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Fertility problems after normal pregnancy

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:51pm

One of the most confusing situations in the fertility realm, at least in my mind, is secondary infertility, or having trouble conceiving or carrying a child to term after you have already had other healthy uneventful pregnancies.

I'm one of those people who accidentally got pregnant, had a basically textbook pregnancy, had the child and never thought much of it. I, like many others, just assumed that this was the way things go. It never dawned on me that I was one of the lucky ones.

Some women can conceive and carry without a problem time after time. I personally talked with a woman a few years ago who had eight children and never had a miscarriage or a time where it took more than three months to conceive. In my mind, a very lucky woman.

Then there are the woman who never conceive or conceive and then miscarry over and over, no matter how many tests, drugs or surgeries they have to find and rectify whatever problem they are having fertility wise. I feel bad for these women. The only upside is that usually the doctors can figure out what condition the woman has that is causing her infertility and then advise her as to whether or not it will ever be possible for them to conceive and carry a child. Although I'm sure it's awful to have a doctor sit you down and tell you that you'll never be able to give birth to a child, I can't help but believe that having some sort of definite answer has to help you move on with your life a little. Absolutely knowing it will I never happen opens up you're mind a little more to you're other options, be it adoption, surrogates, sperm donors, or just he belief that if fate wants you to have a child, you'll have it and if not then maybe you are meant for other things. This upside isn't all that fulfilling, but at least it's something.

Finally there are women like me. Women who have given birth to one or more healthy children and then suddenly they just can't anymore. I find this the most confusing and devastating of the three situations (I'm biased, I know). You figure that if you can have a healthy pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby once, then obviously there isn't a problem. So why are you having problems now? More often than not, women experiencing secondary infertility never find out why. So we continue on, cycle after cycle, miscarriage after miscarriage in the hope that whatever is causing this infertility will eventually disappear as mysteriously as it arrived. Sometimes it does disappear, sometimes not, but you can never tell while you are going through it which team you'll ultimately end up on. Uncertainty has never been something I've been comfortable with.

One of the most difficult situations I find myself in as I go through this cycle of conception and miscarriage is with my daughter. She's five and a rather smart child. She can usually tell when I'm pregnant, but my husband and I lie to her and say I'm not. As far as I'm concerned she is just too young to have to deal with losing the brothers or sisters she never got to meet. So far this plan has worked because she's young, but those couples with older children don't have the luxury of lying. Some day I'll be in this grouping and I have no idea what I would do. I just hope that one day if and when I have a pregnancy that lasts longer than three months and decide to tell my daughter, that the pregnancy continues on well. As much as I can't handle miscarriage after miscarriage, no elementary school student should be expected to handle it at all.

I know woman like myself who don't tell their young children, as well as women who do. I personally can't imagine having to tell my child I miscarried, while they could never imagine lying to their children about being pregnant. What works for them is good for them and vice versa. This is one of those decisions that you have to face with secondary infertility and I have no advice as to which you choose. Just think about your family and what you believe will be easier for all of you to handle. There is no right answer, just what is best for your unique situation.

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