It’s typical to think of childless couples who have tried for many years to conceive when you consider infertility. But these couples aren’t the only ones who feel the sting of infertility.
When I hear the term secondary infertility I think of struggling to conceive a second child. Certainly not someone blessed with five children. I mean, who wouldn’t be totally content with five beautiful children?
Well, me. I guess.
I was graced with my fifth child just two months ago. After a complicated pregnancy involving placenta previa and placenta accreta, my doctors asked me if I wanted them to salvage my reproductive organs during my cesarean section if they could.
It’s a question you want to say yes to. But after the specialist told me “I am playing Russian Roulette and don’t want to leave five darling little children orphans,” I said, “Nope. Take whatever you need to.”
So, they did. The doctor who did my surgery was so sweet and even triple-checked that I was okay with this decision before removing my fallopian tubes and a large scarred portion of my uterus. And for the first few weeks, I was okay with it.
Who thinks about infertility while nursing a newborn anyway?
But few weeks later, it felt like so many women I knew started announcing their pregnancies and people started asking me questions I wasn’t prepared to answer like “Is she your last?” Which inevitably turned into a long and drawn-out explanation of my missing reproductive organs.
I started feeling like maybe I’m not content with only five children.
It sounds totally and completely insane, I know.
Our house is like a zoo right now. But who doesn’t love the zoo??? And I’m not saying that I want a baby like right.this.second…I’m just sad knowing that it will never be an option again.
I will never again get that heart-pounding rush that happens when you watch your urine seep across the test line on a pregnancy test. I will never again get to feel baby kicks in my belly. I will never again get to agonize over coming-home outfits.
I thought I would be totally okay with five children, I even gave the doctors an a-okay with taking my fertility, but now knowing I will never again experience that moment when the nurse lays the baby on your chest breaks my dang heart.
How can one struggle with secondary infertility when not trying to conceive…and after five children? I don’t know, but I’m doing a fabulous job of it.
Images by Whitney Barthel, iStock