I don't know how many of you are struggling with it, but I hope that sharing my thoughts will help those of you in the trenches of secondary infertility, as well as help bring understanding to those of you who have not experienced it.
When I first started this blog, I found the "Second Chances" blog, which is set to private right now. (Otherwise, I would link to it.) In the writer's pages, I read words that perfectly captured the sadness in my heart.
Second Chances wrote about some of the biggest struggles she faced in being a mother of one child and experiencing infertility. The struggles I remember her mentioning most of all--the ones that brought tears to my eyes--were:
1. Not fitting in.
2. Not being able to see your child interact with siblings.
NOT FITTING IN
For the "not fitting in" category, I want to first say that all of you ladies have done a really good job of accepting me into this community. I really appreciate it. I know that I don't fully understand all of your journeys, because mine is different, but like TCIE recently said:
Even those of us who share the cross of infertility do not share the exact same burden. Each cross is unique, as are we as humans.So true.
Well, with the not fitting in, I mostly perceived said "not fitting in" during my interactions with other moms/couples with children, couple friends without children, and single friends. I am not sure which group I have had the most in common with. Sometimes, I felt more in sync with the moms/couples with children. Other times, their frazzled, frantic lives seemed unrecognizable to me. Sometimes I could relate to the friends without children better...but then they would do something like forget that finding a babysitter is not as simple as you may assume, and I would feel a million miles away from them.
With the moms/couples with multiple children, I have often felt like a "partial" mom (which sounds ridiculous!). I have even had a friend say to me that "one child is an accessory; two children are life-changing" or something like that. (Sometimes I just don't think she processes her thoughts before they come out.) And it's hard not to feel obligated to be the room mom of your child's class when you are a stay-at-home mom of only one child who goes to school full-time. Oh yeah...and then there is always that awkward and quite wounding moment when a mother who has been abundantly blessed asks about your "other children" (assuming you must have more somewhere)...or asks if you have "just one." "Yes, he's my only," I say, smiling, while cringing inside.
NO SIBLINGS FOR YOUR CHILD
Another element of secondary infertility that has been a huge struggle for me is not being able to help give my son the gift of a sibling. I grew up with two siblings, and I still get along with them. They have been such a blessing in my life. They were there when my parents divorced. They have been there through many happy times. They were there when my dad passed away. They have been great supports and special friends.
I so, so, so desire for my son to have that, too. Even though any siblings at this point would be quite far apart in age from him, I have hope that they would still be great gifts to one another.
I don't want to come across as being ungrateful for the child or the other innumerable blessings that I already have. I know that many of you would be so very content with one child. Sometimes, I come to a place of peace with that notion, too. However, I know that, deep down, if I don't do what I must to try for another, whether that be through Napro.technology or via adoption, I will always wonder "what if?".