Friday, May 22, 2015

What is it like?

First, the easy question.

What is secondary infertility like?

What is crazy is that *ALMOST* all of the general infertility situations are the same for secondary infertility. The "when are you having kids" question? It's now "So, isn't it about time for a sibling/another one?" Baby showers? Still hard (especially after miscarriages). Seeing pregnant women out shopping? Instant heartache. Drawer full of pregnancy tests? Check. (Okay, is it just me, or is anyone else super annoyed and slightly jealous when they hear someone talk about how their period was a couple of weeks late, so they went and bought a pregnancy test? I seriously long for being able to just unwrap a box of Clearblue blue dye tests without worrying about FMU, blue dye being notorious for false positives, it being negative and me wasting money, or having to take 20+ cheapies because you're worried about a miscarriage. I want to live a life where one test will suffice. Give me that fertile ignorance. I don't mean that bad, either. I seriously wish I was completely ignorant to all of this. It would be beautiful.)

My "test drawer". I made myself stay away from Amazon, so no internet cheapies (except OPK's). I always start testing at 8dpo, which is ridiculous and wasteful. Hello, 88 cent test. Hello, 10dpo. Well, I'd love to wait until AF is late, but let's be honest. That isn't going to happen. Oh, and in case you were wondering, that is 16-17 Answer OPK's, 3-4 cheapie OPK's, 2 Answer pregnancy tests, two Clearblue digitals, and one First Signal. Thank you to a sweet family member for picking up those ovulation tests for us after seeing them on clearance!
Secondary infertility is also different from primary infertility in a few ways though. I always hear "Well, at least you have one child" (I'll get more into that in a minute), "Just be happy with the one you have", or "You're crazy. You have one already, you shouldn't be upset about not being able to have another one". This isn't the case. You don't always feel complete after having one child. Even women who struggle for years for that one child may say "I just want one and I'll be happy. That's it." and later feel the yearning for another. You don't always feel complete with the one you have, and it doesn't mean you aren't thankful. I'm forever thankful for my daughter, and I always will be. But I do want another, for several reasons. Now that we've lost two sweet little ones, I'll never feel complete, and I don't think I could just give up. You have friends that have kids younger than yours that are on their next child or starting on another. In some cases, you have to see these newborns and baby bumps because of playdates. You can't just get out of it.
In other words, secondary infertility is just as painful as primary infertility, except for the fact that you already have a child, so that pain of childlessness is not there. This is a big difference, which is why sometimes I feel whiny for being upset over aching for a second child. But honestly, pain is pain.
What is recurrent miscarriage like?
Honestly, the best word I have to describe RPL is hell. It is pure hell. My first miscarriage was a chemical pregnancy. I only took two cheapies that cycle, both of which gave me faint lines. I assumed they were evaps since the second test was lighter than the first. Then my period came a day late (based on my luteal phase, not average cycle length). I never really thought of it as a miscarriage, honestly, and I still am detached from it, so that one doesn't cause pain for me really. I do have the "I wonder" thoughts, but I just don't count it normally, except with my doctors. I never got attached, because I never put the pieces together until my period came. Then I was pregnant with Audrey two months later.
My first actual miscarriage was devastating for me. I knew I was pregnant for three weeks. It doesn't sound like a long time, but it was to me. I had a bad feeling from the beginning due to lack of symptoms. Something just felt off. When it happened, though, I was just in shock. I have the link to that story here. {Trigger warning}. I honestly was just intensely sad until we got pregnant again.
My second miscarriage was painful, too, but in a completely different way somehow. I was scared immediately upon seeing the positive test. To put how upset I was over the first loss in perspective, I lost Sunny on July 17 and got my positive test with Hope on November 8. I spent the entire day before my BFP with Hope just bawling. I cried all day every time I thought of my miscarriage. I felt hopeless, as I was past the point that I thought I should have had a faint line. I was depressed. Then, a friend announced her pregnancy that night and I completely broke down. I was just still so hurt. After we got a positive test, I was worried, but still hopeful that this was it. I was 7 weeks when we had our ultrasound and the heart rate was slow. It was a slow process, but from 7 to 11 weeks, a few things happened that made me realize we were losing her, too, the low heart rate being the biggest one. So I kind of "knew" with Hope, too.
 Even though I was almost positive going in that she was gone, the ultrasound broke my heart into pieces. That was December 31, and it is May 23 now. Thinking about that moment makes my head go fuzzy. Seeing her motionless. Seeing her umbilical cord, her little legs, her head, her feet. But she was gone. It was honestly the most heartbreaking moment of my life. It is making me cry just thinking about it. I just knew that she was it, our sweet little rainbow baby, and she was another angel.
I can't even say what that loss on top of my other one did to me. I can't explain it, but I just wanted to run away and be someone else. I wanted to curl up in a ball and disappear, just be nothing. Not exist. That sounds awful, honestly, but it is true. I just felt so empty, and I wanted the pain gone. I wanted my babies back. I have said it a million times before, and I'll say it again...I don't know how people who suffer from RPL do it if they don't already have a child. She isn't a replacement for my angels, but she is mine. She is here. I can kiss her, and love on her. Some don't get that. They feel this way without a living child.
Anytime someone tells me to be thankful for what I have, I want to say "Don't you understand? I am beyond thankful for what I have. She is the light of my life. But I'm allowed to hurt over losing my OTHER CHILDREN." So many people don't feel the same way that I do, that my babies were, well, babies (and I even have to tell myself this when I don't "count" the chemical pregnancy). Some of those people would feel differently if they'd went through that. It is hell. It is hell receiving advice from people, it is hell when you hear "how many kids do you have" or "when will your daughter get a sibling?" She has siblings. I have three, technically four, kids.  It is hell seeing your baby, a baby with a head, a face, feet, legs, and arms, on an ultrasound screen with no heartbeat and still. Completely still. It is hell.
It is one of the most difficult experiences ever, to love a child you can't hold or see. It is so hard to love a child from Earth. A child that is elsewhere. It is so hard to wonder what happened. What caused this? It is an empty pain. An achy, awful pain. It is such a deep pain. It is like living in hell.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi, Nice story which shared on your blog. Thanks for share with us.