The list of things I wouldn’t do to conceive a second child is short, but I’m going back on birth control.
My husband and I have been struggling with secondary infertility for a couple of years now. Two years is a long time to be in your own head. It’s a long time to track cycles and ovulation, time intercourse, get your hopes up, and to pray that you’ll see two pink lines instead of one. That said, we have reached our limit.
It’s not easy to articulate why we would just stop trying. I hear “hey, maybe once you stop thinking about it you’ll get pregnant!” or “you just need to relax!” all the time. They are platitudes, but I get it. There are so many stories of couples who stop trying and get pregnant. But that’s just not me. I can’t just turn it off. Waiting and seeing is what we’ve been doing, and it’s been a hard space to live in. It’s hard to get that hope out of your head, and I know that if there’s even the slightest possibility we could get pregnant, that hope will exist, and we will continue to feel shattered month after month.
So, I went to my doctor and, through my tears, I asked for birth control. Do I want another baby? Desperately. But my heart isn’t in it anymore. My doctor offered a few medications we could try and immediately I thought maybe that was the answer. I got hopeful. Then she suggested we go to a fertility clinic and talk about IVF. I got hopeful.
She supported me though, and said she wished she were prescribing pre-natal vitamins instead of the pill and, yep, I wish that too. I don’t think there will ever be a day when I’m going to feel okay about how this all played out, but I know that birth control is the best next step of our journey.
Infertility has affected me in every possible way. It has wreaked havoc on my self-worth and has left me feeling betrayed by my own body. It has stolen my joy and has been an unrelenting heaviness on my heart.
And at the same time, I am scared to shut the door. I’m afraid that a year from now or ten years from now I am going to regret not trying for a baby longer. I’m afraid I’ll regret not exhausting every single option. I’m scared my daughter is going to grow up feeling incomplete because she never had a sibling. She’s asking for one — most kids her age do — but she’s too little to understand. We tell her that all families are different. Some families have lots of kids, some have one, some have none. I don’t know how this will affect her or if it even will. She is my heart and soul. She’s our miracle.
There is a loneliness that comes with infertility. I spent a lot of time feeling like nobody could ever understand what I was going through. It’s especially hard to explain because I am a mom…why can’t she be happy with what she has, right! Although I am apprehensive, I am ready to move forward from the powerlessness of infertility. I am ready to focus on new dreams.
That’s so much easier said than done though. I am still working on acceptance. I’m not even sure if it is possible, but I’m going to try. Part of moving on, for me, is removing the possibility of getting pregnant. I don’t know if that will make sense to anyone else, but if there is hope for a baby, then nothing really changes. I’ll remain preoccupied with thoughts that maybe this month will finally be our month. Birth control is necessary for me to continue healing and letting go. That said, it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow…literally! Figuratively! I hate this.
I don’t have any advice to give. I’m just taking things one day at a time. I’m not trying to find the silver lining here, for me there isn’t one. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. Life throws you some unpleasant stuff; stuff that hurts and tests you.
Nothing lasts forever though, so I’m trying to learn to live with my feelings. Talking about something so personal isn’t for everyone. Normally, it’s not for me. But I felt compelled to share this part of my life. I chose to share my story because it affects so many and I’m filled with gratitude for the seriously badass women who have rallied around me.
I found this quote (or maybe it found me) by Alex Elle and it’s more than perfect: “Acknowledge your pain. Let it surface and spill over. Give it permission to make an uncomfortable mess. Healing can happen this way and so can emotional freedom. Face it all. Free it, too.”