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To think not having children because you've never met the right person...

(162 Posts)
user1485342611 Fri 16-Jun-17 14:12:12

is just as sad for someone as not being able to have children due to infertility?

I have a friend in this position. She has always longed for a baby but just never met the right person to marry and start a family with. She's 45 now and recently had to have a hysterectomy.

I was saying to a mutual friend how sad I felt for her because she would have been a great mum. The friend just shrugged her shoulders and said 'well, that's life'.

Fair enough, you might think. But mutual friend has been terribly sympathetic to other friends who have been unable to conceive. So AIBU to think she should be equally sympathetic towards this friend?

araiwa Fri 16-Jun-17 14:13:44

Is it some sort of competition?

weeblueberry Fri 16-Jun-17 14:13:52

But she could have had a child if she wanted to? Before getting the hysterectomy and by using a donor?

talkingtofrank Fri 16-Jun-17 14:14:14

I do feel sympathy but I think it's a different kind of situation because she could have chosen to go it alone if she would have wanted via sperm donor, so I see it as being party a choice rather than circumstances beyond ones own control.

OrlandoTheCat Fri 16-Jun-17 14:16:59

PP talk as if "going it alone" was just a matter of choice and in every way as straight forward as doing it with a partner....
...you can't seriously think that can you????

user1485342611 Fri 16-Jun-17 14:20:31

I don't think 'going it alone' by having a child by donor is really something she'd do, due to religious beliefs. But I think her sense of loss and regret is just as strong as those who are physically unable to conceive.

No of course it's not a competition. What a crass remark.

talkingtofrank Fri 16-Jun-17 14:20:58

No it is not as straightforward as having a child with a partner, but if you were desperate for a child then the option is there, someone struggling with infertility does not have that option.

McTufty Fri 16-Jun-17 14:21:03

Of course it's not a competition, both are in their own ways very sad situations for those involved - but I agree it's really off for your friend to sympathise with infertility but not with someone who has never met someone.

Being chronically and unintentionally single is desperately lonely.

everymummy Fri 16-Jun-17 14:22:19

I agree with you OP.

yes she could have gone it alone with a donor, in the same way as people with infertility could have chosen to use donor egg/sperm.

I feel terribly sad sometimes for amazing friends who wanted children but didn't meet the right person with within their window of opportunity.

ParmaViolets17 Fri 16-Jun-17 14:24:13

Being chronically and unintentionally single is desperately lonely.

Maybe even more so without children.

talkingtofrank Fri 16-Jun-17 14:25:30

Erm everymummy, not everybody who is infertile could get pregnant using a donor egg or sperm. What an ignorant thing to say. Some people are infertile due to hysterectomies just like the op's friend.

Excited101 Fri 16-Jun-17 14:26:02

I agree op, it's a horrible and very sad position to be in.

TheMysteriousJackelope Fri 16-Jun-17 14:28:22

I would imagine she was a lot more sympathetic directly to the person who actually had the hysterectomy.

Maybe she felt so bad for your mutual friend that she didn't want to even think about it, let alone talk it over. Also, it is quite a personal thing and she may have felt it was gossiping.

everymummy Fri 16-Jun-17 14:30:00

No, talkingtofrank, not everyone could, and not everyone who is single could either. In my experience, many couple who have infertility do not resort to gamete donation.

There are infinite variables in infertility, and life.

bumblebeebuzzing Fri 16-Jun-17 14:30:47

I agree being long term single is terribly lonely particularly if you want children and a family life etc.

Both circumstances are sad and both deserve empathy

Aeroflotgirl Fri 16-Jun-17 14:31:08

Yes it is sad, not everyone want's to go down the donor route, they want to find a partner to settle down with, and then a family, but for some it does not happen.

everymummy Fri 16-Jun-17 14:33:05

For example, i have a friend who nursed her sick father for several years, missing out on much of the life that might have led to children. She could not have got a sperm donor.

And I speak as someone who did use a sperm donor.

VladmirsPoutine Fri 16-Jun-17 14:35:11

Empathy is not a finite resource so in that sense you are not being unreasonable.

That said, I don't think it's quite the same.

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 16-Jun-17 14:37:48

I think it is really sad, yes. And terribly sad that she never thought to get a donor.

user1485342611 Fri 16-Jun-17 14:38:26

But why aren't they the same? They are both women who, for different reasons, have been unable to have a longed for baby.
Both probably feel equally sad when another friend announces a pregnancy, or a colleague brings a new baby into work, or they can't join in the general chit chat about schools, or birthday parties etc.

But one gets sympathy and understanding, the other (who doesn't even have a partner to share her sadness with) doesn't.

LetsSplashMummy Fri 16-Jun-17 14:40:15

To be honest, I think it is quite distasteful for friends to discuss how tragic another friend is behind their backs. I don't like that kind of conversation and might reply in a "that's life," way to you whilst being sympathetic to the actual friend.

I think it is a different kind of pain, more slow burn than the peaks and troughs of IVF, miscarriages or even TTC over a long time. There is no competition though.

Coddiwomple Fri 16-Jun-17 14:45:16

Of course it's sad. If someone is alone but not by choice, and very lonely, people should show a bit of sympathy. It's impossible in real life, because you would sound awfully patronising. You can't say sorry you are single, can you.

No one said it had to be a competition. You could argue that couple faced with infertility have each other, so it's easier than being on your own.

Of course having a child on your own, with a donor for example, is absolutely not a choice for some people. hmm If it feels right for you, it's great, but it's not a solution for others.

WinifredAtwellsOtherPiano Fri 16-Jun-17 14:53:05

A lot of medically infertile people have their own lines in the sand that they won't cross for religious, financial, prudential or ethical reasons. I don't scale my sympathy according to how far people were prepared to go.

TheMysteriousJackelope Fri 16-Jun-17 14:53:37

This is why I don't discuss medical details with friends until everything is safely over. I do not want to be the subject of neighborhood gossip and people looking at me all 'awwwww' which frankly makes me want to slap them.

Possibly the other lady got more sympathy because it was a completely new situation for your friend, she has seen her get on with her life so doesn't feel quite as dreadful for the second person to go through it.

Wanttobehonest Fri 16-Jun-17 14:56:14

"That's life" to me sounds like you are acknowledging life doesnt always turn out like planned/hoped.

There are lots of sadnesses, including not having met the right partner during your fertile years, if you long to have a baby. I know people who have not had children as they were carers, or couldnt due to ill health (not infertility).
It is sad, but it is life.
It is probably better to discuss this with the person concerned though.

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