What I Wish You Knew About Secondary Infertility

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Photo credit: Sally Cavanaugh Photography
Photo credit: Sally Cavanaugh Photography

An oops, huh?

That’s a crazy age difference.

Your life was so easy.

I can’t imagine starting over.

What were you thinking? I bet you’re regretting it now.

I wonder if you realize that your seemingly innocent comments hurt. I was pregnant at age 42, with three teenage kids. Should I be ashamed of my situation? Should my joy be overshadowed by your disbelief? Do you not believe in miracles? I want to scream from the rooftops, “Please stop the commentary! You do not know my story!” And I wonder, if you knew my story (which is not unique just to me), would you change your reaction?

Would you react differently if you knew…

this was NOT my fourth pregnancy? I have babies, who never lived more than eleven weeks inside me, waiting for me in heaven. I walked on eggshells throughout the pregnancy, incessantly praying for the delivery of a healthy Little One.

about the testing? When you have multiple miscarriages and/or have difficulty conceiving, you and your husband undergo testing to determine who “the problem” is. Each time, your hope is vulnerable, knowing your dream could be snatched from you with a single test result. Was it a blessing that they found no genetic or physiological reason why pregnancy eluded us?

about the unsuccessful fertility treatments we tried? We did multiple rounds of IUI. I took medication to stimulate the release of eggs. I had daily bloodwork to watch my hormone levels. For us, all the time, money, and hope was wasted on these treatments because after all that effort, we still didn’t have a Little One to add to our family.

we tried for over five years to get pregnant? With each birthday I celebrated, I saw the possibility of pregnancy diminish. I dreaded turning 40, knowing advanced maternal age was a dark cloud that would never leave my sky.

how much I prayed that God would give me a healthy Little One? I was on my knees often, begging for my dream to become a reality. What you consider an “oops” is an answered prayer, one of my greatest blessings.

After months of trying to conceive both naturally and assisted, after a plethora of tests to confirm that we were both capable of creating viable life, and after suffering loss after loss, our diagnosis was secondary infertility. I joined the “once-fertile-but-not-anymore” group.

For those of you still battling secondary infertility, know you are not alone. Over three million women in the US share this plight.

For those of you who want so desperately to have a Little One, find a way to faithfully hope amidst all the disappointment. I hope that you have a supportive spouse, who shares your dream and who understands your heart. I pray that you have patience and peace.

For our fertile friends, share our joy and stop judging the situation. And – for the love – stop the unnecessary comments.

Our story has a happy ending, birthing a healthy baby boy in January 2016. And for the record: He wasn’t an oops. I love my life. Having both teens and a newborn has its perks! I am so very thankful for this gift of life.

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Maricar Harris
Maricar (pronounced “Merrah Car”) is moved to Wichita in July 2014 from Virginia Beach. She married her college sweetheart, Chris, in 1996. Together, they have four kids: Will, Addison, Bekah, and Victor. Maricar and Chris are originally from Augusta, Georgia (the “Home of the Masters”, for any avid golfers out there) and have moved quite a bit while Chris completed residency/fellowship (and an eight year US Navy commitment). Here in Wichita, they are now planting some roots. Maricar is a chemistry teacher at Wichita Collegiate, who spends a lot of time cheering for her Spartans at sporting events. She enjoys a good inspirational book, a freshly brewed cup of coffee, scrapbooking, and dinner date nights. Eating out and going to movies tops the list of things the Harris family likes to do. Having a newborn at 42 has been life changing, but she recognizes the greatness of this blessing and is looking forward to this chapter of life.

1 COMMENT

  1. Oh my goodness! I can relate so well. Not the fertility part but having a baby later in life wth older kids. My sons are almost 20 years apart. The commentary from people while pregnant was hurtful, especially from family. But now that he is 2 and I am 43 the constant question now is, “are you the grandma?” While technically yes he could be my grandson he’s not, he is my son. I haven’t let my hair go completely gray due to this question.

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