IVF Babble

Chasing Rainbows, by Jodie Nicholson

Author and IVF warrior Jodie Nicholson describes the emotional pain of secondary infertility

“But you’ve already got 1”

“You should just be happy with what you have”

“My cousin’s, sister’s, friend’s, aunty got caught after miscarriage”

“At least you’ve been pregnant”

Secondary infertility is heartbreakingly misunderstood. Being a parent doesn’t mute our desire to want to grow our families. The pain of wanting something so desperately is still very real and often enhanced by people’s judgement and negative opinions.

My experience of secondary infertility ignited a fire in me similar to that of my initial infertility. A fire fuelled by anger and resentment.

Anger at the unfairness of it all and resentment at society’s judgement and ignorance.

The difference between the two fires is simply experience.

My current fire, although still painfully hot and fierce, is much more controlled and safe, crackling sharply in the depth of the cold but new and learned boundaries ensure limited damage instead of wide spread disaster.

I am absolutely lucky beyond words to have my daughter Nel and I am grateful every day for the joy she brings to my life.

At the same time I am pained by the fact I haven’t been able to give Nel a younger sibling and I am still trying to heal from our two post Nel losses.

These feelings of joy and pain are not mutually exclusive, there’s no fathomable ruling that states a person can’t feel these things all at once. Yet society seems unwilling to accept that a person can hurt a loss and/or unsuccessful treatment if already parents.

“I’m allowed to want more children for my family”

“Being happy with what I’ve got doesn’t alleviate the pain of a loss”

“Hearing your experience of success can sometimes invalidate my current pain”

“Helpful advice rarely starts with “at least”. There is no “at least” for loss”

Whilst keeping my fire controlled I’m constantly battling the financial impact that secondary infertility inflicts. A dangerous fuel that just cannot be tamed and one that risks jeopardising the peace and catharthis of a healing flame.

Finding the money for treatment is cruel enough to begin with but paying for treatment that results in miscarriage is the harshest of burns.

What a waste, a waste of pain and suffering to create, a waste of money for a life unable to live.

“At least” is damaging. It’s invalidating and hurtful and no amount of ignorance will curb my desire. No amount of ill advice will heal my hurt or change my mind.

Am I not entitled to want?

Am I not entitled to hurt?

If I didn’t need treatment would your judgement of my desires be any different?

So I ask you society: What does “at least” mean to you? What limitations do your words instil upon the hurt of those experiencing secondary infertility?

My advice is: Don’t let anyone put out your fire!

My fire keeps me warm whilst we chase our rainbow.

Are you struggling with secondary infertility? Would you like to share your feelings? Drop us a line at mystory@ivfbabble.com.

Read more from Jodie:

I often find myself feeling “stabby”. By Jodie Nicholson, Author of I(v)F ONLY!

Learn about secondary infertility:

Secondary Infertility explained



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