We hear a lot about infertility these days. Everybody knows somebody struggling to get pregnant. It seems like an epidemic with our generation. And let me tell you from experience, the struggle is real.
I talked about it here, but there’s a part of this journey people don’t seem to talk much about and it’s the part where you volunteer to put yourself through hell, again. You have this beautiful child and he’s growing and thriving, you’re a mom and it’s amazing! It worked out and all the shots, suppositories, estrogen patches, all the blood, sweat, and tears was worth it. Life is good. Then that beautiful child celebrates his first, second, or third birthday, and you start to want another one. You always wanted more kids and you desperately want a sibling for your child. But wait a minute, now you know too much. I imagine many moms in this stage of life regardless of how difficult it was to get pregnant, pause for a moment and think back over what it took to get here. Maybe it was easy, maybe it wasn’t. If we’re being honest, it was probably both. There are sleepless nights, projectile vomit sessions, tantrums, and potty training on one hand. Then, on the other hand there’s the smell of newborns, a child’s precious giggles, and all those snuggles. I imagine at some point many moms take a huge, over exaggerated deep breath, throw out a mini fist pump (to no one in particular) and whisper “Let’s do this!” before making that decision to have a second child. When you struggle with infertility, the story is similar, but also different. You think all of those thoughts, but there’s a part of you that questions whether or not you’ll be lucky enough to struggle with newborn reflux and complications with breastfeeding in the first place.
Because now you know how hard it was to get pregnant with your first and your confidence is shot.
Then there’s this:
The first time you went through infertility treatments you were naive. Doctors and nurses gave you small bits of information along your infertility journey, because there is just too much to bombard you with in one fell swoop. You are eased into the process. Now you’ve experienced it from start to finish and you can “big picture” the whole kit and caboodle. And it can be an overwhelming big picture.
There is pain: physical, emotional, and mental that you will now experience while chasing a toddler around your house.
There are relationship struggles: With your husband who is trying his best to walk alongside you but can’t understand how this feels. With your friends who it’s nearly impossible to be close to if they get pregnant just by glancing in their husband’s direction or simply haven’t walked this journey and struggle to relate. With family members who disagree with what you’re doing or are too far away to provide the support you need.
There is exhaustion: Infertility is physically, mentally, and emotionally tiring. You have to gear up for this. You have to want this. Bad. You have to want this, knowing what you know.
There are complications: There are so many unknowns with infertility involving bedrest, overstimulation, nausea, miscarriage, bleeding . . .
There is a financial burden: Infertility treatments are costly. It can be hard to wrap your brain around forking over $20,000 just to attempt to get pregnant. Not only that, but there are no refunds if your treatments don’t produce a child (even with a receipt).
But here’s the good news.
You were strong enough then, and you’re surely strong enough now. You’re a warrior mom. You’ve walked a road that has required you to be sure you want to be a mother and in many ways that is a blessing. You want this. And you can do this. It will change you, hurt you, and tear you down. But it will also strengthen you, encourage you, and build you back up. Walking the infertility journey a second time does not mean you’ll walk away with a sibling for your first born. That’s the hard truth. But there are no guarantees in life and like I always tell my 4-year-old, “You’ll never know, unless you try.”