The loneliness of long-distance ttc

(14 Posts)
RebeccaNoodles Thu 24-Mar-16 14:18:34

I've posted elsewhere recently but don't feel I said what I want to say. I don’t even know if I should be posting this in Conception or Infertility which kind of sums up how lost I feel. I’ve been peeing on sticks for 15 months now, but we haven’t used contraception since September 2013. I’m 38, no kids. The first 6 months of 2014 were taken up with illness caused by endometriosis (suspected to be cancer initially until biopsy), emergency surgery and complicated recovery. Being so sick gave me a huge sense of perspective at first – I was so happy and grateful to be out of hospital that I didn’t worry too much about conceiving. But all that Zen feeling has deserted me after month after month of no luck, despite doing all the ‘right’ things, from decaf coffee to yoga to CoQ10 and other supplements my friends with kids have never heard of. AND getting drunk, holidays, relaxing and all the things that stupid people like to recommend.

Now I feel tired and sad and lonely. I feel a gulf opening up between me and my friends, as they enter a new life stage that I don’t know anything about and may never know about. I’ve had ups and downs – periods of feeling down followed by optimism – but the downs seem to be getting longer and more frequent. I know that other people on these boards have had a far worse time, and that there are worse things in life than ttc (at least my version of it). And I try and keep a sense of perspective; I don’t have cancer, etc etc. But … unlike other horrible things like divorce or bereavement where it’s worse initially and gradually gets better, ttc just seems to get worse and worse and worse the longer it goes on. And if I’m like this after only 15 months I don’t know how I will cope even longer term.

We are unexplained and due to have IVF in June, with our local NHS clinic. We are lucky to have this but I’m scared – not of the physical side of it though god knows I’ve had enough scans and procedures to last a lifetime, but of how I will cope emotionally if it doesn’t work. At 38, it’s not game over but the statistics aren’t on our side either. Mr Noodles is being brilliant but I feel so sad for him as he would be a fantastic dad. And I’m not sure how long I can keep crying on his shoulder before it starts to affect our relationship. I would love to get a kitten as a distraction but no outside space.

Thanks if you’ve read this far and if you have any words of cheer I’d love to hear them. I have bounced back in the past, and I know I will again, but this is just not a good day.

RebeccaNoodles Thu 24-Mar-16 16:30:35

Anyone? I'm bumping this as I posted it in Infertility at first. I've been lurking on a few groups but not sure where I fit in exactly - just wanted to see if anyone was in a similar position. Thanks!

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Mar-16 16:47:37

Hi, we've just moved this thread over for the OP and are bumping it again. Is anyone around to offer a bit of support? flowers

RoseBud2016 Thu 24-Mar-16 17:03:09

Hi Rebeca.

I'm not in the same position as you; I'm younger (31) and have already been through a round of IVF. But I do definitely 'get' the feelings that you are describing.
DH and I have been ttc for nearly 20 months and I'm feeling more and more desperate, and less and less positive as time goes on.
I think the thing I find hardest is the fact that I have distanced myself so much from much of my family and many of my friends as a self-preservation strategy (my friends are all getting pregnant with relative ease and some are onto their second babies or have already completed their families) and here I am on my own- infertile and sad. It can be very lonely!
My DH has 2 DDs already too so although he's desperate to have a child with me, I don't think he really 'gets' exactly how I feel. Although he does try his hardest and has been my absolute rock.
I don't have any advice for you, although I'm happy to hand hold through your IVF if you would like? But just wanted you to know I get it x

RebeccaNoodles Thu 24-Mar-16 17:17:07

Hi Rosebud, thank you so much for replying. I think the feelings are the same regardless of age really ... It's equally tough whether you're 31 or 41 in some ways, and 20 months is long. Isn't it horrible/ironic that we count our trying times in months, the way people talk about toddlers? Sigh.

I am sorry about your IVF cycle. That must have been hard. And it is so awful to feel that distance from your friends and family. I have so many friends who have had kids with ease in mid/late 30s, and I don't want to talk to them about it as I know they don't know what to say. I also, sadly, have a couple of friends who aren't in a position to try - because of chronic health and things like that. And I feel I really can't complain to them because relatively speaking I'm 'lucky'. I know nobody else IRL having fertility treatment. So weird.

Do you have plans for a new IVF cycle? Best of luck if so. shamrock flowers Thanks again for the support.

RoseBud2016 Thu 24-Mar-16 17:32:30

I think the thing about infertility is people just don't talk about it in RL very much. But it doesn't mean it's not happening around us.
Up until recently DH and I have kept our fertility troubles between ourselves, my Mum and my 2 best friends. But since having IVF we are trying to be much more open with people about our struggles, if they ask. We aren't hiding it anymore.
But I'm not sure that's really helped either because, as you say, people either don't understand and don't know what to say because they have no idea what it's like, or in comparison to things they are going through your feelings feel strangely insignificant.
It's just a big complicated mess isn't it?!

So because we weren't eligible for NHS IVF, we went to Czech Republic for UCSI IVF at the end of Jan to beginning of Feb. We got 12 eggs, 8 fertilised and 6 made it to become top quality blasts. We were blown away by the results and definitely not expecting it. We had 1 transferred and 5 frozen. We got a BFP mid-Feb but at nearly 5 wks I had a very early mc.

We are planning to go back next month for a FET (frozen embryo transfer)

Do you know what protocol you will be following? As your unexplained infertility, and I assume you ov, I imagine you'll be on the long protocol.

How are you feeling about the prospect of IVF?
How old is your DH? Mine is 38.

