Erin Bulcao and her husband are the proud and grateful parents of twin girls, but they dealt with infertility to have them, and again when trying for another child. Misconceptions about secondary infertility inspired Erin to open up about her journey through her popular social media platform and site, where she connects with and inspires others so no one going through it feels alone.
Q: What is your infertility journey in a nutshell?
I had an IUI in 2010 that worked on the first try. It was medicated and we ended up getting pregnant with triplets. We had to have a reduction to twins, which was really hard to go through. Six years later we decided to try again because our girls were in kindergarten. We went straight to IVF to avoid multiples and it took four egg retrievals, one miscarriage, and seven transfers to finally become pregnant three years later. I am currently over 30 weeks along with another girl.
So many people think that because it was so easy to get pregnant with my twins that getting pregnant again would be a piece of cake. I actually thought that, too, but it’s far from the truth!
Q: You have mentioned that you stayed quiet for two years before you started writing about your story — how did sharing your story help you during your journey?
It helped so much. I opened up by starting a blog and writing more for my own sanity, as an outlet. I created an Instagram account for my infertility journey but now it’s the only account I use. Not only has it helped me express myself and serves as a form of therapy, but seeing other women who struggle has allowed me to connect to many of them and not feel alone along the way. I learned that IVF works by following women with success stories. This really helped me keep my faith and hope alive when I felt so discouraged and depressed.
Q: What are some of the misconceptions around secondary infertility?
So many people think that because it was so easy to get pregnant with my twins that getting pregnant again would be a piece of cake. I actually thought that, too, but it’s far from the truth! Another misconception is that people think it’s not as hard emotionally because we already have kids. I cannot imagine the struggle and pain someone without kids going through infertility must feel, but we feel it, too. Just because I have one child doesn’t mean I don’t deserve 50 if that’s what I want! And infertility doesn’t just go away. So the notion that once we are pregnant we are no longer infertile is so hurtful because the truth is that if this fails, if I were to miscarry (again), I would have to start this process all over again. It’s scary and exhausting. To think that if we want more kids we have to go through this again brings up so much fear and anxiety.
My infertility makes me that much more grateful to have my girls and I try very hard to not take anything for granted because in this journey, nothing is guaranteed
Q: How has infertility affected you as a parent?
It’s made me so much more aware. For one, I talk to my kids about how they were conceived. I don’t have a choice, really, because they had to witness a lot of shots and doctors’ appointments and a lot of grief! But it’s allowed me to be more open with them and I’m very proud of that! Of course, my infertility makes me that much more grateful to have my girls and I try very hard to not take anything for granted because in this journey, nothing is guaranteed.