Or is my DP? (Infertility related)(38 Posts)
We started TTC 4 years ago. After a couple of years and various tests we found out we couldn't naturally and our only hope was IVF. Since then we have been on an extremely long waiting list for treatment. Finally, we got the news last week that our names are now at the top and we should be beginning treatment soon.
It has been a very difficult time and I have really struggled being around pregnant friends and babies/young children, and have drifted apart from some friends as a result. Obviously I'm happy for them but I just find it really upsetting. I'm not quite as raw as I was a couple of years ago but I still find it really hard.
We have been invited to a friend's birthday gathering the weekend after next. It's a daytime affair so that everybody can bring their kids. There will be at least 2 heavily pregnant women there, plus around 15 children ranging from newborn to 5 years old. Plus it seems like every time I go to something like this, another pregnancy is announced.
So I told DP that I didn't think I would feel up to going. He doesn't see what the problem is. He doesn't understand why I'm still upset by these things and thinks that now we're at the top of the waiting list, I should be over it. And if I'm not over it by now, when will I be? (Er, when I'm holding my baby in my arms perhaps?)
Tbh I was so that I just burst into tears and told him to f*ck off. I have pointed out that there's only a 1 in 4 chance of the IVF actually working and more likely than not we still have a long road ahead of us. He thinks that I am being overly negative and that the hardest part is over
He has been fairly supportive prior to this but I don't think he's ever really understood how heartbreaking this has been for me (he's quite laid back and although he wants kids he's never been desperate for a baby to the point where that's all he can think about).
So, is he right? Should I suck it up and force myself to go? Or is he being an insensitive knob?
It sounds as though he's getting shitty about you not wanting to go.
Fair enough if he doesn't understand why you don't want to, but I presume he could ask (has asked?) and you've told him.
The problem is why isn't he accepting that you have every right to feel the way you do (and you do have every right IMO).
Would he really feel comfortable with going with you knowing you feel forced into it and deeply unhappy? Why would he want to hurt you like that?
Why does he want to go so much? Is he trying make another point which has nothing to do with the get together?
Of course you shouldn't force yourself to go, he's definitely being an insensitive knob.
I think your fella has been insensitive here. Obviously this is hurting you a lot and he should be tuned in to that and supporting you accordingly.
On the other hand, I'm not sure it's good for you to isolate yourself from your friends with kids. When/If you do conceive, you're going to want to have that social circle around you and cutting contact is going to make it much harder to really enjoy your pregnancy if it comes. Hopefully you're still trying to be positive about this though I realise a dose of realism is necessary. Do your friends know about your difficulties? I'm sure if you were in a position to host a party whilst you were pregnant you'd be mortified by the idea of someone not feeling they could attend as they were facing the same issues. At the end of the day I think you should boh plan to do whatever feels best for you but I'd bear all this in mind. Could you perhaps come up with an excuse that you may only be able to attend for a short time (thereby giving you an eject option should things get too much) but if things are going well then that fictitious issue not materialise? I'm usually not one for making things up but it's obvious you're extremely sensitive about this so surely your guy can make up some excuse about being on standby with work or something so you both have an option to leave if things get too stressful (that way not too obvious if need be)?
I don't think men (and I'm generalising I know) fully understand the stress and pressure of conception on a woman. My DH is very laid back. He doesn't understand why I'm worried about conceiving (even though he's aware that I'm 31 this year, have had implanon for 4.5 years and have PCO). He keeps assuring me it will be fine. "No stress".
That said, there is a point where some people feel like you're being attention seeking, or dwelling for no good reason except to dwell. I understand you're having conception issues but you have to see that you're being a bit mean and selfish towards your friends by not celebrating their lives and achievements simply because it's not an achievement you've reached yet. Yes it sucks, but they shouldn't be made to feel like their kids, their pregnancies, their special news is anything but amazing... or you may end up with some very resentful people when you get pregnant and expect a big deal to be made, or you may end up disappointed when no-one cares because you didn't care about them.
It sounds to me like he's TRYING to be supportive but he's frustrated that you're not trying to meet him halfway and you're trying to isolate yourself. I'd suggest going but setting a "leave" time and unless you signal him otherwise, you leave at that time.
Oh bless you. That is a hard journey you've already been on.
Don't go if you don't fancy it. I don't understand why you would make yourself miserable if you don't need to.
My dh usedto retreat to another room to take phone calls announcing his friends' pregnancies. Although he didn't share my anxiety to the same degree, he did show sensitivity about this sort of thing.
Pregnant women still made me feel stabby when 2mcs and 3 rounds of ivf later, I was successfully pregnant!
This was me 5 years ago. I went from a carefree newly wed to a depressed, tearful shell of my former self. I tried to carry on as normal, hiding my feelings of pain and desolation from others which just resulted in severe depression and a spell on anti depressants. It is extremely hard to anyone who hasn't experienced infertility to understand the effect it can have on your mental health.
