Monday, April 24, 2017

My Story of Secondary Infertility: Part 1

Before I start, I read this article months ago and if you've (fortunately) never gone through infertility, it really gives a great idea about all the emotions you go through when dealing with infertility. It's a great read to try and understand the mindset.

I know I have mentioned our difficulty with conceiving a second child a couple times on the blog before (here and here), but I haven't gone into depth about everything we tried and what we have gone through. For quite a while our story has been composing itself in my mind. I have taken to writing during the very stressful points of infertility just to get my feelings out. Infertility is such an alienating situation and sometimes you want to talk to people and get your emotions out, other times you don't think anyone can understand the sheer multitude of feelings that assault you at any given point during your day. Literally anything can be a trigger for tears whether you are on hormones or not. I had always wanted to share our story, but I had hoped to have closure by then. I wanted a happy ending to our story to share. It's very hard to write a story that doesn't have an ending. I tried to remind myself time and time again after all the shots, disappointments, and tearful nights that if it isn't happy, then it's not the end of our story. There was no way we could go through all of this without some kind of positive news. We aren't quite there yet, but I really hope we will be some day. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week and although our story isn't quite done yet, I still wanted to take this opportunity to share. If it helps one person, then this has served its purpose.

So, in order for you all to understand our story, I must start at the very beginning. Our story is one of secondary infertility. When we first decided to start our family, my husband was ending a work assignment in Ireland. He had been working there for the past 18 months and was finally going to be assigned to a position back in Wisconsin. We had been apart for 3-4 weeks at a time while he was over there so I could care for the house and continue my position. The timing, finances, and our desire to have a child all aligned and by some miracle, just over 2 weeks after he came back, we found out we were expecting!

Thinking about all this now makes me tear up. Although I was so excited and grateful to have gotten pregnant so quickly I didn't have a true understanding of how incredible a situation I was in. Now, after almost 3 years of infertility, I look at our daughter now and I see God's hand in our lives. HE chose her to make us parents and I am eternally grateful. I tell her what a miracle she is all the time. Our 8 week pregnancy check up looked good and we had our first ultrasound at 12 weeks. Seeing that little one inside of me so active already really had me excited. We finally started to tell people we were expecting.

The majority of my pregnancy was completely uneventful. The ultrasound at 20 weeks looked good and we found out we were having a girl! We had a name picked out for a couple years already (when you are married that long you talk about those kinds of things) and we were able to start calling her Claire.

Our sweet girl was due December 22, 2012. All my appointments continued uneventfully. Our last appointment at 39 weeks and 4 days we were told I was measuring small, but that really doesn't mean much. On December 23rd, my contractions started. They continued off and on through the next day. We did our best to encourage them by walking around, but they never became shorter than 10 minutes apart. Early Christmas morning I woke up and realized my contractions were 7 minutes apart and growing quite painful. I tried not to wake up my husband, but continued timing them. Once they were 5 minutes apart I woke him up. To distract me, he had me open my presents! (Don't tell him, but it didn't really work). By this time it was around 5am. We finally started for the hospital when they got to 3 minutes apart (around 5:30am). Once arriving they checked me and I was only 1cm dilated, so they had me walk around for an hour. That was a rough hour. I realized later my daughter was head down, but facing the wrong way so the back labor was pretty painful. After that hour I had only dilated to 1.5 cm, but due to some nausea and the fact that contractions were 1 minute apart they admitted me. We tried the bathtub in the room for an hour to help with the pain. Finally around 10:30am I was almost 4cm and able to get an epidural. They broke my water and things started progressing quickly from there. Claire was born on Christmas at 3:30pm, almost before the doctor got there! Our little sweetheart weighed in at 8lbs, 4oz and 20.5 inches long. You'd never know I was measuring 'small' less than a week before!

Nothing during pregnancy, delivery, or any check ups afterwards would indicate what was to come. I want to stress this because I know it is human nature to look for a reason. We like to ask, "Why?" I can't tell you how many times I have asked myself that question. My birth story with my daughter could be anyone's story. It really isn't unique in any way. But we wouldn't think of it as truly miraculous until we tried to have a second child.

