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Could Secondary Infertility Happen to Me?

As we head into our fourth cycle of intentionally trying to conceive Baby No. 3, I've started to wonder if we'll be affected by secondary infertility. I know the odds of becoming pregnant are about 15-25% each month for a fertile couple and it is normal to take up to one year. Being over age 30 lowers our odds too.

For now, I believe our biggest obstacle is my irregular cycle. The past couple of months, it was 42 days long, but my last cycle (the one where I finally got a positive ovulation prediction test) was 32 days long. That’s quite a difference and certainly affects our attempts.

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But I can't help but feel like we'll only conceive this baby if the moon and stars align as we do it at precisely 24-36 hours before ovulation.

When we struggled for nearly three years to have our daughter, it was hard for me to relate to couples going through secondary infertility. I cringe remembering how I would think "at least you have one child (or more)." At that time I was in a vulnerable place and trying to cope with the possibility that I couldn't have a baby of my own.

It doesn't matter if it's baby number one, three, or five — trying to conceive can be an emotional roller-coaster.

Fast-forward to today and I can better empathize with the heartache that comes with struggling to expand your family. It doesn't matter if it's baby number one, three, or five — trying to conceive can be an emotional roller-coaster. We were quite lucky conception happened so quickly with our son. I thought maybe having my daughter whipped my baby-making factory into shape. I was mentally prepared for the journey to take longer with him. This time, I was expecting it to be pretty short.

I was really hoping to be pregnant by now. I fully admit to dreaming up ways to announce Baby No. 3. It would have been fun family news to share as we head into the holiday season, too. Now, there’s just one more chance left to conceive before the end of the year.

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I’m trying not to worry too much yet, but I can’t help worrying a little bit. Secondary infertility could happen to us if we aren’t able to conceive by next September. I really hope it doesn’t take that long, but maybe it will. It’s hard to let go of the illusion of control I have over this. I thought for sure we’d be pregnant once I pinpointed ovulation last month, but alas, we are not.

So the question I keep pushing to the back of my mind is: How far am I willing to go if we have trouble getting pregnant again on our own? I don’t know the answer to that yet. I’m not ready to answer that yet. Hopefully, I won’t have to.

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