A reader is wondering what to do – she can’t get pregnant with her second child, she’s out of work, and she feels like she’s lost herself somewhere along the way…
“I was SO happy when I gave birth to my son,” says SR. on Signs of Depression When You Can’t Get Pregnant – The Sad Signs. “Then I wanted another baby and it hasn’t happened…my son is now 4 going on 5. I’m so low and don’t know what to do now. We don’t have the money for therapy and I am so lost. I’ve been out of work, I’m empty, and I don’t have a clue how to get my motivation back and return to being a real person. I’ve tried to ‘pull myself up by my boot straps’ and it worked for two days. What do I do now? I used to be a strong woman and lost her somewhere along the way.”
Read books like Twice Blessed – A Diary of Secondary Infertility: One Woman’s Journey – you’ll gain strength and courage, and see that you’re not alone. You’ll also learn what worked for other women who can’t get pregnant after successfully conceiving their first child.
And, here are a few tips for coping with secondary infertility (not being able to get pregnant after having a child)…
What to Do When You Can’t Get Pregnant With Your Second Child
Secondary infertility happens to many couples. About 12% of American women are experiencing secondary infertility, which is about the same rate of women facing primary infertility, according to the most recent National Survey of Family Growth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Couples with secondary infertility tend to receive less social support from others than couples who have primary infertility because the infertility is unacknowledged, the pain associated with infertility is invisible as the couple has a child, and there is no concrete loss in the family,” say the fertility experts at Resolve. “In addition, couples experiencing secondary infertility may be recipients of criticism by others who think they should be grateful for one child and that it is foolish to go to extremes to increase family size. Of course, a couple can be extraordinarily thankful for their existing child and still long for more children.”
Start taking action – baby steps in any direction
One of the best tips for coping with the frustration, sadness and depression that accompanies not getting pregnant is to take some sort of action. What type of action you take depends on your situation! Start saving money for fertility treatments, losing weight, or dealing with any health issues that are preventing you from getting pregnant. Even small steps can help you feel empowered and strong again.
To overcome her feelings of frustration and sadness at not getting pregnant, I think SR should think about getting a job or going back to school. Often, finding yourself involves contributing to the world somehow – using your education and talents to bring in the bacon!
Talk to your family doctor, a gynecologist, or fertility specialist
“When a first child is conceived with ease, you may feel completely off guard by the difficulty of having a second child,” say the fertility experts at Resolve. “Take charge and talk to your primary care or ob/gyn physician. Secondary infertility is very common, but not often talked about.”
Again – taking action can give you a purpose and help you cope with not being able to get pregnant with a second child.
Are you tracking your most fertile days? If you don’t know when you ovulate, check out the Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test - it’s a bestseller on Amazon.
Learn to accept a family of three – and resolve your feelings of guilt
“Guilt about not providing the existing child with a sibling is a common experience of couples suffering from secondary infertility, as they feel they are failing their child,” say the fertility experts at Resolve (I found so much great information there!). “Many couples idealize the sibling relationship by believing the siblings would be emotionally close. Of course, there is no guarantee about any sibling relationship, and the existing child should not be burdened by the loss of this idealized relationship. It is crucial for parents to acknowledge and mourn the loss and then to legitimize the existing family.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, even size three.
Remember that getting pregnant again won’t solve all your problems
Do you feel low and sad just because you can’t get pregnant with your second child, or is there something else going on? Having another baby won’t erase underlying issues, such as emotional struggles, suppressed memories, or dissatisfaction with life. It’s so important to remember that having another baby isn’t the sole meaning of your life.
If you’re worried that not having a second child will destroy your life, read Accepting a Childfree Life – How to be Happy Without a Baby. It may help.
What do you think – do you have any tips or questions about getting pregnant with your second child?