The urge to have another baby, extend the family and produce a sibling for your child/children is still painful and still a natural desire, that is just as strong as if you were trying for for first.
As well as the stresses and frustrations commonly known by anyone trying for a period of time for a baby, Secondary Infertility throws a whole load of additional feelings for anyone who is trying for a baby but who already have a family.
Guilt You know you already have what so many still struggle to achieve and therefore feel extremely guilty at wanting more. You may have had difficulty conceiving the first time round so understand the pain of Primary Infertility first hand, and know that anyone in that situation would cut their hand off to be in yours right now, with your child. Or, you may have had your first child/children easily, maybe unplanned, but are now struggling to have another, so feel guilty at wanting more when others are unable to, or are undergoing gruelling treatment, to have a first.
Greater Frustration The desire for a child is just as difficult to comprehend and deal with and is often just as strong as it was the first time round. In fact, the fact that you have done it once before can often bring about a stronger desire. Your body is now failing you. It’s done it once so why not again?
Pressure As you watch your child/children grow and milestones pass your sense of the gap between them becomes stronger and more acute. You perhaps wanted them closer together, you may be being asked questions about”when will they have a baby brother?”, and friends or family start to question when there will be another too. You are under enough pressure trying to make a baby, but as time passes, there is additional pressure felt from all around.
Sadness The inability to make a baby when every part of your body really wants to is extremely painful. There is also acute pain felt at the sight of your child playing on their own, moving your growing child from the nursery to their own room or simply walking round a shopping centre seeing a Mummy holding a child’s hand, whilst pushing a buggy and with a full pregnant belly. Sometimes everyday situations bring overwhelming sadness.
Shame When people can see that you have clearly been able to have a child, they feel able to ask when you are ‘popping the next one out?’ or ‘producing a brother or sister?’, questions that can bring shame when you try to change the subject or have to admit that you’re trying unsuccessfully.
Helplessness If you have tried IVF treatment and failed, or are unable to afford or if indeed, this is not even an option for you, the feeling of utter helplessness can be overwhelming. To be brought up believing that you had to be careful and that getting pregnant was easy, coupled with the understanding that it was what you were born to and designed to do, and then be unable to, is pretty crippling.
Isolation Probably because of the guilt and shame, but definitely because of the replies back from people, few couples talk about Secondary Infertility and as such feel incredibly alone. You don’t want to feel like a failure, you certainly don’t want people to think you are greedy or selfish and you definitely don’t want to upset anyone trying for a first child, and so you keep quiet.
Useless Your body’s not working, you can’t give your child a sibling, you can’t provide another child for your wife/husband, as a woman in particular, you can’t do what you are designed to so you feel a sense of failure, that is obviously utterly wrong.
Negativity When you are having a low moment, your negative feelings make everything look bleak and it’s hard ot see the positive in any situation at those times. Sometimes it may be the effect of the drugs, tiredness, grief or simply a cocktail negative emotions that are wearing you down.
Obsession There is nothing more important in your life than creating another life. Are you putting your currently family aside as you concentrate on trying to conceive? Is work suffering, are family and friends seeing less of you? An all consuming, overwhelming feeling and focus can sometimes lead to the more worrying obsession that can affect relationships and you well being.
Judged The feeling that you are being judged it very common and very painful. This is the primary cause why so few talk about SI as they feel that in saying they want more, they are judged by others who don’t understand that the natural desire to want a second baby is no less strong or controllable as the desire to want a first. People are often willing to express their judgements of your situation which is mostly painful and extremely unhelpful.
Jealous You know the joy of being pregnant, you know that there is no quota on the number of children given out and that someone else’s pregnancy has no bearing on whether you will have a child or not – however – SI brings out the monster in you. Green eyed, heart breaking, angry and frustrated monster that just wants to scream “Why you again? Why not me? When is it my turn?!” It’s not a nice feeling, but is an extremely common one.
Anger A mix of many emotions can sometimes burst into a feeling of anger when it all gets too much. You don’t recognise yourself, you don’t want to have these horrid, negative feelings and you are sick of your lives being overrun by the injustice and pain of it all. You have a right to be angry. It’s OK. Just find a way to vent, control and release it.
Does any of this sound familiar? Is it comforting to read words that mean some thing to you, that help you recognise yourself and identify the situation you are in? Tell us your story and help others.