secondary infertility and the guilt that comes with it

It’s 2014 and as I sit in the fertility office I notice a few women with kids beside me. I can’t help but think, “was that child conceived using IVF? … “wow, what I would give to already have one child…  it must be nice to not feel pressured to have a second… I wish I was in your shoes.” But now I am.  And I realize, secondary infertility is just as painful.

After trying naturally for a few months the crimson tide made its appearance yet again and I realized I’m just wasting time.  I called the fertility clinic and make an appointment to check everything is back in order after having my first baby. Naturally conceiving just doesn’t look like its in the cards for us and we don’t want to wait as I will be turning 38 years old later this year.


2.5 years later I sit in the same office and am having the same emotions. Excitement, nervousness, anxiety and hope. I am now that annoying ungrateful looking mom with a toddler running around in the waiting room. There is a young couple sitting close to us which makes me wonder… are they judging me thinking their pain is far worse than mine already having a child? Maybe to them… but secondary infertility is still infertility. And it sucks.

Secondary infertility is defined as a couple’s inability to conceive a baby, even though they’ve had at least one child in the past. This could be through fertility treatments or without. Wanting a child is wanting a child. Whether it’s your first, second, or third, it’s painful and frustrating to not be able to fulfill your hopes and dreams.  It’s an isolating topic that doesn’t feel right to discuss.

Sure I am beyond grateful having my IVF success story, but I’ve always wanted a big family, so I shouldn’t take that away from my true feelings. “According to the National Survey of Family Growth, more than 1 million couples grapple with secondary infertility.” And these women, myself included, probably have a hard time talking about it out loud because we can’t help but to feel some guilt and ungratefulness. Well, here I am, talking about it publicly and having to relive my IVF journey again like Ground Hog’s Day. Although this time, the pressure isn’t as high as I have 6 embryos awaiting, which is pretty sweet since they are still 35 years young frozen in time.

So I say to my daughter… “come on princess… let’s take this journey together and make you a sibling”.