Today I am dedicating my blog to National Infertility Awareness Week and to the launch of Justine Brooks Froelker's latest book The Mother of Second Chances, based on her blog Ever Upward that was released April 17th. For five weeks 25 amazing women will share their stories of infertility and loss as part of this incredible blog tour, because together we can shatter the stigma.
Yesterday Meaghan shared her story and Monday we will hear from Elena at Baby Ridley Bump. We would love for you to participate by sharing these posts far and wide. We'd especially love to see your own broken silence by sharing your own infertility story using the hashtags: #NIAW, #infertility and #EverUpward.
Definition: Secondary Infertility
The inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children. The birth of the first child does not involve any assisted reproductive technologies or fertility medications.
I struggle with secondary infertility.
I am a mom. I have the coolest, funniest, sweetest little boy. My husband and I didn't struggle to get pregnant with him. I was honestly a little freaked out by how quickly I got pregnant with him. Then, when it was time to try again and complete our little family, we were not prepared for what was to come.
I became a mom to four babies I never got to hold.
It is now almost five and a half years after we made the decision to try to have a second baby. We have battled, struggled, cried, mourned each loss, and have grown so much. And almost unbelievably, we are still standing.
Writing has become my outlet. A place to set down my thoughts and feelings on those days when they are just too hard to carry any longer. Writing keeps me sane. It allows me to express all of those emotions rolling around in my brain and dragging me down. And gives me a place to come back to them if I need to. And writing this blog has helped keep me going.
I am a survivor. A survivor of an infertility journey that could have killed me. And definitely changed me.
The details and raw emotions are outlined in many of my previous posts, but the short version is - I suffered three miscarriages (12 weeks, 6 weeks, and 14 weeks) and survived a ruptured cornual ectopic (my uterus tore at 12 weeks) that has likely ended our journey.
I have endured countless fertility treatments, endless numbers of doctor appointments, has more ultrasounds than I can count, filled so many prescriptions for fertility meds that the people at the pharmacy recognize me. I have been next to my husband and across from my doctor to hear heartbreaking news more times than anyone should have to.
I told my doctor, as he came to see me in pre-op one morning, that I really really wanted to stop seeing him there. Five D&Cs, one emergency surgery for my ectopic rupture (and five day hospital stay), and surgery to remove a gigantic ovarian cyst will create that feeling. But we are likely going to meet there again.
I have emotional and physical scars that are now a permanent part of who I am. But they do not define me. I refuse to let them. They have shaped me into a woman who is more aware of her emotions. A woman who loves more deeply. A woman who now understands that nothing is guaranteed in life.
I struggle with how I feel when I see another Mom and her multiple children. How is she different than me? Why does she get to have more than one child and I don't? Clearly I am not good enough.
Not good enough.
I have to remind myself that I am good enough.
I have battled and fought and clawed and eventually emerged from a darkenss I was not sure I would ever come out of. And I fight daily not to slip back down into that darkness. I have learned things about myself, my husband, my family, my friends, and my doctors that are some of the most important things I have learned in my life.
I am strong.
I am a fighter.
My losses are part of who I am, but do not define me.
I am a mother to five children. One who I get to hold tight every day and four who I never got to meet.
I cry. Sometimes for no apparent reason.
I get frustrated and angry. Why did this happen to us?
I channel my emotions from this five year journey to help anyone and everyone I can. My journey through infertility and loss has given my a unique perspective. My hope is this blog and any other forum I am presented with to talk to other infertility and loss survivors will help at least one person. Because everyone who goes through this infertility and/or loss journey deserves to know.......
You are not alone.
You do not have to endure any of this by yourself.
I am here and I will listen.
I will stand with you and hold you up if you need me to.
You are good enough.