Secondary infertility is described as the loneliest type of infertility. Many women are told to be grateful for the children they have, which implies that they aren’t allowed to be sad about not being able to have more. With secondary infertility, women tend to isolate and keep feelings to themselves even more.
Can you relate to the complex feelings of secondary infertility below?
- Women report feeling grief about not being able to get pregnant a second time and at the same time they feel guilty for not being happy with one child. “Why can’t I be happy with what I have?”
- Women report feeling guilty for actually having a child when many friends with infertility can’t get pregnant at all. They feel like they have no room to talk about their sadness. At the same time, they feel grief that they aren’t able to grow their family the way they hoped.
- Women feel guilt for being distracted or sad when they want to be an attentive parent. They push many feelings aside and bury them to care for the little one they already have but they struggle to find joy in it. At the same time, they grief for what they perceive they have lost while raising the child the have. “I missed his big performance because my egg retrieval didn’t go as planned.”
- Women feel guilt and pain when secondary infertility inevitably affects their child. “Why is mommy sad?” “Why can’t I have a little sister?”
In my @threemakesbaby podcast episode with Ellie, she shares that after a miscarriage, her daughter’s prayers changed from, “Please let my mommy have a baby to please let my mommy have a healthy baby. “
Grief and guilt are a painful pair. Don’t pile guilt on top of grief. Your grief is legitimate. This episode delves into all of the above topics: Listen to Ellie Used a Donor After Secondary Infertility now.