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To be ambiguous about having children ...

(68 Posts)
SoupInaBasket Tue 09-Oct-12 20:21:21

I suppose a quick run down would be, trying for 5 years, one MC, now we find DH and I both have issues with fertility.
Offered IVF, I turned it down as not emotionally ready for it, I don't feel
Anyway, now it's been so long I feel like my want has died, not got stronger, but carrying on TTC I feel like ... Well I'd be happy with no children.
Which is fine.
But my ambiguity is: should we stop and prevent until I'm clearer about what we/I want?
Confused.

circumstances more than anything. had ds at 36. exp scampered off when i was 40 (toad). next p kept saying yes but not just yet...lo am 48 having wasted last opps on an idiot. bah!

SoupInaBasket Wed 10-Oct-12 20:25:15

Oh so its prob not an option now! How old is ds? There are benefits to being an only I'm sure?

foodtech Wed 10-Oct-12 20:26:00

I know how you feel. We've been TTC for 4 years with 1 MC and 2 failed IVF's. I don't know currently if we'll try again and like you wonder if we should stop trying altogether. Very scared and trying to come to terms with the fact we might never be parents. Sorry probably not much help but just thought would be good for you to know your not the only one who feels this way. FT

SoupInaBasket Wed 10-Oct-12 20:28:26

(Food) wow so you've even done the IVF. Stronger than me, you certainly are x

RunnerHasbeen Wed 10-Oct-12 20:31:54

I think when you go through some tough things in life (as you have) it can be natural to change your attitude from thinking everything is under your control and can be decided by you. You become more serendipitous, not ambivalent about choices but accepting that the choices open to you aren't necessarily the ones you would like to be picking from. You have chosen to focus on the good things in your life and think less about what you can't have. That isn't not caring enough to decide something, that is living the life you have and I think to be admired.

I wouldn't take contraceptives long term, you might regret that and it might be in hindsight more about controlling the situation than not wanting children. I would maybe just make some plans, anything you have been putting off in case you fell pregnant, and see how you feel in a year or so.

foodtech Wed 10-Oct-12 20:34:52

IVF was difficult but pleased we tried. We have decided to have a break as couldn't face 3 in a year so taking a year (at least) out. It is a strange feeling. It does get easier though or possibly it's us pretending in order to protect ourselves. X

ds is 12. - invest all broodiness in toddler nice and nephew. thank you for being so generous about my faux pas. i am single now. doesnt help that i am still fertile. my mum continued to concieve until her mid ffties (old style coils made it pretty obvious) but feel it would be very wrong at my age. ds has mild disabilities anyway... still mourn though. sounds so ungrateful given your situation. hugs. ahem.

arthurfowlersallotment Wed 10-Oct-12 20:48:11

OP, quite a few couples I have met through parenting groups etc have endured IVF. I say endured because not one of them enjoyed the experience. One lady described it as a slog. I also have a good friend going through IUI at present and she is also finding it stressful and draining.

However having said that, apart from my friend (thus far) they all had successful outcomes and no doubt see the pain as more than worth it. I guess my view would be nothing ventured and all that..

Though you are not wrong in thinking you can have a great life child free, but if you want children, there are options for you, albeit hard ones.

Pomtastic Wed 10-Oct-12 20:54:18

I went through a stage of feeling like this on our 3 year long TTC journey.

For me, I think it was about taking back an element of control over my reproductive choices. I envied those who had the choice of whether to conceive or not, even if their choice wasn't the same as mine.

I wanted the luxury of being able to ponder whether having a child was what I wanted to choose right then, rather than that bleak, blind panic of "I want so much to have a child & can never let any possible opportunity slip through my fingers".

Somehow, the thought of choosing to prevent conception put the concept of having babies back into place, rather than it becoming an enormous & overwhelming longing.

I don't know if that made a lot of sense confused it's quite hard to put into words!

MaryZed Wed 10-Oct-12 20:56:16

My advice would be to try and imagine yourself in ten years time. You are only 30 now, so you have time to think about it, but will you be desperate at 40?

If you think you might be, then it's probably better not to actively stop ttc.

BUT - there is a middle ground between ttc and using contraception, so you could just try very hard to completely stop thinking about it at all for, say, a year. By the end of it, you would have a better idea of how you feel long-term.

That might be hard, because of course you will wonder every month (the really shitty side to ttc).

I started trying to get pregnant at the age of 24. I eventually got pregnant at 35, having gone through a few years of trying, a couple of failed ivf and adopting ds1 and dd. ds2 just happened (quite a shock).

