In August 2010 I finally sat down and wrote my article, Secondary Infertility. I remember trying to type through the tears that were streaming down my face, trying to be strong and give my message over in the best way possible. I had wanted to write about my journey through infertility only when I was pregnant, but I couldn’t wait anymore. I needed to reach out to others and share my pain. I knew this would not only help my coping process but it would give strength to other people who were experiencing the same thing and let them know they were not alone. Two weeks after I emailed my article to the Aish.com staff I found out I was pregnant. I am writing now to tell you, there is hope.
My family and I were blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby girl eight months later, and every day I remind myself where we were and how blessed we are. I do not take for granted that my struggles are over. I am thankful for each moment. Coming from a place where the pain was so deep and seemingly never-ending, in a way I am a bit traumatized. So I always remind myself how these moments are given to me by the grace of God and I should value them as best I can.
I tell people to never give up. At the end of every tunnel there is light. I’ve seen it more than once! Pray. Work on yourself, your families, and your relationships. Don’t get caught up in “disaster thinking” (what if this never happens, what if this happens). Tell yourself – okay, not now, but maybe soon. The pain is a little more bearable if you can believe it will get better.
After publishing the Aish.com article I received many supportive comments – and a few not-so-supportive ones as well. A few readers said that my article was insensitive because some people don’t have any children at all. To them I had no right to feel hurt since I had one child already. The thing with Secondary Infertility is that nobody talks about it. When you see a couple with no children, married for a long time, people may start to think “Maybe they’re having trouble,” and they are sensitive and careful with what they say. When you see a couple with one or two or even three kids, people never assume they may want more and have not been able to achieve this, so people are more free with the comments or jokes. My article was written not only to give a voice to those who are the same situation as I was, but to increase awareness and sensitivity. Infertility hurts for people without children and for people with children. Secondary Infertility is a different pain, but it should not be minimized. It is real and significant, and people going through it need support. They need to know they are not alone.
Secondary Infertility should not be minimized. People going through it need support.
Another goal of my article was to remind myself and others that when we go through difficult times we must make an effort to put things in perspective. I had many realizations once I started the journey to regain my happiness and inner peace. The first insight was that yes, there are people who do not have any children at all, so I should be grateful for my one beautiful and healthy child. Some people are dying of cancer; I should be grateful for my health. Some people live in awful marriages or have lost their spouses; I should be grateful for my husband who is alive and healthy, who is my strength, my heart. Some people have no family and no support; I should be grateful for my family and friends who are there for me to talk to and confide in and who supported me through it all.
At one point in my journey, the darkest time I can remember, I felt so desperate to be pregnant I couldn’t focus. My doctor sat me down and reminded me, “The goal here is to have a healthy baby, not just to be pregnant.” His words helped refocus me and remind me that I would rather no baby at all than to God forbid suffer the loss of a baby. Sometimes we get so caught up in the end game that we don’t think about the importance of the process we need to get us there.
I continued to take on new tasks to improve myself and my relationships. I distanced myself from negativity in my life and focused on helping others. Writing my article was the biggest step for me as I knew I’d be reaching so many more people and giving them strength and support.
Once I began to really appreciate all the blessings in my life, I received another.
Where there is hope, there is always light.
Now I see that all the pieces of the puzzle were coming together with each passing month and why we had to wait for our second precious gift. If things don’t go as easily or exactly as we planned it is because God has a better plan for us and we just have to wait to see it. I find that after all that pain, I am a happier and stronger person. My faith is stronger and I am able to get through life’s blips (We’re late for a flight! Our mortgage is coming up and tuition and the credit card… all on the 15th!) with more humor and appreciation. The things I used to lose sleep over no longer keep me up at night. I know that it will all work out in the end.
I think of the people who have real reasons to lose sleep like the parents of precious Ayelet Galena, the families of the victims of the Toulouse massacre, the orphans of the Fogel family in Itamar, the family of Leiby Kletzky, and the families of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg of Mumbai, among many others whose tragedies were heard of around the world. I think of members of my community who have passed away leaving their young children and spouses behind and those who are currently battling illness and in dire need of prayers. I think of my close friends and family me who I watched helplessly as they suffered losses of loved ones and pray for them to find comfort and peace and to know only happiness.
I wrote down every name that was added in the comments section of Secondary Infertility and pray for those people each week. I hope that they have since heard good news because where there is hope, there is always light. Just wait for it and with God’s help, you will see.
To be in touch with the author for support/questions, please email Rachelfaygahope@gmail.com.