If you’ve had one baby, you can have another right? It’s not rocket science, just the birds and the bees –but, for some of us it’s not that easy. Secondary infertility is much more common that we think, and it’s a subject that most of us don’t openly talk about.
From early childhood I had visions of having the ‘perfect family’, me, Brad Pitt and two kids, a boy and a girl – ‘The Million Dollar Family’. I grew up as a ‘pseudo’ only child; I have three half-brothers who are all much older than I am.
I didn’t see much of them and had a pretty lonely existence without having a sibling who was close to my age. Because of this, it was important to me to have more than one child. My feelings were reinforced when I met and married my husband, who has four sisters, all pretty close in age and they form a very tight knit group. I really wanted my children to have that too.
In 2004, we had a daughter. It only took about five months of trying, which involved no special treatments. We started trying again when she was 10 months old. My ‘Type A Personality’ had it all perfectly planned, my two kids would be exactly two years apart. Needless to say, it didn’t work out that way.
In April of 2006, I had an early miscarriage. Another year of ovulation kits, basal body temperature charts and having sex every other day during my so-called fertile period, and there was still no second baby. Even my husband was starting to complain about the frequency of the ‘routine’!
In 2007, I was referred to a fertility specialist and was told that I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), a classic case apparently. So, after all that temperature taking and tracking every abdominal twinge and bodily fluid – I was not ovulating at all. The doctor didn’t want to see my beautifully presented and colour coded ovulation charts (I can’t help it, I’m a Web designer!). I was prescribed Metformin (a drug that is usually for Diabetes, but also works on PCOS) and I did five cycles of Clomid (a drug that turned me into a semi-psychotic blubbering mess).
The Metformin and Clomid were not a success. I decided that I needed a rest until December of that year when I was going to put myself on the waiting list to start injectable hormones (Gonal-F). The plan was to do the injections for six months with ultrasounds and intra-uterine insemination (IUI). My husband complained about the prospect of having to ejaculate into a cup, but he eventually agreed.
Two cycles passed and then I realized that my period was late. I dug into my stash of pregnancy tests (purchased on eBay in a wholesale lot). The positive line appeared before the control line! Pregnant! After two years of trying!
Our son was born in March of 2008. At my six week postpartum check-up my Obstetrician warned me that I should start thinking about birth control. I laughed him off. How did this quack make it through medical school? I had three periods and was pregnant again. Uh, oops! Our third child, a girl, was born in January of 2010.
If I knew in 2005 how everything would eventually work out, maybe not exactly as I planned, possibly better than I planned – I could have avoided a lot of heartache. I’m not suggesting that all cases of infertility, secondary or otherwise, will eventually work out. I’m just saying that I was one of the lucky ones.
About the Author
She has been married since 2002. Always having been a fan of biting off more than she can chew, Kate is also the owner and founder of Vickers Media, a Web design, development and Web marketing firm based in Burlington, Ontario.
As if that weren’t enough, Kate is also a permanent fixture as eMedia Project Manager at a medium sized marketing and business strategy firm based in Toronto. Kate mostly works from home during naptime and late at night, when everyone is all tucked in.