Dreams on Hold:: Secondary Infertility, Pandemics, and my IVF Journey

28 months. 2 years and 110 days to be exact, but who’s counting? Well, in all honesty, I am. That’s how long my husband and I have been suffering with secondary infertility. That’s how long we’ve been trying to have another baby. That’s how long my heart has been ready to love another tiny human growing inside me.
 
28 times that I’ve felt my heart break every time “Aunt Flo” showed her roaring red face each month after I was convinced every time, this is it. It was as if my period was taunting me and acknowledging that the the pregnancy symptoms I felt were all in my head. Two years that I’ve had to come up with countless excuses, made up reasons, and answer a million questions from a now eager 4 year old waiting for her baby brother or sister to arrive. It’s been two years that I’ve had to answer to my family, and even strangers at times, as to why I don’t have any more kids. “Don’t you want more kids?” “Don’t wait too long!” “Your daughter needs a sibling!”

Accepting the Reality of Secondary Infertility

Dreams on Hold:: Secondary Infertility, Pandemics, and my IVF Journey

It used to bother me; I would get upset, lie, and say, “I’m ok with Bella being an only child, and you should be too.” But as the months have tuned into years, I’ve learned to accept my secondary infertility and I’m honest about our struggles, even to strangers. I basically “rip off the band aid” and let new friends know almost instantly of my struggles. This is me; it’s my reality, and it’s a part of who I am. Lately, it’s as if telling the truth to others makes me feel connected, feel my truth, and ultimately feel better.
 
We used to pray every night, asking God to bless our family with a baby. I used to lead the nightly prayers with my little girl, but after 840 days, I slowly stopped praying… I hate admitting to this, but it’s the truth. Hearing my daughter plead to God every night was, and still is at times, tough. Listening to her unanswered prayers were emotionally draining, yet also comforting for me, knowing that she was keeping the faith for our family.

Finding Comfort in Prayers

Dreams on Hold:: Secondary Infertility, Pandemics, and my IVF Journey

As a mother I would do anything for my daughter, and yet, I haven’t been able to give her a baby she so desperately hopes for. I can only imagine what it feels like for my little one- her desperation, her disappointment. She’s only 4, but this girl feels so deeply; she’s passionate, brave and resilient. “Mommy, Why won’t God listen to me?” she’s asked me a handful of times. I assure her that HE is listening, but that we have to keep praying until it’s the right time. “I guess I’ll have to ask louder!” she replies. She’s also very forgiving, and stubborn. She’s not upset with God and she’s also not planning to give up any time soon. She’s now leading our prayers, and believe me when I say, she always asks for a baby or two.
 
I know other couples have dealt with infertility or secondary infertility for much longer than I have, and every story is different. Yet somehow they’re the same. We all want a baby, our struggles vary, the path we take isn’t identical, but our hearts long for the same. After two years of medication, doctors visits, exams, and studies, we’ve finally decided to make that leap and turn to the IVF journey. Just a few weeks ago we went to our initial appointment with a fertility doctor here in Houston. Before living in the area, we didn’t have many fertility specialists to choose from. In Houston, there’s so many to pick from, but I can honestly say after doing my research and reaching out to Facebook mom groups I was directed to the right fit for our family.

 Starting Our IVF Journey

Dreams on Hold:: Secondary Infertility, Pandemics, and my IVF Journey

The morning of our appointment I went on their website to show my daughter who our doctor was going to be and the reason for our visit. I try to be as honest as possible with her; I want her involved in our journey because her struggles are valid just as much as ours. Her first response was, with a smile from ear to ear, “Is she going to give us a baby today?” I had to remind her that babies don’t come overnight and we have to be patient once again. I left that appointment relieved, confident and on cloud 9. I received so much helpful information and my questions and concerns about our secondary infertility were all answered. I can truly say my family and I are ready for this next step. We’re ready to embark on this journey, together and stronger than ever.

Postponing our Dreams for the Pandemic

Our recent appointment included the final exam, a hysteroscopy. It was 20- 30 seconds of pain; a few cuss words may or may not have been spoken on my end, but the results were exactly what we were needing to hear. We had the green light, and the medications were soon on their way, but then the COVID-19 Pandemic struck. My excitement turned into fear and my worst nightmare came true. We got the call from our clinic the next day that they would be canceling our journey until further notice.
 
I was calm and collected on the phone but instantly the tears rolled down my face as soon as the call ended. I felt the wind knocked out of me and I felt defeated. I was so close and now here I am, mourning again, the new baby I don’t have. Who knows when things will go back to normal. All I know is that this is the “new” normal for a while. I don’t have my mom here to cry with, I don’t have my sisters to distract me with a mall date or a cup of coffee, but I do have my daughter and my husband. The two most important people in my life, who know so very well the secondary infertility struggles we all share and now will join me once again on this waiting game, our waiting for a miracle.
 
I’ve had a few episodes of ugly cries and anxiety during this “shelter in place” rule, just thinking that I could’ve been on this long awaited journey if not for COVID-19. As hard as it is, I have to keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason. I know I would be feeling even more stress had I been going through the medications, the doctor’s visits, the fear of being out in public during this social distancing. A part of me feels relieved, but a part of me still feels broken, oh so broken.
 
I pray that we can resume this uncertain stage sooner rather than later. I pray that this virus runs its course and things soon go back to normal. I’m nervous, thrilled and nauseous just thinking about it. I couldn’t be more ready than I am in this moment, but life isn’t ready for us just now. Meanwhile, we’re all on hold, as if life put the pause button on the outside world, but maybe, just maybe, our prayers will be finally answered when the time is right, when things go back to my normal. I find peace in believing that some things are just worth waiting for.

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