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IVF and Losing DH ....

(27 Posts)
IThinkIKnowBestBut Wed 13-Feb-13 16:23:01

Have namechanged as this is a sensitive subject.

Have been with DH for 15 years, since we were both 18.
It was a love at first sight kind of thing, and we got married at 23.
Still happy now. In fact, I worship the ground he walks on, and feel it's reciprocated.

So why the post on relationships board?

Well we found out a while back we both have fertility issues that would need treatment with IVF.

When we were 18 we were besotted, and to be frank I can't remember having any conversations prior to marriage about kids.
We found we both had severely compromised fertility a few years after we starting trying at 23 after marriage, all hunky dory we thought, with images of children and kodak moments and the like.

It took a while to get through it, and it took a while for the fact we'd need IVF to sink in.

I do not want IVF. I see the heartache people go through, it not working, then it works and they have children and all the feelings that come from that.

I might be protecting myself I know, but having had quite a few years to think about it (we left it a few years trying naturally before we went to the docs) so I probably sound quite clinical and not emotional

He insists he only wants me. To be frank, in realilty if one of us was 'normal' the likely hood of a natural pregnancy would be alot higher, so we both have responsibility.

I can't take having IVF and decided against children.

I feel like I am taking an option away from my husband.
Does this sound bad: IVF involves alot of invasiveness for the woman and all the man has to do is sample into a cup.

Of course that doesnt include emotions which are srtong for both parties.

I just don't want to be 50 years old, dumped for someone else who has/wants kids (she I assume would be younger) and I am left alone and childless.
Am I a selfish cow.

tribpot Wed 13-Feb-13 16:30:32

It sounds like you have a very strong relationship. I think you can probably be completely honest with him about how you feel, including the guilt that you're taking the option away from him - which of course you aren't, in truth, even if it feels like it.

There are other ways you could start a family - which are profoundly difficult and equally rewarding, like adoption. Have you considered that? It's not selfish not to want to go through a very difficult medical process like IVF.

Or you can make a perfectly valid choice not to have children. If this is the right choice for you then let it be.

But what I would suggest you do is have some counselling specifically designed for couples with fertility issues. Talk it all out - not to alter your decision but to make sure you are both prepared for all the feelings that will follow.

galwaygirl Wed 13-Feb-13 16:32:25

Do you want children? I have had IVF and not found it too bad at all, the years of trying without success were a lot worse. Obviously it worked out for me but I don't really understand why you're so emphatic about ruling it out? If you are reading forums online then remember that people who use them most tend to be people who haven't been as lucky as others and have had to have more tries but that's not necessarily how it would go for you.

IThinkIKnowBestBut Wed 13-Feb-13 16:39:53

Thanks for replies we do have a strong relationship.

Galway Well after all the time of thinking we've had I'm pretty convinced the answer is no. Most people do and even when faced with IVF will do it to have children. That said, as we did start trying when younger, if there were no issues then yes I would have had them.

I can't explain why I don't want IVF, I just don't.
It's more of a worry I might lose my beloved over it.

I feel I am making a decision for someone else about major life things and that doesnt feel right.

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 13-Feb-13 16:40:55

When we found out we couldn't have children, the problem lay with me - cue massive guilt issues. I went down the IVF route - in hindsight partly because it seemed the route we were expected to take and partly through guilt I think. When we were finally told we I was unsuitable for IVF there was some grief, but mostly relief that I didn't have to go through it. We finally adopted smile but it does sound like you have a solid relationship, so talk to DH honestly.

fooledagaincantbelieveit Wed 13-Feb-13 16:58:52

Wow - this is a tough one. I went through IVF with my (at the time) DH after years of trying following natural conception of our first child.We were so lucky that it worked first time. And TBH it wasn't as bad and invasive as I had made it out to be in my head. The 'excitement' of perhaps having a baby at the end of it made it worthwhile.
Saying that, it is emotionally draining and the two week wait was excruciating!
As it happens, my husband and I did split up eventually - nothing to do with IVF though. BUT I still have my gorgeous baby. And he makes my life worth living.
This is YOUR decision, I am telling from my experience only.
I hope you find some peace. Lots of hugs.

VenusRising Wed 13-Feb-13 17:12:27

We also found out we were unsuitable for IVF, and tbh I was more than delighted - my Dh produces just a few, badly formed, immobile and short lived sperm.
I really hadn't relished being poked and prodded, injected, having my eggs harvested, and then embryos implanted - obviously more than one, because I was 33.
I really had an aversion to it: the invasiveness, the hubris of it.
It just didn't seem natural.

