreaking and it sucks. You stand between the thoughts of maybe it worked this month, to not wanting to get your hopes up in fear of being let down.
We had our second baby, a son, on a beautiful autumn day. Well, we’ve been trying yet again and it hasn’t been any easier, and it hasn’t been any quicker, and I even got pregnant and miscarried this past year, to which they said I would be more fertile within the next 6 months. And still, we are not pregnant.
I’m quickly approaching my 40’s and I really do feel like my clock is ticking.
I feel at a loss. I feel like it is so out of my control. And I feel like I’m in limbo waiting which direction my life will go. Why can’t I just be like those women who get looked at the wrong way and get pregnant? Why isn’t it working? Is it something I didn’t do? Is it the endometriosis I never had officially confirmed? Is it something else I don’t know about? Maybe it’s just not meant to be.
Way back in the beginning I proudly announced to my OBGYN that we were trying. Her response to me was,
“Great! If you don’t get pregnant in 3 years come see me.“
I’ve both relaxed in this statement and become resentful of it. I understand it’s normal to not happen right away, there are many factors that may come into play. I also understand not everyone has 3 years and not everyone is willing to wait. The tricky part about second hand infertility is that it worked before!!!… why not now? In our case 3 times. Upon research, apparently 60% of infertility cases are secondary, so we are not alone in our struggles. And like many things revolving around women’s bodies, people just don’t talk about it.