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AIBU to change my mind about TTC

(39 Posts)
JustANewOne Wed 27-Mar-19 20:08:26

NC but regular poster.

DH and I have been TTC for 3 years. 6 months ago after tests, we were told we would need IVF, very little hope of a natural conception.

When we began TTC I was 30 (DH 40) which feels a lifetime ago now. I've never been a person who 'had' to have children, but we loved the idea of having a family and we're doing well financially. I thought if it happens, great. If not, oh well.

But when it became evident it wasn't happening, I really wanted it to. I was devestated when we were told it wasn't likely. It's a rollercoaster.

Our lives have revolved around this for so long, that I'm starting to wonder if it's right.

I've had to accept the idea it might never happen, and what that future would look like. Focusing on positives like freedom, less stress, more spontaneity and so on.

And I'm starting to think maybe it's not happened for a reason. Maybe I'm not meant to be a mum.

AIBU to feel like this? To think, after all this, that enough is enough and I can have just a happy life without children?

Or am I protecting myself from the pain of infertility, telling myself I don't want what I reasonably know won't happen.

I'm not jealous at all of friends with children and I find puppies cuter than babies confused all I hear about is the no sleep, constant worry and financial costs of kids - but the idea of never having a family physically hurts.

Anyone ever felt anything similar? At all? sad

fc301 Wed 27-Mar-19 20:20:37

Very sorry to hear this. You are, of course, very sensible to examine all the options, discuss with your partner & follow your heart. 💐

fc301 Wed 27-Mar-19 20:21:27

It took me 4 yrs to have my first so I do understand.

JustANewOne Wed 27-Mar-19 20:24:18

fc301 thanks for posting. Could I ask - did you have any moments of wanting to stop trying and seeing a positive life without DC?

Scottishgirl85 Wed 27-Mar-19 20:25:43

Im sorry you're in this position flowers
Only you and your husband can make such a decision. Plenty of couples lead very full and happy lives without children. On the flipside, we had IVF to have our children and it's not as scary as it sounds. We decided we couldn't imagine life without children. Good luck with whatever you decide x

Bungalowbeth Wed 27-Mar-19 20:29:10

We tried for about six months in our late thirties, when it didn’t happen we just shrugged and concentrated on enjoying the life we had. Perhaps I am the wrong person to ask but like you, I don’t get jealous of friends having babies, find kittens and puppies cuter etc.

I wonder if I was just having a phase at the time to be honest as I really don’t think a child would have enriched my life.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

TapasForTwo Wed 27-Mar-19 20:29:37

There is another thread on MN about how different your life is after having children. I will link it when I can find it.

IM0GEN Wed 27-Mar-19 20:33:17

Yes of course you can have a happy life without children. They are a huge tie and mums especially end up giving up a big part of their lives for them.

Being a dad is a lot more fun than being a mum TBH.

Singlenotsingle Wed 27-Mar-19 20:36:35

Out of my group of school friends, six of us, three had children and three didn't. We are all happy with our decision. Those without dc are perhaps even a bit smug!

JustANewOne Wed 27-Mar-19 20:37:11

I wonder if I was just having a phase at the time to be honest as I really don’t think a child would have enriched my life

That's exactly what I'm wondering. Was it just my biological clock?

Now I think 'I couldn't do X, Y or Z if I had a DC', or my DH would struggle with energy, and the reality of a child's needs at every stage; it's quite overwhelming.

And children just seem loud. Lovely but oh so loud. I adore my friend's DC...but I can hand them back (quite happily). Does this mean I'm not cut out to be a mum?

Maybe I'm too used to being essentially selfish, putting myself/DH first.

toomuchtooold Wed 27-Mar-19 20:39:34

I had a difficult route to children - multiple miscarriages and IVF - and I think that the pain of infertility is something that you have to sort of mourn and get past whether you eventually have kids or not. Like, I don't think having kids makes it all good. If it works you still went through this trauma, and then on top you have a baby to look after - assisted conception is a risk factor for PND. I wouldn't be without my kids now of course, but I have to say it has been a tough old road, as much since I had the kids as before. If you reckon you can see a way through to a nice life without kids, I think that sounds like a great thing.

