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'You obviously don't really want a child'(70 Posts)
I have ME, endometriosis and am in my mid-30s. I recently had a suspected early miscarriage (a few months ago, pre Covid). I hadn't tried to conceive before then, because of my health issues (a few years of surgeries, a lot of pain, etc).
I control my endo symptoms with a pill, which suppresses the worst of it (cramping, ovary pain, fatigue, nausea, IBS, heavy bleeding amongst others). I'm terrible off the pill, but obviously went off it for TTC. Almost immediately my worst symptoms returned and I felt awful, close to vomiting on some days, couldn't function. Then I had what I now believe to be very early pregnancy symptoms and felt even worse. With the first bad IBS attack (vasovagal response and almost fainting, high temp, severe cramping etc) I found myself thinking, 'this isn't worth it.' I didn't think I could stand going back to my old symptoms or worse while TTC and pregnancy. I just wanted to take my pill again and forget TTC.
I confided in a friend about it, after the suspected miscarriage. I told her how awful I'd felt physically, that I'd almost forgotten how bad my health could be when I was unmedicated. My friend has had one baby and is heavily pregnant with a second. She told me, 'Well, you obviously don't really want a child. My TTC and pregnany was crap too, I felt so sick and in pain, but I did it to get the baby.' She said it didn't seem like I wanted a baby enough to go through the discomfort. Could this be true? It's just, I've been sick and in pain myself for so many years. It's just horrible to go back to feeling that way and forget how to function again. I wasn't glad about the miscarriage, but maybe I was relieved in some way... the sickness was so bad I was just glad to take a break from TTC and get back on the pill (I switched pill a month ago with bad side effects but could no longer stay on the combined pill for health reasons, it's still better than nothing). Obviously since then Covid has happened. My doctor told me this week that she doesn't recommend waiting to TTC again at my age and with the potential of infertility related to endo, despite Covid. (This is a more nuanced issue, and if I decide to continue I will think VERY carefully before trying this year). Now I'm a bit torn, not only because of the situation, but because I'm scared to feel like utter crap again. I'd love a baby, have done for a long time, but after dealing with my condition since my mid-twenties, I am exhausted and afraid. My friend said I don't have enough of a maternal urge if this is the case, and that I would go through hell to have a child if I had to. Do you agree with her? I expect harsh replies here because I know pregnancy is hard, I just wasn't prepared after so long trying to control my illness.
No. Of course she’s not right. You’re absolutely right to think of these things. Pain has a huge effect on both your physical resilience and your mental health and it’s crucial you put those things before a baby - in fact, you have to for the best interests of any pregnancy.
TTC and how awful it is, whether that’s physical pains from stopping medication and your body’s response or emotional due to the rollercoaster of it all, is not a competition or situation to put someone down over.
I have several medical conditions, including endometriosis, and being pregnant largely put them in remission. TTC can feel really brutal but please don’t listen to your so-called friend.
Don't listen to her. She's not in your body and doesn't know how you feel.
I'm a widow and when I first met a woman I volunteer with at school she said 'oh I know exactly how you feel. My husband works away during the week'. As if. People can be incredibly insensitive.
No, no, no. Nothing to do with you not wanting a baby that much. It sounds like you've had a hell of a journey so far and your "friend" has been actually disgusting in her response.
You have suffered for years. You tried without the pill and it's bad. There is nothing wrong with wanting your sickness to go away. It doesn't mean you don't want a baby.
I'm sorry for your mc. I had one, sending hugs.
Your friend should have kept her mouth shut, counted her blessings of her child and pregnancy and given you all the support you need. Please don't let her make any kind of decision for you or tell you how you should feel.
Sounds awful and I also think you’re wise to consider these things. If you’ve spent a large proportion of your life in pain and unwell it’s only natural to have some fear about returning to that state and pregnancy and childbirth can be hard even on those in perfect health. It can only be a good thing to make this decision with your eyes open imo.
I don’t agree with her at all. Frankly, she sounds like a narrow minded bitch who can’t conceive (ha) of an experience outside her own. Your situation isn’t straightforward and your apprehension about dealing with a pregnancy on top of your pre-existing health issues is entirely understandable.
Your 'friend' sounds bloody awful putting you down like that.
Your friend has obviously not experienced endo, it's absolutely grim. I'm peri-menopausal now but my endo went undiagnosed and untreated for decades. If I'd ever had an effective treatment you'd have had to remove it from my cold dead hands before I stopped taking it. I would personally be balancing the thought that I might have to endure months of severe pain and feeling unwell with no guarantee I would conceive. I'm sorry that the route to what you would like is blocked by such a dilemma. It is your body and you must do what is right for you.
Would surgery to alleviate the worst of your symptoms whilst TTC be an option for you?
I'd probably also be thinking about letting such an unsympathetic friend go.
I’m so sorry she was so insensitive. Don’t confide in her again.
Of course you have to consider your health, both physical and mental. I hope that you come to a decision you feel comfortable with. If that includes finding a route to parenthood that suits you then i hope it goes well.
Your friend is heavily pregnant, you say, so extremely hormonal.
Her words don’t relate to your situation, so don’t take it to heart.
