This is the 25th anniversary of National Infertility Week (April 20-26) and I thought I would tell you about my struggles with secondary infertility. According to Resolve.org (The National Infertility Association), secondary infertility is “defined as the inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children. The birth of the first child does not involve any assisted reproductive technologies or fertility medications.”
When The Professor and I decided to become more than a family of two, it was fairly easy. We weren’t actively “trying;” we were just not preventing. It ended up taking nine months, but like I said–we weren’t “trying.” Then we decided to make S a big sister.
I was not yet that magic age of 35 when most doctors consider you in advanced maternal age (seriously–I know, I’ve been called this), so when things didn’t happen right away I didn’t worry. But after a few months and some appointments with Dr. Google, I did begin to worry. Fast forward through months of tests, ovulation kits, fertility drugs, and finally 3 IUIs, I got pregnant… with twins.
We were elated; don’t get me wrong. But a toll had been taken. I was emotionally spent and our marriage had been tested. Month after month, I had been denied the one thing I was hoping for. Did you notice the “I” there? All the treatments were my idea. Of course, I consulted with The Professor and would never do anything that he didn’t support, but I was the driving force.
I blamed myself every month that I didn’t see that little plus sign. I broke down during every shower and cried myself to sleep most nights. I had no idea why I wasn’t pregnant and the doctors didn’t seem to have a reason. And I felt so alone during this time, too. I chose not to tell family and most friends about about my treatments. This is the first time most of you are learning about it. Mainly I chose not to because I didn’t want the pressure of people asking if it was working, but also because I was afraid of their reactions. We already had one happy and healthy child, so shouldn’t that have been enough? That was the question I kept asking myself through our whole 13-month journey.
When I look at our three children now, the only thing I know is how much I adore each of them and how much joy they bring to our family. I’m so blessed to have each of them no matter how we got there.
Have you dealt with infertility? I would love to hear your story and offer you support.