On Secondary Infertility.August 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Posted in Mythical #2, rants | 13 Comments
I have never really considered that we are dealing with Secondary Infertility before now. It seems like just a continuation of our Primary Infertility – except we just got really, really lucky and managed to have a son.
And according to RESOLVE? Technically, we do NOT suffer from secondary infertility. The definition is thus: “Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children. The birth of the first child does not involve any assisted reproductive technologies or fertility medications.”
Yet, in infertility circles, I have a child. I am a parent, something that I remember thinking I’d sell my soul to the devil just for ONE chance at being a mom.
This weekend I got a comment from someone who can’t have a baby at all. Reading between the lines, man, my heart hurt for he and his wife.
And for a good long few minutes, I felt so damn guilty for spending so much time in the past few years wallowing in the Suck of Fail when it comes to our lack of reproductive prowess. I felt greedy, like I was asking for more than I should have.
But then I realized something.
I believe that people should be able to have as many children as they want.
If that’s one or twenty, it doesn’t matter. And as much as Lucky IS a salve for our pain, the fact is this: I want another baby with a longing that’s deep and intense. I can’t turn it off any more than I can make it rain.
I was never one of those primary infertiles that thought “oh you should be happy you HAVE one!” whenever it came to someone struggling with their second or third or fifth child. I actually always thought that it was its own sort of hell. Whereas Charlie and I could escape kids by going backpacking, or travelling to Italy, or spending time with his aunts and uncles, people struggling with secondary infertility can never escape the reminders.
Because, you see, they HAVE a child, and you always spend time with other parents when you’re a parent.
I see women at Lucky’s daycare with a baby in the infant room and an older child in the toddler room. I see pictures of siblings on Facebook, wearing “big sister” or “big brother” shirts.
Just last week, a professional contact I hadn’t spoken with since 2009 asked me what our current family situation was now, since the last time we spoke Lucky was 6 months old.
I spend every week with my niece and nephew, watching how my nephew D takes care of his little sister.
We ARE fortunate, I know this. The longer we try – and fail – to have another child, the more I realize just how lucky we DID get in bringing Lucky home with us. It’s a salve on the nights where I want to cry with the longing for another child; I can go into his room and kiss his sleeping face and feel my heart swell with love and happiness and humility.
We are so lucky.
But then, I happen to see that someone landed on my blog on this post, and I see him as a baby, and how cute he was, and I want to scream from the longing.
I dream of holding a baby, nursing him, watching Lucky be a big brother. I toss and turn and try and get away from those dreams, because I don’t know if it’s going to happen for us.
And when someone asks me if Lucky is my only child, it FEELS like a kick to the chest; it knocks the wind right out of me.
My thinking time – the three hours I commute and sometimes on a run… is now spent trying to come to grips with the fact that it’s possible we MIGHT not have another baby.
And you know, I KNOW we’ll be okay. Over time, the ache will HAVE to get better.
I’m not saying this to be all “woe is me.” I just believe that all people should have as many babies as they want. And I refuse, absolutely refuse, to stop blogging about MY experience with our struggles the second time around, just because I have my son.
It’s possible to be Lucky AND Unlucky at the same time.
I love my son and am so, so thankful he’s a part of my life. I will always owe Dr. HIT a debt of gratitude for making it so that we could bring him home.
But that doesn’t mean it’s greedy, or wrong of us to want to expand our family, too.