Trying to help

Last week, I had a piece on secondary infertility published, and the comments did not turn out at all as I expected. The Motherlode had published a piece on secondary infertility several years ago, but it had been written by a woman who had two healthy children and was close to 40. I’ve heard a lot lately about younger women with secondary infertility, and I thought that was an important story to tell.

I wrote the piece and sent it off in March, when Greg and I had been trying for 13 months. I was not yet pregnant, and I did not know when (or if) I would be pregnant again. I felt that it was important not to revise it later because infertility is nothing if not uncertain. When you’re in the middle of it, you don’t know whether that is the month you will get pregnant. Every month comes with that hope, and then, so often at the end, disappointment.

Also, I am only pregnant. I’m grateful, very much so. But I’ve been pregnant three times before.

I guess all that I wanted to say is that I feel badly about some of the reactions. I am sorry that women going through infertility will read that article and see comments about how they must be bad people. I had hoped to spark a discussion about medical care and about the need for women to trust their own feelings in the face of doubt.

I try my best to surround myself with supportive, loving people, and to act that way toward others. I suppose sometimes I forget how even a cupful of negativity seems to spoil an ocean of goodness.

5 thoughts on “Trying to help

  1. I love your articles. My baby girl was born still March 11, 2013 and I am waiting a little longer to try for another but am hopeful for a rainbow baby. Thank you for being so brave and talking about your loss along with your pregnancy after loss. Good luck with everything and please keep blogging xx

  2. Thank you for your bravery and courage in sharing your story, Sarah, in order to help others who may be traveling a similar road. I was very sad reading some of the comments. Blessings to you and your family as you go through your pregnancy.

  3. Sarah, I am sorry that you received some negativity from your article, but I am grateful that you wrote it. Like you, I have a healthy child and then a full term stillbirth and am still waiting to give my son a sibling. It is painful and I do not know anyone who understands what I am going through. Even those in my stillbirth support group did not seem to have trouble having a healthy child and those suffering infertility have trouble relating because I have my son. Just know that no matter what negativity you have endured, you have provided something positive for a person that needed to know that she was not alone.

  4. Sarah, Your essay resonated with me deeply. Unfortunately some of those icky comments have stayed with me as well. Pain is pain, I don’t understand why people volunteer what they feel the appropriate degree of hurt is for a person who’s inner and outer life they really know nothing about. I was quickly pregnant on my first try and delivered a healthy daughter at 31. When, at 34, I’d expressed concern to my OB that we’d been trying for a few months with no result she told me “we know everything works, anyway 34 is not old to have a baby.” I was patient, too patient, before finally seeing a fertility specialist. Now, at 36 I’ve just found out my tubes are almost completely blocked (probably endometriosis). In addition my egg count is very low for my age, which means while my husband and I are good candidates for IVF by every other measure, even that might be a long shot. I wish I’d read an essay like yours 2 years ago, may it help someone else seek help sooner.

  5. Sarah,
    Thank you so much for having the courage to write the article you did. You were honest and raised so many good questions. I wrote a memoir about my own difficulties (titled Making Meant to Be) because I felt like I had no where else to go with all of my uncertainty and with my frustration at feeling so alone. Like you, I think it’s important that we share our stories in order to raise awareness (I didn’t even know about the term “secondary infertility” until I had experienced 3.5 years of difficulty) and to hopefully help other women in similar situations. Thanks again for putting your essay, and your heart, out there.

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