Can I Claim to be Infertile?

Let’s talk about infertility. Or should I say ‘Secondary Infertility’? Can I even claim to be infertile when I already have a child? Why do I feel a sense of guilt for even saying that I am infertile when I should be grateful that I already have a daughter?

These are just a few questions that I have asked myself over the past year whilst we have been continuing to try for a baby. Ross doesn’t have a biological child of his own – and what makes it even worse is that it is not his fault that we are not succeeding. It is mine. My stupid, useless ageing eggs – oh, and on top of that, the abnormal chromosome ones too. The guilt I feel about my body and lack of baby is immense.

Ross and I want to make our family complete. We want a sibling for Grace, Ross wants to continue his family line and I just want to feel the completion of a second baby.

When I was much younger I always believed that I would have a happy, complete family. Be married to a man who loved me and took care of me. Have two children and live a life that was happy and full. I’ve come to realise that your dream of idealism is really just that…a dream. No one can really predict what twists and turns your life is going to take.

Don’t get me wrong. I do now consider myself lucky. I find it hard to believe that someone like Ross would love and care for me as much as he does – especially as he is 7 years younger than me and could easily go off and find someone else…someone fertile…to have a baby with. He must really love me to stay and keep trying.

I now scroll through my Facebook timeline, sometimes skipping them and sometimes feeling happy for the continuous pregnancy announcements. It does depend on my mood. A bit of a minefield when you are involved in the parent blogging community. To all those who have announced their pregnancy over the last year, I am sorry for unfollowing you and your notifications. It is not personal. I am happy for you but I need to protect myself, you see. I need to stop the hurt for the bad days. The ones which I find it difficult to accept or cope with this and I just want to hide under my duvet or want the world to swallow me up. But then, I shouldn’t feel like that because I have Grace. Then the guilt is back again. 

I get PR opportunities that relate to small babies and pregnant women. My heart breaks when I have to write back to them and say ‘this does not apply to me right now’. I want to ask them to just put me on the pending pile or to send it to me ‘just in case this is the month’. I will be there eventually and then I would love to work with you. I don’t know that for certain though, do I? But how do I let my heart and soul give up hope on the fact that maybe, just maybe, this will be our month.

If I could go back in time, to around 15 years ago, when my ex kept telling me ‘not yet’, ‘maybe one day’, ‘I don’t want one’…. ‘get rid of it’. If I knew then what I know now, then I would have gone and frozen some of my eggs for this very moment. The moment that I am going through right now. I should have seen the light when I first got pregnant at the end of 1997 and was made to get rid of it because ‘otherwise I was going to end up another single mum’. But hindsight is a wonderful thing. And actually I feel that things happen for a reason. I felt that I got my closure when I had Grace exactly 9 years to the day later. 9 years since I had got rid of the one that he had so clearly not wanted. I can’t even use the proper terminology because I find it too upsetting and I feel too guilty. 

‘If’ is a big question though, isn’t it? So many ‘what if’s and ‘maybe’s in this life that come round to bite you on the bum.

When you have been trying for a baby as long as we have – over 2 years in total – the whole process starts to loose it’s romanticism and starts to become mechanical. Babies should be made of love (although that could be the idealist coming out in me again!) but instead I find myself reading graphs and temperatures and eating different foods, taking different supplements, reading advice after advice page, searching through Google and even using devices! I feel like a walking science experiment. Ross and I just want to go back to enjoying our intimacy without the schedule and looking for a basal body temperature change. 

Then, what if it does happen again? What if we lose it again? What if we go through all the joy followed by all the pain?

And so we are back to the ‘what if’s again.

The other day, the nurse at the hospital told me that trying for a baby was a roller coaster. I guess it is in a way. The ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ of emotion. Getting your period, counting down the days until you ovulate, then watching out for the temperature changes, hoping that you do actually ovulate, then hoping that you timed it right when you do, then the horrible two week wait where you read into every sign – the tiredness, your hurting boobs, the mood swings – hoping, praying that this is the month and then the great big come down when your period turns up and you have to get off the ride and queue up all over again. It’s exhausting and it starts to take over your life.

