The truth about secondary Infertility and PCOS. 

I’m hoping to write more on my blog and in that process I’m going to write some more personal posts. I’ll be trying to stick to parenting, crafting and hopefully renovating (please cross your fingers that the house move/sale goes through!!). Here’s my first frank post about one of the hardest times in my life;  my secondary infertility journey.

Some of you will know me from my business as a toy maker, some from my life as a costume maker and yet more simply as a friend. The latter will no doubt have heard me talk about this subject (I’m a wear my heart on my sleeve/tell you everything type of person!), but I wanted to share my story incase it helps just one person (because well, you just never know!).

So I’m very lucky to have 2 beautiful girls. The oldest is 6 and the newbie is 5 months. The oldest was literally a one hit wonder fertility wise (amazing I know!). I have lots of friends who’ve gone through the horrendous IVF rollercoaster and I always felt a bit embarrassed when the subject of how long we tried with her, trying not to come across as bragging that it was so easy to fall pregnant. I mean we’re super fertile obviously and I guess we’re just lucky when it comes to getting pregnant. I heard lots of stories of ‘it took us a year to fall’ etc. and all the time thinking how lucky we were that we didn’t have that journey. I had never heard of secondary infertility – infertility only affects first time parents – right?!

I wasn’t broody for years after L. I didn’t feel ready for 2- I found it hard enough with 1, not to mention the cost and well it was easy for us to fall so there’s no rush! We’d have a lovely 4 year gap and all would be great.

Then we started trying.

I was on a very stressful job at the time and as I knew falling pregnant wouldn’t help with that I was almost willing myself subconsciously not to fall as I knew it would be very hard to continue on the job I was on.

Then the job ended and I still didn’t fall. I googled the hell out of it, talked to just about everybody and still was clueless. I mean I had a kid; I could fall pregnant so clearly there was no issue.

Only there was.

We fell pregnant after about a year of trying and were over the moon. Until 7 weeks in when I went through a very traumatic miscarriage. People don’t talk about miscarriage but as I found out it’s shockingly common. What I also didn’t realise is that they can range from a slight bleed to full on labour symptoms. Why don’t we as women/society talk about this more? I guess because it’s so traumatic we don’t like to share but I do feel somehow we should be educated about this.

Anyway cut to about 6 months later and another (much less stressful/painful miscarriage) and I finally got a referral to a wonderful fertility gynaecologist. After months of scans and each nurse/specialist telling me ‘yes you do have polycystic ovaries syndrome/ no you don’t’, I finally got a referral to a fertility gynaecologist. He gently placed his hand on mine and said “I can categorically tell you that you do indeed have PCOS. But, I can treat you”.

The sense of relief after not really knowing was immense. And that he was hopeful that it could be treated too? Amazing! He told me to buy some powders (see inofolic.org) and sent me away until the next appointment.

Well 5 weeks of taking the powders and I’d fallen again! And well the rest they say is history (well at least I’ll save it for another post!). I have a gorgeous little one to bring more joy (and stress!!) into our lives and I once again feel very lucky.

But I have to tell you, secondary infertility is most definitely A THING! Going through it (albeit for a lot shorter a time than sooo many others) has taught me a lot. I can’t tell you the amount of times people asked me “why don’t you want more kids?” or how I should “just relax, it’ll happen”, “Stop thinking about it and you’ll fall pregnant” or even “You should be happy just having one”. Let me tell you if you know someone with a kid (or kids) you don’t know their story or which part of the journey they are on. Perhaps they don’t want more kids? Perhaps they are in very early pregnancy and don’t want to tell you yet. Maybe they’ve just had a miscarriage? Or are frustrated that they just. can’t. fall. pregnant! Whatever it is – guess what? It’s none of your business!

 

Saying any of the above will exasperate their situation and only add to their stress. You may think you are being helpful with little comments about how they should just let it go and forget about it but that’s certainly not what will help. After all when all you can think about is having children how on earth can you forget about it?!

