Secondary infertility: when you want another baby

For those of you who are raising a child and are currently struggling to get and stay pregnant again, this page is for you.

You’re a busy parent going through this heartache of trying for another. You know what you want because you have a child (or children) already. You know what you’re on the quest for –that baby you yearn for.

Perhaps you’re a bit overwhelmed with social media pregnancy announcements and seeing your boxes of baby clothes stuffed away?

  • Perhaps you’re grieving the loss of your past fertility.
  • Perhaps you’re regretful you didn’t start your attempt for your first baby or this recent attempt at a sibling earlier.
  • Perhaps you want your child to have a sibling so badly and to have them close in age and it’s overwhelming to imagine that not happening.

Then on top of that you’re having to put on a brave face for your kiddo(s) and take on the incredible demands and pressures during this pandemic. You are not alone. Many, many other moms and dads are struggling with this. And, I’m here to share some ways to approach this challenge ahead.

1. Your experience is different than those dealing with primary infertility, but it doesn’t make your needs any less important. When I say primary infertility, I’m talking about individuals and couples who don’t have any children yet. You may feel that resentment from them, or tell that story to yourself, that they think you should be happy that you at least have one (or more). You have every right to fight for your baby that you desire, every right to have your need for that sibling for your little one(s). Remember, there’s just a lot of pain in the fertility world. Focus on your goal.

2. Do your homework. It can be overwhelming to face interventions, whether for the first time or not. If you do your research for where you are right now, it’s more manageable.

  • If you’re new to infertility or the potential for it, talk to your family doctor about fertility testing. Typically, if you have been trying to conceive for a year if you’re under 35 years old, and for 3 – 6 months if you are 35 or older it’s time to see your doctor. If you’re 40 or older or if you or your partner have any other underlying concerns such as reoccurring miscarriages, you don’t have a period anymore, or your partner had a vasectomy then get a referral right away.
  • Get ready to do an HSG, semen analysis and blood tests whole you wait for referral.
  • If you are newish to infertility, research the fertility clinics in your area.
  • Work out the questions you will ask your fertility doctor.
  • If you’re not new to treatment, be prepared for a schedule that may involve frequent trips to get bloodwork and / or ultrasounds while juggling your current family schedule.
  • Join a Facebook infertility group to get advice on doing your research. Warning: you’ll be exposed to success stories and also the horror stories. Decide what’s best for you right now.

4. Talk with other parents who are going through secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is a unique position to be in and like anything heavy and complicated, talking about it with who are going through it or already have have, can often help. It’s also completely OK to keep it private. But if you’re comfortable, you may learn tips and feel less alone. But don’t keep on talking with others if you’re not benefiting from it! No need to force it.

5. You’re busy, so it’s even more important to consider speaking to a fertility coach so that you can be efficient on your journey. Talking to a fertility coach may help you get the resources and information sooner and help you be more emotionally well.

6. Starting to go to a dark place? Consider seeing a counsellor/clinical psychologist if you are feeling overwhelmed with your feelings. Don’t wait to get help. If you think you are having some dark thoughts and emotions, talk to a professional.  It’s challenging to go through this. It is often traumatic. Research is finally catching up with what so many of us already knew from our own experience, which is that it can be a significant mental and emotional challenge. Talking with the right person can do wonders.

7. Be gentle with yourself. Taking time for you is not selfish. I get the mommy guilt that comes with needing more me-time. That won’t go away most likely. That’s part of being a parent and struggling with fertility challenges which is to struggle with a mental health challenge. The guilt is something you can work on managing, but no magic bullet I can share here (I wish there was for me and my clients!). You are worth being well, even though you have to make many sacrifices as a parent.

Those are considerations for how to work through your fertility journey. Your actions are where the real progress is made. But above all, remember this:

You are a rock star parent for doing what you’ve already done up to this point.

I know this as a parent, a coach and fellow fertility warrior. ♥

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