Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TTC Tuesday: Guest Post

Every journey to motherhood is different for those of us going through Infertility. I sent out the Infertility Bat Signal to see if other women were interested in sharing their story. Here is a story of someone dealing with Secondary Infertility. My journey began in December of 2009. I was so ecstatic to finally begin TTC our second child after having to wait for over 3 years. Armed with my basal body thermometer, my fertility friend account, a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and of course my stud-ly DH, I was ready. I count my blessings that conceiving DD (darling daughter) was effortless. I didn’t know half the stuff about my body that I do now. Our first month, we had sex sometime around ovulation and didn’t really think any more of it. Two weeks and two positive HPTs later, I was pregnant. The pregnancy was fairly easy and uneventful and DD’s delivery was one of the happiest moments of my life. I couldn’t wait to do it all again. Fast-forward 3 years, and I was so excited that I was going to get pregnant again. Surely, I would have a bun in the oven on the first month – I was, after all, a proven “fertile” who came from a loooooong line of overly fertile women. Just so I wouldn’t get disappointed, I was a bit reserved with my optimism. I told myself that if it didn’t happen the first month, not to worry ‘cause I‘d definitely be pregnant within the first three. Insert “eye-roll” here. So, 16 cycles later, here I am with an empty ute and a heavy heart. After 12 cycles we were referred to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) who performed every test under the sun on DH and I (well, except for the laparoscopy…I keep cancelling my appointments because I’m chicken). And what do you know….everything is normal. I knew that I had a very regular cycle and was ovulating every month because of my addiction to charting (thanks, Fertility Friend!) but I figured whatever was wrong would be an easy fix. Instead, I got branded with “unexplained secondary infertility”. Like a lot of people, I didn’t realize that a couple could suffer from infertility after already having a child. Our first Clomid cycle is likely a bust. We will be moving on to injectable meds and are just deciding whether or not to stick with timed intercourse or move on to IUI. Emotionally, things have been up and down. Secondary infertility (SIF) is a hard pill to swallow, especially for those of us who had no issues conceiving our first child. I was completely blindsided by our trouble trying to conceive, and there aren’t a lot of secondary infertile couples hanging around to commiserate with. SIF is a very lonely place. You feel like you make those dealing with primary infertility upset because you already have a child, but you don’t really fit in with your fertile friends either, who are now having their second or third child. And everyone has an opinion on your one-child status: “You only have one? Don’t you want any more?”, “time’s a-wasting, you better give DD a sibling”, “what’s taking you guys so long?”, “Don’t make your daughter an only-child. It’s not fair to her”, etc. etc. What actually hurts the most are the questions that come from my own daughter: “Mommy, when am I going to have a baby brother or sister”, “why don’t I get a baby brother or sister? Jonathon’s mom just had a baby and I’m mad that you won’t give me one”. The guilt that comes with SIF is overwhelming. Not only are you not able to fulfill your own burning desire for another child to love, but your first child is being deprived of having the sibling they so desperately want. My eyes tear up when I see her playing alone in her toy room, eating snacks alone, tormenting the cat alone (well, maybe this is a bonus for the cat!), or snuggled up under a blanket watching a movie….alone. She is an amazing kid and would be a fantastic big sister. I can only hope that one day she’ll get the chance. I think what a lot of people don’t understand with SIF, is that the want for a child and the pain of infertility doesn’t go away just because you already have a child. The child you have and the child you long for are two mutually exclusive things – one is completely independent of the other. Women dealing with SIF are also dealing with a derailment of their life’s plan, just like women dealing with primary infertility. I thought I would get married, buy a house, work on my career, pop out a couple of kids, and spend family vacations in bliss running around after two little rug rats. While I still have hope that I will get my second, beautiful baby, I still hurt every day that he or she is not a reality. I am scared that my life path is taking me somewhere I never envisioned. I am scared that all of this is beyond my control. I am scared that I will have to map out a whole new plan for me and my family. And I am scared that I will never have that second, precious baby that I already love. So, this is it. I’m still making my journey and I’m not quite sure where it will take me - all I know is that I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on. After all, infertility is a challenge with a very sweet reward, if you’re lucky. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to hopefully sharing additional stories in the upcoming weeks. If you would like to share your IF story, please email me at michelle at seemichelleblog dot com.


Angie said...

Thank you for sharing your story.

I can relate to a lot of what you wrote about. My daughter(from previous relationship) is 13. When me and my husband decided to start TTC, I would've never in a million years imagined we'd become part of an unexplained male fertility factor. Here we are 18 months later, still hoping & praying someday soon we see those 2 pink lines.

runningonwords said...

Thanks for sharing! I feel so lonely most of the time because no one else seems to understand how hard infertility is. It helps to hear from other people.

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing! My parents suffered from SIF. Mom says after many years of wanting another child, they ultimately accepted they'd never get pregnant again. Low and behold, when I was twelve my parents were blessed with my brother. I know 12 years is quite a gap between the two kids, but life might surprise you.