A friend, and mother of three who was trying for her fourth child, once told me "As long as you have that child shaped hole in your heart, you will always long for another and ache when that void isn't filled." She and her husband were trying for another and it wasn't going well. They had waited and waited, experienced a couple of miscarriages and were facing some difficult decisions as to what options to pursue if they wanted to continue trying. They realized how immensely blessed they were to have the children they did have, but they had a child-shaped hole in their heart that could only be filled by another child or by God changing their heart's desire.
Another friend just went through a miscarriage after trying to get pregnant with their third child. As we talked, she struggled to find the balance between the grief of the loss she was enduring and the expanding love she had for the blessings she already has. It's a tough balance to find.
Yet another had to deal with a whole realm of emotions as their second child took longer to conceive than planned. It was her lifelong dream to raise two siblings that were close in age together, to give them the chance at a close friendship and a lot in common. Month after month passed with negative test after negative test and threatened that dream.
While at this time, we are happy with our little family of three, we have talked about trying for another child after having to go through so many rounds of IVF for our first. With distance, money and an extreme amount of medications involved, I struggle with a making a decision that would significantly impact my first born child. Could I be the mom she needed me to be and go through all of that again?
Secondary infertility is rough. It's common to feel anger, grief, depression, isolation and worry about the whole process of trying to become pregnant and how your emotional state will affect your existing child(ren). The desire for your child to have a sibling can further complicate these emotions. Whether the child(ren) you have came as planned or you had to go through extensive measures to get them, you also realize just what a blessing they are. The harder you fight for that next one, the more you are reminded that babies truly are miracles and you want to hug them tighter.
For those that had no problems getting pregnant the first time, you're suddenly thrown into a confusing world of infertility, complete with the decisions, stress, hormones and doctors appointments. All the while, you're left wondering how the first one happened so easily and this one is just so hard.
For those who had to go through extensive measures to get pregnant the first time, we know just how hard that fight for a child can be and just how much it was worth every single appointment, injection, ultrasound, and cost. But do we want to face that again when we already have someone who calls us Mommy and relies on us? It's a tough decision to make and one that is unique to every single family.
At the end of the day, whether you're facing this struggle for the first time or it's round 2, 3 or 4 for you, let me remind you of a couple things. If you've decided that that child shaped hole in your heart is big enough to fight for, then fight hard. It will absolutely be worth it in the end. But don't forget that the Giver of Life, our Heavenly Father, is in charge and knows what the future holds for your family. He knows the perfect time for your little one's life to begin. He knows the plans He has for you, your family and your children. And He sees you right where you are now, as you long for another baby to hold, and He cares deeply for you. Be willing to bend your plans a little bit and make room for His and it will make the fight so much easier.