The one thing that Ross and I do have on our side is determination. Whatever happens we are not going to let this beat us or split us up. Yes, we argue about it and we both have our difficult days, sometimes him, sometimes me and sometimes both together but what I do know is that we will get there eventually because we can’t see it any other way – and it even scares me to say that. And when we do get there, how lucky will that child be? Coming into a home where it is so wanted and will be so very, very loved.

I just hope that one month, in the very near future, this roller coaster will be one worth riding. 

 

And then the fun began...

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67 Comments

  1. October 5, 2015 / 10:49 pm

    I understand what are you going through because something similar happened to me. I got pregnant with my first daughter very quick and then I decided to wait more time and be prepared for the second baby. I waited like almost 3 years. When I was ready for my second child we tried and tried and tried and nothing happened. I though it was weird. The more I was trying the more desperate I become. I think it all gets very easily to your head and affects your fertility for sure. I thought that I was never going to be pregnant again, so this become like an obsession to me which wasn’t very good. Went to check myself but I was fine. We kept trying and nothing happened again. My husband then was told to take more vitamins for at least 3 more months. We then stopped being desperate about it and kind of relaxed as we were told we needed to wait that time for the vitamins to make any effect. So the following months we decided to just relaxed. I stopped checking my temp and stopped checking if I was ovulating. We just went with the flow and just started to enjoy being together again because as you mentioned before it become more a job than pleasure. And just for doing that things changed and I finally ended up pregnant. What I’m trying to tell you here is that you need to forget about it. It is very psychological, so the moment you forget and relaxed that miracle can happen! Have faith! I hope this dream of yours will come true soon for you. Good luck and please do not stress about it. You are not alone and things will get better I promise. Thanks for sharing lovely! 🙂
    #PoCoLo
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  2. October 5, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    It must have been hard for you to write this down – as it highlights the mixed emotions you have been feeling this past year. I’m can’t even imagine how hard it must be for you both that the one thing you want is so difficult. I can see why you feel so angry and disappointed. I really, really hope it happens for you all soon. And it’s great you are so determined. I am feeling the other way at the moment, I am feeling guilty because I am not wanting a second child for various reasons (mainly financial) and dealing with the raised eyebrows when I tell people. Anyway, that’s for another time, but sending you big hugs all the same xxxx
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  3. October 4, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    Oh sweetheart, I’m so sorry. There are no words that will make this better or make the thing happen that you all want so much … I wish there were because I would say them for you all. But I wish you strength and wisdom for this journey, wherever it takes you all. And I pray that you’ll always be doing it together. And send hugs. And tea. #pocolo

  4. October 3, 2015 / 5:04 pm

    Oh Victoria, this must have been such a hard post to write. So emotional. I am so so sorry for you and I truly hope you will get to complete your family.

  5. October 2, 2015 / 8:13 pm

    Having ridden that roller coaster and had my own losses I feel so much for you. I know how it feels to want the first so badly and have to wait for so long and then the guilt when you are desperate for another. I had two miscarriages in between my two babies and trying and trying again just consumed me. You are not alone with your thoughts and feelings. Sending the biggest hugs xxx
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  6. October 2, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    Oh lovely lady, I hope it felt good to get all that out. I can’t imagine how disappointing it is to go through this months after month. Friends of ours tried for almost 5 years and finally had a baby on their 4th round of IVF. Don’t give up. Sending love & hugs xxx
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  7. October 2, 2015 / 5:05 pm

    Hey Vic, This is such a brave post to write and I really admire your honesty. I totally know how you feel. It’s an exhausting and emotional process and extremely personal too. Be there for each other. Believe and trust it will happen. Definitely do the acupuncture, positive thinking, relaxation. Maybe even throw out the ovulation sticks for the month and enjoy each other again properly. Ever since your miscarriage post last year, I’ve been thinking about you guys. Want it to happen for you so much! Good luck! #pocolo xxx

  8. October 2, 2015 / 2:10 pm

    Oh Victoria, it must be so hard wanting something so bad that is seemingly happening so easily to others. No one could hold it against you for the way you cope with things. Unfollowing people to protect yourself emotionally isn’t a bad thing, it’s a wise thing. I hope one day to read the good news that you have a new and much loved addition to your family, but until then stay strong and ride that roller coaster!

    xx
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  9. October 2, 2015 / 1:36 pm

