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Secondary infertility, hidden suffering…

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For couples who already have a child it is more difficult to accept that they won’t succeed on their own and that they will need medical help to conceive the second child

I have a friend, a friend I love, who is suffering. She has told me so. On several occasions, she has cried inconsolably on my shoulder. And yet, this friend has a lovely husband, a job she likes, a wonderful seven-year-old son who fills her with joy … So few people in her circle understand her and know how to find the words to comfort and support her. On the contrary, she feels she shouldn’t cry and that she’ll get pregnant when she stops thinking about it … She feels she ought to consider herself happy, that many couples can’t even have one child. She feels guilty. Yes, guilty! She has the impression of being fickle by stubbornly insisting on having the second child. Enlarging the family … What’s more legitimate for a woman who has known the happiness of being a mother and giving life? My friend is suffering from secondary infertility, and the suffering that this entails is anything but secondary.

Although some fertility problems did not prevent her from conceiving the first time, it may be that they have developed and worsened later. And the longed-for pregnancy is a long time in coming.

Secondary infertility involves waiting, disappointment and also embarrassment about complaining. No matter how much we know we are capable of having one, because we already have a child, the pain is still there, and the wait is still bitter. The months, the years pass by, it’s never-ending. “Why, if it worked before, doesn’t it work now? Have I done something to decompensate my body in some way? “It is even more difficult for these couples to embark on assisted reproduction treatments, to accept that they won’t succeed on their own and that they will need medical help to conceive their second or third child.

Naturally, the first child is there, and watching them grow every day is enormously comforting, and it is precisely this that makes these women feel strong and persevering in their struggle, because they know the happiness of having a child. They know that their sacrifices and efforts are worthwhile. They want to relive that happiness and yet, at the same time, as the months go by without any sign of a pregnancy, it shows them just how much that child is a real little miracle.

If this is your case, you should know you’re not alone. Surround yourself with couples who share your suffering. Don’t stay isolated in your struggle. It’s important to keep your spirits up for the child you already have. Don’t blame yourselves; take life as it comes, appreciate each moment as a little moment of joy with your child, your partner, together as a family. Don’t lose heart. I’m sure that happiness is at the end of the road, no matter what!

For Marta and Vicente…

Frédérique Vincent
After finishing her studies, Frédérique Vincent packs her bags and goes to England. While there, she meets her future husband. They marry in 2008. The months and years go by very quickly without any sign of pregnancy. At first, it doesn’t matter: they are very busy with their leisure time, sports, travel. Then the desire to have a child becomes an obsession. When fertility treatment begins, she decides to start writing her diary of an infertile woman. Very quickly, her circle encourages her to continue giving her testimony … She is currently a mother of three and author of La Promesse du mois, a book which serves as a testimony to infertility.

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