Hopefully if she ever needs you, you will have the empathy to be a kind and supportive friend to her.
Nice of her to say sitting there heavily pregnant. It's not a competition. I'd be tempted to remind her that labour isn't a bag of laughs either.
She was totally out of order. Just to put a different spin on it though I had endo pretty bad as a teenager I used to pass out from the pain. I like you masked the symptoms with the pill or injection for many years. My periods once coming off hormonal contraception were terrible when I was trying to conceive, I did have a miscarriage but I then went onto have a successful pregnancy . The added bonus was the pregnancy seemed to cure the endo. Something I had never imagined but apparently it is a positive side effect sometimes.
Your friend won’t get it. People who don’t have medical conditions / get pregnant really easily rarely do. But the least she can do is be supportive to a friend who has miscarried - her being pregnant is not an excuse at all. I would be going low contact with her after this.
On an unrelated note is there any pain relief you can take while ttc? I was on a steroid protocol (prednisolone but there are others) to lower my immune response but others used things like transemic acid - perhaps speak to a fertility consultant who specialise in endo to see what your options are if you haven’t done so already. They may also be able to see the state of your ovaries / womb and possibly help with certain surgeries or protocols?
I am exhausted and afraid. My friend said I don't have enough of a maternal urge if this is the case, and that I would go through hell to have a child if I had to.
What planet is she from?
Take a break from this person, especially after she gives birth - at least 3 months - , lest she sprouts a halo and tell you how "the torture was alll worth it." Send a nice gift, cheery text, and then step back.
And she should not toss around that phrase so lightly...Personal hells abound - and They.Are.Personal.
Ignore the friend, endo is awful and heartbreaking to live with.
Can I ask you say the pill helps mask your endo, have you had surgery to remove it? Excision surgery?
Sorry if you have been round the block, but logically it would be better for you to excision the endo, clean you up and then TTC.
While you are pregnant you'll feel really well no endo symptoms, but if you don't have any surgery after the baby is born and hormones kick in you'll be straight back to endo pain plus a baby!
That was an extremely hurtful thing for your friend to say. I think you are making the best decision for your body, and for your mental health.
Endo is horrific. I'm currently sitting here with a horrific endo flair. I cried I was in so much pain a few hours ago. It's finally calmed down enough for me to eat something. Your friend is an ignorant wanker.
I am so sorry. You friend said an appalling thing.
I do not have experience of the health difficulties you describe, which sound horrendous. So I can't speak to how you might feel. But I definitely think there is a point at which you might say you would love to have a baby, but you simply cannot keep putting your body through this any more. It is an absolutely valid decision to make.
Don't let her response affect the decisions you take, either. If you feel you'd really like to try to get pregnant, you need to research that and to find out what you can accept doing. If you feel you''d really like to be a mother, you need to research that, too, and decide what you feel comfortable doing. But in either scenario, there are lots of options. There are lots of options for you.
Your friend is an utter disgrace how dare she say this, you’ve been to hell and back numerous time, you think of your self hugs 💐oh and don’t bother her with medical details again she has no sympathy or support for you.
Totally agree with previous posters, but I also wanted to say that nobody has the same "maternal feelings" as anyone else. There's this huge pressure to feel loved up and desperate for a child so that if you don't feel like that, it's somehow bad. Being practical about your health needs doesn't make you any less maternal or worthy to be a mum. In fact, it probably makes you a better one.
I think this is a feminist issue. I'm sure a man wouldn't be expected to put up with this amount of pain. It sounds like you really want to be a mum and I hope it happens for you. I wouldn't take coronavirus into account tbh. If you want to ttc, then do it. If you need a break, take one but reassess every month. I'll keep everything crossed for you xxx
I echo everyone else; you've been through a tough time and you don't want to end up struggling once more. Totally understandable.
I had a twin pregnancy where I felt truly awful through. Was sick constantly until I gave birth suddenly at 32 weeks. It was so hard.
The only thing I would say is that even when you're feeling awful, feeling the baby kick, or looking at the scan photos can help you get through it. No, it's still not easy and sometimes you're counting the hours, let alone the days. I can only speak for myself and I can say that when you know there's an end in sight, and there's this marvellous reward at the end of it, it helps you cope. It's a very different experience to having a chronic condition where you don't know when you're going to be free of it.
Along with the physical problems, I had really awful anxieties - a story for another day - and I struggled at times. The pregnancy was unplanned. I was a single mum. I was terrified. Having two babies in my tummy helped me so much - it changed everything. I know that might sound trite and twee but it's true.
You absolutely need to do what's right for you, taking everything into account. Don't feel pushed either way. If you think you want a baby, talk to your doctor about the options for making pregnancy bearable. Some meds aren't ideally to be taken in pregnancy but they can be if the mum is truly in need.
If you choose not to have a baby, you don't have to explain yourself. You're not a bad person for choosing to take care of your physical and mental health!
She's not much of a friend, is she? Personally, I had such horrid pregnancies that I'd seriously rethink having children if I had to do it over again. I love them dearly and it would be a different life to be childless, but that would probably be OK. Also, there are so many children in foster care who need fostering. That might be an option. At one point, I just wanted to yank my own uterus out. We women go through so much!
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