Pregnancy is Not the End of Infertility

In just a short few weeks, April 30th to be exact, is the date when my little miracle baby girl is due. How ironic, yet meaningful, to know that my IVF baby girl is due so close to National Infertility Awareness Week {April 18th – 24th}. It makes her upcoming birth, her story from beginning to end, make so much sense for me. I honestly can’t wait to share her story with her when she’s older. To let her know how special she is and how much we wanted her to be a part of our family. How doctors, science and so many prayers, by us, family and friends, played a huge part of her existence.

Infertility is a Part of Me

Although, technically I’m in a “good” place right now, the word infertility still haunts me and will forever be a part of me, my life, my family’s lives, my journey, my past, present and future. It is a part of me and it’s not something that will ever go away, and to be honest, it will be something I think about quite often. My 5 year old is very aware of how her baby sister came to be and that it was possible due to IVF, our wonderful doctors, our nurses, and our one and only God. Granted, she doesn’t know what IVF stands for, she’s not familiar with the medical terms, but she knows her sister was made in a lab with the help of amazing doctors and scientists and that we were so blessed to have that lucky one little embryo stick in Mommy’s belly. I think our daily prayers over the years make a whole lot more sense to my 5 year, and quite frankly, they do to me too. After years of praying we’re so close to adding another baby to our family and we couldn’t be more excited!

Some may think, as I’m writing this with a BIG pregnant belly and a 5 year old sitting next to me, that infertility may not apply to me anymore. I’m pregnant…. again, I win, game over, move along… right? Wrong, so wrong! Secondary infertility is very real, and those that have never experienced it, just don’t get it. It’s difficult to understand and even harder for those suffering with it to come to terms with it. To have secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant or to carry a baby to term after previously giving birth to a baby. It shares many of the same causes as primary infertility.

Infertility is Different for Everyone 

The truth is, I had no problems getting pregnant and staying pregnant with my first daughter. We weren’t even trying, and 3 short months later we were pregnant. It was a huge surprise and blessing all at once. Although doctors informed me that my ability to convince naturally was low due to being diagnosed with PCOS {Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome}, by the grace of God, my daughter arrived shortly after my diagnosis and I am forever grateful for her and our easy pregnancy journey.

Infertility is not the same for everyone. People suffer in different ways and for different reasons, but the truth is, the trauma, the fear, the anxiety of suffering in silence, the tears and heartache have followed me throughout my whole pregnancy. Yes, I am pregnant with a healthy baby girl, but that doesn’t mean I don’t often reflect on what got us here. The years of suffering have surely not been forgotten just because we were one of the “lucky” ones to have a successful IVF journey. I don’t think I can ever forget the feelings I’ve felt and still continue to feel to this day. I still go into every doctor’s appointment feeling anxious and worry. There will always be a “what if” question lingering at the back of my mind. 

Infertility is Traumatic 

Although I am forever grateful for both my children, infertility, and in my case secondary infertility, will always be a stressor in my life. It’s something I can never escape, no matter what. According to an article in the Mayo Clinic Health System, “Research has shown that women with infertility have the same levels of anxiety and depression, as do women with cancer, heart disease and HIV.” I know it’s hard to believe, to understand, but for those women, those couples going through infertility, articles like this make our feelings feel validated, understood, accepted.

Many people do not understand that infertility is a disease, it’s not something we choose and can affect both men and women equally. Imagine telling a cancer patient to “relax and stop thinking about it”? There’s no way relaxing and taking it easy can cure cancer nor can it cure infertility either. Can you imagine blaming cancer patients for their condition? So why are couples with infertility so easily blamed for not being able to conceive because we just can’t “relax”.

Feeling Happy, Feeling Guilty 

And now that we’re pregnant again, as much as I want to feel happy all the time, I often feel guilt. Yes, guilty that we were the lucky ones to have a successful IVF cycle on our very first try while so many other infertility warriors are going through heartbreak after heartbreak. I often question myself and our situation, “Why me, and not her?” “How did we get so lucky?”. I know I’m not just lucky, I am beyond blessed. Blessed by God more so than I ultimately deserve. And my nightly prayers will still be for my children, for those in similar infertility situations to find peace, understanding and ultimately a beautiful baby in their arms.

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Elizabeth is an RGV girl, born and raised, who moved to Houston {January 2020} with her little family. She was a writer for the RGV Moms Blog for years and is now a part of the Houston team. She shares her heart and home with a 5 year old tiny teenager named Isabella Samantha {September 2015}, a baby girl on the way {April 2021} and her loving husband, Samuel. She majored in Public Relations at UT Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, now known as UTRGV. After a few short years working for a hospital’s marketing department after graduation, she found her calling and completed an alternative certification program to begin teaching. She loves working with children and hopes that by being in the classroom, she can make a difference. Elizabeth has been teaching little ones for 13 years now, ranging from 6 year olds to recently 6 month olds. She still finds time to write/blog in her free time as a form of stress reliever. She hopes to publish a SciFi book one day, as her dreams always tend to lean towards the supernatural. Which is why she loves to sleep so much! She enjoys online shopping, thrifting, scrapbooking and binge watching Netflix shows in her pajamas. In the short time she’s been living in Houston she’s come to realize that she HATES the traffic, LOVES the diversity and REALLY misses her momma back home.

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