Secondary infertility: My struggle the second time around
Secondary infertility is more common than you think, and the chances of conceiving will decrease as your age increases. Read one mother’s personal struggle to get pregnant again the second time around.
I had been married for almost four years when we decided that the time was right for us to graduate to the next step, that of becoming parents.
I thought becoming pregnant would be as easy as falling in love and getting married had been. But it was not so. I really struggled to conceive my first child.
It was after three torturous years, numerous doctor appointments, medical check-ups, painful procedures, a big change in my diet and lifestyle, countless tears and heartfelt prayers that I finally became pregnant naturally.
When my daughter was born, I felt my life was finally complete now that my desire of becoming a mother had finally been fulfilled. I even became a fulltime Work At Home Mom (WAHM) so that I could devote my time and attention to my precious baby and be there every step of the way as she grew into the cheerful and cheeky pre-schooler that she is today.
It was when my daughter began to walk steadily, talk in full sentences, ask to use the potty, regularly attend playdates, count from 1 – 10, and request for specific foods to eat, I began to long for another addition to our family and a sibling for her.
I thought that since I was finally able to conceive her, perhaps conception would be easier the second time around – but unfortunately I was mistaken.
Struggling to conceive yet again
I am now learning the hard way that secondary infertility exists. And just like the first time, it is a huge source of frustration and anguish. I had always wanted a big family, so when my daughter was about 1½-years-old, I felt that we were ready to start trying again for our second one.
However my daughter is now three-years-old and the countless negative pregnancy test kits and harsh monthly reminders from Aunt Flo telling me that she is going to remain an only child for now, are beginning to make me feel worried.
I must admit that although I am not as desperate to conceive as I was the first time around and nor am I suffering from depression like I did back then, my second infertility continues to be a great source of anxiety. Month after month it upsets me to discover that I have still not conceived and I have finally begun to ask myself if I will be able to get pregnant ever again.
What could be the cause of my secondary infertility?
When I was trying to conceive (TTC) my first child, doctors advised me to lose some weight as this apparently affects fertility and I was told to try and lead a less stressful life, another factor which affects a woman’s chances of conceiving.
This time around I am not sure what the cause is.
Is it my stress levels?
Now that I am a full-time Work at Home Mom with deadlines to meet, my daughter to take care of (without any outside help from nannies, helpers, in-laws or grandparents), household chores to do and weekly errands to run, I guess the stress of it all might be playing a part in me not getting pregnant yet.
Is it my uterine fibroids?
It was also discovered back then that I had a few uterine fibroids which affected my chances of conceiving to a certain degree, and I wonder if that may be the cause again this time around.
Is it because I am still breastfeeding?
Is the fact that I am still breastfeeding my three year old child interfering with my body’s ability to conceive? Studies have shown that some women who are breastfeeding older babies or toddlers may have lower fertility rates even after their periods have returned, thus making it difficult to conceive.
Perhaps it is a combination of all of these. No one can give me a clear and definitive answer. A part of me also feels that perhaps the timing is not right and all I can do is be patient and have faith that if it was meant to be, then it will happen someday.
Painful reminders all around me
Sometimes it is hard to put on a happy front and try my best to smile when well-intending friends and family eagerly ask about our plans for baby number two.
It was heartbreaking for me, when recently completely out of the blue, my daughter mentioned how she will play My Little Ponies with her sister and that she wants to have some lunch with her brother. Every time she mentions the possibility of a sibling, I have to admit that it stings a little.
When I log on to my social media accounts and see excited pregnancy announcements from friends, I do congratulate them with total sincerity, but I also can’t help but feel – not envious – but sad for myself. As much as I am happy for them, I long for the day when it will be my turn too.
I turned 32 this year and although I know that have a few more years on my side, I have to admit that my biological clock has begun to keep me up at night — constantly reminding me that time is slowly ticking away.
Do I have the right to feel sad?
Since I already have one child, am I allowed to feel this way and get a little blue every month? Do I have the right to feel sad and even a bit angry that I have not been able to conceive yet?
After all, at least I already have my daughter and there are some couples out there who are still childless and would be thankful to be blessed with just one child, so am I being greedy and ungrateful by wanting another one?
Although I ask myself these questions from time to time, a part of me knows that it is perfectly natural for me to long for another baby and there is nothing wrong with wanting to expand my beautiful family.
I have the right to be blessed with another child – if that is what has been written for me – and I pray with all my heart for that joyous day to arrive sooner rather than later.
Can you relate to this story about secondary infertility? Do you think parents have the right to feel sad about their struggles to get pregnant even though they already have a child? We would love to read your views and stories so please share them with us in the comments section below.