However, we conceived naturally, as a, "well, here goes, this is the end of our TTCing" kindof shag (thirty six cycles of TTC) and we had our DC.

All is not lost. You sound like you're a good communicator, and have a good relationship: TCing can be absolutely dreadful for a relationship. Honest is KEY.

Get canny with using Ovulation Predictor Sticks, accept that you may never have kids, and best of luck.

IThinkIKnowBestBut Wed 13-Feb-13 17:46:11

Well you all sound like you all know what I'm on about. So happy to be understood! When I ask him (I don't keep on) if he'll be happy he says he wants me. Just like when we were 18. Had no idea it took more than a month, naïve pair we were!!

Well I'm just glad he's not been told to leave the bastard ;).

PrincessScrumpy Wed 13-Feb-13 18:05:57

I was told I would probably need ivf and DH and I discussed it and decided to take it as a sign to adopt. We felt our relationship was strong and new or future involved children. Luckily we were like minded. So far we haven't adopted as I ended up conceiving naturally twice and 2nd time was twins. If we had a bigger house we would adopt a fourth as I feel we made that decision and still feel it's right... I can't explain why I didn't want ivf, but I understand it is not right for every one. You don't need to justify yourself.

tribpot Wed 13-Feb-13 18:12:43

He definitely shouldn't leave the bastard! That isn't our solution to every post on Relationships you know wink

But I do think it would do you both good to talk about the situation in more explicit terms. He is being very reassuring but he also needs to be honest. It would be okay if he felt disappointed by your decision - and it would also be okay if he felt relieved that a decision had been made and that you can move on.

Also both of your chances of having children would increase if you were with different partners, not just his. So on a completely practical level there are options you could look at (donor eggs/sperm/a surrogate) that you should probably talk through together before ruling out. And on an emotional level you can both agree (perhaps even publicly, through renewing your vows?) that you remain committed to each other above all else.

Mollydoggerson Wed 13-Feb-13 18:19:14

You could get ivf, have a baby and then split up.

No one has a crystal ball. Follow your instincts.

MoreBeta Wed 13-Feb-13 18:42:36

IThinkIKnowBestBut - I think you are being sensible about what IVF really means. There is the physical side of thinsg which is arduous for women and yes that bit is way way easier for men.

However, having been through it I think you are perhaps underestimating the emotional impact and stress on both people. You have to be incredibly strong as a couple to get through it and posisbly face the realisation you will never have children.

I dont think you are being selfish but I do think you have to talk to your husband.

IThinkIKnowBestBut Wed 13-Feb-13 21:31:27

I think also about the emotional impact too - I don't think I went there in the first post.
I'm always scared to say in RL - I can't pin my hopes on something like that. Sorry if I've not explained well I posted at work and ran off lol.
I just can't bear the thought of it on any level - main reason for reaching out I guess is its not a process than only effects me.

I feel incredibly bad I'm also really making a decision for someone else.

Only thing is really, if I didn't have a man who had a very low count, most of the moving ones apparently go round in circles, it would probably work.
I feel like say he wanted kids that much (which he claims he wants me more at this point) he'd go through the same thing anyway.

Sorry this is a big old garble - I guess I'm frightened to admit any of this even to myself and its still a mess in my head.

Thanks so much for all replies.
Its truly appreciated.

Skyebluesapphire Wed 13-Feb-13 21:40:34

OP, I was the same, met XH when I was 30. Fell deeply in love. He explained that he had fertility issues and had been told it would only happen through IVF. I had endometriosis so between us it seemed impossible. I married him because i loved him deeply and would rather have been with him and childless than be without him. Because I was 33 and overweight when we got married, we decided against IVF.

We talked about it a lot and agreed that we would lead a happy life together without kids. By some miracle I got pregnant in 2007 and had DD when I was 36. I wouldn't be without her now but I would never have gone down the IVF route. I do regret being an older mother though, especially after XH walked out.

If you talk this through properly with your husband, hopefully you can be at peace with your decision .

Skyebluesapphire Wed 13-Feb-13 21:45:16

I understand the emotional impact. My cousin has had three miscarriages since the age of 40. She is now too scared to try again because it could happen again. But if she doesn't try again then she will never get pregnant.

So she has the heartbreak of possibly going through it again or not even trying. It's an awful dilemma for her. Each time she has been pregnant she can't enjoy it for fear of what might happen and inevitably does happen.

I suppose you need to ask yourself what would be worse, not ever trying or trying and failing. I agree that fertility counselling may help.

This is something only you and your DH can resolve, as having a family is a very personal decision. Talk to him, and make sure he really is ok with never having a family. If both partners are not in agreement it is an issue which can break up even the strongest partnership. It nearly destroyed my marriage, and my DH had started out saying he wanted me more than kids too.