    You are absolutely wonderful V and you supported me through much with your kind words over the last few years when I was going through all this myself. It is the most exhausting things to go through both physically and emotionally yet it’s something you feel like you can’t mention too much because we already have one and “we should be grateful” etc. I truly hope it does happen for you soon. Xx
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  10. October 2, 2015 / 1:17 pm

    It can be a very difficult process. It took my wife and I over two years also, but she is younger and the time pressure was less. My ex and I, who was older at the time, probably split up because we weren’t strong enough together to get through it. All I can say is hang in there and try not to make it such a “job” or it will wear you both down. Good luck
    jeremy@thirstydaddy recently posted..It can WaitMy Profile

  11. October 2, 2015 / 9:48 am

    Very brave post – the stopping trying and relaxing about it all approach worked for us. I totally understand the baby announcements bit, each one cuts a little deeper. We now have four! Good luck x #PoCoLo
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  12. October 2, 2015 / 9:03 am

    How brave to write this post! It took my mummy over 3 years to get pregnant with me and she conceived a month before IVF treatment! Just keep believing and try to remain positive, please stop beating yourself up x #PoCoLo
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  13. Tracey Abrahams
    October 2, 2015 / 6:47 am

    Such a difficult thing to go through with half the world not realising your struggle and constantly asking when are you having a seecond one, and others belittling your pain by telling you to be thankful you have one child. #PoCoLo

  14. September 30, 2015 / 11:14 am

    Oh sweetie, this rings so many bells for me. I too suffered secondary infertility and was trying for a baby with my new partner. It did take me over two years but it happened eventually, then my fertility had a boost and I ended up having 3!! Lucy was born shortly before my 40th birthday, leila at 42 and Joseph at the ripe old age of 44! I was taking my temp, changing my diet, trying everything and anything, we even had treatment from a chinese herbalist. It does become so stressful. I joined a group of women who were in the same boat, over 35 and trying to conceive, in fact most of my Facebook friends are indeed these same women we’ve stayed in touch all this time because of our shared experiences. Most of them achieved their dreams of a baby, the ones that didn’t (just two from out of around 30) were ones that had never had a child, so please do take some hope from that. A lot of people say when you stop trying so hard it just happens, there could be some truth in that (I wasn’t trying for Joseph!) but it’s so hard when it’s something you really want and it’s always on your mind. I’m sorry for writing an essay, but do know exactly how you feel and I truly truly hope it happens for you soon xxx
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  15. Jude
    September 29, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    I really feel for you Vicki. I have shared your pain, though be it for my 1st child. It’s so difficult isn’t it? I have no advice, all I’ll say is it happened for us only when we officially gave up – we were on the list for IVF and turned out to be one of those cliche couples who end up getting pregnant naturally. Nuts after over 2 years of NOTHING. I really hope it happens for you too. #thetruthabout xx
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  16. September 29, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m thinking of trying for number 2 and as I also have chromosome issues I’m going into it knowing it might be an uphill battle. I’m crossing my fingers it works out for you guys.
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  17. September 29, 2015 / 6:05 pm

    I often think about you and wonder how you are getting on. Now first of all put those thoughts of wondering why Ross is with you right out of your mind! You are lovely- that is why he loves you. I still believe you will have another baby, my mum was 34 and 42 when she had me and my sister after years of believing she could have none, then believing I was a miracle. She tried and tried again and along came her second miracle. It took me a year to have LJ after a failed attempt and I too wondered how I had been able to have Little G so easily. In the end I got fed up and gave up- then there she was. Keep the faith my lovely xxx
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  18. September 29, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    Oh I really feel for you Vic and Ross too. I haven’t had to experience anything that comes close but it did take 15 months to conceive for me first time round when I was 37 and because I have always had a very irregular cycle I could never really predict ovulation at all and I really worried that I might have been infertile for a while going as far as enquiring with the doctor about Clomid and going for tests. If that was stressful then I can only imagine how you must feel having to go on this rollercoaster every single month and with those thoughts in your head about what happened in the past too. This is heart wrenching to have to experience – I really hope that this journey ends the way you want it to hon Xx #thetruthabout
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  19. September 29, 2015 / 11:24 am

    How brave of you to write so honestly about such a personal subject. Like you I had my first child, albeit after 6 years of trying, but number two never came along. People asked when we would have another but we were content with our son. A second child would have been wonderful but it wasn’t to be. Perhaps because we had a child together it didn’t become an issue; my OH might have felt differently if he wasn’t my son’s father.

