You know how it's common to hear that it takes six months to a year to get pregnant? Maybe it was just me who thought this was literally a biblical truth when I got married. My husband and I thought we'd "see what would happen," and what happened was I got pregnant. In one shot. By our one-year anniversary, we had a 6-week-old baby. I couldn't believe it had been so easy. So, of course, when we decided to add to our little family, I figured we'd better buy another crib ASAP. Obviously I would get pregnant right away, because that's just how my body worked, right?
You can imagine my surprise when I took a pregnancy test after our first try and it showed a big, fat negative. Weird, I remember thinking. My confidence shaken, my husband and I proceeded to keep trying the next month. Surely I would get pregnant now. Except I didn't. And I didn't get pregnant the month after that. Or the next one. Or the next one.
I began to wonder if I'd ever be able to get pregnant again. Making matters worse was that people were starting to ask when we were going to try for baby number two.
Six months of trying later, and I was confused. How could having a baby be so darn easy the first time, and so difficult the second? I wasn't that much older; my daughter was only one. Could fertility really take a nosedive that quickly? These were the types of questions I took to my doctor, who suggested we use an ovulation kit to time our tries with my cycle. But peeing on sticks each and every morning for two months yielded no results.
The hopelessness and depression weighing down on me about not getting pregnant were totally new feelings for me. The first time was such a breeze. I never considered that my baby could be an only child. I began to wonder if I'd ever be able to get pregnant again. Making matters worse was that people were starting to ask when we were going to try for baby number two. This came up so casually (even strangers asked me at the grocery store!), I couldn't help but wonder if anyone else had ever experienced this kind of problem. Was I the only person facing secondary infertility? It sure seemed like it, since families with more than one kiddo were popping up everywhere I went.
I wanted to scream at anyone who suggested my daughter needed a little sibling that we were doing everything we could to make that happen. That it was all I thought about. That their questions and comments hurt. As if you could just want another baby and that was it.
Soon I was discussing fertility treatments with my doctor. He suggested Clomid, a drug that stimulates ovulation and can increase your chances of conceiving. Almost a year after we first started trying to have our second baby, I was ready to give it a shot, even if it meant I could end up with twins.
First, however, my doctor decided to test my hormone levels. It turned out my progesterone was low, so I took an oral medication to even things out. Around that time, my husband and I decided to go ahead with the Clomid next month. Also around that time, I remember my mom saying to me exactly what had been on my mind this entire time: "I wonder why it's so different this time?" I wish I knew. If only I could replicate what had happened with our daughter, but that felt impossible. I guess beginner's luck only works the first time.
I know not everyone's journeys to baby number two end this way, but happily, I found out I was pregnant that month. My experience sure did make me feel a new appreciation for the miracle of life, because everything has to be in the right place at the right time. That window is so darn small, and the conditions have to come together perfectly. Since baby number two, my fertility journey has included a late-term miscarriage and a grueling round of IVF. So, no, it's not easy. Everyone's fertility journey is so different, and there's no one right way to have a baby.