That “Kristen” showed up again: the emotional, distractible, sad, upset and, on occasion, guilty woman. I was shocked at how quickly she re-appeared.
After all, how could our “secondary infertility diagnosis” still trigger the same emotions as our initial diagnosis when I already had our precious baby?
But the longing was there, along with the intensity. And now the guilt poured in throughout all parts of my life.
I wasn’t prepared for the “same song, different verse” kind of feeling.
I thought the diagnosis of secondary infertility would feel so different. After all, we had personal experience about navigating the process! But the similar feelings returned!
Along with the emotions, the internal chatter of questioning kicked in… How could I manage this process to create a family of four while meeting the needs of our family of three?
We began sinking back into the old marital routine of miscommunication about what we each needed to move through this stage of our life. However, the tried and true Fertility Game Plan became the constant keeping us together, making as feel as though we could balance this new challenge.
But this time the Fertility Game Plan strategy included a third party. We had many questions. How would second infertility and subsequent treatments affect our son? What were we willing to do to expand our family and what were our physical, emotional and spiritual limits? How would this impact our child?
The Fertility Game Plan the second time around also had an end date, which gave both of us enough space to work through the process and figure out how long we would “stay in the game”.
Our Secondary Fertility Game Plan included treatment both with IVF and the holistic options we were integrating into our lives. We made the decision to stop treatment if we did not achieve a positive pregnancy test by December 31 of that year. If we were not successful, we would continue to be grateful for our family of three.
This time, the “what I know now that I didn’t know then” tactic was to give our feelings a voice and acknowledge them. This helped move us through the emotions, preventing them from overtaking our personalities, which continually happened during our first infertility journey.
Kristen Magnacca is a life coach, fertility author and expert on the emotional aspects of infertility. She is the author of the award-winning book Love and Infertility: Survival Strategies for Balancing Infertility, Marriage and Life, as well as Girlfriend to Girlfriend: A Fertility Companion. Ms. Magnacca provides support to patients individually and in groups, as well as works with fertility clinics and other providers to enhance the patient experience. www.kristenmagnacca.com