Dinkyblu Wed 13-Feb-13 22:44:53

Hope you come to a decision that is right for both you and dh

It is so hard as IVF really is a rollercoaster of emotions and isn't to be taken on lightly so i understand why you feel the way you do. My dh and I had icsi (IVF for male factor issues) and I now have a wonderful dd. she was worth every tear and heartbreak before she came along (we were lucky it happened 2nd time for us). That's just my story....I know other ladies and their partners who decided against the IVF route and lived a happy childless life together , other s that had regrets....and some I know even adopted. IVF wasn't as invasive as I thought....I was terrified of needles before but I was doing my own injections by the end of it. But once you get on that rollercoaster it's hard to get off.....and is so so expensive. For us it was worth it, for others it's just not for them. You are your own person and should follow your instincts and what you feel is right. No one should ever have to do anything they do not want to.

My only advice would be for you and your dh to be as open and honest as you can....sounds like you have been though and you say u have talked alot. Your relationship sounds strong. But these issues really do test us and can cause so many tears in the strongest relationships so I really do sympathise.

Good luck in your decisions x

alphabetspaghetti Thu 14-Feb-13 01:36:30

Do you have a bit of 'self preservation' going on? I didn't get as far as the IVF route (conceived on clomid), but I remember breaking down to DH, crying, angry and distraught that I "didn't want a f***ing baby. I now have two beautiful DS's.

I would be lying if it didn't change our relationship so I can see where you are coming from there. My SIL maintains her marriage is stronger for their fertility problems. Mine is certainly not. Would I have it another way? Absolutely not.

Sunnywithshowers Thu 14-Feb-13 01:46:35

Hello OP

DH and I have been told we're unlikely to have children, except via IVF. However, because of our ages and other things, the odds are very low. We have decided against it.

I don't have a crystal ball so don't know how our marriage will go. But although I'm sad that we are very unlikely to have children, I know we've given a lot of thought to it, and we have other kids in our lives that we can help.

Big hugs and good luck with whatever you and your DH decide x

Isabeller Thu 14-Feb-13 03:44:44

I am currently having fertility treatment and what you say makes a lot of sense. At my clinic there's a great counsellor and she can be seen independently of whether you're having treatment there or even at all, I'm sure most clinics are the same.

She specifically works with individuals and couples coming to terms with the end of their fertility journey eg where treatment isn't an option for whatever reason - and your reason is a completely valid one.

Best of luck xx Is

mariefrance1 Thu 14-Feb-13 07:52:39

I think it partly depends on how 'desperate' you are to have children. Some women won't rest until they have tried every option and it takes over their life. For me, I never wanted children and didn't see them in my future. Cutting a long story short later in life I had two rounds of IUI and two of IVF. It was invasive, expensive and the success rate is low. You have to put your life on hold for a long time. I don't blame you at all.

You can be happy without children. I ended up adopting a child which has turned out to be traumatic and heartbreaking. If you go down that route make sure you have your eyes open.

mariefrance1 Thu 14-Feb-13 07:54:15

By the way my husband and I did split up and all the stress over IVF and adoption did contribute. If we had remained childless we both think we would still be together.

IThinkIKnowBestBut Thu 14-Feb-13 09:43:36

Thank you all so much for your kind words. And sharing your stories openly with me.

I am interested now in what posters have said about counselling.
Like I say, I have made a decision not to do this.

As this is not a closed forum, I did not read replies but I read my OP to DH.

When I told him it was me (he thought it was a similar situation), he grabbed me and kissed me and told me he loved me and this wouldnt break us.

It was so sweet.

alphabetspaghetti Thu 14-Feb-13 12:41:52

Sounds like you have a good 'un there OP.

tazmo Fri 15-Feb-13 21:09:02

I echo the sentiments of other women - it depends how desperate you want kids yourself and as a couple. I always reckoned I'd be fine if ivf didn't work, but I was lucky and got pg 2nd time on ICSI and then subsequently went onto have 2 other children naturally and q frankly ICSI was the best thing I ever did. You r lucky to be young enough where your chances may be fairly high and if anyone asks me about ivf, I always urge people to try it at least once or twice to see how it works out for them and see how they respond.

If you can be clinical about not having children, then you can be clinical to realise its a means to a very positive end.... But I am a scientist too so I can be more clinical about these things. The only thing I would say, is having children is hard work so if anyone's relationship is a bit tenuous already, then ivf and the responsibility children bring can be the straw that broke the camels back. Alli would say is give ivf a try if u want children bad enough - it's not as bad as it sounds!

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