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...to think this is it for me? (Fertility)

(18 Posts)
Mollie85 Sun 05-Mar-17 13:20:14

I've been feeling desperately sad recently. I am not sure if it is because of my age specifically or a mixture of that and my circumstances which are making me feel quite hopeless.

I am about to turn 36. Single for the last 8 months. (It was a short term relationship). I've never really had a relationship last longer than a year or so... I think by choice. (Was in a year long dv situation in my early twenties which affected me and the way I trusted people quite badly).

When I was 27 I was told that I had a condition which would cause issues with conceiving / carrying a child to full term. The medical condition is called uterus didelphys. Essentially, I have two wombs and two cervixes. I'm sure some of you read or watched programmes where the woman announces that she has 'two vaginas' and everyone enjoys the shock value of it and imagines between her legs she has two vulvas sat side by side. No. smile It's a bit less interesting than that. (Although the media never mentions that bit). From the outside, 'normal' but the inside, I suppose would be like your nose, with a septum dividing two canals then with two cervixes at the top and two seperate wombs (see pic if I am able to upload).
There is no "treatment" as such. Women have had the septum removed for comfort (sex can be quite painful and I've always been told it is 'tight' -sorry for TMI). I've never told any man that I've been intimate with about it. I suppose in a way it's not a very 'seductive' conversation to have and, yes, I am embarrassed. Which I realise is silly, but that doesn't stop the feeling.

In my particular case, my largest womb (left) has a blocked cervix.... the way it sits makes it difficult for them to operate. The best they could do would be to remove the septum and 'hope for the best'. The doctor at the time told me that whilst I was not infertile, it would take some serious medical planning to get to the stage of having a healthy baby in my arms. With the implication being that when I had a partner to come back and we'd go from there.

So here I am. 36 (almost). Childless and single living in rented accommodation. I have a great family and friends and a gorgeous neice. I read somewhere that I should 'give back' - so I work part time at meals for wheels, I bake cakes for residential homes each week and spend one night a week as an assistant at a Youth facility. I enjoy all of this. I know I should be happy with my lot. I'm not.

I dont know what I'm expecting to get from this thread. I just feel that I wanted to get it off my chest and put into words how I feel. I'm not expecting sympathy- I realise that aside from this, I live a charmed life. I can do what I like, have money in the bank and amazing people around me. It feels wrong to concentrate on one negative thing when there are so many other positives.

I think I just grew up taking for granted that I would be a mother .... and now ...well...

Apologies for the rather self absorbed post and thanks to those of you who made it to the end.

AlmostAJillSandwich Sun 05-Mar-17 13:28:08

Is there any way you could find a surrogate? Use IVF to take your eggs so baby is biologically yours, and use a sperm donor to create embryos and have another woman carry the baby?
I know it is way, way easier said than done to fund this and find a willing surrogate, just wondered if it was a potential option?

And absolutely you have my sympathy, it doesn't matter what else you have in terms of health, family, material possessions, money etc. A child is clearly a major importance to you and it's something you're facing the odds against achieving, that absolutely deserves empathy.

PussInCoutts Sun 05-Mar-17 13:29:22

Didn't want to read and run so... flowers and brew

There's a lot you could potentially do. Online dating, seeing your GP... I see no reason why at 36 you should think this is it for you. If I was you I'd give it a good 2-4 years to try find a good partner and get treatment to conceive. Do not give up yet when you still have the chance!

You wouldn't want to be looking back at 46 thinking 'I wish I had tried harder ten years ago, you never know what might have happened' flowers

PussInCoutts Sun 05-Mar-17 13:29:49

I second this

And absolutely you have my sympathy, it doesn't matter what else you have in terms of health, family, material possessions, money etc. A child is clearly a major importance to you and it's something you're facing the odds against achieving, that absolutely deserves empathy.

r0tringLover Sun 05-Mar-17 13:35:33

I can sympathise regarding the fertility.

Remember, lots of children need parents and being a biological parent is just one option to parenthood. I realise this is easier said than done.

Yes, you sound like you've been lucky in other areas of your life bu that doesn't make this difficult aspect any the easier.

myoriginal3 Sun 05-Mar-17 13:35:44

I second the notion of surrogacy. Btw, your post has made me feel sad for you. That's a lot for you to take in. For any woman to take in. I suppose adoption is not an option for you or you would have mentioned it? I realise I'm shooting in the dark here as you may prefer to have your own biological child. Apologies if I've said something triggering. I wish you all the luck in the world.

