There are few places as joyful as a hospital nursery.
Last week I went to visit my friend Patti, who just had her second child at Hartford Hospital. Patti and I went to college together. We had our children right around the same time and spent much of our maternity leave on rails to trails getting back in shape. We talked at length about number two, and started trying around the same time. A little more than a year later, she has a beautiful baby boy.
In my son’s class, three classmates have become big brothers or big sisters in the last month.
“She has a baby in her belly!” my son loves to say about the pregnant moms.
A week doesn’t go by that someone doesn’t ask, “Aren’t you having any others?? Charlie sure needs a brother! Or sister! What are you waiting for??”
I usually smile politely. I’m not ashamed to admit that my response in my mind isn’t nearly so polite. I have to remind myself that they don’t know about the log of temperature readings, the ovulation predictor kits or talking to my doctor about scheduling a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to make sure everything’s functioning properly.
The truth is, life doesn’t always work out the way we envision it. And sometimes, hard as it is to admit, there are many things out of our control.
Our first pregnancy just happened. We talked about the possibility and it seemed like we were pregnant within weeks.
That’s exactly why couples can have a tough time admitting they’re having trouble conceiving, says Dr. Jack Greene, Assistant Director of Women’s Health at Hartford Hospital.
“They think: we’ve had a baby,” says Dr. Greene. “We’ve proven we’re fertile. But so much can change in a few years. Secondary infertility affects more than a million couples each year.”
“The first thing you have to find out is why. Then you can try and deal with it,” says Dr. Greene. “There have been tremendous advances, and every year, we see even more advances. We have better drugs, better detection techniques. IVF (in vitro fertilization) is so, so common now. There’s definitely help out there.”
But only if you’re brave enough to ask.
All of this makes me realize what a miracle my son is. I am thankful every day that I have been given the gift of motherhood, and I hope – perhaps with a little help –my husband and I will have another shot.