    I so hope you have success and complete your family. Never give up hope and trust in the love you have to make everything possible.
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  20. September 28, 2015 / 5:12 pm

    Vic,

    You know I’ve been through this, and am thankfully out the other side (although it does irk me that I couldn’t have another if I wanted, but I need to lay that thought to rest).

    I recognise every emotion you are going through, it’s a frustratingly familiar journey, but I’m damned if I’m going to see you suffer in silence. Please contact me whenever you want to rant or ask questions. I’m here whenever you need.

    For me, after becoming depressed the first time, I was determined I wouldn’t go there again the second time. So I took control wherever I could. I chose not to pee on sticks, not to temperature check, just to have fun…. LOTS of it. And I set a deadline…. By which I would take extra help if we weren’t succeeding, so I knew there was an end in sight. For me, it stopped me feeling controlled by matters I couldn’t influence.

    Keep in touch xxxxx
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  21. John Milnes
    September 28, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    I guess this type of thing is not easy. My wife knows that she will be not be able to have a child without fertility treatment.

    Good luck for the future.

    John
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  22. September 28, 2015 / 8:55 am

    What a heartbreaking post. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be going through this. It took 5 or 6 months to conceive my younger son and I even found that hard.
    Don’t beat yourself up. It might be your eggs that are at fault, but it’s not you as a person. You’re doing nothing wrong and everything right. I do hope it works out for you soon. X
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  23. September 27, 2015 / 8:22 pm

    I think most Mums feel guilty about one thing or another… I get the frustration feeling though; did I ever tell you that I was the Buyer for breast pumps and nappies when I feared I was infertile before our first, and it just wasn’t happening.. Every time a sales guy came in and said ‘so do you have children yourself?’ I died a little bit more inside. Have everything crossed for you lovely lady xxxx

  24. Mrs TeePot
    September 27, 2015 / 1:05 pm

    Oh boy do I hear this. I completely understand the guilt and the beating yourself up, etc. I too struggle to congratulate and feel truly happy for others who are having babies. I am telling myself that it is just not my time right now, but it’s scary, I wonder if it will ever be my time.
    I’m keeping everything crossed for you, for all of you. You are such a lovely couple, a lovely family.
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    • September 27, 2015 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you so much for reading Livi, and I hope in some way my post has helped you. What lovely kind words, I really appreciate them xx
      Victoria recently posted..Can I Claim to be Infertile?My Profile

  25. Kath
    September 27, 2015 / 11:43 am

    I am with you my love, so much. It hurts to see so many baby announcements and then that feels evil and guilt consumes me. I do not begrudge any baby to any family but just once could it be us? I am praying so hard for you because I know how much this is eating you up and you deserve to have that complete family.

    • September 27, 2015 / 11:53 am

      Thank you so much Kath. I knew you would understand and I know how much you want and deserve this too. So many hugs to you xx
      Victoria recently posted..Can I Claim to be Infertile?My Profile

  26. September 27, 2015 / 11:36 am

    It is a rollercoaster, and I think secondary infertility is hard, and it’s a different kind of hard to trying the first time round, because you do have people who will say “well, at least you have a child”… I get it. We are incredibly blessed with two, but we would like another, and it’s proving hard to achieve, and I hate that I feel sore and angry about it not happening, and the hormones I am taking and the obsessive peeing on sticks and monitoring my cycle, and seeing the Facebook posts when other people get pregnant, and I am not. It feels wrong to feel this way, but we do, and we can’t help it. I know how much you want this, and my hear hurts for you guys. I really hope that it happens for you. I wish I had more helpful answers or a magic solution. Many hugs.
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    • September 27, 2015 / 11:52 am

      I am so with you Karen and I understand just how much you want this too. I think we all wish there was a magic solution but I guess you have to roll with life’s punches. Big hugs to you too and thanks for your comment x
      Victoria recently posted..Can I Claim to be Infertile?My Profile

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