The Secondary Struggle

You easily got pregnant with your first baby and now you’re ready to grow your family, this should be easy breezy right? For some families it’s not and becomes a difficult and painful journey due to secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is when you can’t get pregnant or carry a baby to term after you’ve been pregnant before and had a baby without any trouble.

For the Brown Family they faced this difficulty journey when they decided to grow from a family of 3 to a family of 4. I asked Julia to share a little bit about their experience with secondary infertility:

“Our oldest, Chandler, was conceived naturally in the first month of trying. Besides some extreme morning sickness, that pregnancy was healthy and gave us our first baby girl. When we decided we were ready to expand our family, I started tracking ovulation again, but had a hard time getting positives. After 6 months, I saw my OBGYN who ran some tests which indicated that my AMH was extremely high. After a few additional tests, I was diagnosed with PCOS and started Letrozole and Ovidrel to force ovulation. After 2 timed cycles which ultimately failed, we tried an IUI. By God’s grace, that IUI was successful and gave us our Callie girl.”

” I wasn’t planning to test until my period was truly late since we had the exact day of ovulation. However, on CD 25, I had a very vivid dream I was pregnant and woke up around 4:30 am with a very overwhelming sense that I was pregnant. Once Jeff got out of bed to get ready for work (he is a police offer and was working the early shift at this time), I went and took a test and ended up with a faint line. I went into the kitchen squinty eyed and still adjusting to the light with shaking hands and asked Jeff “do you see a second line or am I going crazy?”. I was too shocked and excited to keep it to myself or try to do anything cute.”

” I am a very small person and the end of pregnancy was very hard on me. I had been walking around dilated to 4 cm for weeks and had scheduled an elective induction for 39 weeks on the dot. My induction ended up getting pushed daily for the next 4 days due to space in the unit. I started crying on the phone when the nurse called me on the 5th morning to say I couldn’t come in as scheduled and she said she would see what she could do. The hospital called back at 10 am that morning asking if I could be there in 30 minutes. Jeff and I jumped in the car and made a beeline for the hospital. They started pitocin at noon and Callie joined us at 4 pm on the dot in only 2 pushes. “

” I remember going through fertility treatments and Chandler yelling at me in the kitchen one morning “HEY MOM I WANT A SISTER” like I could magically produce one out of thin air. She was 3 years old at the time so I just laughed and said “I’m working on it sis”, but at that point, the inability to conceive became infinitely more painful. Not only was I failing for my hopes for a family, but it was also impacting what my daughter was hoping for as well. In the grand scheme of things the 10 months until we got pregnant is a blip compared to some journeys, but secondary infertility was not something I had ever heard of or was prepared to experience. “

Thank you Julia and Jeff for sharing your story in hopes that other families struggling to grow their family will know they’re not alone. Secondary infertility is not talked about enough and families like the Brown’s are helping open up those conversations.

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