I plan to continue our story later this week with our fight to get diagnostic tests, treatments, and other things we have been through. But I also eventually want to do a Q & A post on infertility. Many of my friends and family had no idea how involved the process of getting pregnant is naturally and how many ways it can go wrong, possible diagnoses, different treatments (it's not just IVF), and what happens during it all. If you have any questions about anything related to infertility or what you can do if you know someone going through it, please comment or email me at laura.bambrick [at] gmail [dot] com. I'm happy to answer anything privately, too. Just make sure to tell me in the email.


  1. Thank you for sharing your birth story. Your daughter is so beautiful! I am so sorry to hear about your struggle but glad you are sharing because you are helping others. I look forward to your next post.

  2. She is so beautiful!
    But on a serious note, well done to you for getting the message out there x

  3. I am so sorry you are struggling with secondary infertility. Thank you for being open about your emotions and experiences!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  4. You've shared this beautifully, Laura, and I can't even imagine the pain that you've been experiencing with infertility. Definitely looking forward to the next post.

  5. Having gone through infertility myself, I know just how difficulty the journey is and how hard it can be to share it. I look forward to part two. And not having been a reader when Claire was born I enjoyed this post. I didn't know she was a Christmas baby! My husband is too.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's been several years since we have dealt with the raw emotional roller coaster of infertility but it still brings back so many humbling memories for me when I allow myself to look back. It's a tough road and I am so glad you are sharing your story to bring awareness to other women who are currently going through this. So glad your story has a happy ending!

  7. Claire is so beautiful! I'm so sorry that you have to go through secondary infertility. But I think sharing your story will help others. It's a topic few talk about and it's so easy to feel alone.

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

  8. My heart just breaks for you. I totally get it. I went through ten years of unexplained secondary infertility. It is torture. Our daughter is now 16, and our lives are full of our daughter, two big labs, and a house full of teenagers. I never thought I would ever be content with "just one", but God has given me peace. I pray for God's hand in your journey.

  9. Oh how sweet to have a Christmas baby! :) That would have been a magical time to be in hospital, although it does sound like a long and painful labour! Claire is beautiful.

    I am so sorry you are still struggling with infertility. Like you said, it affects so many people. It's really a blessing if you don't have to deal with it. There are so many people in this world who should be parents that aren't, or aren't parents to the number of kids they planned, expected or wanted. There is nothing I can say that can make it any better, but I do want to say how brave you are battling through infertility.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  10. I love that Claire is a Christmas baby! Sharing your story will for sure help others. I'm looking forward to your next post.

    Doused In Pink

  11. You are so blessed to have Claire! Infertility is so, so hard! I really hope you are blessed with that second baby someday, you just never know! I will keep you in my prayers! I hope that IVF is going ok for you, I am looking forward to reading about it. Sometimes I regret my decision on not doing IVF and possibly having a third child. I was secretly hoping Brian and I would get pregnant on our own, but it just hasn't happened. Anyway, MAJOR hugs to you and thanks for sharing your journey!


    1. Honestly this whole process I kept hoping the same thing about Matt and me. But the options just kept getting more intense. By the time we got to IVF it took me a while to get over the shock of it all. I am so sorry it hasn't happened for you and Brian. I have been praying for you. I know it's something you never quite get over.

  12. Claire is a beautiful little girl. I would have liked a second child but it just didn't happen. Moving house/jobs etc happened at the ideal time for having another and now I think we're both too old. But I feel very lucky to have a lovely little girl who's very kind and sweet. My brother and sister-in-law struggled to have a second child, but it did happen naturally for them after a few years.Looking forward to your next post.

    Emma xxx

  13. Baby girl. Thank you for opening up this part of your lives to those of us who follow your blog. I am sure your story will help others with similar struggles to feel less alone. I struggled to become pregnant with my first daughter but thankfully, my hormones and cycles got straightened out with fertility drugs and after two years, I was pregnant.

    Claire is such a miracle, such a gift. And so blessed to have such loving, adoring parents.

  14. Oh Claire is the cutest. I've had very close friends struggle with infertility and I have seen how it has affected them physically, psychologically and even their finances when they have had to try other ways. I am looking forward to catching up on the rest of the story.