Difficult questions

When you and your spouse are struggling with secondary infertility, it can be tough to find answers to your own questions. But when your children begin asking questions you simply don't have the answers to, things can get even more difficult.

As I reached across the table to dip my chip into the salsa, my daughter’s question came from nowhere and sliced right through me.

“Mommy, I want another baby. When are we going to have one?”

In that moment, there in the middle of the busy restaurant, I was truly leveled. I sat -- paralyzed for what felt like forever -- looking at my husband through tears and waiting to regain my composure.

Struggles with secondary infertility

My secondary infertility has become so much a part of who I am I’m not often caught off guard when faced with questions.

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But her words hung in the air as I struggled to find the answer.

“Very soon we hope, sweet girl. Mommy and Daddy are trying so very hard.”

But, I wonder what that means to our almost 5-year-old girl.

We’ve been honest with her from the start of this journey. Before we even began trying for another baby, we asked her if she might like to have another brother or maybe even a sister. Given how she feels about her brother, we weren’t surprised when she was thrilled at the idea.

That was 18 cycles ago. She was just 3 then.


"She has remained patient and optimistic even when I have nearly given up hope."

She has remained patient and optimistic even when I have nearly given up hope. But, I have to wonder if she’s beginning to doubt another baby will come.

Today, I had yet another insemination.

Learn more about how to conceive in your 40s >>

When I returned home, I opened the door, and my daughter ran to me and climbed into my lap with such joy it was as though I had been gone for a week and not just a few hours.

She snuggled into me and asked about the appointment. What was the doctor’s name? Did he take my temperature? Did he give me a shot? Did I have to lay down on the table? These are the same questions she asks me every cycle.

Each month, she ends her questioning with, “Are we going to have a baby now?”

But today, she didn’t ask. She burrowed her head into my shoulder and just held onto me.

How many times can you tell a child you’re trying -- that you are doing everything possible -- before they finally stop believing?

Are we there yet?

And if we are, it crushes me to think I was the one who introduced the reality that not all dreams come true.

Tell us

Have you struggled with secondary infertility? Have you discussed it with your children?

More on infertility

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Infertility -- the topic no one is talking about
Trying to conceive: Conversations you should have with your doctor


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Comments on "Secondary infertility: The missing sibling"

Leigh-Anne October 04, 2012 | 9:39 AM

I can totally relate to this article. I have been struggling with secondary IF for years. Our daughter is now 8 and still prays daily for a sibling. It breaks my heart to hear these prayers because the more time that goes by the greater the reality that it isn't going to happen. As moms, we always want to give our children everything we can and knowing that we can't give them what they want most is excrutiating. I still try to remain hopeful, but realize at some point that hope might run out. Prayers for you in your journey down this very tough road!

Shannon June 23, 2012 | 2:26 PM

This was a very sad read and my heart goes out to all those out there suffering from infertility. I don't really know what to add since this is not something I am struggling with, but try to stay positive and know that you were blessed with one little miracle, and when the time is right you will get another.

Selena Srabian April 03, 2012 | 4:23 PM

Nichole, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers in hopes that this is the one that will take. I know way to well what you are experiencing. My boys ask to same thing. hugs to you my friend, Selena

Suz April 02, 2012 | 7:02 PM

Much love. You & your struggle remains on my heart & mind. I pray you & Katie get your wish soon

Elizabeth April 02, 2012 | 2:47 PM

Nichole, I don't have any magical words, but just want you to know my heart and thoughts are with you and your whole family. I can only imagine the difficulty for you and your husband when Katie asked her question. Hugs to you, dear friend!

Tonya April 02, 2012 | 9:54 AM

This made me sigh. Heavily. I'm so sorry you are struggling with this. So so sorry. Sending all my love. xoxo

Kathleen April 02, 2012 | 9:27 AM

What a wonderful article and one that every parent struggling with secondary infertility can relate to. My oldest is still asking when I am having another baby brother for him. It breaks my heart and like you wonders to say and worry I am setting the wrong expectation for dreams because as I am learning they do not always come true in the way you want.

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