Trigger Warning: Today’s post discusses secondary infertility and PCOS.
I’ve fought a lot of battles alone in my life, but time and time again I’m reminded of the beauty of letting others in. I’m reminded of the hope that comes from in sharing my story, knowing I am not alone, and that I can help others to know they are not alone either.
We have 2 beautiful kids. Before both of my pregnancies I remember going back and forth with Neal on timing. Were we ready to have a baby? Were we ready to say goodbye to our pre-kids life? Were we ready to have a second baby? Were we prepared for the costs associated with a second baby? How would pregnancy impact work and my career?
With my first pregnancy, I got pregnant our first month without birth control. I didn’t realize at the time how unprecedented of the blessing that was. We decided we were ready to start a family and a few weeks later I had a positive pregnancy test.
With my second pregnancy, I was so focused on when to have our next baby that I didn’t think it might actually take longer to get pregnant. Even still, we were able to get pregnant naturally after 3 months.
I always knew I wanted 3-4 kids, so I had always planned on trying for another baby once my son was 2 years old, ideally having them 3 years apart like my son and daughter. We even talked about trying for a 4th fairly quickly after the 3rd if we did want to round out our family.
Just before my son turned 2, in June 2019, I had my IUD removed and knew it might take a little longer to get pregnant this time. I tracked, we timed, and month after month I had heartbreak. I could have burned a hole through the pregnancy tests with how long I’d stare at them, just waiting for a line to show up. I’d stare at them so long I’d convince myself there was a slight line.
I have always had weird periods, but for most of my mid 20’s – mid 30’s I was fairy regularly. I’d have a period every 30-35 days for 5 days. Post IUD, which was my first time using one, my periods were in that 60-80 day range. It was incredibly difficult figuring out when I was ovulating, especially when I essentially had 3-4 times a year to get pregnant vs 12 opportunities.
Not getting pregnant those first 6 months left me with so much anger. Why wasn’t it working? Why didn’t we start sooner? Why did I use an IUD? Why didn’t I lose more weight? I entered 2020 was severe depression and hormones that were all over the place.
We kept trying and at the 1 year mark I called my doctor. They recommended I go to a fertility treatment center, so we did. My first appointment was in August 2020 and after multiple tests and ultrasounds the doctor said I that between my irregular periods and cysts in my ovaries, it was likely I had PCOS.
I was crushed. Had I always had it? Did the weight I gained between pregnancies cause this? Did I cause this? How did we get pregnant our first 2 times so easily if I had PCOS then? Why did we wait so long to start trying again? What did I do wrong?
June 2021 will be the 2 year mark since having my IUD removed. This has been a difficult journey, but it has been made even more difficult by not talking about it.
Secondary infertility isn’t something I knew about before now and I want to talk about it. PCOS, though I’m familiar with it, isn’t something I personally had to face until this past fall. The past 6 months have been filled with a lot of education and exploration and it’s at this point that I move forward. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I don’t want to be alone through all this.
No matter what, I am forever grateful for my children. They are a true miracle and blessing.