I ended up seeing a clinical psychologist after CBT therapy at the doctors did nothing to help. The clinical psychologist was fantastic. She made me see that I needed to protect my own mental health and if that meant avoiding situations which involved children then so be it. We gradually worked on managing these situations but being told that it was ok to be (what i perceived to be) 'selfish' when I needed to be was a lifesaver for me.
This tactic helped me survive 5 years of infertility, recurrent miscarriages, difficult pregnancies and 2 traumatic births. Even now, with a newborn and a 2 year old, I suffer from anxiety after the battle of the last 5 years. Somedays I need to withdraw and protect myself, others I can face the world with true happiness and joy. Every day I learn to cope a little bit better and recover.
You should be able to access counselling now you are on the IVF path and I strongly recommend you use it. In the meantime protect yourself. Do not do things that make you unhappy just because you think you need to keep other people happy. Talk to your partner and make him understand how hard things are for you.
YANBU. We were TTC for 3 years and social occasions with babies, small children and pregnant women were crippling. We took the approach of going but leaving if I couldn't cope. Sometimes we had a lot of fun and enjoyed catching up; other times we left and I sobbed all the way home.
As others have said, you need to do what's best for you and if it's simply too difficult to go, don't go. It's just one event. Plan to do something else that you really want to do if you can't face it.
I'm sorry to hear of your shitty time. I wouldn't wish fertility woes on my worst enemy.
All the best for IVF
Definitely YANBU. I had a dreadful time TTC and 3xIVF. Like the others have said I would not wish it on my worst enemy. And no one can understand fully unless they have been there. I say avoid the places and parties that will upset you at the moment. Your real friends will understand . Your DH perhaps never will. I think it is purely a gender issue. Mine never really understood my grief and depression. ( I now have a DD )
Good luck with your IVF
My sister can never have babies even with ivf and she wanted them so badly. She's at the stage where all her friends are beginning families and she smiles to them and cries behind closed doors.
I don't think you should cut yourself off from your friends though. People are going to have children, including you hopefully in the future and you have to find some sort of mental safeguard.
And any tactless comments should be met with 'yes I'd love babies, but unfortunately it's tricky' when my sister is blunt rather than deferring or witty she usually gets apologies.
Just wanted to add that I can imagine myself being in exactly the same situation. We have been ttc for two years now, and it is utterly, utterly shit.
My dh is like yours in that he is generally supportive, but can't really get his head around how I feel. He is also very laid back and certain that it will happen, it's just taking a bit longer for us, which I'm just not.
ya-absolutely-nbu to not want to go. Please don't feel like you're being selfish or anything else. Before I had experienced infertility, I had no idea just how painful it is. You have to protect yourself. It's just a party - your friends will understand.
I can see where your dh is coming from because mine is the same, and I don't think he's being intentionally insensitive. But you just have to keep trying to get the message across.
Yanbu. It is heartbreaking and your friends should understand why events like this make it all even harder for you. If they don't understand, fuck 'em, they're not friends and their opinions don't matter. Don't listen to people like Skydelic. Not wanting to spend a party sobbing away in the bathroom is not selfish. Put yourself first and good luck with IVF.
YANBU, but you can't stop living because of it, that is when it starts to become unhealthy.
How would you feel if a friends avoided your get togethers? It's horrible, my friend did it to me when I was pregnant.
I understand your feelings, but babies & pregnant women are everywhere, do you avoid all places where there is a risk of running into them?
YANBU to have these feelings, but I can understand your DH's point of view too. He just wants to go to the birthday gathering and have a nice time with his wife and friends. Feel sad for both of you.
YANBU but at the same time I'm not convinced your DH is either. It's obviously different for him and he doesn't feel the same way as you or have the same emotional response to the infertility. Don't go if it will upset you but try not to fall out with your DH about this. You will need each other's support to get through with the IVF process. Sit down have a chat about it without argument and swearing. Good luck with the IVF.
This is going to sound really bitchy but if you are this upset and desperate about having a baby why have you not tried IVF privately whilst waiting for NHS IVF ? I know that it's expensive but if it's affecting your life to such an extent surely you could have found a way over 4 years (saving, borrowing, bank loans, extreme economising) .You could have focused on getting the money together and obsessing about that rather than mentally protecting yourself against real life
My username says it all! Firstly, please don't believe the success rates as in the end it's actually 50/50 - IVF either works or it doesn't.
My DH was exactly the same as yours and for the first 10yrs of us IVF-ing I repeatedly on most days had to explain to him that everywhere I went it felt like my face was being rubbed in it.
I then turned this into "It's more harming than good going to these events and is becoming mentally and emotionally detrimental to me".
I explained that I was going through my own grieving process (for what I may never have) and this hit a nerve with DH.
He finally understood where I was coming from after I said this.
Wishing you every success xx
I can understand why you feel as you do but I can understand your husbands feelings too.
