Imagine this: You’ve had a baby, and everything went smoothly. Months pass and you and your partner are ready to expand your family again. But this time things don’t go smoothly. You try for months, or you become pregnant but miscarry. What’s going on with me, you wonder?
What is secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility is the inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term after a successful pregnancy.
Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe you’re like me and you’ve experienced it. Many folks aren’t even familiar with the term. Nearly everyone knows someone who has undergone fertility treatments, but not everyone is familiar with someone who has struggled with secondary infertility.
You have secondary infertility. Now what?
Aside from all the medical issues to explore and discuss with the doctor crowd, other issues crop up in your daily life. The ones that can shake your foundation. Those are the issues that need discussed and brought to light.
Secondary infertility is a huge emotional obstacle for couples who desperately hope to expand their families. Because you’ve had one successful pregnancy, people often don’t understand how difficult it is to be unable to add to your family.
It hurts a lot.
The emotional rollercoaster of peeing on sticks, praying before ultrasounds, and panicking over bloodwork can take a toll on even the most optimistic couple. While you planned to have a large family, now you’re not even sure you’ll be able to have two children, and your heart breaks a little.
And then there’s your marriage.
Anyone married for more than a week knows that navigating struggles in a marriage can really test what you’re made of as a couple. Stress, disappointment, and medical issues can all take their toll on even the most connected couple. Shame and blame can creep into your most sacred of unions, leaving a feeling of disconnect and despair.
And that one fun thing that helps bond married couples and is the source of making babies? Yeah, it kind of loses its appeal. Whether it’s timing your intimate moments or being unable to even have them because of medical issues, what was once done for fun can become a chore or not even an option.
And for moms like me, it’s so much than just the physical act of having a baby.
It’s a piece of your identity.
It’s a testament to your body’s fitness and health.
It’s a dream in your heart.
And sometimes, this one area of your life that was a shining beacon of wonder after your first child was born can become a dark and desolate place. And that’s what secondary infertility feels like.