My Journey with Secondary Infertility

I've written many variations of this post over the past few years. But never once could I bring myself to hit that publish button, with letting it all out there. There were many reasons for this. Believe it or not, I am actually a pretty private person and don't share much with people. Why? Mostly because I don't want to be judged or gossiped about in the areas of my life that are the most tender and important to me. Plus, I felt I should be grateful for what I have, after all, I already have two children. And, I kept thinking that I would look like a poser if I put it all out there then got pregnant the next month. But now is the time to share…part of the story anyway.

After having Connor, Ian and I discussed how many kids we wanted and came up with four. In my head, these children would be perfectly spaced apart in two year increments. With Connor and Isla, that obviously happened. This time, not so much. When Isla was about a year old, I felt more ready to tackle another child. Ian had the desire too and it just seemed like the right time. The problem was, I never got my period back after having Isla. Most people I would tell that to would tell me what a blessing it was. Sure, I loved not having it, but I wanted a baby. And no period meant no ovulation, and no ovulation meant no pregnancy. So, even though I desperately wanted to have another child, I felt like I needed to act as this "blessing" of no period was just that, a blessing, and not the curse as I saw it.

Now, let me not gloss over the fact that I thought all this was happening because I was extended nursing Isla. So, I regularly had these fights in my head feeling like I was to blame for not being able to get pregnant again, yet at the same time, not wanting to stop nursing Isla because she didn't seem ready.

Finally, two years after Isla was born, during a routine physical, I admitted to my obgyn that I never got my period back. I mentioned that I was still nursing. My doctor was shocked that I had yet to have a period, even though I was still nursing, and sent me for labs. She was very encouraging and told me that no matter what, they could get me pregnant somehow. What began was months of hormone taking and lab follow ups with nothing happening. In the middle of all this, I decided to stop nursing Isla, on the off chance that really was the problem. Well, it turns out it wasn't.

About a year ago, I was referred to an endocrinologist. I still remember that appointment. I thought I was going in to discuss my fertility options. Instead I was faced with hormone problems that affect a lot more than my fertility - think early menopause, osteoporosis, heart problems. I left that appointment feeling stupid for not speaking up sooner. After all, this is my health we are talking about.

About a week later, I found myself staring at the inside of an MRI machine. I laid down on the table, they put a blanket on me for comfort, put what they referred to as a "bird cage" on my head, then slowly I was moved into the machine. As the guy left the room and I was stuck, I began to cry. The thing is, I rarely ever cry. But at that moment, stuck in that stupid machines, it felt like everything came to a head. I was laying there with only my thoughts. I was crying and couldn't even move to wipe my own tears. Talk about a vulnerable moment. Anyway, to keep this story from getting out of hand, I was put on a medication to fix my hormone imbalance. Basically, it a medication I will have to take until it truly is time for me to go into menopause. But, I do not take it while pregnant.

This medication came with all sorts of scary side effects. But I took it. And, thankfully, the scary side effects never came. Which, I must say is a miracle. After reading in forums online, my dosage is much higher than most and most people taking it have side effects. After being on the medication for three months, my period came. Then two months later, I started ovulating again. And a few months after that, this little miracle inside of me came to be.

It's been a long road. One that has been very mental for me. Not a day went by that I didn't think about it. There was a constant pit in the bottom of my stomach. The pit that life, my family, isn't turning out the way I wanted. Dealing with the question of "When will you have another one?" over and over. And depending on how I answered that question, it could get awkward. Some responded with "I'm sorry".  Others have cried with me. Some have encouraged me. Other's have told me I should be grateful for what I have. Still, other's told me not to give up on the desire God placed in my heart. I was actually getting really close to being okay with the fact that I may never see the life I imagined. A month before I got pregnant, I actually went through and purged some of the baby stuff I kept. It was a little process in moving on from that dream and accepting my reality.

Obviously now I am pregnant. I don't know if the dream of four kids will ever happen…or even if we will really want another one once the baby arrives. But what I do know is I feel incredibly blessed to be given the opportunity to have another child. I also feel incredibly blessed for modern medicine and the fact that one little pill can correct my hormone imbalances and keep me healthy. This has been a hard journey. It's been a lonely journey. But it is nice to be where I am today…15 weeks pregnant with a little "apple" (that's about the size of the baby now).

Though I'm not glad to have walked through this journey, I am glad for the compassion I have learned toward others. That quote you see all over the internet really is true. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

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  2. Wow - thank you so much for sharing with me. Like many others I imagine, I assumed you were done having kids. 2 kids, boy and girl...I bet a lot of people assumed the same thing. And yet you were going through all this.

    I'm beyond happy that you have your little apple. And I'll continue to hope for happiness and healthiness in your family!

  3. I'm so glad you shared this. Such a good reminder each is a little miracle. I remember last fall grieving and pleading that Id be content if Sawyer was our last and only ;) thankful for these babies!

    1. I'm still so excited that we are once again pregnant at the same time!

  4. So so happy for you!! It must have been so hard but you got through it like a superwoman!! You'll have a beautiful baby in the end though :) Wishing you the best!

  5. It's funny, the current trend in family planning really glamorizes that two-year age gap, as if it is THE BEST way to have babies. Mine are 3-4 years apart and it's been so wonderful. My babies wean between 2-3 and my babies come about 3 years apart. We had our fourth in April 2014 (our third baby and only daughter was stillborn in 2013). All this to say, our boys are playmates and best buds. Their age differences have had no effect on their bond or their relationship. If anything, I think it's afforded them each that time to be *the* baby without having to compete too heartily for mama's love and attention. It's always divided when you have more than one child, but those first two years are just so very crucial. Two years or five years, what determines the bond between siblings is the environment in which they live and thrive: is it one where familial bonds and forgiveness are a priority? Is family time emphasized? It's not the years between children that matter, it's the love and the emphasis on that bond that do.

    Congrats on the newest member of your crew!

    1. Thank you for your input. I really enjoyed all you have to say. And I do think that having this one be four years younger than the last will be much easier for many a reasons. I was afraid that meant the kids wouldn't be close relationally, then my sil reminded me that is the age gap between her and her sister and they are very close.


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