I stood in front of the mirror, and slowly waited for three minutes to pass.
I thought that for sure there would be two pink lines. I took a deep breath, and brought the stick in my range of vision. One line, clear as day. I looked at different angles, convincing myself that I might see another faint line if I looked close enough. The stick had drops of tears from my eyes, but there wasn’t ever two lines. This early morning bathroom routine has happened more times than I can count. I was so certain that this time it would be positive, I longed so hard for it to be. I felt that it can’t be negative again for the 20th month in a row.
Secondary infertility came sliding into my life like a bat out of hell.
I giggled when we got pregnant with my son because it happened so fast. I knew (or thought I knew) that the second time around my body would remember how easy it was to get pregnant and it would happen just as fast. We waited until my son was a year old, because, well, I had it all figured out. Each month that passed by I thought, “no big deal.” That was until it was multiple months, and now about two years of negative tests and no baby.
This infertility topic isn’t talked about, it isn’t passed around mom groups freely like sleep training, and car seat safety is. Secondary infertility is only present at 4 a.m. with women locked in their bathroom.
Infertility is passed over by people telling us to “Relax,” and “It will happen,” or the most gut wrenching response ever, “…when you least expect it!” Funny thing is, there is nothing about least-expecting anything for moms like us. Our sex life is planned out like a fine-tuned military operation, and our cycles are charted on iPhone apps and scratch paper in the bathroom. We have relaxed so much about the possibility of IT happening, yet IT happening seems impossible for us.
The days that I would take three pregnancy tests are some of my darkest days. I am filled with grief. The grief of the missed opportunity. The grief of not being able to tell my husband (who longs for a baby just as much as I do) that our family is going to be complete. The grief of decorating another nursery. The grief of having to wait another whole month before the opportunity comes again. It’s the hardest feeling to explain, and one of the hardest to feel.
If you’re like me, and hope and pray for a positive pregnancy test, this post is for you. It is for the women who have spent sulking minutes in her bathroom at 4 a.m.
I am not going to tell you to relax and just that it will happen. What I want to tell you is that this badge of honor that we are wearing, this armor that we are shielding our broken hearts is something to be proud of. We are walking this unwritten path of discomfort and heartbreak together. We are completing our family with every last ounce of hope. We are infertility war heroes. We are strong and so brave.