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About this situation with a friend? How would you deal with it?

(163 Posts)
bakeofffan Thu 31-Mar-16 14:19:30

We've been friends for a long time, over 20 years.

In that time she's always been very clear that she wanted children.

She has had several relationships in this time, and told me (with at least 2 of them) that she was trying for a baby. However nothing happened. In her early 30s she had about 6 months with no period, then a very heavy period- she went to her GP who said it might have been a miscarriage. However, no further investigations were suggested. Her relationship with that partner ended a few months later (unrelated reasons) and she was single then for a while.

Fast forward 10 years. She's 44 next month. Has been married for 3 years to her DH. He has always said he wanted DC but didn't feel they were 'ready' until about 6 months ago.

We were exchanging messages last week (planning to meet for her birthday) and she said as nothing's happened she is going to visit her GP, and ask for fertility testing, and about IVF. I said I wasn't sure if she would get IVF due to age...she got quite annoyed about that, how unfair it would be etc. Anyway I calmed the situation saying I was sure her GP would clarify the situation. She went away happy - but was still very much of the view that it wouldn't be too late for her, and even if she couldn't conceive naturally there would be IVF (they wouldn't be able to pay privately).

I'm quite concerned she'll see the GP and be told her chances are minimal (surely they must be at her age?), and she won't get IVF on the NHS, and what the fallout from that will be. She tends to think in quite a linear way (others have noticed this and suggested she may have some AS traits, I don't know enough about AS to say that, but she doesn't think of things in the round, or of any 'what ifs' usually) and I know hasn't thought 'what if I never have a baby?' because she's always just assumed she would. Appreciate that sounds naïve but I know her well enough to know that's her thinking.

The other thing is I'm not sure that even if a baby was possible, that her and her DH would cope with one. They are both hoarders (him more so) and there is little spare space in their house. Financially things are pretty tight too. Neither has any family to support them. And of course they'd be pensioners before any DC left school.

I don't want to give her false hope. Also even if it's not false, I really am not sure how they'd manage. Having a baby in their current housing situation with their finances would be hard in your 20s, but surely much worse in your 40s?

Herewegoagainfolks Thu 31-Mar-16 14:22:39

I don't think you are wrong, but this isn't your business really.

They are adults. They are capable to talking to the GP and making their own decisions.

You just need to nod and look interested when you mentions it.

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 31-Mar-16 14:23:08

Firstly it is absoloutley not for you to judge whether they would make good parents - that really is not something a friend would do.

And it is not your job to give her hope or medical advice. Thats for her doctor.

Why on earth couldnt you do the normal friend thing of "oh I do hope it goes well for you / that the IVF is an option / im thinking of you"

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 31-Mar-16 14:23:11

In the gentlest way possible, this is not your problem.

Be a friend and listen but you have to let these adults get on with making their own adult decisions.

I do agree though the chances for them are slim but what good will come from going on about it? The GP will set her straight and you'll probably have to be there to support her through that as a friend but beyond that it's really not your responsibility to take this on.

WonkoTheSane42 Thu 31-Mar-16 14:26:25

We were exchanging messages last week (planning to meet for her birthday) and she said as nothing's happened she is going to visit her GP, and ask for fertility testing, and about IVF. I said I wasn't sure if she would get IVF due to age...

You should have said "Good luck; I hope it goes well for you." Why are you so concerned about her fertility, family and finances? It's none of your business. Just wish her well and be a supportive friend.

ButEmilylovedhim Thu 31-Mar-16 14:30:20

I would be just around to listen. I'd let the professionals break any bad news. It doesn't sound like her and her DH are in the ideal position for looking after a baby but as it is fairly (very?) unlikely to happen, I would worry about if it happens.

bakeofffan Thu 31-Mar-16 14:30:44

I'm not going on about it. She asked for my input.

As a friend I'm concerned for her, that either post GP visit her entire life plan will come crashing down (and I'm not sure how supportive her DH will be, as I'm not sure he's ever been entirely on board with having kids anyway, he's just very much the anything for a quiet life type) or if not and if she does somehow manage to have a baby, that they are both entirely unprepared for how they will cope.

I have had to pick up the pieces for her many times in her life (when she got into massive debt, was homeless, got into situations involving the police and various exs, etc) and really I'm just trying to manage the inevitable fallout for this one way or another.

curren Thu 31-Mar-16 14:32:47

Quite honestly, I would be concerned too. No friends should judge each other. But you usually know your friends well enough to know things may not be a great idea.

I have two friends who are having a baby at the moment. I am concerned as one (says it himself) he is very selfish and loves his freedom. Like to be able to just do things at a moments notice. His husband very much lives to make him happy.

However I also know it's none of my business. It's entirely possible things will change when a baby is in the mix.

The truth is wether your friend gets Ivf or not isn't your business although she may need you if she doesn't get it, for support. As a friend all you can do is support her wether it works out how she planned or not.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 31-Mar-16 14:33:41

I have had to pick up the pieces for her many times in her life

Why?

curren Thu 31-Mar-16 14:35:02

Cross post.

In that case, you need to decide wether you can continue to support her.

I don't believe anyone should feel responsible for picking up someone's else pieces. We all do it for our friends but sometimes you need to put yourself first.

If you are at the point of worrying about what decisions she makes because it ends up heavily impacting you and it's causing you distress, maybe you need to take a step back from her.

