Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Secondary Infertility

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, I thought I would talk about my struggle with secondary infertility. The goal here is to sort of spread some light on the topic. Secondary infertility is where you have no problems conceiving your first child, but have troubles conceiving your second, or third child and so on. It's sort of like the ghost in the night kind of infertility, because since you've had a child you think your okay, and that you wont have problems when you go TTC again. I wasn't even aware of secondary infertility until I was faced with it. And even then I was in complete and utter shock that we couldn't have a child together, being that we both had kids before we met. So you can imagine what a surprise it was when we tried to have a baby together and couldn't. We were totally blindsided.

For me, Kay was a surprise pregnancy. She is the result of a wild and crazy camping trip where a lot of alcohol and little discretion were involved. They were best friends as a matter of fact. I was wreckless, careless, and irresponsible. But in hindsight she was a blessing in disguise and one that I am forever grateful for. To say that I've had a surprise pregnancy now is very hard for me to admit, because once you face infertility you grow to hate people who can just have "opps" pregnancies. And that was me. But that was me then. Not now. And what I didn't know then is that things can change. Once a fertile, is not always a fertile in some cases.

My Husband on the other hand, got married very young (22) and had 2 kids, 2 years apart, right away. So no problems there. They were married for 7 years before they split and because he got married so young (they were also high school sweethearts) he decided to soil his oats, plant his seed, spread his wings, whatever you want to call it, because he never really got a chance to do that. The result of that were 2 other pregnancies through those years. One had an abortion, one had a miscarriage. Yep, still fertile in case anyone's counting.

And then a few (10, but who's counting) years pasted by and then we met. Kay was only 15 months old at that time. We got engaged a year after that, talked about having a baby together once we got married, and planned our wedding for a year and a half later. Perfect planning in our eyes. I was going to do it right this time. The kids would be 3 1/2-4 years apart and we would live happily ever after. Except, the road to happily ever after isn't always a smooth one...

I'll never forget the day I took my last birth control pill. It was a smoldering July day here in Phoenix. It was exactly 3 months before our wedding because we wanted to "time" it perfectly so we would be pregnant right after we got married. HA! My then fiance said to me that day..."Watch out, you'll be pregnant in a week! If you sit to close to me in church you'll get knocked up" He even questioned stopping birth control 3 months before our wedding in fear that I might be pregnant on the big day and not able to enjoy it fully. Boy....what we didn't know then. We were giddy, excited, ready to start our life together. This was us before infertility.

The months had pasted with no BFP, but for now neither of us were worried. We were realistic with our expectations. During this time DH was diagnosed with low testosterone and was given a testosterone gel supplement. His PCP at that time ensured us that this would have no impact on his fertility knowing that we were trying to have a baby. Boy what I would give to see him in a dark alley now...

That was the beginning of what would turn out to be months and months of emotional turmoil trying to make things right with him. After much research, I quickly discovered that not only was low testosterone a cause for male infertility, but that any testosterone therapy is essentially like male birth control. It causes sperm production to hault. So all those months of trying, we were really preventing. I told you I could kill that doctor. He stopped taking the testosterone gel and I immediately made an appointment with the top male infertility expert in Phoenix. I also started charting during this time to get some reassurance that something was okay, only to discover that my body was failing me too. Great.

So there we were. 2 adults, each with children, and infertile.

How does that happen? And why? We researched all of the SART data, looked at each clinics statistics, compared each clinics % of patients with male infertility, and chose an RE (or a reproductive endocrinologist AKA a infertility Dr.) and I was devastated. Completely and utterly devastated. My husband was in denial at first, he simply couldn't believe the HE was infertile. HE, the one who could look at a person a get them pregnant was now unable to conceive. It was a tough pill to swallow, and we are still in amazement of what it took for us to have Miss M given our prior history. ***If you want to read how we got here from there you can click here, or click the tab on my header titled "How We Got Here" to read a detailed account of our journey to getting pregnant.***

This post isn't meant to scare any of my mommy readers out there who are first time moms that are looking to expand your family in the future, because hopefully none of you will ever have to experience secondary infertility. But this was more to make people aware that infertility isn't just about the childless couple who cant conceive. Infertility can be that mom at the park with her 3 year old, the mom who's sending her child off to kindergarten hoping and praying that she will get to do this again, or the healthy looking couple with a child already. That was me. I was a mom, but I was also infertile.

To read more about secondary infertility, or if you think you might be experiencing secondary infertility go here for more information. Or if you just need support or some encouraging words, you can email me at

1 comment:

The Wilson's said...

All this time following your blog, I had no clue about "the past". Thank you for sharing!