Owllady Sun 05-Mar-17 13:36:40

How long ago were you given this advice?
From what you have written, it strikes me that you'd benefit from up to date information and forward planning regarding a pregnancy as there may be other options open to you and it sounds like it would have to be medically managed any way.

Please don't feel embarrassed. It's not pleasant, granted, but loads of women have unpleasant gynae issues and its much more 'normal' to have abnormalities/medical issues than you imagine. You just have to take a deep breath and get a referral.

lurkingnonparent Sun 05-Mar-17 13:37:22

Hello OP. Sorry to hear you feel so sad. I know too that nothing that anyone else can say will stop you from feeling that way - you're aware of what's going on for you that is positive and good and yet life can still feel so bloody unfair. I get that. No matter what we have when things are going right, what we don't have can still feel like an all-consuming vacuum.

I write this as someone who thought they would have kids and, well, turned out I just can't. My friends can, I can't. No reason, just shitty old life. I'm too old now to do anything about it. I'm also mid a career change as my first one also went a bit tits up so also on that front I look at my more successful friends and sigh.

But. And here's the thing. You know what, there are some things you don't have but I think you sound pretty amazing. You are giving back. You're dealing with a tough hand with grace.

You sound how I felt about a year ago when I was grieving for the family I thought I'd have. Grief is the only way to describe it. But grief, with time, evolves.

I can't say things will magically all get resolved and god knows that's not helpful. But I can say that this feeling will change, you will see all the new directions that your own circumstances allow you (the freedom you have!) and you will feel less sad and more strong. But you are allowed to grieve.

And, if and when you meet the right man, 'those' conversations will be fine because he will love you. I met my dh 'late' and it was the best thing, because we knew ourselves. Too late for kids, but we have a really strong marriage and while we didn't get it all, we got something truly valuable.

Give yourself permission to grieve. But look forwards too. You will still have - are having - a good life. It is not what you expected, but it won't be any the less for that. I really do wish you all the best.

RoboticSealpup Sun 05-Mar-17 13:55:32

With the implication being that when I had a partner to come back and we'd go from there.

But surely there are options, even if you don't have a partner? You say you have "money in the bank". Could you go private for IVF using donor sperm, and talk to a doctor about what they can do for you with regards to your womb? The mere fact that you are single shouldn't be a reason to be involuntarily childless for the test of your life. Relationships can come and go but children are forever. Just imagine how many women become single after having a child, or have a child with someone they're only casually connected with. It happens all the time, and it's certainly no disaster! In fact starting out single is surely preferable to having a deadbeat man around that you can't rely on anyway. (Disclaimer: I'm not a single mother myself.)

I think if you really want children, you should at least try before it's too late. If you can.

Mollie85 Sun 05-Mar-17 13:58:22

Thank you so much to all who have answered and for your kindness, which has genuinely moved me to tears.

Sorry to drip feed -

A large part of this is that I live in the channel islands, which affects me in the following ways:

Medicine - we dont have the NHS. We have private health care. A doctors appointment is £50. I was lucky to have been referred to the specialists and I am under their care, but, by their own admission, I am the only person they know in the CI to have this case. Indeed, when I was first diagnosed I was sent off to UCH in London and had a meeting with a lovely lady there who went through things with me. I was a bit shellshocked at the time and I rather felt like I was watching the appointment from above (if that makes sense). I didn't really take it in.
I have regular meetings with my specialist who is lovely (a side effect of the condition is crippling dysmenorrhea which leaves me in bits each month). The feeling is the same, once I am in the position to move forward with a partner, etc then we will go through everything.

I dont even know if I feel that I'm ready to attempt it without a partner.

The channel islands thing is relevant as it effects the dating scene too...with such a low population and only four secondary schools when I grew up...you tend to know everyone. My last two boyfriends have in fact been visitors to the island. I have been on and off a dating site for two years and nothing has come of it yet, but I remain hopeful.

Surrogacy and adoption - surrogacy is out because of the cost. Whilst I have a nest egg, to blow that all on surrogacy and then have nothing going forward to support the child as a single parent does seem impossible.
Adoption in the channel islands is not as common as in the UK. There are very few children here waiting to be adopted and for obvious reasons, we cannot adopt children from the mainland (although up until the late 80's this was common practice).

I am not trying to find holes in everything that people are saying, just trying to explain more about the situation and why I feel so hopeless.

Thank you once again for helping. flowers

Owllady Sun 05-Mar-17 14:07:07

I think before you throw in the towel, you need to explore with a counselling professional as to whether you do want to try alone. You have nothing to lose by doing this and it will help with not only making a decision but moving on from it too.

