“Secondary infertility can feel so much harder to speak out about and to seek help because you have been blessed with a child or children.”

Name:  Shannon Carpenter

Age: 34

Time TTC: 2 years

Diagnosis: Secondary Infertility, Unexplained Infertility, Male Factor Infertility, Sperm Mobility / Motility, Thyroid Issues, Miscarriage / Loss

Strategies: Ovulation Charting / Tracking, Fertility Diet, Supplements

My fertility story

Listen to Jon & Shannon’s story on the podcast!

I had always dreamed of having a large family. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for about 1 ½ years when we decided to get some testing done to see why we were not getting pregnant. They had found some low numbers with my husband and wanted to do more testing, but right around that time, we conceived. Around 9 months later, we joyfully welcomed our son into our family! Two and ½ years later, we were filled with gratitude and excitement as we welcomed our daughter into our family. This may not sound like much of an infertility story.

Our story is considered secondary infertility. Secondary infertility can feel so much harder to speak out about and to seek help, because you have been blessed with a child or children. I had felt so encouraged, inspired, supported and not alone from listening to Your Fertility Hub’s Podcasts, and by utilizing their support through their free toolbox. I really wanted to join their Facebook group. Once accepted, I was asked to introduce myself and to share a little bit about our story. I broke down and wept. All of the sudden, this was real people in real time – they will most likely reject me and think that I do not belong here in this infertility group – I have 2 children! And at the same time, I felt so alone, and I really wanted this connection. My husband encouraged me not to make any assumptions on what the others in the group will think of me. He encouraged me to just be myself and to share my story. I did. I was welcomed with open arms!

I am finding that the more I share my story with others, the more I hear of infertility (primary or secondary) happening in others’ lives as well. It’s so hard to hear how many others are also going through this lonely and painful journey. I hope to help change that feeling of being alone in this journey, simply by sharing my story.

Yes, we have been blessed with 2 children. We are so very thankful for them!! In the past 2 ½ years of trying to conceive, we have gone through 2 miscarriages. The pain and grief we have gone through have been so difficult. Just as I was encouraged by Karenna and those at Your Fertility Hub – I want to encourage anyone else going through secondary infertility (and primary infertility) to seek the support you need during this time. Your grief and your pain are just as real and just as valid.

To read more about my journey, follow me at:

thisinfertilityjourney.wordpress.com

The lowest point in my journey and what helped me recover from it

I was a wreck when we first found out about our first miscarriage. It was so unexpected. It was our third pregnancy and I had no signs of a pregnancy loss prior to my first doctor’s appointment. Time, spiritual growth and the support of family and close friends helped me through this very difficult time.

I still have low points. My emotions ebb and flow with each cycle. It has been hard, recently moving while going through this infertility journey. It helps to stay connected via phone/messaging; however, it is hard not having someone (other than my wonderful husband) to share this part of me with, here where we live.

Where I am right now in my journey

We are currently seeking some functional medicine advice for my husband (and some for myself). We are 7 months post, our second miscarriage.

What I learned from my fertility experience

No matter what I go through – God will help me through. My identity is not based on having children or how many children I have, but on being a child of God, that is all I need.

If I had to start my fertility journey again: What would I do differently

Relax more. Worry and stress less.

My favourite resources about fertility (websites, books, blogs or articles)

  • paleomom.com — the A.I.P. diet.
  • yourfertilityhub.com 🙂
  • Mind-Body Fertility Connection, By James Schwartz. Scripture.
  • Dirty Genes, By Ben Lynch.
  • Switch On Your Brain. The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health. By Dr. Caroline Leaf

What I would tell someone else going through infertility right now

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

It is going to be okay. There is so much hope. There are so many more resources and information out there than has been years ago.

No matter how your story turns out, it can be good — if that is how you choose to see it.
Never be afraid to reach out and get the support you need for your self on YOUR journey.

My favourite inspiring fertility quote

So many I’ve heard from the podcast. One of my favourites is: “My Infertility is a gift” – I do not always think this (especially on harder days), but I think I will think this more and more as the years go on and I can look back.

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