Singlenotsingle Wed 27-Mar-19 20:41:02

Being a parent is bloody relentless hard work. And you're always short of money. I don't know that I'd do it again if I had my time over.

Bungalowbeth Wed 27-Mar-19 20:49:20

@justanewone, there is nothing selfish about not having children. Quite the opposite I feel, I’m not saying that to sway you I just dislike that stereotyped thought trotted out by the patriarchy minded society.

Nurseornot Wed 27-Mar-19 20:50:01

Having children is unlike anything else in life. I feel like having children gives me a reason for living life, and being more comfortable with the idea of death in the context that when my parents die, I will have my children and then hopefully grandchildren to look after. Life consisting of sole material luxuries could not fulfill me, nor console me as my loved ones pass on through old age. Any career could not make me feel as though life was worth living either.

That being said, having children means being prepared for pain. Pain when you give birth and pain of worrying for your children, especially if they have an illness or special need. If you are very sensitive and cannot handle the sacrifice, then maybe children will not be a possibility, I don't know. IVF is not as painful as birth and certainly not as painful as any time spent in SCBU/Neonatal or any other children's ward.

I just say, you need to be very sure of your decision. Any path you go down can never be undone. You really need to think about what will have made life worth it for you when you're in old age and can you handle the sacrifice.

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Mar-19 20:50:26

This is really difficult and only you know in your in mind, if you are lying to yourself or not. From your posts though, it does sound like you're not that bothered. You can absolutely have a happy and fulfilling life without DC.

From my perspective, I couldn't imagine my life without children. So far we have one DC from seven rounds of IVF and subsequent attempts for a sibling. We will continue for as long as we can as I am desperate for another. However, despite what PP said about it not being too bad, for every person who says that, there is someone with a very different story...either it being really bloody difficult or just not working..IVF is ok if it works on the first or second attempt, then it starts getting hard. The drugs massively effect me, physically and emotionally. I've had a huge number of side effects, including a twisted ovary which got me blue lighted to hospital and a bad case of OHSS for which I was hospitalised, as well as two early miscarriages and losing my son's twin which caused me to bleed from week 9-week 25ish of that pregnancy which had a massive impact on me-I've never been so stressed or struggled with life so much than in that time.

It is hugely expensive, so unless you have funds to burn this can have an impact, solvency wise, but also on your relationship and your ability to do other stuff you want to do.

Everything we have been through, spent and sacrificed it has been absolutely worth it and I would (and will!) do it again. My DC has improved my and my DHs life beyond measure without a doubt.

When trying for DC1 we did consider adopting, as for me, it wasn't about a biological link, but about family as I view it, for me- that had to include children. However based on my research that is absolutely not the easy option either and unless you're entirely committed not a route that would be recommended.

JustANewOne Wed 27-Mar-19 20:59:37

TapasForTwo I must have missed that thread, I'd really appreciate a link, if it can be found!

JustANewOne Wed 27-Mar-19 21:06:11

it does sound like you're not that bothered

On the contrary, I'm very bothered. I don't want to have a baby on a selfish whim or just because my clock is ticking. I want what's best for any child, and for them to have the most amazing parent they deserve.

As much as I might feel my heart wants a family, the longer the TTC continues, the longer I have to think about all the things that on paper make having kids seem like madness! Logically, it's easier to stop trying. But I cannot for the life of me work out if that's the truth, or if it's a coping mechanism.

Best of luck for you, I envy your certainty of mind x

ImNotTheDramaLlamaHere Wed 27-Mar-19 21:09:08

Your only human, doubting ourselves is sometimes what we do best.
Maybe if you take a break from it all and try not to think about it for a couple of months (I know that's easier said...) then it will give you a clearer idea on what you want to do going forwards. There are lots of options these days. thanks

IsItIorAreTheOthersCrazy Wed 27-Mar-19 21:11:37

I am over 5 years into ttc / infertility. It's hard. Hardest thing I've had to deal with because the physical impact of treatment can be exhausting and the psychological battering is relentless.

