In 2014, prepared with a lot of research and a list of diagnosis, I decided the best choice for my quality of life was to get a hysterectomy. With a surgery plan of keeping as many organs as possible, I ended up with only one of my ovaries. Going into it, I felt prepared and solid in my decision. What I was not prepared for was the loneliness that would follow.
Secondary infertility can be isolating. As a mom, I did not fit in with the group suffering from the pain of never being able to conceive a child. I have a wonderful little boy to read stories to and tuck in at night. However, having secondary infertility, I did not always fit in with my mom friends who were getting pregnant and planning for siblings for their little ones. I also had those same dreams and hopes of that second pregnancy and had carefully packed away every baby item my son had used in hopes of saving it for the next child. While I was excited for my friends’ growing families sometimes hearing too much about their pregnancy pained my heart. I often felt hopelessly stuck in the middle.
That brings me to 2018 when my remaining ovary decided to do its own gymnastics routine, get tangled up in itself, and require a very last minute surgery. A lot of those feelings started returning. I had held on to this grandiose dream that one day, after winning the lottery, I would use my eggs and hire a surrogate. But without that ovary, even the wildest of my dreams were gone.
This time I am doing things a little different. By talking and sharing my experience not only do I find peace and comfort for myself, but I also can help other women not feel so secluded either. I have learned every mom has their story and their struggle. While it is not always the same struggle, having a solid group of mom friends to be my rock when I feel those tugs of isolation has done wonders for my attitude this time around.
I would also encourage anyone struggling with infertility or secondary infertility to seek out counseling. Feeling heard is such an important part of the healing process. Keep in mind also that infertility is a type of grief. You are mourning the loss of a dream, of a hope, and a picture of your future.
Other local resources include:
Centimano Counseling in Mission, KS
Home Holistic in Overland Park, KS