You’re blessed with one child. You’ve firmly moved over into Mommyland. You can discuss the latest stroller and best preschools with the
best of them. You’re happy, truly you are. But when you can’t get pregnant again, you’re stuck in the world in between motherhood and infertility—the world of secondary infertility. You’re a mom and yet you’re also infertile.
No Right to Complain
Support and understanding is often in short supply for all those who are infertile, but it is especially lacking for those suffering from secondary infertility. After all, you already have a child. You should be happy. You should be focused on the child you have. Plenty of people only have one child. Heck, there are even books celebrating the benefits of only children. Basically, only kids are the “new black”–they’re the hip thing to do. I mean, it’s not like you’re really infertile, right? Wrong.
Do You Really Qualify as Infertile?
Sometimes secondary infertility is no surprise since the couple struggled to get pregnant with their first child. Sometimes it strikes when trying to conceive many years after the first when the woman has reached the hinterland of her reproductive years. But sometimes beyond all reason, a young(ish) couple that fairly easily conceived the first time finds themselves unable to have a second. But it’s not like you’re really infertile if you have one child. I mean, you’ve gotten pregnant once, so clearly you can do it again, right? Wrong?
Where Do You Belong?
At times it seems that the online and in-person world is divided between those who have kids and those who don’t. The “don’ts” are divided between those who don’t want them (at least for now) and those who are infertile. If you are happily parenting a child, but desperately want another, where do you fit? The mommy world is busy with all things kids, while the infertility world is busy with all things trying. The secondarily infertile are busy with both.
Hurting for Three
With your first, you wanted a child to satisfy you and your partners desire to parent. When you are trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant with your second, you want this child for yourself, of course, but you also want a sibling for your first child. Children often fantasize the big brother/sister role and the joy of having a childhood partner. But even if your child is not begging for a baby, you see the advantages throughout life of having a brother or sister to walk the walk with them not just in childhood, but throughout adulthood and old age. Not being able to provide this for you child is painful times three.
But really, why are you complaining. Some people can’t even have one child. Just be thankful, just relax, just count your blessings. Right? Wrong.
Have you experienced secondary infertility? Did you find it lonely?
Image credit: Hayley Bouchard