Secondary Infertility – Am I Done?
Are you done having kids?
I get that question quite often. Sometimes it’s an innocent question, other times it feels more judgmental, delivered with a tone that feels accusatory – how could I possibly only have ONE child? And the question comes from anyone and everyone. From the mom at the playground to the grocery check-out person. And it hurts. Secondary infertility hurts.
Because when you ask “are you done having kids” you don’t know the pain behind it. It’s a pain that hurts to the deepest part of my soul. And this hurt is conflicted not only because of the second child I want so badly but because of the guilt I have for already being blessed with my miracle baby. So every time you ask me that, I cringe and feel sad and all of the emotions I felt trying to get pregnant the first time come back. Because you know what, secondary infertility for me is just as hard, if not harder than the infertility I experienced the first time around.
So my advice to you is this…don’t ask this question. Instead, if you’re feeling inquisitive, frame your questions so that they focus on the positive. For example, “your daughter is so polite, how did she get those great manners?” That makes us feel great! And don’t assume that because someone has one child that means they don’t want (or aren’t trying to have) more or that they’re not totally in love and at peace with the one child they have.
I’ve compiled a little list of things that have helped me while dealing with secondary infertility and I’m sharing them here, with you!
- Find friends sharing a similar journey – I have been blessed to meet the great Elizabeth Shaw from Shaw Simple Swaps. While she is not experiencing secondary infertility, she’s struggling with infertility. Having her in my life has helped me greatly with this second journey. Her friendship has gotten me through some really tough times. Everyone needs a friend to lean on, especially when going through infertility.
- Have an outlet – I have always loved exercise. So, for me, when I get overwhelmed by seeing pregnant women everywhere, I turn to exercise. Sometimes it’s a long walk and other times it’s a trip to the playground where I can run and chase my daughter. I recommend you find something you can use as a way to “let off steam.” Maybe it’s reading a good book or knitting or going for a hike. Find something to rid your feelings of angst, anger, stress and distress!
- Don’t neglect nourishment – I know I’ve mentioned this before, but infertility is an emotional roller coaster. That can lead you to make rash food decisions – seeking comfort food that may not be the most nourishing. While that food may cure a temporary pain, it won’t make you feel better in the long run. Instead, focus on nourishing, whole foods and stock those in your kitchen. You’ll be surprised at how great those foods will make you feel, and how they can even improve your mood! Try this awesome Mango Banana Sorbet from Liz or my recipes for Super Greek Yogurt Smoothies for some great nourishment!
Need more support? Liz and I recommend checking out Resolve, a great network that brings the infertility community together. Finally, don’t miss out on Liz’s great post last week about secondary infertility!