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My Story of Secondary Infertility

By Sharon Lamothe

I thought I would take the time to share my story of personal struggle to become pregnant with my second child. Secondary infertility is no joke and when you had no troubles becoming pregnant with your first (wanted but not planned) you go into that phase of adding onto your family thinking that it will be as easy as stopping your birth control pill. Not so, at least not for me!

My son was 3 in 1989 when my husband and I decided to add a number two in the child category of our family of four. I say family of four because we had my elderly grandmother living with us at the time. (She was in our care from age 89 to age 100 but that is another story.)

When I didn’t get pregnant as planned that first year of trying, I decided to ask my OBGYN about my options. (Notice I say “my” options because my husband was never involved! No one asked him to come to an appointment nor was his sperm tested… it was decided that it must be a problem with me!) She told me not to worry and gave me a couple of prescriptions including clomid. Needless to say to those of you who have taken clomid, life’s a bitch and I was the biggest one in my house! It did nothing good for my attitude nor for getting me pregnant. Taking my basal body temperature Every Single Day on top of it all just made matters worse and me sinking further into a funk.

I finally gave up on that avenue of procreation. My OB said that I could go to a fertility clinic but that would have cost money we didn’t have and, honestly, I now had my hands full with a 4 year old and a 94 year old! I stopped everything and simply lived my life with flashes of what might have been while I taking care of my friends children on occasion. My in-laws often asked when we were going to give our son a brother or sister until one day I just snapped and told them that no other siblings were on the way and to please stop asking! (I think that is the polite version of my reply.)

Fast forward to 1995 when on vacation in Las Vegas/ CA/ Grand Canyon with my in-laws, their friends and our son. My husband, son and I rented a car and broke away from our main group to visit California and I started to get sick. Really ill and miserable, I made noises about finding a clinic to give me something, anything, so I could finish our trip. My husband insisted that I must be pregnant and he and my then soon to be 9 year old went to the nearest drug store to buy a pregnancy test. (and a rose and some chocolate and a blueberry muffin… ) It had been a LONG while since I had taken a home pregnancy test and, certain I was NOT pregnant, that this was all food poising! I had my son read the box while I went into the bathroom to pee on the stick. When I came out wondering what I was supposed to look for (no easy + sign or spelled out results like it is now) my son looked at the test and then fell off his bed dramatically, like a teenager who just realized his girlfriend was pregnant! “You ARE pregnant, MOM” he shouted! And then, “You didn’t ‘you know’!!??” worried that his father and I had had sex while he was in the same room on our vacation. I was in shock and my husband was smug and I couldn’t even think how in the world this could have happened.

We welcomed our daughter in 1996, a few months less than 10 years between our two kids. No miscarriages, or stillbirths but the haunting monthly (or bi-monthly or quarterly) proof that I had failed to provide a sibling for our son slowly diminished as I threw myself into caring for our family of 5 (my grandmother passed away in 1999).

After my daughter was born I did feel a connection to those who couldn’t have children at all or struggled with secondary infertility. Which was why, I think, volunteering (after a medical exam and discussion) to be a gestational surrogate for friends of ours in Florida, (who struggled having their first and wanted a sibling), was not such a shock for my husband. We both knew just how that felt. Long story short, I was able to be a surrogate twice and that changed my life forever. From secondary infertility survivor to gestational carrier to working with a third party reproductive attorney to agency owner to consultant, I have been able to touch so many lives and share my story with hundreds of hopeful intended parents and surrogates over the past 20 years.

Let’s all come together everyday to talk and share about these issues. You are not alone and neither am I! Let’s not have one more person feel segregated and misunderstood. We all have important stories to share. Thank you for reading mine!

Article Source: My Story of Secondary Infertility

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