National Infertility Awareness Week
I was 21 when I got pregnant with my first. We decided we wanted a baby and poof! I got a positive test on our first try. This was exactly what I expected – you try and you get the baby, right? My naïve little self didn’t even consider the tremendous blessing this was to get pregnant in an instant.
After 42 very long weeks of pregnancy, my daughter came into this world in 2013 and changed my life in the best way possible. I found my purpose in being a mother. There were sad days, messy days, and downright exhausted days – of course. But none of those hard days mattered to me because in the bottom of my soul there was joy. Just the simple joy of being a mom was enough, and I was full to the brim.
Once she turned one, the questions and comments began to flood in.
“She needs a brother or a sister!”
“Better get started on number #2!”
“So, are you expecting another one anytime soon?”
These questions didn’t bother me, I was so ready for another baby! My heart was ready. Our home was ready. I had already dreamed up the nursery. Friends around me began to make their announcements and soon I was surrounded by bellies everywhere I went. I wanted my own bulging belly and couldn’t wait to pull out my tub of maternity clothes. It wasn’t long after her first birthday came and went that we tried again and just waited for that little positive test.
That month, a positive didn’t come.
And it didn’t the month after that.
Or three months, six months, even nine months later.
A year goes by. Nothing.
And to this day, two years later, it still hasn’t come.
After these couple years, I have finally been diagnosed with Secondary Infertility.
I don’t tell you this to make you feel sad for me. From the bottom of my heart, at the end of the day, I am deeply grateful that I was allowed the opportunity to carry a baby in my belly once. I tell you this to make you aware.
To make you aware that there are moms out there with a child in their arms, but an empty belly that they wish was full.
To make you understand how questions about siblings for your children, while innocent and well meaning, can crush a mama’s heart behind the scenes.
To make you see that infertility can happen to people who have had previously easy pregnancies and births.
To make you reach out and love on that friend who doesn’t understand what’s wrong with her because conception was so easy before.
Despite the difficult times I have walked through the last couple years, it has become one of the great honors of my life to share about secondary infertility with people who aren’t aware that it exists, and through that, making other struggling mamas feel seen. Secondary infertility sisters, you are not alone. You are not selfish for wanting another child while you have one right in front of you. You can’t help your heart’s desire to see your child with a sibling. I see you. I know there is a baby-shaped hole in your heart that nobody sees when they look at you. I care about you. I love you. And I am always here to listen to you.
This article was originally published on April 25, 2017, but the hope remains the same: to support one another within this beautiful community of women through the journey of infertility.