Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday's Tears - Secondary Infertility

I just happened across this post over at Wendi's place. Someone blessed her with the post originally, which appears to have come from a "Dear Abby" article. It compares pregnancy and adoption to different ways of travel to the same majestic place. I hope it blesses you like it blesses me.

Secondary infertility - the inability to conceive and maintain a pregnancy until birth after a previously successful pregnancy - is quite a difficult journey. Going back to the analogy, I've been able to experience one flight, hoped for more, and now have joined the boat ride as there are no more spots for me on the planes I guess. The beauty of this path that we've been blessed with is that we have the opportunity to experience both sides - approaching by air and by sea. Though my pregnancy was full of sickness and restless legs, I will never complain about that journey - I would never trade it for the world. I am completely blessed for the ability to have done that once; this I am sure of. At the same time, I believe I have a greater appreciation for that journey now that I have to take the boat ride. But the boat ride is not easy. What wasn't mentioned in the analogy is that sometimes, you get kicked off the boat, sent swimming back to shore, and then have to start over again. It's a really, really rough journey for anyone who decides to go that way, but especially for those who aren't allowed to get a plane ticket.

I'm not going to say that it's harder for secondary infertility. The reality is, the journey to parenthood even for fertiles is often difficult and uncomfortable. But there are special challenges couples with secondary infertility face. They're almost on a 3rd type of transportation. They don't belong with the fertile group - their test results and lack of subsequent pregnancies put them on the no fly list and so even though they have taken that trip in the past they don't really belong with that group anymore. We've all missed a flight or two (or come close!) and can imagine a little bit how much that sucks. They don't really belong on the boat though either. If there is any such thing they are second-class infertiles who shouldn't be complaining because they were already blessed with a biological child. It's hard for the world to understand secondary infertility and how alienating that can be.

We choose to call it like it is and try to ignore all the negative chatter. We have a beautiful son through biological birth that we are forever grateful for. We would love to have more biological children but are seriously infertile (sterile, according to the World Health Organization). We have jumped aboard the foster-to-adopt ship and hope to adopt one day but are enjoying being foster parents. We are infertile - yes it's secondary but infertile nonetheless.

Balancing the overwhelming joy of being a biological parent and simultaneous heartbreak of infertility is no joke.

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