I have read some posts recently from other ladies struggling with secondary infertility and felt compelled to share my thoughts on something that has come up. I have struggled with both primary and secondary since it took three IVF cycles to have my only son. I have lived through both and am currently starting my 8th IVF round trying for another child.
This post may be somewhat controversial so let me just preface this by saying it is my own opinion and experience. I completely respect other opinions and do not expect everyone to agree. I am happy to hear your thoughts and can tell you already- however you feel is right for you.
In some ways this post is meaningless. Any kind of IF or RPL or struggle is filled with pain. We are all living a private hell and comparisons are unnecessary. Just like someone having a baby does not take away from your chances, someone’s pain should not be compared to your own. That being said- I still feel compelled to share this.
Having been through both (and currently in the middle of secondary IF hell) I can tell you that Primary infertility is a million times more hellish. In my opinion. Here is why: Until you have a child you are not a Mom. You do not belong in the Moms group, you do not have a child that says Mommy and suddenly brings you into the world you have been dreaming and begging for. Before you have a child- you idolize every small aspect of being a Mom. Your being is filled with hope and desire and yearning. Your friends around you pass you by, your family quietly (or not) wonders why you aren’t having a baby. The world treats you differently and you are on the outside. Life stops and your heart screams in pain.
Once you are lucky enough to have a baby an entire world opens up. You are finally a Mom. Your dreams are answered. You get to sing softly to your baby, hear their screaming cry, listen to their baby giggles, see them reach out for you, read them books, talk about being a Mom and finally share the love that has been growing inside you for so long.
You also know that being a Mom can be hard. You lose yourself a little. Sleep is nonexistent, showers coveted and romance hard fought. All these things are nothing compared to the joy but you do know they are part of your reality.
So- now when you are eagerly and anxiously trying for another baby you know what it is really like. You know the deep level of joy but you also know the work and time and exhaustion. You know the reality of it because you are a Mom already. Some would say this makes secondary IF harder because you know how great it is. I disagree. You are lucky to know the feeling of being a Mom. Not even knowing what that is like and dreaming of it every second is harder.
A small caveat here is now that I have my son, I want so badly for him to have a sibling. I want another baby almost more for him than me. But that deep yearning and desire for him to have a brother or sister still pales in comparison to wondering if you will ever be called Mom.
I am writing this post simply to validate those of you struggling with Primary infertility. I read stories about other Moms who have three kids feeling so much pain that they can’t have a fourth and I can’t help but roll my eyes and feel jealousy. I can imagine for those who have no living children, it can sometimes be hard to relate and sympathize with someone with secondary infertility. And I totally get it. I am the lucky one and I just want you to know that amidst my struggle to have another child that is not lost on me.