RoseBud2016 Thu 24-Mar-16 17:35:45

Ps Never thought of the months ttc thing but now you mention it, it's very ironic!
And it made me laugh- is that wrong?! smile

RebeccaNoodles Thu 24-Mar-16 17:45:06

Hi, Any laugh is priceless in this shit-show!! I'm glad!

Gosh, that sounds like a rollercoaster of good news and bad news. I'm so sorry about your mc especially after the great initial results. I actually feel much more positive now about IVF - after all the waiting it will be great to actually do something. I have no idea what protocol or anything but I do OV and have fairly high AMh of 25 (too high?! sigh). Mr Noodles is 35 so I am a cradle snatcher (irony again!)

I will be crossing all fingers and toes for your FET next month - really hope it goes well. You deserve it. We all do! smile

RoseBud2016 Thu 24-Mar-16 17:57:14

Yes that's how I felt- excited to be doing something proactive! And terrified that we would come away with no embryos!

I don't ov at all (my ovaries are totally crap with severe PCOS) so I was on short protocol. My ovaries didn't need to be made 'quiet' with 3 weeks of birth control but as you do ov I imagine you will start with 3 weeks of birth control, then a scan and then start IVF meds. Long protocol takes around 6 weeks in total, compared to short protocol which takes 3 weeks.

How was your DHs SA? We have the added complication of DHs SA being low on count and morphology so that's fun! However I've been feeding him vitamins like you wouldn't believe and his last sample (our IVF one) was much better- thank god!

Are you doing anything to prepare you body for IVF? I would recommend Co enzyme Q10 abiquinol at least 200mg per day, a high strength vit D supplement, 1000mg omega 3 fish oil, and obvs folic acid every day for the next 3 months as the eggs you're developing now will be the ones collected in June. I also ate a high protein diet as soon as my AF came before my IVF cycle, and an avocado a day (for the 'good' fats) I bloody HATE avocados now grin

What do you do work-wise? How is your endo now? X

RebeccaNoodles Thu 24-Mar-16 21:04:34

Thanks,. I'm already taking Conceptionvit or whatever it's called and 100 mg of CoQ10 ubiquinol - in fact I just cleaned out my local pharmacy which was having a sale, they must have thought I was nuts. I will up it to 200 and add some Omega. Have you heard about DHEA? Have you been recommended that? Needless to say my vits all prescribed by Dr Google, my NHS doctor didn't mention them at all.

Mr N's SA came back 'normal, no action' though maybe we should have asked for more infos. I've just bought him some vitamins as well. If nothing else we will be healthy as horses at the end of all this. That's a pain about the morphology, but glad the vits helped - I'm a bit sceptical so interested to hear that.

I am a freelance writer/editor so work from home. Lucky to be flexible and no colleagues with giant bumps, but also lots of time to brood. My endo, thank God, is under control - no problems since surgery. Small mercies ... smile

RoseBud2016 Thu 24-Mar-16 21:47:55

Haha! I bet you got some looks! grin

Both our NHS consultant (who was able to prescribe us clomid and Femara before we realised IVF was our only real option) and our Czech consultant were shock by the results of DHs latest SA. In around 6 months it went from 8 million per ml (24 million total sample) to 59 million per ml (over 320 million total sample) They both said it was unheard of to change that much in such a short space of time.

He was taking the co enzyme too. Plus zinc, vit B, vit D, calcium, omega 3, 1000mg vit C and anything else I could lay my hands on. But it wasn't just the supplements. He started exercising more and eating healthier too AND I forced him to get the bloody laptop off his lap! So I think it all had a part to play.

Glad to hear the endo is under control. I don't know much about it- do you have to take medication for it? Does it affect you day to day?

Do you any nice plans for Easter? I'm ill in bed at the moment with some sort of nasty flu-type bug; hence why I'm replying to you so fast!!! But we go on our hols on Sunday so really excited for that. Just hope I'm better by then confused I need a tan and some fun in my life!

RebeccaNoodles Thu 24-Mar-16 22:02:35

Oh, those pharmacy girls have seen it all - I've been in there in some states esp. when first out of hospital, I lost a stone and a half and looked appalling. The endo is now totally fine. Surgery for me was like a miracle cure. I take no drugs or anything. Really do feel lucky - it's such a random and bizarre illness, I'm so relieved it's not acting up at the mo. There has been a lot in the news about it recently - you would think everyone who has it is crippled with pain, but I had no pain which is actually more dangerous as it grew without me knowing.

I am inspired by your DH's SA makeover! I will do the same. He sounds a great guy btw. I think being a rock is worth any amount of superior swimmers smile We are off away for the weekend to visit family. Hope you have a good one as well and that you feel better soon! chocolate

RoseBud2016 Fri 25-Mar-16 07:30:52

Forget to say yesterday- I don't think you're AMH of 25 is anything to worry about at all!
If you look at this chart: http://www.simply-fertility.com/a-guide-to-amh/. Your AMH seems perfectly on the middle of the 2 figures.
And if you look at this chart: http://www.babyhopeful.com/anti-mullerian-hormones/. Your AMH is "satisfactory" which means you are far less likely to be hyper-stimulated and have complications. So I think you AMH is fine!

Mine is "over 99" which means I had to be stimulated very very gently because I was at such a high risk of OHSS. Hope that puts your mind at ease about that aspect.

RebeccaNoodles Tue 29-Mar-16 10:33:11

Thanks Rosebud! Why couldn't the doctor be as reassuring as you? wink I had thought from my googling that 25 was pretty good so I was dismayed when she seemed to be warning me of the terrible dangers of being BORDERLINE. Oh well.

I hope you're having a great holiday away somewhere sunny and are having lots of drinks with little umbrellas in them smile

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