Wingsofdesire Sun 05-Mar-17 14:32:24

Oh my goodness. You are so positive, and so long-suffering. I really admire you. This is such a challenge, and yet you are doing everything you can to try not to be selfish and to be content with 'your lot'.

But that's just it - actually you don't want to accept it. You are quite right to feel something is missing, because it absolutely is. Of course it is. All around you people are having babies like sneezing and building gorgeous families and having that deep satisfaction of having passed on their genes and being able to raise their children and buy Moses baskets and think about schools and do everything that pretty much everybody else is doing ... to lie at night holding a little hand and reading a story ... even to have to get their act together for the dreaded World Book Day.

I actually have tears in my eyes as I'm writing this to you. And my observation is going to be that despite trying to damp yourself down, you DO want to do everything you can to try. You are actually not just full of sadness and frustration, but also full of HOPE, and it won't even hear the word 'no'. So my message is to FIGHT for it.

You must fight for it. You go through those agonising periods every month - but they are your sign that you are fertile. You are ovulating. You are ONLY 36. That's nothing. That's still fine, it's OK - you will probably still be fertile well into your 40s. Ages away.

Don't give up. Calm down. Make plans. You're not in a rush - you have time. So focus on what you need to get in place to then go for the challenging but - crucially - POSSIBLE medical treatment and attention that will result in at least one child for you.

And wow I can think of guys who'd be delighted about the being 'tight', and the option of two ways to go inside - a dream for them!!! (I'm trying to cheer you up here - not downplaying how you must feel about being different : ( But I honestly think more than one guy would think it was actually fairly amazing ...).

What a thing for you to have kept to yourself : ( How alone sometimes you must have felt, even when being very close to another person : ( Really I feel like crying for you : (

My recipe for success would be:

Find a guy. A damn nice one. One who also really wants children.
Realise that you do need to tell him.
Together, look at the logistics of doing this. Maybe you even have to live elsewhere to get the medical funding. I don't know. Be open-minded.

You can of course go for it on your own, either with a sperm donor, or even a surrogate, but that is, to my mind, a later resort. Why shouldn't you find someone? Why shouldn't you have kids with him, and a family? You really must go for that first, I think.

So now turn your efforts to finding a guy. Get on those websites. See it as your project. Look up in the coffee shop and scan the room for a face you like. Look him in the eye. Find someone. Find the father of your child(ren).

Get the right guy, get the treatment, have the baby, chose the cot. Seriously. You can.

Mollie85 Sun 05-Mar-17 14:59:31

wingsofdesire Thank you. Your post has just meant the world to me. Really. You have no idea how much.

Thank you to all for your words. Women being there for other women and for lifting them up - there's nothing like it.

Wingsofdesire Sun 05-Mar-17 15:56:10

You are so welcome, more than welcome. I'm just glad if we made you feel even a tiny bit better. It's nothing, but everything, I know, to hear that someone thinks you can do it, and that someone cares about your pain.

Lostwithinthehills Sun 05-Mar-17 16:19:01

I can absolutely offer you sympathy. Wholeheartedly. Wanting to be a mother but struggling to achieve that dream, which is so very easy for the vast majority, is a desperately difficult situation to be in. You have done great things by trying to 'give back' and you're right to try to find comfort in that and the other good things in your life but facing unwanted childlessness is a different thing altogether. I understand the sadness and grief and I don't think you are self absorbed by experiencing it or expressing it. I hope you find a way to overcome your difficult circumstances. X

bananafish81 Sun 05-Mar-17 16:21:12

Wishing you tonnes of luck OP

To pp recommending surrogacy

I'm not sure that people who recommend it quite understand what it involves

For UK surrogacy you're looking at around £15,000 in expenses. Plus around £5-10,000 on IVF (or more) depending on how many rounds

I say this as someone who is facing surrogacy because my uterus is seemingly unable to sustain a pregnancy

There is a woman I chat with on an infertility forum (who is having IVF due to male factor) who has the same condition. No one has ever said at any clinic that she shouldn't consider carrying a child herself.

Wishing you all the love and luck in the world OP x

bananafish81 Sun 05-Mar-17 16:22:00

*the same condition being uterus didelphys

AgathaMystery Sun 05-Mar-17 16:35:40

I hope you manage to get some up to date advice OP. I've a lovely picture on my office wall of a baby delivered (by C section) from a woman with the exact same condition as you. She had ICSI.

Very good luck flowers

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