QuiteLikely5 Thu 31-Mar-16 14:35:08

I think that you are over invested here. Yes you can be a good friend but don't invest too much of your emotions in her decisions and life choices.

There are guidelines for ivf treatment and I'm sure her gp will clarify. Your immediate response to her plans seemed quite negative. Being negative does not help someone deal with future situations that might turn out negative.

StitchesInTime Thu 31-Mar-16 14:35:54

I agree their chances are slim, but I wouldn't be pointing it out or going on about it. The GP is going to tell them that when they see the GP.

Just say you hope it works out and be ready to listen and support her if she needs it.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 31-Mar-16 14:36:18

Must admit I do sympathise with you about wondering how friends will cope as parents; we are friends with lots of ttc couples and the 'Congratulations!' would be a hell of a lot more sincere with some couples than others, just based on my knowledge of their personalities and how they cope with stress.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Thu 31-Mar-16 14:38:13

I am always a bit incredulous when a woman in her mid-40s is surprised that she can't have a baby. Women's fertility is almost a constant topic of discussion in women's magazines and the wider media.

TippyTappyLappyToppy Thu 31-Mar-16 14:38:55

Well anyone who gets married at 41 and then waits to TTC for 3 years because they or their partner 'isn't ready' is a bit of an entitled idiot if you ask me. IVF on the NHS isn't just there for people who wanted a few extra holidays and a couple more promotions at work before they started a family.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Thu 31-Mar-16 14:39:17

if she does somehow manage to have a baby, that they are both entirely unprepared for how they will cope

That's every parent ever, though, isn't it?
As for it being hard in your 40s, unless they are truly decrepit for their ages, it will be perfectly doable. Since they didn't have children in their 20s, they won't know how much harder it is in your 40s.

All you can really decide is how involved in all of this you want to be. Your posts come across a bit like a parent's. You say you have picked up the pieces for her a lot, but you needn't continue doing so unless you genuinely want to.

TippyTappyLappyToppy Thu 31-Mar-16 14:39:50

And agree with Moving

bakeofffan Thu 31-Mar-16 14:42:46

I've had to pick up the pieces because she's my friend and because there was no one else. She has no family, and for ex. when she was homeless, I was the only friend who had room to put her up. When she was in debt, I used my own bits of financial knowledge to work out budgets, how to contact companies and offer minimum payments, did boot sales to raise extra cash, etc.

I hope the GP does make it clear, and that she actually hears what they're telling her (rather than what she wants to hear).

sunshinesummer Thu 31-Mar-16 14:46:25

Waiting to TTC was a huge mistake, imo. I'm pretty sure that the upper age limit for IVF is 40? At least it is, where I live. My Sil asked for it (after a year or so of trying), and was turned away. She was extremely lucky and finally conceived naturally, giving birth at 44.

I can see why you're worried : you feel like you are going to have to manage the fall out from her disappointment.

It doesn't sound like you get much out of this friendship!

Floggingmolly Thu 31-Mar-16 14:47:09

They've been married for 3 years but didn't feel "ready" until 6 months ago... To make an active decision not to ttc when you're already 40 is insane. They both sound a little on the dim side, to be brutally honest.
But to echo everyone else, why are you going to pick up the pieces?

bakeofffan Thu 31-Mar-16 14:47:58

She isn't the magazine reading type at all.

And to be fair to her, they haven't waited because of holidays, promotions etc, neither is in a job where promotion happens, and since they got married they've had one holiday in the Lakes. Her DH said he wasn't ready, and that was that. Like I said, the feeling I have always had, is that he really isn't bothered if they have children or not, much as I think getting married was something he did because he knew how important it was to her.

I just am concerned that when I next see her I'll either be dealing with the fallout from GP saying it's too late/no IVF, or if the GP hasn't been clear (or she's not listened) that she'll be merrily thinking it's still going to happen, and I'll either have to lie, or burst her bubble.

Floggingmolly Thu 31-Mar-16 14:48:25

But she does have family now. Her husband is presumably in this with her.

PennyHasNoSurname Thu 31-Mar-16 14:53:45

Are you sure you are not just the "ride in on a white horse and save the day" type person? Itd be ideal really if she failed in the way you want her to wouldnt it; for you?

Pinkheart5915 Thu 31-Mar-16 14:54:26

I don't think it is any of your business really.
When your friend said about going to the gp about IVF why not just text good luck with that why say I don't think your get IVF due to age, advice about age and IVF comes from a doctor.
As for them being pensioners when the child leaves school, it's 2016 lots of women have children later in life a friend of my mum has just had her first baby at 43. Sometimes you just don't find that right person to have a child with until later in life.

tiktok Thu 31-Mar-16 14:58:02

Agree with PP about it not really being something you can even comment on....but I heard a radio programme yesterday (Inside Health) where fertility doctors were saying, to the incredulity of the presenter, that women are still presenting for IVF at forty-plus having never investigated any fertility issues before, and being surprised when they're told it's all very unlikely to happen. So it does appear this sort of denial/head-in-sand/lack of knowledge still happens.

It's odd to deliberately wait until 44 because of not feeling ready - at least not without knowing how loudly the biological clock is ticking. I mean, one wonders what planet she has been on...Her best chance at 44 is prob donated eggs - but doc will put her right one way or the other. There's also surrogacy.

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