First of all, this post is a positive one or at least I consider it that way. Please read all the way through before coming to your own conclusions.
After following infertility pages on FB for a while, I have seen and heard differing opinions from people who are experiencing primary infertility (not being able to get pregnant or not being to carry out a pregnancy to its completion for whatever reason) and people who are going through secondary infertility (being able to have 1 or more children then experiencing difficulty having another). I have also seen people that have gone through both, which means they struggled for years before being able to successfully have a child and are now struggling to have another. Having seen all of these,gs, but at the same time, I hate all the comparing when it comes to infertility.
I am personally going through infertility. My type of infertility involves having never been able to get pregnant (at least as far as I am aware of) since I have heard cases of people unknowingly getting pregnant and miscarrying right after without even realizing it. Yes, that IS possible. I know people who are going through secondary infertility. The word “infertility” seems kind of taboo when targeted towards those who were able to have their first child or even more children easily without trying very hard. I think, not unlike those who have NEVER been able to get pregnant, they struggle with feeling like this makes them a failure in some way. 1 in 8 women struggle with infertility. A lot of them remain silent. You are NOT a failure.
Now, for the thing that people with secondary infertility hear often, “At least you have 1 child.” I see people bringing that up all the time. I have to admit that there was a time in my life I felt that way. I am human. I get jealous. BUT I have learned to see things in a different way. I DO think there ARE differences in the situations. I DO think the viewpoint in infertility vs secondary infertility is different. Having said that though, I do not think people with secondary infertility hurt any less or should have to just settle with the hand they have been dealt.
I, myself, grew up wanting 10 kids. In my position now where I do not even know if I will successfully have 1 of my own, I think I could be happy to just have 1. If I am honest though, I want more than 1. Maybe 10 is a little unrealistic for me now, but ideally, I would love to at least have 3 or 4. If I am able to have 1 within the next couple of years without TOO much trouble…meaning I eventually get to do IUI and it works, I know I will probably want to try for another soon after. Knowing this, I have really thought about what I WOULD feel like if I were to struggle yet again and be told by people that I should just be happy with the one. I wouldn’t like for people to judge me in that way just as I hate the things people say to me, whether directly or indirectly. “Maybe it’s not meant to be.” Ugh!!! And multiple babies born to drug addicts or murderers ARE? Really, people?! I mean, I know most people mean well, but unless they have ever experienced it themselves, they honestly don’t get how insensitive some of their comments can be. And people who get pregnant within the first year when they are in their 20’s and feel like they get MY viewpoint? NO….no, you don’t. It’s NOT the same thing. I’m not going to apologize for saying that because it’s the truth. Does it suck if it took you a whole year and your friend got pregnant the first month? Yeah, I am sure it does, and you have the right to lament over that…just don’t compare apples and oranges.
To those with secondary infertility, I don’t understand your path, and I won’t pretend to. If you haven’t gone through primary infertility, you don’t get mine. There’s nothing wrong with that. I won’t pretend to not be jealous of anyone who has ever had a child, but at the same time, please know that I DO believe you have a right to grieve over the possibility of not being able to have another child. I’m not going to say “At least YOU have a child” because I think that’s insensitive, and I think all women struggling with infertility need to support each other. Do I think sometimes those with primary infertility need a forum or a place to vent with people that are in their own boats and those with secondary infertility need their own forum as well? Yes, I do, because they are 2 separate situations, and it makes it easier for those of us who have never had a kid to sometimes talk with those who also have never had children. There’s a different perspective there, and it helps. I also believe those with any type of infertility should also get together and chat sometimes too, though. As in any situation, it IS good to learn all sides of the battle. Ditto for men with infertility! It’s good to hear the men’s side of things sometimes as well.
I guess I have said all of this to simply say those of us with infertility need to support each other regardless of our individual situations and stop comparing who has it the worst. We ALL have it bad. Let’s just support each other because at the end of the day, we are all in this together!