Infertility doesn’t always disappear after the birth of a healthy baby. Here’s one mom’s honest story of secondary infertility and the mindset shift that helped her find peace.
As someone who struggled hard with infertility, this was a million-dollar question for me. Could I get pregnant postpartum? Would it be easy, like it seems everyone says?
My doctor at my postpartum check-up said, “What are you doing for birth control? You need it. Otherwise, you’ll get pregnant immediately, and you don’t want that.”
Slightly taken back that he was deciding what I wanted and didn’t want, I was excited by the idea that “I could get pregnant right away.”
I left that doctor’s appointment with a million thoughts running through my head. Could I get pregnant postpartum? Do I want another baby? Should I start trying right away? That way, I don’t struggle with infertility again. Does infertility go away after you’ve had a baby?
The decision to try again after infertility
After talking to my husband, we decided to start trying again. He was convinced it would happen right away. We have friends that it happened the first month they started trying, and they were shocked at how easy it was. Excited for them, I thought the same would happen for us.
I returned to my “trying to conceive diet” with extra pineapple cores and green leafy meals. When it came time for Aunt Flo, she came right on time. I was disappointed, but not sad. It was only the first month, and I told myself, “It’ll happen easily for us too.”
We have friends that it happened the first month they started trying, and they were shocked at how easy it was. Excited for them, I thought the same would happen for us.
Fast forward six months, and we are still in the “trying to conceive” stage. We are still tracking my ovulation and doing what we can to enhance our chances of getting pregnant, but this time, I do not feel the sadness that came along with our first bout of infertility.
I look every day at my son’s face and think, “if this is all I meant to have, then I am forever grateful.” While I would love to have a bigger family, I can’t lose sight of the fact that one day, not too long ago, I wished to just have one child.
Learning about secondary infertility
As I researched, I found that I am not alone when struggling to get pregnant postpartum. Secondary infertility is very real and affects around two million women per year.
Dr. Jacqueline Ho, M.D., a fertility specialist and assistant to obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, said that it could be challenging to give parents advice about secondary infertility, in part because it often isn’t researched separately from general infertility.
Finding peace in the process
The biggest takeaway from this infertility journey is that it’s not your fault. While it does not fix your frustration or help you cope, it does seem to take off some of the pressure you feel to conceive postpartum.
As someone who struggled to get pregnant the first time and now for a second time, I hope that while you read this, you know that many women out there feel the same frustrations and sadness. But we must work to change our outlook and not let it consume us a second time.
Personally, I’ve decided to focus on my health, my family, and our happiness this time around. Trust that my body can get pregnant when it’s ready to get pregnant again. Put my mental and physical health above the thoughts that tend to cloud our minds when we want something so badly and can’t have it just yet.
I am hopeful that by doing this, I will one day get pregnant again with a second child. And if not, at least I’ll be the best version of myself for my family. And most days, that’s enough for me.