Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Secondary infertility

A few nights ago, Maddy tells me she wants to get rid of our house.

"Why Maddy? Don't you like living here?" I ask.

"Mommy, I want to live in a different house. One that has kids in it -- you know -- friends? Who live there all the time? I want to get rid of this house, and live in a house that has friends."

Poor girl. She thinks it's the house.




You know that part of you that dies inside when you see a need in your child you can't meet? That crappy, helpless feeling when your little one is sick, and you can't make their hurt go away? Their best friend has moved, grandma has died, or a pet is suddenly gone?

And you just can't fix it?

I wonder if this is how an acquaintance of mine feels (on a much bigger scale) when her young children long for their father -- a dad who loved them dearly but unexpectedly passed away. I wonder if it's how women in Africa feel when their child is sick or starving and they can do nothing but watch as their child dies.

Now, I know Maddy's not dying. And you could argue that she doesn't "need" siblings. But it sucks to see a such a strong desire in her and feel completely helpless to do anything about it.

The night after the "house conversation," a friend of Maddy's was over. She was 3, and wanted to know why Maddy had 2 beds in her room. "Well, one is my bed," she answers, "and one is Olivia's."

Of course. After all, doesn't everyone have a sister in heaven and an empty crib in their home?



I read a blog the other day on secondary infertility, and it so resonated with me. Did you know more couples deal with secondary infertility than those who have primary infertility?

[Quick rundown: Primary infertility = inability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. Secondary infertility = inability to get pregnant OR carry a baby to term AFTER having at least one live child.]

Am I infertile?

That's the question I keep coming back to. It seems to me -- and maybe this is just me -- that grief in pregnancy loss is complicated by the inability to get pregnant again.


If we ever get pregnant again, I don't think I will feel free to post on Facebook as some of my dear friends do about their pregnancy. Which is fine for them. But I don't think it will feel fine for ME.

I won't be posting about nausea -- because I remember how eager I was to be nauseous with my last pregnancies just so I could feel like my body was doing something RIGHT. I don't think I'll post on things that I buy for the baby. I won't be posting weekly updates. I'm sure I will eventually post SOMETHING for my friends and family who live far away. But it just won't be something I'll do a lot.

It's not that I won't be happy or joyful or want to celebrate. I just think I'll be a hermit about it. I think that as often as I'm pretty open about loss, I'll be pretty private about pregnancy.


I think part of it is because even as I don't know that I'm infertile, I certainly feel that way.

At this point, I would say I'm not just struggling with the loss of 2 children. I'm struggling with the loss of my hopes and dreams for my family. The loss of trust and confidence in my body to ever procreate again.


It feels like my body is only capable of producing false hope and chronic disappointment.

And because I know what that feels like, I would just want to protect some of my friends who might be in that place of hurt.

Then again -- maybe I'll still be blogging about it. I guess I'll just have to cross that bridge if we come to it.




JUST in case we are dealing with secondary infertility, I set up an appointment with my OB this month. I actually never had a follow-up appointment after our miscarriage in August. I don't think I really wanted to know what she would say. I think now that we are a few months out, I'm ready to hear it. (Whatever IT is.)

I know my hormones are out of balance. My skin has yet to clear up from my pregnancy with Olivia. (Super lame-o.) So -- what to do about it? She prescribed progesterone a while back, but I'm not sure when to start it in my cycle. I'm wondering if I'm going to have to go on birth control for a while to get things they way they should be.

I wonder if my losses are more than a fluke. I'm wondering still if my last miscarriage could have been ectopic. I need to touch base with her on my anti-depressants as they've been making me nauseous. And I want to know when (or if) we'll start any kind of testing.




Tonight Maddy and I prayed together as usual. But tonight I didn't ask God for a baby. (I didn't even ask Maddy if she wanted to ask God for a baby, which I occasionally do. I guess I secretly hope God would at least answer a prayer from a 4-year-old if He won't answer mine.)

Instead, tonight I just asked for patience as I wait.

That's really been on my heart these last few days as the new year approached. Giving up disappointment in this last year. Acknowledging that God has a plan. And trying to just accept that God has chosen not to give us a baby -- or a promotion -- or a foster child -- for whatever His reason.




So -- here's to 2013. I'm thankful this year has forever tucked away 2012. And before me is a year of scary unknowns. A year with potential in so many ways, for good and for bad. A year that I'm going to just have to take a day at a time -- because I think that's just about all I can do.

Maybe in 2013 we won't have to get rid of our house. Maybe -- just maybe -- Maddy will have some forever friends here to stay.



7 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I often wonder, after Adalyne's passing, if I have secondary infertility (I never knew there was a name till now). I pray that 2013 brings babies for the both of us. Babies that are so badly wanted and loved. <3 Thank you again for sharing your heart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shana. I so hope the best for us this year. I'm glad this post encouraged/was helpful to you in some way. <3

      Delete
  2. Rachel, I love how open you are with your feeling and thoughts. I had all these same thoughts too. I did not know there was a name...although there usually is. It took us 8 years after our first baby to finally bring a live baby home. I never gave up on my desire to have more, even after having a failed adoption, 2 miscariages and a stillborn daughter at 33 weeks. We did take a break several times in all those years. For our sanity, our marriage, and for our son.
    You have you do what is best for you, but I say don't give up yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stacy for all your encouragement. I know you know even better than I do how all this feels.

      Delete
  3. Rachel, I love how open you are with your feeling and thoughts. I had all these same thoughts too. I did not know there was a name...although there usually is. It took us 8 years after our first baby to finally bring a live baby home. I never gave up on my desire to have more, even after having a failed adoption, 2 miscariages and a stillborn daughter at 33 weeks. We did take a break several times in all those years. For our sanity, our marriage, and for our son.
    You have you do what is best for you, but I say don't give up yet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think this is the first time my blog has ever been linked. I feel so special!

    I can relate to pretty much everything you said, but this:

    "It feels like my body is only capable of producing false hope and chronic disappointment."

    really resonated with me. This is exactly how I feel. We're trying something different now, and there should be hope in that, but I don't trust my body anymore. For the past three years, all I've known is failure. I don't know how to expect anything else.

    Patience is a tough one for me, too. Unfortunately, I think we're going to learn patience whether we want to or not. I hope 2013 has great things in store for both of us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashlee,

      Thanks for reading and thanks for writing YOUR blog! A friend sent me a link to it, and I spent the next few days reading every single post. :) I was in such a dark place last month, I felt like giving up on everything -- including this blog. Reading your words really gave me so much validation, and really helped me see that I still need to be brave with my story. Thanks for that. I so hope we both receive a baby this year. Hugs to you.

      Delete

There was an error in this gadget