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Secondary Infertility (Living in Two Worlds)

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a blog by Donor Diva, December 22, 2011

While I was leading an infertility forum, a woman came seeking support. I don’t remember how old her daughter was, but I think she was at least 18 months old at the time. The woman was upset that her fertility doctor wouldn’t let her start Clomid because she was still breastfeeding. As much as I prided myself on being supportive, I found it difficult to support her. She already had one beautiful daughter, why was she so desperate to conceive another? And why didn’t she want to stop breastfeeding?

Now I find that I can answer both of those questions.

Whether you are fertile or infertile, you have an idea about how many children you want, and you expect that you will know when your family is complete. When dealing with infertility, all of a sudden you are expected to change your expectations. We are expected to be happy with one child simply because it was difficult to have that one in the first place. I have found some people accept that one is enough while others feel the need to battle for more children. Does this mean I am selfish?

In the last couple months, I have been intermixing myself in the infertility blogging community. I have a child, but this doesn’t change the fact that I am infertile. My son was conceived via egg donation, which makes me feel that I can still wear the title of infertile. My quest for our second child has only just begun about seven months ago, but the responses I get from people this time around are different. Some are supportive, but others feel like I am not embracing the child I already have. I am embracing him daily, but this only makes my desire for a second child stronger.

When dealing with secondary infertility, if you can call it that in my situation, you have to live in two worlds while never truly fitting into either one. I am a mother and enjoy play dates, but now that Ant is almost 2, many of his friends’ mommies are having their second child. Many of my Facebook friends who were pregnant at the same time as I was are also now pregnant with their second child. These are just constant reminders that my need to complete my family has not waned. There are still more struggles ahead.

We have opted to push our FET (frozen embryo transfer) until 2013 for many reasons, but the main reason is that Ant hasn’t weaned yet. Knowing this, maybe the only time in my life that I can breastfeed a child, I have no desire to push him toward weaning. This leaves me with two choices: to wait or to try naturally.

I long for the support I had when we were TTC Ant, but it is different now. I have a child. I have what many others still long to have. People may think it is selfish or wonder why I am not satisfied with one child, but every person’s desires are different. Secondary infertility hurts, but as a mother you are living in the world that you once hid from while dealing with primarily infertility. There is no hiding anymore.

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