Trying to stay positive with secondary infertility

secondary infertility

*This is a guest post

When my son was a year old, I started seriously thinking about having another baby.

When my son was a year old, I started seriously thinking about having another baby.

He was growing up so fast and I could see his personality developing into a kind and caring little boy. I imagined him being an amazing big brother to a new addition to our family, and I was ready to get started.

I had got pregnant without even trying before – in fact I had got pregnant twice before but had suffered an early miscarriage with my first pregnancy. Both times had been fast and unexpected.

Trying and failing to conceive

As the months passed, I imagined those early pregnancy symptoms – heightened sense of smell, nausea, and, of course, a missed period. But each month I was disappointed. My period would start and I would be left feeling confused and sad.

Making it harder was watching many of my NCT group falling pregnant again. The hardest time was when I realised I wasn’t pregnant (again), walking out of the bathroom, checking my phone and seeing the happy image of a scan on my WhatsApp feed from an excited friend. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

What is secondary infertility?

Secondary infertility is being unable to conceive or carry a baby to term after already having a baby. It is actually pretty common – with around 50% of infertility cases being secondary infertility.

There are many possible reasons for secondary infertility –complications caused by the previous pregnancy or delivery, age or other health problems.

I know our problem is probably due to our age. We are both over 40 and that can have a serious impact on fertility. It’s ironic really. I spent all of my 20’s and most of my 30’s desperately trying not to get pregnant. Now the clock is ticking and I want another baby.

Admitting there’s a problem

We are trying to optimise our chance of getting pregnant by staying healthy, not drinking too much and having sex regularly, but I know we might need to get some help from a fertility specialist.

It’s been hard admitting we have a problem. Despite feeling young and full of life, we are actually getting older. The realisation that my cycles might be changing and ovulation stopping is really difficult to come to terms with. I’m not there yet, but menopause is not that far away and that means I am getting old!

It’s also hard to accept that my son will be an only child. I know many people who don’t have siblings and they are happy and sociable people, but both my husband and I have siblings and the thought of my son growing up alone feels sad.

How I am staying positive

I needed to grieve for the baby I will never have. It took me a while to realise we might not be able to give our son a sibling, but when I did, I had to acknowledge my emotions and allow myself to feel sad. I

almost felt I had no right to feel upset because we have a beautiful son and so many couples are unable to conceive their first child. But I have every reason to feel that loss – I am losing the family I thought we would have and I need to learn to accept our smaller family.

I am enjoying the time I have with my son. There’s nothing like a small child to keep you grounded and in the present moment. We go out and have fun together. I remember that he needs me and I will be the best mum I can be for him.

I think about the positives of having one child. We can go travelling easier with one child, we have more money to do things as a family, and I can get fitter and healthier again if I don’t get pregnant again. Maybe I’ll train for a 10K run or we will have a holiday to Australia! Who knows?

Maybe we will never get pregnant again. We will enjoy what we have and be grateful for our son. But I will keep hoping for that little blue line to appear each month. 

Author bio

Catherine Coleman is a blogger, writer and registered mental health nurse. She has worked for the NHS and private clients in UK and Australia and has recently completed her Masters degree in Public Health. She is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of those she works with. 

Catherine is now a stay-at-home mum living in Kent with her 18 month-old son. Her blog laidbackmama.net explores parenting, lifestyle and wellbeing. She also writes for nurses.co.uk about mental health nursing in UK.

Catherine loves to share her experiences and advice on how to keep positive and relaxed about parenting, reduce stress and enjoy the journey into motherhood.

Picture credit: People photo created by yanalya – www.freepik.com

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