Secondary Infertility - rarely spoken about and very lonely

After an amazing Christmas day with my miracle of a son, who is now 3 and growing up too fast, I feel guilty for finding that once again, I can't sleep and have had to get up because I can't stop thinking and I'm upset. I think about wanting to be pregnant again every single day and this week, we've had 3 close friends all announcing 2nd and 3rd babies arriving next year - and the green-eyed monster appeared....

To anyone who doesn't have a child yet and is trying, you'd think me crazy for being upset about anything or losing sleep - and I know because I felt exactly that just 4 years ago when I believed wholeheartedly that I'd never be a Mum. I was told by a Geneticist over 10 years ago that I may never have children and would have to try sooner rather than later because I carry a chromosomal disorder that could affect any embryo I may make.

So I got back with my ex after 6 years together and 6 months apart, we were married within a year and off the pill on our honeymoon! - I was pregnant the next month and that was the 1st of 3 babies I lost in the 1st year of our marriage, which unsuprisingly ended soon afterwards.

Those months afterwards, I mourned the feeling that I'd never be a Mum but counted my lucky stars when I met my soulmate just 2 years later, we were married within 2 years of meeting and trying for a baby straight away - we lost our 1st pregnancy together and my 4th pregnancy in 7 years but within 2 months of that, we made my little boy.

After all the years of ups and downs and the roller coaster ride that is trying to make a family, I never thought I'd be the one sat here now crying that I can't make another little person - my son is a precious gift who I'm grateful for every day - but the bug of parenthood caught us from the second we met him and we were trying again by the time he was 6 months old - and I thought that luck would come to us again - its now been nearly 3 years of trying for his brother or sister.

Well-meaning friends and family tell me to 'stop trying and it will happen' - 'to just be grateful for what we've got 'and to 'stop the hurt now and be happy in our family of 3' - I'm never sure which comments hurt or frustrate me the most because as I said, I thank my lucky stars all the time - but having him and knowing how it feels to have made him and held him in my arms just makes me want it again even more than ever before - I want him to have a sibling to share his life with (I'm an only child) first and foremost - and I want to make that for him, to be pregnant, give birth and bring up another baby. Every day I look around at families with 2 children and I just know in my heart that my family is not finished, its not complete.

Blimey, I wish I felt differently - I wish I could stop now because it would be easier, emotionally, mentally and physically. We've just had our 1st failed attempt at assisted conception, ICSI with PGD - and all of the embryos we made were chromosomally unsound with lots of problems - so it now appears that on top of my chromosomal problem, that I may have premature ageing of my eggs, another battle to overcome.

But none of us can help how we feel - its so hard feeling so helpless and sad at times - and in the next breath, then feeling guilty for those couples that haven't had their 1st baby yet - and I do feel, I feel for people every day - but it will never change what my heart wants more than anything in the world.

Its very rare to ever find anyone talking about secondary infertility or being open about it so I hope there is at least someone reading this who knows some of how it feels and how isolating it can be.

Lets hope for all of us that 2012 can make lots of wishes come true,

Love Treacle

xx

4 Replies

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  • I too know what it is like to suffer from secondary infertility, and to feel guility knowing that you should be simply grateful that you have finally become a Mum at last. But no matter how thankful you are for the gift of motherhood, it doesn't stop you aching to experience it again, to have another baby and give your special child a brother or sister.

    Secondary infertility is not spoken about much, often I believe because those who have a baby are very aware of how lucky they are and how many others have not yet succeeded in having any children. We worry about upsetting them by voicing our desire to have another baby when they would give anything for just one child but there is no doubt that it still hurts terribly. We all know that you can't change what your heart aches for.

    I was sadly not successful in having a second child but have now accepted that having an only chld is fine and had we had any more, the child I have would be very different now if he had had to share his Mum with others. It's easier now to look back and accept that having this one very special child was what was meant for me (he is now a teenager ) but at the time, like you, I so wanted to give him a brother or sister. You will I hope be able to have more chldren but if you don't I hope that eventually you are able to enjoy putting all your energy into your only chld. There is a lot to be said for brothers and sisters, but equally a lot of benefits to having only one and although I know at the moment that is no consolation to you, I hope that sharing my story helps even just a little.

    I wish everyone all the best for 2012

    Susan

  • Hi Susan

    Thank you so much for replying to my post - looking back at it, I think my emotions were especially raw after another night of not sleeping and too many friends announcing too many pregnancies, I probably should have watched TV rather than posted my thoughts! - but you're right, it doesn't get spoken about much and I know there are women out there like us who sometimes need to say out loud what can't always be said anywhere else.

    I really appreciate your honesty and sharing your thoughts and journey towards where you are now - I know that part of my heart is already grieving for the 2 children I always dreamed of and the sibling I want so much for my son - but the other part just isn't ready to give up yet - I will know when I am ready to do that and I know it will get harder before I can move on, I just don't want my son to ask in a few years time where his siblings are and for me not to be able to say that I didn't give it everything I had. I just have to ensure that in the meantime, my needs never affect him or my family of 3 as they are the most precious thing to me in the world and I know every day how I beat the odds to have him and meet my soulmate.

    So thank you - and a very happy new year to you too!

    Love Tracey

    x

  • As you say, you will know when you are ready to give up and you have to know you have done your best to give your son a brother or sister. I worried so much about having an only child and actually my son has never felt it an issue but I know many children do wish they had siblings. Infertility never leaves you, no matter what the outcome is and I wish you all the best for you and your family, whether that is a family of three or more.

    Susan x

  • Hi Treacle,

    I and my husband have been trying for 7years now for our first baby, and no joy. It's very hard when you can only see the doctor every 8 months. We have not yet got to IVF as I do not produce eggs and no amounts of drugs will make me. The thing I find most frustrating is when the doctors say I was pregnant one before but lost the baby when I was 18... So it's a good sign.. Well I was 18 a very long time ago.. And a good sign would be positive blood results. I often say to myself, family and god that I would be happy with one baby, I say it would be a blessing and I would stop, however you raise a good point and my heart goes out to you too. If I'm honest I think I would be the same, a few years ago I Would have thought differently. However infertility changes you, I am an emotional wreck and am happy on the surface for others when they announce their pregnancy but inside its like I've Benin stabbed through the heart, then the jealously comes.. Why her... Why not me... She's not ready... Etc.. I think family's try to help. I am doing an access course at my local college and at 28 am applying to uni to become a nurse and my family say stop trying for now because I have too much on. But I can't give up, I will make time to complete our family and make a career so I can support our family. I have gotten to a low point recently and have some hard questions to ask myself, but I wanted to thank you for your post as it gives everyone a reminder that for whatever different reasons we are infertile, we hurt the same! Good luck with you journey.. ;)

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