An Unwelcome Surprise
I was already a mother to a healthy and beautiful 15-month old boy, Justin, when we began trying for our second child. I had heard of secondary infertility, but never imagined that I would experience it firsthand. Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children without assisted reproductive technologies or fertility medications. Given that my first pregnancy was without complication, I assumed that trying for our second would be equally uncomplicated. But nothing could prepare me for the struggle and heartache that was to follow. Secondary infertility would plague us for more than 3 years – it brought us to 2 fertility clinics, I underwent months of treatment and several, unsuccessful procedures, we suffered 1 devastating miscarriage, and then a twin loss in my pregnancy with our rainbow baby, Jackson Jay, who I gave birth to in November 2014. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, or infant loss.
My Inner Power
Through this journey, I was reminded just how extraordinary a woman’s biology is. My infertility was a condition I could not control and getting pregnant again was more challenging than I ever expected it to be. I had to tap into the strength I knew I had within me in order to continue on the path to pregnancy. In my case, stress was a lifestyle factor that was negatively impacting my health, both physically and mentally. By changing my mindset, focusing on things within my control – being mindful, meditating and learning to control my thoughts – enabled me to cultivate a sense of inner peace. Advocating for and focusing on my health, finding the right support and sharing my story is what empowered me to continue on this journey. Never giving up and being hopeful in my belief for the joy that was come.
The Road to Healing
The road to expanding our family was one of many detours. I felt such a deep sense of shame and guilt, that my body was failing me somehow and that ultimately, I was a failure. It was in sharing our story, being open about our struggle and talking through the pain, that I was able to overcome the isolation and stigma so often associated with infertility, and I began to heal from the experience. A new campaign that recently launched aims to tackle that isolation and stigma head-on. It’s called My Inner Power and the goal is to celebrate women tapping into their own strength when facing infertility, empower them to share their unique stories, and reinforce that infertility is an experience shared with many other women. I plan to share my story in hopes that it can bring comfort to someone else facing fertility issues, and I encourage all my readers who’ve struggled with infertility to share your own story, video, photo, or artwork representing your infertility journey at www.egghealth.com/myinnerpower.
1 in 6 couples in Canada struggle with infertility; we were 1 in 6. In 10% of those cases, the causes are unknown; we were that 10%. Being categorized as “unexplained secondary infertility” caused unimaginable frustration for us. With no clear diagnosis, we had to be as informed as possible with regard to our reproductive health and the treatment options available to us. The first step was to find a clinic that was a good fit for us. If you are having difficulty getting pregnant, speak with a fertility specialist about your egg health if you are under 35 and unable to get pregnant after 1 year of regular, unprotected sex, or after 6 months if you are 35 or older. To find a fertility clinic that specializes in breakthrough egg precursor (EggPC®) cell treatments, visit http://egghealth.com/find-a-fertility-clinic/.
Disclosure: This post is part of the #MyInnerPower sponsored program with YummyMummyClub.ca and OvaScience. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.