I've begun to think like you. Maybe this is the wrong road, our lives are nice as they are, our friends are stressed and cash strapped, maybe we're too selfish, maybe it wasn't meant to be etc.

My honest opinion is that my brain is trying to protect me from the pain, so it is convincing me babies aren't necessary. But when I go on my gut instinct only, or listen to my feelings rather than logic, I know I want to be a mum. I know this because it feels right when I'm nursing my niece, I feel it in my heart when I think about it. It's what I want.

Obviously only you know if it's the same for you. And it's hard to get opinions because people who have never suffered infertility (or who did but then had a baby) do not understand.
It's not the popular opinion but when people tell me they know how I feel but when they had their dc, it made it worth it / showed them the reason for living, it makes me feel murderous.

You're life will be just fine without children, I'm sure of that. And to continue to ttc, you may never get an answer or an 'ending.' And that is hard.

Have you talked this through with your DH? How does he feel?

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Mar-19 21:17:09

Sorry, by not bothered, I meant you don't seem that strongly pro-children (of your own), I shouldn't have used such emotive language flowers

For me there has absolutely never been any doubt, but still I think I could have been happy without a biological child. You seem to be very open to the idea of no children at all... What would life look like with no DC? What could life look like on the IVF route or adoption route? What does your DH think (although I absolutely believe it should be your choice, it is your body)?

Imagine yourself with a baby, a toddler, a child and teenager. A grown up child and grandchildren. Attending school plays and parents evening, Christmas excitement and birthdays and you want that? Then think about changing shitty nappies, cleaning up sick and putting them before yourself 99 times out of a 100. Would you do it? Would you enjoy it? I was desperate for it all, but there is a middle ground where you aren't desperate but can still decide to go for it.

Imagine life with no DC. Spare money, career progression a tidy house, grown up holidays and lie ins. You can still have this to an extent with DC but absolutely not the same. Maybe being involved with nephews and nieces and godchildren would be enough?

The thing with IVF is you get sucked in. You keep trying and trying and trying and you're in this cycle of desperation. Maybe you should think about a limited number of attempts at IVF? Say the average time to success is three cycles, maybe make that your limit?

Bungalowbeth Wed 27-Mar-19 21:19:31

@tapasfortwo , was it this thread?

JustANewOne Wed 27-Mar-19 21:24:47

Have you talked this through with your DH? How does he feel?

Luckily we can talk about anything very easily, he's very supportive. He's happy with anything I feel comfortable with. If I said I couldn't try any more, he would say yes, of course. Or if I said right, okay, we're going to try everything until it happens, he'd say yes, of course.

And I'd say the same if he were to say to me that he wanted to stop trying, or if he said he absolutely had to be a dad. We're too similar!

Siennabear Wed 27-Mar-19 21:26:35

I think in was a bit like you. We were told we needed ivf. I wanted children but wasn't sure if you know what I mean. Wasnt struck on other people's children just found them slightly irritating. I actually desperately wanted my own family but part of it is trying to protect yourself if things don't work out.

Logically, thinking about children, why would anybody have them? They cost a lot, you sacrifice a lot, it is hard on your relationship, they don't sleep , it can be really stressful and relentless.

It took us 3.5 years to have our first. We went through 4 rounds of ivf. 2 losses. We were going to give up. It was a very black part of our lives. But then we got pregnant naturally. We had a boy and 2.5 years later a girl.

I'll be honest, it isn't easy. It is bloody hard . But I am so glad we have them. Our lives are definitely better. We have our own family and seeing them happy is the best thing ever. Life is definitely different with children and better in other ways.

If I were you I would do the ivf and see what happens. If you look after each other you will get through it.

KatnissMellark Wed 27-Mar-19 21:26:37

Your DH sounds a keeper. Being on the same page really helps.

TapasForTwo Wed 27-Mar-19 21:27:31

Yes it was Bungalow. I have just found it as well.


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