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If you have fertility problems, how and when did you decide your family was complete?

(5 Posts)
elliott Mon 27-Jun-05 13:10:00

Not the snappiest thread title, I'm afraid!
Just seeking views about something I've been mulling over for a while now.
I have two ds's aged 3.5 and 18 months, both conceived with IVF, and I am very happy with my family. However, I can't decide what to do about contraception.

DH and I have unexplained infertility which means that there is a theoretical possibility that we could conceive naturally. however, I haven't used contraception since 1998, and there hasn't been the faintest whiff of a natural conception in that time (you can exclude about two years for the pregnancies of the ds's)

The question is, at what point, and how, do I decide that my family is complete? How do I know whether or not I would like another child when it isn't something I can actively choose, and if I decided I wanted another one I probably couldn't anyway. Usually on threads about whether people want more children people seem so clear about what they want, but I don't feel clear at all.

I am 40 next year and wonder whether there comes a point when perhaps it is foolish to take a risk, however small, of an unexpected pregnancy? Would using contraception be a good way of resolving any residual issues I have about not being able to conceive at will? I'm not usually the kind of person happy to leave such major things to fate!
I know there are lots of mumsnetters out there who've needed help to conceive, so I thought I might not be the only one pondering this. Any thoughts any one?

mancmum Mon 27-Jun-05 13:16:42

Been here -- and in fact still am here!! I had to have treatment to get pregnant and it does seem weird to be using contraception when it took us for ever and help to get pregnant -- however like you we're unexplained and as my DH does not want more kids, we are using contraception as having kids is supposed to make you more fertile (no in my case by looks of it) I think you should use contraception as you don't sound resolved as to whether you want another child and there is a chanvce it could happen -- it is abot like all those irritating things peopel say when you are trying to conceieve and can not " Ohh relax " or "Adopt and then she got pregnant" etc

I am a strong believer sod's law and I think cos I wanted a baby so much I could not have it and now I am not so keen, I would probably get one -

asm waffling but hope you know what I mean!!

Ladymuck Mon 27-Jun-05 23:16:01

Elliott. Similar boat - dss are 2 and 4 both IVF. I have PCOS so could but unlikely to conceive naturally. Didn't use any contraception between ds1 and ds2. We won't go through IVF again (too much time/effort/emotion/money/stress), and broadly we're happy with our 2.

Initially after ds2 I did use contraception because I defintley didn't want 3 under 3 or 4. Have just stopped using contraception on a "what if" basis, but have had to leave it quite open really - don't want to be desperately wanting #3 because that would bring back all the aches that have pretty much gine away now, but would be interested in just getting pg naturally. I can't quite get my head round the fact that some people have sex and then get pg and have a baby (I mean the idea that you don't even know that you've conceived?? Missing out on injections and egg collection...).

I have decied that I don't want any huge age gaps though, so plan to get sterilised when ds2 starts school.

elliott Tue 28-Jun-05 09:31:51

thanks for the responses. Ladymuck, your situation does sound very like mine. I'm also completely sure I don't want to go through treatment again. And until recently i didn't really want to get pg again - hard enough with two little ones really - but now ds2 is a bit older, I'm mellowing a bit (maybe I'd better stop watching Desperate Midwives ) But I feel exactly the same as you about not wanting to want it too much. I must be a bit older than you though - by the time ds2 starts school I'll be 42 and definitely not really up for another one!
I guess I'll probably start using contraception sometime after I'm 40 - don't want 40 to become a big deadline though.

elliott Tue 28-Jun-05 09:40:53

I should add that I do feel completely different now to how I felt between ds1 and ds2 - I was certain then that I wanted another one, would have had several treatments before giving up, and if it hadn't happened it would have taken a long time to get over, I think. Now I am almost completely at peace with it all, and it would be really ok for this to be our family. Just a small little niggle really, stemming from the fact that before I started all this I kind of thought 3 would be a good number for a family.

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