SoupInaBasket Wed 10-Oct-12 21:22:07

Okay slice been thinking and found another way to xplain. Tis does seem to be about control.
Lots of people I knew including my dear mother fell pregnant right away. I seem to remember from school being told first unprotected shag even around period time might result in a baby.
All this is true of course, it's possible.
So I got to TTC and didn't know it took more than a month! 5 years on, oh how I laugh.
How I feel now is ... Baby would be nice but I can live without it.
To prevent would mean made a decision, not accepted infertility, but decides not to have kids.
That's where I'm at. I do feel comfortable being child free, or childless whatever.
If I chose to not have children, as let's face it I've been offered medical assistance I've chosen to turn down, I would not be the pitied childless person but someone who faced it all and chose not to continue.
I certainly feel more a child free mentality.

That said, I feel like while in this ambivalence, it might be worth while to prevent anyway, so it's not an issue.
I reacted badly to the pill, so it wold be condoms.

Yes, it's confusing and I probably am confused.

AgentZigzag Wed 10-Oct-12 21:42:08

What you've just said makes total sense.

It doesn't help that it's such an emotive subject you're trying to think about logically.

You want to make the choice to stop the pain not having children gives you, but the bit of you which knows what a baby would mean to you keeps luring you in.

It's a head/heart distinction that I don't think is unusual.

SoupInaBasket Wed 10-Oct-12 21:48:28

That's good as I feel like a bit of a freak over it. My mums go with the flow phrase makes me laugh. She stopped taking the pill behind her husbands back and a baby popped out 9 months after. That was my dad and the baby was me!
She's so cool about it.
Having said that the reeallllllllly annoying bit is I did get pg.

I couldn't imagine a baby while I was pg though. I couldn't see a baby in my arms then, I think I was getting the vibe it wasn't viable from my own body,
I still can't though. I just cant picture it.

MaryZed Wed 10-Oct-12 22:01:08

By the way, in the middle of our fight to be parents I went on the pill for six months because I just couldn't cope.

The relief of those six months knowing I was definitely NOT pregnant, being able to eat and drink what I wanted, not knowing when we had to shag or when my period was due was such a relief.

So I can see where you are coming from.

BUT you want to make a decision that you can look back on and know that you made the best decision for you at the time. No regrets. If you possibly can.

I couldn't picture a baby when I was pregnant. I didn't even look at the scan pictures. He wasn't a baby until he was born. I thought I was peculiar, but I now think a lot of people are like that, they just don't say so.

AgentZigzag Wed 10-Oct-12 22:05:10

I'm sure the not being able to imagine them is part of the protection process, you can't afford to get too involved at an early stage, especially if you know what a MC feels like.

I was waiting to 'lose' DD2 right up to I had her in my arms, and even then I couldn't believe she was set to stay (still can't), and both were a surprise when I saw them for the first time, with their little squashed up faces grin

minimouse88 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:53:32

Definitely stop/prevent until you're clearer about what you want. Starting a family is one of the biggest decisions you can make in your life. You need to be absolutely certain it's what you both want before you go ahead - as once a little one arrives there is no going back. Becoming a mother/father is a life changing event. I'm sure you know all this anyway.... Good luck. X

DelGirl Wed 10-Oct-12 22:57:58

I can also see where you're coming from. I know I won't be able to articulate this very well and i'm not even sure it makes perfect sense to me as the thought of it was so painful that I had to put it out of my mind.

At the time of my 5th iui which resulted in dd, I had it in my mind that if the 5th attempt wasn't successful then I wouldn't have the 6th and final go, it would just be an opportunity floating around in the ether.

In my mind, which to be fair probably wasn't up to much at the time, it meant that I could have had that go if I wanted to,but chose not to and therefore put off facing the fact that it was never going to happen.

See, I told you it wouldn't make sense but at the time it was a way of dealing with the possibility of never having children.

I think I must sound like a crackpot grin

Phineyj Mon 15-Oct-12 21:17:34

I have been in your position and what you're saying/feeling makes total sense to me. I very much agree with AgentZigzag's comment 'it's such an emotive subject you're trying to think about logically'. That was what I did -- 5 years TTC and I was trying to think about it all analytically and it didn't help at all, because emotional pain is not something you can analyse away.

I am pregnant now after doing IVF twice but I can easily imagine a different outcome where it didn't work. I had come to terms (more or less) with a life without children but my DH hadn't.

Two things that helped me:
i) getting some good counselling - it wasn't cheap, but felt like an incredible luxury just being able to talk and talk about all the things that were on my mind
ii) deliberately seeking out the company of friends and acquaintances who didn't have children on their minds -- I realised I felt like I/we were being socially excluded by our infertility (especially me -- it doesn't seem to be quite like that for men -- they're not automatically expected to be interested in conversations about children/holding the baby). I suddenly saw the world a little better from the point of view of friends who were gay/lesbian/single not by choice etc. It was a relief to spend time with people who had other interests and realise there are equally valid ways to spend your time than bringing up children.

I hope you feel better.

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