Failed IVF(7 Posts)
My friend has just had her first round of IVF and it didn't work
I want to support her and say the right thing but need advice. She is 5 years older than me and has been trying for a baby since late 2011. DH and I started trying at the start of 2012 and we would talk about baby plans together and wee on sticks to check ovulation and chat about it all the time.
I got pregnant first time and although I know it was hard for her (lots of her friends/family/colleagues have young babies or are pregnant) she was really pleased for me and she was the only person I told before 12 weeks. I went on to miscarry at 13 weeks and she was really supportive, and really helped when I got pregnant a few weeks after miscarrying. I was anxious through the first trimester but she was always there for me.
Now I have a 6mo DD and I so want her to have the baby she longs for. I don't have childcare so can only see her with my DD. Will this upset her now that her IVF has just failed? What should or shouldn't I say? I want to support her but know there isn't anything I can really do. We're not best friends but I don't really have many friends so she is probably my closest friend so I want to get it right.
She will obviously have further IVF but I don't know if I should be encouraging her hopes or not? If IVF fails and she wants a child that is biologically hers, she would need to look at surrogacy. I would potentially consider that as she would be an amazing mum but I'm not in a position to atm as we want another child and I think I would get too attached to her baby if I hadn't had all the children I want but then it would be selfish of me to make her wait another 18mo/2yrs if I could help her sooner. I would never suggest it anyway but I mention it to demonstrate how much I want to help, and that if she asked I would give it real consideration (with DH's approval).
Please give me some guidance. Sorry if I have said anything out of place, or that upsets anyone; I know infertility/surrogacy are emotive topics.
One ivf failure isn't the end though it may feel
like it to your friend at the moment as its probably the one that hurts the most. She is certainly quite some distance off considering surrogacy. In Terms of your little one, my view on this was always that someone else having a child did not take my child away from me. The only time an arrow went to my heart was when a colleague told me of her pregnancy and that of two other people in the team. I guess I found my tolerance level that day! Given your situation I would simply be upfront and ask her if she is ok with seeing you and your daughter at the moment.
Positive and true things you can say are 1) that it takes most people more than one go 2) that for many people the first round can be about finding out some more about drug level etc to make it better next time 3) if she hasnt slready found this website, suggest she visits fertility friends for help and support. Focus on mourning this loss and planning the next step.
Whatever you do don't mention that person everyone seems to know who simply relaxed, stopped trying and conceived instantly! That still makes my fist twitch now!
I know she is still in the early stages and has plenty more goes etc., but since she started trying she has become really low and each month it didn't happen was another blow. Then when she got the go ahead for IVF it was like a weight lifted and she could relax as she was no longer putting the pressure on herself each month to conceive naturally. Now that it hasn't worked this first time, she doesn't have the safety net of saying "it's OK; I'll get pregnant when I have IVF."
Since she started TTC I got pregnant twice, her younger sister got pregnant, had a baby and is now pregnant again. Her sister-in-law has has another baby. One of her best friends has a baby, and on our team at work, another got pregnant and is due in a month or two and my maternity cover got pregnant and is now in maternity leave herself, so all of her friends and family are all pregnant/have babies and when she goes to work 3 out of the 4 other people in her team are pregnant or have just had babies. I know she finds it really hard because sometimes she just starts crying at her desk and when people make announcements about pregnancies at work, she takes the day off so she doesn't have to be there when all of the congratulations are pouring in.
I think her only way of handling it was the thought that IVF would sort it out and although she does know it often doesn't work straight away, she now has that doubt about whether it will work at all so it's like she needs a new safety net, and obviously no one wants to discuss drastic things like surrogacy/adoption etc. when she has a real chance of getting pregnant herself.
I'm just not sure what to say because when she talks to me about other people with babies/who are pregnant, she let's slip that it bothers her to listen to them and be around them all the time but then at the same time she wants to see me and my DD so I can't work out if we are going to help her or make it worse.
Please talk to ur friend open and honestly about ur feelings, the worst thing about IVF is people avoiding difficult issues with u ! Talking from experience I lost one of my closest friends while going through ICSI as she fell pregnant and avoided all contact with me ! Once her baby was born things improved a little and she asked me to be god mother, which I was delighted about !!! But things went downhill very quickly from then on in, I stopped being invited to gatherings....I felt like the "IVF" problem friend !! I've since went on and after four attempts have a wonderful 4 year old boy !!!! My friendship has never really recovered, we r more like acquaintances, which hurts me a lot !!! PLEASE don't let this happen to u guys.....also on the ivf front tell her to look into accupuncture ! X
People are different and I can understand that my logic of someone else's child not taking mine away may be of no comfort off others. I've said this on here before however I think it is always worth having a b plan or even a c plan. This protects you from some of the feelings of desolation after a failed attempt as you know what your next move will be. For me, the first failed attempt was definitely the worst. I just couldn't stop crying. The second and third failures I took in my stride. Attempt four has 12 more days before eviction from my tummy. Maybe I'm a bit perverse but I have cried during my pregnancy at how kind people have been to me as I feel so lucky to have made it. Even with attempt 4 underway we were still investigating donor eggs (plan b) and routes for adoption (plan c) so a failure would not be a dead end, we would know where we were going to next.
I wouldn't recommend acupuncture to her. She's more than likely researched everything about trying to get pregnant. Nothing worse than someone with kids 'recommending' something to you like you haven't thought of it before!
Be a good friend, listen, be there for her.
You sound like a great friend. I was the friend who couldn't get pregnant when all her other friends were and I never wanted them not to talk about their pregnancies or not to meet their babies. For some reason I was fine with them falling pregnant, maybe because I already cared about them so much. It was people I was more removed from like work colleagues or friends of friends that I found difficult. As other posters have said when you are having difficulty conceiving and going through IVF you already feel excluded enough.
I also would tell my friends how it hurt to hear about other pregnancies and yet still be happy to see them and their children. Let her set the parameters. I would ask her how she feels rather than not talking about it if she doesn't bring it up. When I was TTCing it was such a huge part of my life that I needed to tell someone about it but if I wasn't in the mood I would just be quite brief.
It is also wonderful of you to even consider surrogacy but I would leave it for a while. You don't want to give the message that you can do easily what she can't (unless she has a really solid diagnosis that means she definitely can't carry her own child); subfertility can affect anyone, even people who have had more than one child before.
And I agree with twinkle do not recommend anything to her, she has undoubtedly tried everything she is comfortable trying. The one thing that drove me up the wall when TTCing was having friends say, "having you tried lying down after sex/ovulation predictor kits/acupuncture"? YES of COURSE I have! Ditto like lozster says, absolutely do not tell her about 'that person' who just 'relaxed' and 'stopped trying' and fell pregnant. That just makes you feel as though the difficulty in conceiving is your own fault.