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Secondary Infertility

According to the RESOLVE website,

“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.

The emotional experience of secondary infertility often is a compilation of the distressing feelings of anger, grief, depression, isolation, guilt, jealousy, self-blame, and being out of control. You may feel guilty for experiencing normal grief and worry about how your current emotional state will affect your existing child. The powerlessness to produce a sibling for the existing child often produces feelings of sorrow, as does the inability to perpetuate the parenting role. You may feel distant from friends as those who were a great source of support when parenting the first child are now linked to sensations of pain and jealously.

Sadly, couples with secondary infertility tend to receive less social support from others than couples who have primary infertility because the infertility is unacknowledged, the pain associated with infertility is invisible as the couple has a child, and there is no concrete loss in the family. In addition, couples experiencing secondary infertility may be recipients of criticism by others who think they should be grateful for one child and that it is foolish to go to extremes to increase family size. Of course, a couple can be extraordinarily thankful for their existing child and still long for more children“.

I KNOW that I am lucky to have one child. I KNOW that my son was truely a miracle baby. I didn’t know that at the time, but I definately know now. I also KNOW that husband and I want more children. Would do anything for more children. We want son to know what it is to have a sibling. A life long friend. Someone that he can depend on when husband and I are gone. It hurts me to the core, it breaks my heart to think that he will never know the relationship of a sibling. It makes me feel as though I have failed him.

Secondary Infertility hurts. It hurts just as bad every month when the spotting begins. It hurts every month when the temperature chart shows that tell-tale dip. It hurts every month when the cramps began. It hurts every time husband repeats his SA and it is low and slow. It is like a dagger to the heart every time I walk past the nursery that has sat empty for the past 3 years. It’s like a punch in the gut every time my son asks why G-d puts babies in other people’s tummies and not mine. It hurts when my son asks if we haven’t adopted a baby yet because the people that came to our house didn’t like us. It kills me to remember the joy my son felt when I told him he was gonna have a brother or sister. It kills me to remember having to tell him that the baby couldn’t continue to grow, and that maybe in time, G-d would give us another.

Secondary infertility HURTS. I understand that so many people who suffer from primary infertility hurt too. It ALL hurts. It is heartbreaking for everyone. Those of us who got lucky that one time, we don’t deserve to have to hide our pain. We don’t deserve to be told that we are not “worthy” of our pain. I can be thankful for what I already have, but I can long for what I don’t.

 

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About Tricia #GrowingUpNelson

First grandaughter, mother of two, lover of books and bad music, aspiring to be a mostly vegan always vegetarian. Nearly 365 days Xanax free and hating it. #GrowingUpNelson

15 responses »

  1. You’re right, it DOES suck for everyone, whether secondary or primary infertility. I don’t know how you found my blog but your comment wishing me luck made my day. Thank you!

    Reply
  2. What an amazing, powerful post. My thoughts are with you. Hugs!

    Reply
  3. It is not fair, and it does suck big time! I fully understand that IF is an intensely personal journey, so no one should ever feel that their experience is somehow lesser than another persons. It’s not. It’s what you are experiencing right now and once IF has a grip on your brain you’ll do anything to shake it. I get what you mean about the stab to the heart feeling, I get that when I see my 3 teenage step kids 😦

    Wishing you all the best. It’s ok to feel like this. But it still sux! Big hugs

    Reply
    • Thank you. I use my blog as a means to get my feelings out. A result of that is meeting people and having people read my blog. Maybe I’m naive but I’d like my blog to be a place where I am not belittled and my feelings aren’t minimized. I feel nothing but respect and support for all of the people I have come across, no matter what type of infertility they are experiencing and I appreciate the support that I have received.

      Reply
    • Also, I tried to comment on your blog the other day but blogger wouldn’t let me!

      Reply
  4. It’s true…IF sucks all around no matter if you have children or not. It’s all just plain painful. ((HUGS))!

    Reply
  5. No one should have to hide their pain. IF hurts, and no one should have to hide that hurt.

    Reply
  6. I appreciate this post. As someone who is suffering from Primary Infertility, I know I have (mostly out of jealousy) thought the same kind of things that bother you the most. I’ve never thought it was silly to go to extremes to build your family, but “well at least you have a child” has definitely crossed my mind. It’s not fair to compare. Jealousy can be a nasty companion, and I’m trying to let mine go. You are right, it hurts for everyone, and I just wanted to say I wish you the best in your journey and hope the longing ends soon.

    Reply
    • Thank you. I know that my situation isn’t the “worst” but i also don’t see it as a contest. I could never begrudge Someone on here who gets a BFP before me, as I know that we all suffer and each and every one of us deserve what we want, just like those damn smug infertiles. =) as I’ve said countless times, I know that I am so blessed. But sometimes I think I’ve got it rough (certainly not rougher) in that I have to hear so and so’s mommy is having a baby, why aren’t you? It’s heart breaking. Anyway, again, thank
      You. I understand your feelings but I’m glad you’ve found it in your heart to try and understand us secondaries. Were not bad guys. We didn’t know at the time, but my son made it through bad sperm and a septated uterus to be with us. I just want more than anything for another miracle. Selfish? Maybe. But the heart wants what it wants.

      Reply
      • No, not selfish. And you are definitely not bad guys. Its just sometimes hard for us without kids to see people with kids. And I completely understand the ache, I really do. I’m following your blog and rooting for you!

      • And even though I do have a 7 year old it’s hard for me to see people who started trying LONG after I did for number 2. I HAVE to go to birthday parties and things like that where I see these babies and I’m like woah, your 1, I started trying long before your parents even thought about it.ugh it just sucks.

  7. I feel the same way about trying for my first. So many of my friends have kids already and I’m saddened that I’m not sure they would be close enough in age to even be playmates. Plus many times your relationship with your friends change when they have kids. Its different being two couples with kids vs a couple with kids and a couple without. You just stop relating to things as much. It just sucks all around.

    Reply

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