You Are Not Alone: Infertility After Giving Birth

Jeff and Keri live in Kansas and had a handsome son in 2008.

When they wanted to grow their family, though, it wasn't happening. And this past year, after four years of tests and struggles, they decided to "let go" of that dream.

Here's Keri in her own words how how infertility has changed her:

I get it. I understand the feelings that go with infertility…and there are too many to name. I’m thankful I can relate to another woman who has, will or currently is struggling.

I’ve learned that I don’t have control over what my body will or will not do and it is not my fault.

I have ongoing guilt for even desiring a second child…BECAUSE I ALREADY have one healthy one. I have so much and some women can’t even get pregnant once, let alone four times and have one successful pregnancy!

I learned to do my very best to make sure my son knows he is ‘enough.'

The times he heard me talk about being pregnant or the times he saw me cry when I no longer was – he knew how much his mommy wanted to give him a sibling and I couldn’t. So when someone asks, "Is Duke your only?" or, "Are you going to have another?" I am always quick to respond – He is our lucky one!

One year after officially letting go of ‘trying,’ I still cry. I still wonder, what if….  I still get pissed. I still dream. I still wish.

I’ve learned that what I have – a husband that loves me, a healthy active son that I adore and my health – are bigger than what I dreamed of/ hoped for and what I thought my family would look like.
My husband and I learned that infertility can easily define a relationship – DON’T LET IT.

Our trio was always enough, yet the desire was there to add to it.

After way too many doctor appointments, having enough blood drawn to make my arms ache, taking medication that I/we said WE DID NOT WANT TO DO (in the beginning stages of infertility), injecting my stomach with more medication, trying a few rounds of IUI, genetic testing (on me only b/c I needed answers to see if it was me and I didn’t want to know if it was my husband for many reasons), tears tears tears, ultrasounds, sonograms that would show I was certainly pregnant but a baby was not developing, telling people we are pregnant only to retract it a short time later, counseling and real conversations between a couple that are so real it hurts.

We knew we needed to let go and move forward.

I sold almost every baby thing we saved for the next baby we hoped to love, I gave my maternity clothes away, I QUIT keeping track of my ovulation schedule, we agreed to actually use precaution to NOT GET PREGNANT  (that was crazy) because the decision we made was one we made together.

It’s a good life. 

Live it.

Love it.

Embrace what you have and know that your history has made you who you are today.

Be proud and share your story. 

National Infertility Awareness Week is April 19-25. This post was submitted as part NIAW's theme: "You Are Not Alone." If you are an infertility warrior and willing to keep this conversation going, please contact me.

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