Infertility when you already have a child

When we were trying to conceive our first baby, I used to dream of the day when we would finally have our child in our arms. I used to tell myself that it didn’t matter if we never had another, that I would just be grateful that we could be parents at all. And of course I am, unbelievably so. After 4 years of trying on and off and one round of IVF, Noah is our little miracle. The dream that finally came true.

However, lately, I have become incredibly broody for a second child. I have to confess that we never bothered with contraception after Noah was born because, with our infertility issues (male factor) there didn’t seem to be much point. Plus I always hated how the hormonal contraception made me feel anyway. We knew we were risking an unplanned pregnancy and a shorter age gap than planned but we did so happily. If it was meant to be it would be and we would cope. We would be incredibly lucky.

But 21 months on and, of course, there has been nothing. Not even a hint of a second line on a pregnancy test. We have been trying again “properly” for a couple of months but, if we’re honest, I don’t think either of us holds out much hope for a natural conception. We’ve just come to accept it as the way things are for us. Jamie, I think, has more acceptance of it than me. He’s readily admitted that he’d be quite content if Noah was our only child, but I have this burning desire for one more. To feel more…..complete, somehow.

Even though I’ve accepted that more treatment is the most probable route for us and I’m excited to one day use one of our frozen embryos, it doesn’t make the pain any easier. I didn’t bank on feeling the pain of infertility quite so harshly the second time around. I thought it would be easier because, as everyone likes to remind me, “at least you have Noah.”. However, every time I watch him engrossed in play, I imagine what it would be like to watch him play with a sibling. Every time I see him display affection towards another child or an animal, I imagine how it would make my heart melt to see him be so tender and caring towards a baby brother or sister. Of course I’m aware that it may not all be roses and rainbows and there may well be some good old sibling rivalry along the way, but I so badly want him to experience that. I don’t want him to grow up alone.

I was an only child for 12 years before my two sisters and brother came along. And whilst they were still happy years, I was elated when my sister Maddie made her appearance. I was in love. The pride I felt as a big sister was second to none. Then two years later Molly arrived followed by Ben and I saw them experience their childhood together in a way I never experienced and it was magical. I just hope that Noah gets to experience the same.

Every time I see another pregnancy announcement on Facebook or hear of a baby being born, it breaks my heart a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy for the couples involved but, yes, there’s always that tinge of sadness. It takes me right back to those gut wrenching feelings we experienced when trying originally. I feel so selfish. Why can’t I just learn to be happy with what we have? But infertility doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t discriminate. See, whether you have no children, 1 child, 2 children or more, the pain of being unable to conceive a much wanted baby is very real. You grieve the life you’ve been unable to create. You hope and pray that one day your dreams will come true.

It seems unbelievable to me that we could one day be so lucky again. Things went so smoothly with our IVF cycle for Noah that my head keeps convincing me that there’s no way we could be that fortunate again. That that would be unfair on other couples who’ve had way harder journeys than ours. But, of course, I hope I’m wrong. As we save up for a frozen embryo transfer (hopefully next year), I try not to think of all the things that could go wrong. Will the embryos thaw ok? Will my lining be ok for transfer? Will the transfer be successful? I just hope that amongst our two frozen embryos is Noah’s future brother or sister.

Our second miracle.