Staying Hopeful Through Secondary Infertility



    A little over a year ago, I was on the verge of throwing in the towel. My husband and I had been trying for years to have a second child, and we were failing. After many losses and over a year of not being able to get pregnant at all, we thought that maybe we would have to settle with the fact that we were not going to be able to have any more children.

    Getting pregnant with our first child was almost effortless. We decided to give it a try, and BOOM, the next month I was pregnant. We felt a little like procreating rock stars because it had been so easy. We never thought twice about what it would be like if it hadn’t been such a breeze for us. Our son was close to a year old when I became pregnant again, but it didn’t last. I miscarried toward the end of the first trimester, right after we had told all of our family and friends. Over the next year, I would become pregnant with, and then lose, our babies two more times. Each time was an even bigger shock and a greater heartbreak. How could this keep happening to us? I couldn’t get those babies and the children they didn’t get to become out of my mind. Each time we’d think THIS would finally be it, but it never was. And then eventually, I stopped getting pregnant altogether.

    It seemed like everyone around me was getting pregnant with their second, third, even fourth child, and it all seemed effortless for them. We started to talk about what our life would look like with just one child. It was time to start considering it as a distinct possibility. The hardest part for me was thinking of what life would be like for our son as an only child. We both get along great with our siblings and treasure the relationships we share with them. We wanted the same thing for our son. I worried what it would be like for him as we aged, and he had to carry the burden of his parents all on his own. I wanted him to have someone to share family memories with and someone to lean on, a built-in buddy.

    I know we had more than some couples do. We had one healthy little boy to be thankful for, and shouldn’t that be enough? But it’s not—not when you still want more.  No matter how many children you already have, infertility is painful.

    In January 2015, we decided we should seek professional help. I worried that the cost would be so great that we would have to choose between our savings and having another child. I hesitated for a while to get things started, partly because I was scared it wouldn’t work, and I would have to face the fact that I could not have another baby—also because I wasn’t eager to have procedures done.

    My doctor said the first step was to send me in for a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG for short. They shoot a dye into the uterus so they can see if there is any blockage that might be preventing pregnancy. It took me a couple of months to make the appointment out of fear for the procedure. It’s not supposed to be painful, but I made the mistake of Googling it and found various forums where people described how uncomfortable it was for them. I also read quite a few accounts of women who had gone through with it and had become pregnant immediately after. Everyone said there was no medical tie between the procedure and becoming pregnant; it was just a coincidence. That was enough to make me do it. I called and scheduled my appointment for the following week.

    The hysterosalpingogram was not nearly as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, and it turned out there was nothing wrong with my uterus. No blockage, no growths, no concerns. This was good and bad news. I was almost hoping they’d find something wrong so it could be fixed, but instead, we still had no clue why I wasn’t getting and staying pregnant. I still had hope though. Maybe I would be one of those HSG success stories.

    About a month later, I was due to get my period but it was late. I stared at the pregnancy tests in the bathroom but didn’t want to even touch them. I thought I knew what they would say. My husband came home from work, and the first thing he asked was if I had taken the test. After some encouragement, I reluctantly went to take it. I could not believe what I saw, two beautiful bold pink lines. I ran downstairs to tell my husband, and we hugged. We couldn’t believe it! I spent the next 12 weeks in disbelief that it had finally happened and a little scared that it would end the way all the others had.

    Everything turned out just fine, better than fine, even, because eight months later our perfectly healthy, beautiful baby boy was born. I’m thankful that we never gave up hope and kept trying. I guess you never know when the answer to your prayers is right around the corner. And to think, I had almost given up completely. I thank God every day that we stayed hopeful and kept trying for what we so deeply wanted.


    San Francisco Moms Blog occasionally publishes posts by local writers who wish to keep their names private. If you’re considering a guest post submission and prefer to publish anonymously, please note that on the submission form.   

    Editor’s note: This post originally published on April 28, 2016, and was lightly edited prior to republishing.08


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