Being Left Behind – Donate a Post by Karen at 365 Pearls of Wisdom

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August 1, 2013 by Katia

As I’ve said many times before today’s post really strikes a chord with me. It does so because it’s almost a mirror image of where I was at emotionally and physically less than two years ago, when I was fighting to get pregnant for the second time. Being left behind is exactly what it felt like. I will let Karen’s post do the talking.

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Sometimes I feel like I’m standing on the shore, waving everybody off on a great adventure, while I’m being left behind. That’s how my infertility feels to me. Some people would look at me and maybe consider me to be ungrateful, that’s a common take on Secondary Infertility. I already have a very beautiful, talented and spirited little girl who is our world. Can’t I just be happy with what I already have?

Well, I am very happy with the family I have and very grateful for my daughter. I am also very aware of the struggles of other couples dealing with primary infertility and my heart breaks for them, because contrary to popular belief, I myself experience the same pain they do every day, I do too question what is wrong with my body, feel disappointment and frustration when it lets me down each month, I also try my best to put on a happy face and not let it consume my whole life and nod politely when people tell me “oh, it will happen” and “just relax” and my favourite “you’ve had one, of course you’ll have another”.

I also live with guilt. Every time I look at my precious girl, I am reminded of how I’d be letting her down, that she may grow up as an only child. My daughter adores other children and babies and I see her looking at other families, watching siblings running around laughing, playing and sharing their lives. She wants to be a part of it, she wants that for herself and I often have to go retrieve her from attaching herself to other families at the park or the soft play centre. Each year she gets older and more aware and the gap there gets bigger and I blame myself for letting my family down. I know exactly how infertility can fester away in a family’s life, as this is my life too.

I have been on this path now for over two years and have gained this diagnosis of Secondary Infertility and of a blocked right Fallopian tube. This has been possibly caused by scarring around the tube, most likely from the emergency c-section I had when my daughter was born. Lots of people ask me why won’t the doctors fix it, can’t I just have an operation? I only wish it was that simple. Normally, I am told, blocked tubes are only fixed if both are blocked and a lot of these operations are not successful anyway. Ironically, my biggest hurdle is the fact that I live in a country (UK) where we get free healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS). Each hospital gets a budget and our local hospital doesn’t fund secondary infertility. In fact, the county we live in doesn’t fund it and from talking to a few others about it, it seems that generally unless you pay for it yourself, nobody seems to fund secondary infertility (I would be very interested if someone could tell me different!). We don’t have the money to go private and to add more complications into the mix I actually did get pregnant naturally this Christmas just gone, only for it to sadly end in miscarriage 11 weeks later, so now that I have fallen pregnant in two years of trying, I wouldn’t be considered for any treatment anyway (I’ve had a lot of “we’ll at least you know you can get pregnant again!” recently, anyone who has miscarried will know how unhelpful that comment is!).

So here I am now, standing on the shore, not knowing where I will be going next. I watch friends and family embark on this journey to expand their families so easily in some cases. Some of them who had their first one after mine, are having their second before me. I wouldn’t wish it any different for them, I wouldn’t wish infertility on anyone. I have had to watch loved ones deal with infertility, miscarriage and loss. I have found, though, that what helps me is to share my story and try to educate people about how it feels and what it is like to live with this predicament. Some people seem to never want to understand and maybe it is too painful for them to accept what I am feeling or the prospects of me never having another baby. But through this I have connected and grown close to others who do understand and know all about my pain, these few people are with me on the shore from time to time, standing silently next to me, holding my hand, letting me know they are there. In fact some of these people are on the boat, sailing away to a new adventure. They have had their time stuck on the shore, waving everyone off like I am and are now on the open seas with a much wanted and wished for baby. They give me hope and strength to believe that I may be stepping on to that boat one day soon…

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365 Pearls of Wisdom is a lifestyle/well-being blog written by Karen Cannon focusing on self love and the feel good factor. Karen hopes to inspire readers to overcome fears, get creative, build their self confidence and take care of their body and mind. Most Mondays a new Pearl of Wisdom is published which will eventually total 365, one for every day of the year, alongside these are other articles to inform, motivate and encourage others to live their best life ever.

15 thoughts on “Being Left Behind – Donate a Post by Karen at 365 Pearls of Wisdom

  1. Lizzi Rogers says:

    Karen, this is a very clear, very sad post. You’ve opened my eyes a bit, and for that I thank you. I’ve only known the stories of other women experiencing primary infertility so far, but it appears your version of this horrible situation is little different. And miscarriage is NEVER easy, no matter what; and far worse when you get the “at least you can get pregnant”. Been there, got the T-shirt…

    Sorry to hear the NHS won’t fund help for one blocked tube. That’s such a shame. I presume a postcode lottery like most of it is – later this month I’ll discover whether or not I’ll be eligible for funding for one round of ICSI, which may well be our only chance. I’m trying very hard not to think about it too much, as I have friends up country who’ve been eligible for multiple treatments. It feels very harsh.

  2. Great post. I have that guilt too. I don’t know if I couldn’t or didn’t and at 42, I’m trying to be fine with that. I just wish people wouldn’t ask questions and inquire – “Didn’t you want another one?” In a perfect world – yes, but I also didn’t want to go through stuff again. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Katia says:

      Sorry to “hijack the microphone” from Karen, but I wanted to thank you, Kenya, for sharing your personal story. I grew up as an only child and I’m totally fine. Although I may sometimes wish that I had a sibling, I never blame my parents, judge or resent them. Neither will your son. He’ll know his parents well enough to understand they did the best they could for him and for the family.

  3. It was precisely BECAUSE we had a beautiful, smart, funny little boy that I desperately wanted a second child. I knew our second baby would be as much of a delight as our first. After 7 years of treatment, we did finally conceive, and our daughter is now 19. But your post brought back a lot of the old feelings–you captured it all so well.

  4. […] As I’ve said many times before today’s post really strikes a chord with me. It does so because it’s almost a mirror image of where I was at emotionally and physically less than two years ago, when I was fighting to get pregnant for the second time.  […]

  5. I really relate to this too. I was an older mom when I had my first and only son. These days, I’m feeling like I missed the boat on number two and it makes me sad that my son won’t grow up with a sibling to love and to fight with. At this point, we’ve given up trying for the second but, like I said, I am old. I wish you huge huge success in getting all of your wishes and thank you to Katia for introducing me to another amazing writer.

  6. This was beautifully written, and also resonated with me. I had one loss before my first daughter, and two losses before my second was born. I did not feel any better knowing that I already had one daughter, and wanted just as desperately to become pregnant again. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

  7. I had never heard of secondary infertility before.

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