I haven’t even mentioned those that are struggling to have their first child or have been together with their partner a while and don’t even want kids? Shocking I know!! But isn’t that the great thing about life? We can all make our own decisions and being a parent certainly isn’t on everyone’s to do list/nor should it be!

So what’s the answer? Just don’t ask! Friends and family will tell you if they want to and you’ll know soon enough if they do fall pregnant! So next time your friend is sick in the morning don’t just presume she’s pregnant – there’s far too many dodgy prawns in this world; best not to ask!

 

If you are reading this and are on this hideous journey I salute you lady. It’s one of the hardest journeys I’ve been on and I was lucky to be on it for only 2 years and I am SO very lucky to have the ultimate prize at the end. And if you have been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovaries syndrome) I urge you to at least check out Inofolic as I’m convinced this (and a holiday!) helped me fall pregnant.

Thanks for reading, I hope it helps someone and baby dust to all (that want it!)

19 Responses

  1. Sarah Norris
    | Reply

    Wow ! Thanks for posting about something so personal. That can’t have been easy to write but I’m glad you did because I’m sure it will help others.
    I’ve worked with newborns for 25 years and I still come across lots of parents who are struggling to conceive after their first, and are surprised when I tell them it is quite a common occurrence and is worth getting checked out.
    As for the comments and questions from other people… I know they probably mean well but it can be extremely upsetting for parents to hear for many differ reasons so I’m glad you brought that up as well,
    Thank you 😊

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thanks for your comment Sarah, I hope it does help someone at least know it’s not unusual and they’re not alone.

  2. Danielle Harvey
    | Reply

    What an incredibly honest and open post – thanks for sharing your experiences. This is a subject not given enough air time I think, so well done for highlighting and also for reminding people to stop with the questions! X

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thanks Danielle, it’s crazy how we as women don’t talk more about this. I know people mean well but it’s hard to hear these questions when you’re in the thick of it! x

  3. Maggie
    | Reply

    So true…! Many people are so insensitive – its not that they are trying to hurt you, but they just don’t understand what you are going through. How can they? They just don’t think. But you are right, its none of their business.
    I am so really proud of you putting yourself out there in this blob, with your heart on your sleeve (not at all easy), to help others who will certainly be helped by your words.
    Love and hugs ♥️♥️

    • Maggie
      | Reply

      * blog

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thanks Maggie (mum!) 😘 xx

  4. Ebony
    | Reply

    To share your personal experience is so commendable. I know people with pcos and now it seems more. Common noe because more people like you are aharing your store. Thank you:-) great info

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thank you ebony x

  5. Katie Bressler
    | Reply

    Thank you sharing this personal and touching story. Like you mentioned, this one topic about pregnancy rarely gets talked about, but needs to be. Keep up the great writing Mama.

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thank you x

  6. Chantal
    | Reply

    I was diagnosed with PcOS at the early age of 17. I totally relate!

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Sorry to hear that. Please check out inofolic.

  7. Betty
    | Reply

    Wow thank you for sharing your personal story. I have a close friend who went through something similar – She had one child and then three miscarriages before realizing that she needs to go on fertility medicine to carry another child to term. This is a great post to spread awareness!

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thanks Betty. It’s a crazy journey and I’m saddened that so many have to go on it.

  8. Shell
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your journey and I’m so sorry you had these struggles…

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      Thanks She’ll. I hope by sharing that it helps at least one other know they are not alone and what to look out for.

  9. angie
    | Reply

    thanks so much for sharing this both my daughters have been diagnosed with PCOS While my oldest has 2 beautiful children my youngest continues to struggle and try and struggle . It is a battle that I find myself in as well as a support system for her. The pain that she goes through and dr visits and I continue to pray that one day she will be granted her beautiful child

    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

    • Emma_Brassfield
      | Reply

      I’m sorry your daughter is going along this journey, I hope I helped with this post. The very best of luck to her, I hope it all happens soon for her x

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