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May 25, 2015


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"Heather ale" my daughter is also six and I also have secondary infertility. And yes, so much nostalgia for those days! Sometimes I wish I had known I'd have trouble down the road - in other words, how bizarre I got pregnant the first month with her - but actually I'm glad I had my daughter so easily, it made those first years so innocent and carefree and precious. If I had to struggle to conceive her it might not have been the same, as Maya writes, although perhaps I would have been more thankful for her in the first years. Infertility makes children that much more precious, so as years have passed and we haven't had another, I spend more time watching her sleep with tears and thankfulness than I would have had I as many as I want, that is certain. I believe the children of those who struggled really are more precious in their parents' eyes. It's not to put down the other parents, it's just a matter of fact. At pool at school it's myself and the other mother who had infertility who watch the kids like hawks. The other moms, who I know had their children no problem, sit on the bench and chat. Hmmm, interesting, I do think there is something in that….


That is one of the terrible things about infertility, it makes you question yourself and something that should be so clear and simple - getting pregnant - is instead so fraught. I know because I was on the other side, getting pregnant so easily, everything going well, so following my instinct was of course easier. Now I'm on the side of trying for four and a half years to have another child, my husband's surgery was three and a half years ago, my first of four IVFs was nearly three years ago, our first adopted embryo transfer failed, we have never had a positive first test. Hopes have been dashed again and again, massive effort and investment has not been rewarded, and we wonder if we are doing the right thing. We don't trust our instincts. We don't know what our instincts are! If it makes it any better, there are a lot of mothers who have children easily and nonetheless never learn to trust their instincts. To me trusting your instinct is being present in the moment - no iPhone, for example - observing the child, just listening to your inner voice, not over thinking or over researching. Getting out of your head, actually, in order to hear your head! Knowing this is temporary, just as with failed IVF you are supposed to know the pain will pass and it will not always be like this. With a failed transfer there's really nothing more to do. Don't research to figure out what tiny thing you did wrong; I don't believe that helps. And just listen to your inner voice about what to do next. But I hate the "expert advice" both for IVF and baby-raising. The person who says, you should try IVF again, it's just psychological (the husband of a friend who had two children with IVF, you would think he would understand it's not just psychological, it's egg quality!) and makes me doubt our decision to move on to donor embryo, for example, because you know, maybe one more IVF with my eggs would have been the answer. Maybe. The friend who had twins via surrogate (again you'd think she would understand!) who says, you got pregnant naturally once, it can happen again, the problem with IVF is it takes away your chance to try naturally, and it makes me wonder if all these years of IVF took away my chance of a second natural pregnancy. Well, probably not, my husband may as well have had a vasectomy, his counts are so low, I have to remind myself. And I have to remind myself too that she was just trying to be positive. But see every little thing makes you question yourself because the future is uncertain. Just have to make more of an effort to follow your instincts.

heather ale

I carried my daughter around in a sling not only for naps, but for most of the first 3 months. It was exhausting in so many ways, but luckily we lived on the edge of a mountain park, and I have to admit I look back on that time now (I have secondary infertility) with nostalgia for all that closeness (and walking :-)) She's 6 now, and has never really slept easily, but she's a highly sensitive, intelligent, imaginative little being, and I think those kinds of character traits are often connected to sleep issues. I thought I might drift away from your blog now you're a mamma, but your honesty and perspective is so lovely. Happy walking x

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