If you’re looking for advice about options surrounding fertility, pregnancy or counselling, always consult your doctor.
I was on Clomid for a year, trying to get pregnant with my daughter before my then-new fertility doctor ordered a round of tests and suggested an IUI.
It worked the first time out. Phew, I thought. Well, at least we’ll know what to do next time around.
Cut to two years after my girl’s arrival and I’m once again at my fertility doctor’s office, feeling a bit smug with the knowledge that not only do we already know how to deal with my PCOS, but that we could almost set baby No. 2’s birth date.
Secondary infertility had other ideas.
The first, second, then third IUI failed (the fourth one too,) each bringing with it a round of blood tests, injections and office procedures that would lead to prayers, pregnancy sticks and increasing depression as another try tanked.
I was working full-time and parenting a precocious two-year-old whose growth had pushed us out of our tiny apartment to a new place that included a bedroom of her own. My husband and I were happy—and lord knows, kids are expensive, even more so in New York City. Plus, I was in my late 30s.
Maybe fate was telling us something.
And yet, I wanted my girl to have a sibling. My husband has a brother and I have two. For me, having someone to say, "Mum's crazy, right?" or "Want to go in on a present for Dad?" was fundamental.
But maybe also selfish? I knew women who were having trouble getting pregnant for the first time. I had a beautiful healthy baby already. Why should I get two?
It's an internal script that is the special stress of secondary infertility.
First, you’re caught off guard. (I got pregnant before!)
But then, your stress is hidden by the fact that you already have a baby, so few friends assume there's any trouble.
And as an added bonus, you feel a sharp sense of guilt for your desire for more than the healthy baby you already feel lucky enough to have. Indeed, some parents dealing with secondary infertility face criticism for wanting to go to extremes to have more children.