This is what secondary infertility looks like
What’s it like living with secondary infertility? Here’s just 15 ways secondary infertility is always on my mind.
Trying for your second baby is a different game, especially when this time round you’re infertile.
Infertility is a couple struggling to start a family. A person losing their ability or discovering there never was a chance to conceive.
Someone waiting for their tiny miracle.
It’s also families yearning to grow and being pruned before the season’s out. A single bud flourishing on a branch of dead wood. A child without a (much wanted) sibling.
This is what’s termed “secondary infertility”.
Yes, I have the most beautiful, perfect, cherished son and I want another child that I can’t have. I’m not being ungrateful or greedy; I’m just a mum with more love to give and the desire to carry a baby once more.
Secondary infertility is always with me, it’s always on my mind and I’m always in the process of prayerfully preparing for the off chance, the miracle.
This is what the daily journey of living with secondary infertility looks like from my female perspective.
When you’re the elephant in the room
Maternity wards with their baby posters, pregnancy books and bump-bearing mums-to-be are the last place you want the infertility clinic to be.
All the eye candy
Now my son’s long out of the baby clothes, I can’t help but glance a little too long at the baby section. So many cute tiny outfits. A chambray dress with rainbow sleeves. An adorable Christmas pudding babygro. The littlest shoes.
Holding back baby clothes
My son’s coming up five and I’ve kept most of his clothes. Folded away and sandwiched into vacuum bags stored under beds and in boxes, I hoard more babygrows and t shirts and leggings and baby hooded towels than I have room for. Because they might be needed one day.
Seeing my all in my one and only
It doesn’t take much to look at my boy and just see my everything. It can be overwhelming if I let it stick. Where did the years go? Have I wasted time on scolding him, getting cross and stressed out? Have I played enough with him? Do I give him enough of my time? He is my world that could very well be my only. Am I being — giving him — my best?
Out of the blue, flashback feelings of being pregnant and a new mum engulf me. The high of adrenaline, and endorphins pulling me like a magnetic attraction. I remember it. I’m there again. It feels like a momentary spark of intense love and desire, and all I can do is stifle the butterflies and push the emotional memory from my mind.
Holding onto hope
Where would I be without my faith? I can’t rely on my own strength so knowing God’s got me takes the weight off my shoulders. His word gives me hope when I feel it the least and it’s the only place where my circumstance can change.
But Also… Questioning the promise
Sometimes even when you have the scripture to hold onto, when you feel like the miracle isn’t coming, it’s hard not to question whether you “got it right”. Has God told me I will have another baby? Have I already had my promise? Do I know if it’s even His plan for me? I just wish I could know His plan.
It seems you can rely on nothing like an unwanted period. When you’re infertile, a painful period is the cruelest blow.
Always on my mind
It’s never far from my mind; the baby that feels so out of reach. Every parent pushing a pram, every pregnancy announcement, random pictures in a shop, every other programme on tv. The school run is something else.
This is the best you’re going to get
Sometimes I really think my son’s toy baby doll with it’s baby babbles and preemie newborn nappies is the best I’m gonna get to another tiny tot in the house.
Test and Track
Always tracking, sometimes testing, never celebrating.
Birthdays lost their fun factor long ago, but still, now birthdays just mean one thing: less chance of becoming a mum again. Next year I’m the big 4-0 and things look pretty pessimistic from my angle.
Never letting go
The changing table still stands in the bathroom, the baby bath beneath. The steriliser in the kitchen cupboard. So many baby items since outgrown but kept for the hopeful second coming.
Constant emotional overwhelm
Trying to get pregnant is stressful. It makes me angry. Incredibly anxious. Hopeful. Disappointed. Upset. Self deprecating. Bitter. Bereft. Depressed. Overcompensating. I prepare myself for the worst while planning for the possibility. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that’s simply overwhelming.
Self imposed alcohol-free living
I’m tee-total for three weeks til my period hits. No pregnancy means a boozy booby prize.
SELF CARE GUILT
Every day I swallow necessary medication with a side order of guilt. Then there’s the medication I don’t take because I’m afraid it would be detrimental if I became pregnant. It’s probably an obsessive overreaction — I won’t take anti-inflammatories til I’m on my period — but what if?
How does secondary infertility affect you?