Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Infertility and Stress

I’m switching gears a little today to talk about something I haven’t been really public about before.

When my husband and I got married almost two years ago, we were surprised and delighted to find out one month later that I was pregnant. It felt like a sign that we were right where we were meant to be.

Eleven weeks and two ultrasounds in, I miscarried. To make matters worse, my D+C was scheduled on my husband’s birthday. Needless to say no one was feeling celebratory.

It was one of the most horrible times in my life. I slid into depression and cried month after month when my cycle restarted.

I tried to stay positive. I kept thinking my body was just purging the first pregnancy as a natural progression to making way for a stronger pregnancy soon after.

It’s been 17 months since I miscarried and we’ve yet to get pregnant again. It’s still heartbreaking, especially since I dream of being a stay at home mom. Each passing month is still heartbreaking and still brings depression spells. Though sometimes, it brings more of a resigned numbness.

So, why am I mentioning this today? As I sat in the infertility doctor’s office this morning. I was thinking about some of the other stepmom’s writings I’ve read and realized many of them had also mentioned somewhere along the line not having kids of their own despite their best efforts.

I truly believe that stress is a big factor in a couple’s ability to conceive. Miscarriage certainly brings with it plenty of stress. Add to that the adjustment of new stepfamily life, business woes, my in-laws moving in to our home, and most recently the passing of loved ones and I can certainly understand why my body might be rebelling.

I wonder, though, if infertility among stepmothers is prevalent or if I just happen to be connecting with people who’ve had similar experiences.

Is stress a factor in fertility? If so, how do the complexities of stepfamily life weigh in? Perhaps not at all, but that’s what I pondered while waiting far too long in the doctor’s office this morning.

3 comments:

  1. I myself had a miscarriage two years ago. It was my first, last and only pregnancy. I was 7 weeks along when it happened.

    I remember feeling hateful to my stepkids' mom because she was able to have kids and I wasn't. I had a really hard time being around anyone that was pregnant. People who had had miscarriages understood my pain, but my husband, my stepkids and their mom could not.

    I honestly found it cathartic to write about what I was feeling. I tried for at least 6 months with fertility drugs to get pregnant again and it didn't work. By the time the doctor told me I'd have to be reffered to a bunch of specialists if I wanted to keep trying, I decided to take back control of my life and stop trying.

    It was one of the most life-affirming decisions I've ever made. But that's me.

    E-mail me if you ever want to chat. I know how difficult the most miscarriage depression can be particularly when you're in a stepfamily.

    hugs darling,
    Erin

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story, Erin! I'm sorry that you dealt with this as well and that it sounds like you didn't necessarily have a great support crew. My husband was devastated, but like me, kept thinking it would all turn around. He is still upset now that it hasn't worked yet.

    I can empathize with your comment about resenting your stepkids' mom, especially since I'm in the circumstance where I am a full-time stepmom and my stepson's mom is not around that often. It can feel like a slap in the face, can't it?

    I'm glad you made it past that time in your life and that you were able to make peace with it. Thanks for your support!

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  3. I don't know what it's like to have a miscarriage. I can only imagine your pain. But I've been on the infertility roller coaster for 10 years, and it still continues. The only comfort I can offer is to stop trying so hard. Miracles often happen when you're not looking for them. Count the blessings in your life...I'm sure you have many. :)

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