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Carrie says: I think of SI as the misfit diagnosis of the ttc world. You get all the emotions of infertility plus a heaping pile of guilt on top of it because you do have a child while others struggle. Plus people assume you are making a choice to not expand your family and often ask intrusive questions about family planning. To deal with those questions, I usually respond with, “We hope to have more!” And leave it at that.
Erin says: People always want to know when my son is getting a brother. I used to just blow off the question but now I address it and say something blunt like “he may never get one.” I’ve realised it’s better, or sometimes people go on and on if not. I also try to inform people now about Secondary Infertility. I’ve been experiencing it for 3 years. I’ve found that being honest about my feelings (whether it’s jealousy, anger, disappointment etc) is better than bottling it up. Baby announcements trigger emotion in me particularly, especially from women who gave birth to their first around the same time as or after me, those ones really get to me. People with multiple children who complain, complain, complain and act like having more than 1 is loads more difficult than having just 1 is hard too, as is seeing my son interact with friends’ baby brothers or sisters and then having him ask me where his baby brother or sister is. I hate to think about my son being an adult and not having siblings to share life with after his father and I are gone.
Yvan & Veronique say: At first I would not tell others what I was going through. Until we decided to call it quits and the questions still kept coming. I decided to open up and tell them I have SI and people responded well and stopped bugging me. They gave me support and encouraging words. The most painful triggers for me were in my work environment (I work with mostly females). Any talk at lunch about who is expecting, who is trying for #2. Or any baby shower invites or complaints about how busy one is with multiple children. The hardest is when a family member is expecting and looking at baby pictures of your one and only and knowing every little moment is your last.
Janelle says: Feelings – you name it. I’ve felt like a horrible mother who couldn’t give my son a buddy for life. I felt like a horrible wife, and a useless woman. Lots of guilt, lots of sadness/ lots of depression and negativity. Total obsession. All consuming overwhelming feeling that it has to happen – why isn’t it happening? I have had 3 MC’s so I felt a lot of hopelessness after my MC’s. But after my last one and I mourned, now I’m trying to be more positive. There was a point I hit, rock bottom to a point and I stopped myself from going crazy and now I feel acceptance. Anything that comes after this is the cherry on the top, a total bonus. Triggers are friends who are on their second or third. Especially in my mother’s group. When my little guy asked why he doesn’t have a little sister? And a lot of it was around my miscarriages. There are days that I didn’t need triggers, I just felt horrid. Emotional. And didn’t want to ‘adult’ that day. As for those around me – I have filled in a lot of people about what we are going through. My family knows, siblings etc. my good girlfriends and people at work. I have recently been telling more of the friends at work because we keep getting the question or the ‘when’s the next one?’ So more and more people know and then you start to find out stories from these people that I would never have known. It makes me feel normal and that’s why I tell my story/ journey because if I can make someone else feel better about what they are going through, because they know they aren’t the only ones, then I’m happy. I currently have 3 girlfriends struggling to conceive and know 3 that have gone through IVF and one who has been through the same treatment as me. Through sharing I’ve found out about 3-4 other woman who have had miscarriages. It’s scary how common but I wouldn’t have know if I didn’t share.
Sarah says: What can I say! So so true! We have three beautiful boys but unfortunately from eight pregnancies. I had my first son as normal, then three ectopics (one of which burst and emergency surgery) and two early miscarriages. My IVF consultant told me to try just one more time naturally as I could conceive, I had to leave before I punched him! My son would ask weekly for a baby brother, frustrated would ask grandparents instead as his Mummy wasn’t listening…. We were trying so hard. Finally the IVF chap was right, one more time worked. My last tube which had survived two ectopics ( treated with chemo rather than removal) we had our second son, eight months later number 3 pregnancy was confirmed. He arrived early weighing under 5lbs. Everyday I look at my boys and I realise how lucky I am. I did everything at the time to become pregnant. Took over my life. I took up acupuncture, I cooked and drank Chinese herbs, I fought an IVF consultant! I chased my hubby around the house with ovulation kits… The list is endless. But I completely understand what your book is for. It would have helped to have read about someone else going through the same experience. You do feel shameful as you have one child, but that gap cannot be explained, the family was not complete. No one understood. The worst point was after the burst ectopic, seeing my son for the first time and realising I could have left him with no Mum, the quest for more children could have left my only son alone. We are lucky, we overcome our challenge, sharing that with someone else who understood would have been so much easier. I admire you for putting those feelings into words, there is a need for this. I hope you get the support for this book x
Annette says: I had my first child in 1990, unplanned and in my final year at uni it was a shock to say the least but a very loved baby then at 34 in 2002 had my second – a very planned baby, when he was around 5 years old my husband FINALLY agreed we could have another but that much wanted pregnancy never happened. I tried clomid but as we had 3 children between us we agreed IVF wasn’t for us. I get my baby fix at work but will always miss my much wanted 3rd baby. No matter whether you have one child or ten that longing for a baby never goes away.
Verity says: First baby arrived in the world with no effort at all. Five years of trying (including three rounds of IVF) and I still haven’t been able to have a second baby. Pure torture. Don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with my fate.
Katy says: It is really refreshing to find such an honest account of secondary infertility. I look forward to reading the finished book, which I hope will enable me to reflect on my own personal journal. I can relate to your story as I have my own miracle little girl through ICSI who is now growing up fast and at school. The need for “one more bar of chocolate” has with time become more manageable but I acknowledge that it will not leave me until my child bearing days have long gone. Good luck with having your book published.