Nobody is wrong in how they feel. You feel how you do and want to be understood for it, he deserves the same consideration. You can't understand why he doesn't feel the same as you and support you in that, he could say the same of you.
If you don't want to go, don't. He should at least support you in that by reassuring you that's ok. However, you should do him the same courtesy. Maybe say you can understand he doesn't feel as you do atm and that you genuinely feel he'd benefit from being there so he should still go.
Carben - in Wales, you are entitled to 2 free IVF cycles. If you have had one private cycle, you can only have one free go. Therefore, it would be madness to go private first. Rules differ across the UK, but this just shoes that it's not so straightforward as paying before trying the NHS.
I don't think there is a right or wrong here, each of you has perfectly valid feelings on this.
I can completely understand how hard this must be for you, but I can also understand why your DH doesn't want to put his whole life on hold and alienate himself from his friends. He's not being insensitive, he just feels differently to you.
Can you come to a compromise? Maybe you could go to the party but invent an excuse why you can't stay long and have it ready so that if you do start to feel upset, you can leave. Your DH would have to support that obviously, and be on the lookout for you, but that would be his side of the deal, and yours would be giving it a try.
Sending a hug. You are doing absolutely the right thing, by not attending. Of course you can't isolate yourself from pregnancy and birth, but this sort of party will be a fertility-fest - by the sound of it, the majority of women there will be either pregnant or with young children. I can tell you from bitter experience that in this case the majority of the conversation will revolve (quite naturally) round children/motherhood. If you haven't got them yourself, there is nothing you can usefully contribute when there is a lengthy debate around BLW and this only serves to reinforce the feeling of separateness and of mothers being in a club you can't join. With Mother's Day coming up tomorrow as well, (always a hard weekend for infertile people) I would stay away. If you'd like to see your friend to celebrate her birthday, suggest meeting her for lunch next week or similar.
The poster who mentioned the therapist upthread is right - you are going through a tough time and it's worth protecting yourself.
Wishing you all the best for your IVF.
This must be hard for you. I think YANBU to feel this way, it must be difficult to put on a brave face when others are announcing pg news.
However, does this mean your DH can never do things with this group of friends? As they all have pre-school DCs, they are more likely to arrange meet ups in the day with DCs in tow, you are effectively ruling yourself out of this friendship group if you are never going to go to events where their DCs will be there. It also will be hard if you just step away completely and then expect to be welcomed back, and act like you haven't distanced yourself for years, when you are pregnant/have a DC of your own.
I sort of understand, it was very hard for me to be holding one friend's 2 month old baby when at the same time I was still bleeding from a miscarriage of a much wanted baby (that had taken quite a while to get pregnant with).
If you can't face it, send your DH on his own, but do make an effort to try to meet up with them without DCs or chat on the phone, even explain why and what's going on with you and why it hurts to meet up with their DCs, don't just disappear from their lives at a point when, with new DCs, they actually need good friends. Most people will understand, but only if you let them and you make the effort to stay in their lives in ways that doesn't hurt you too much.
Also remember, this is something your DH is going through too, and different people deal with difficult emotional problems differently. It might well feel to your DH like he's finally got hope, and you're telling him he's not allowed to be excited. It might well be these friends, containing fathers, are a group of people your DH would be able to talk to about this, and expect them to understand what he is going through.
Oh love. I really feel for you. Infertility really is incredibly tough. I am currently pregnant after 4 rounds of IVF and my time unsuccessfully ttc has definitely changed me as a person.
Personally, I don't think it's a good thing to isolate yourself from your friends. When we were long term ttc I always found announcements difficult to handle, but once I got past that, I could deal with the rest of it and saw friends when pregnant, held newborns, played with toddlers, etc. It was important to me not to shut myself away.
Do your friends know about your struggles? I was very open about it, and I think that helped - people were generally sensitive about it around me (without tiptoeing, I hope, but just not rubbing my nose in how it only took them 5 minutes to get pregnant or whatever).
A couple of people have suggested going, but leaving early if you get too upset. I think that is a good compromise. Could you live with that?
I wouldnt force yourself to go if you really feel you dont want to. There will be many simular events though, and when I was going through years of ivf it would have been nigh on impossible to withdraw from everything like this. Everyone deals with things differently, and I found getting out and putting a brave face on it actually helped me. It seems a shame to alienate yourself from friends in the process. Although, believe me, there was the odd day when I didnt even feel like getting out of bed! Why not go and see how you feel when you get there?
Also you are finally about to embark on your first ivf. It is daunting, but also an exciting time for you and your dp. It may not be long until you are pregnant and with child - enjoy this time you have as a couple before you start the treatment! Wishing you lots of luck.
I understand and think YANBU.
We have just had a failed ivf icsi cycle and apparently we are so infertile our chances of ivf ever working are very very low. I'm only 30 but it turns out my eggs are useless in addition to dh's sperm being useless too.
I have a baby shower next weekend. It may tip me over the edge.
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