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Support for childless women?

(17 Posts)
luckbealady Sun 29-Sep-13 22:22:46

Hi, are there any threads on here that bring together people who are childless?

We've been there, done that with IVF, ICSI etc and it's not worked; our journey ended last summer. Obviously did a lot of crying at the time, but I'm naturally a fairly positive person, so stuck my chin in the air and got on with it.

However, it still catches me at times, and I feel utterly excluded from a big, all-mums-together club that I am never going to be a part of. Yes we have lovely nephews and nieces, and are very happy for all our friends and family who get preg, but sometimes it feels so...bleak.

All advice gratefully received, especially around what's helped you - counselling, hypnotherapy etc. Please don't suggest adoption or fostering, they're not on the cards.


tillyo Sun 29-Sep-13 22:29:49

Hi, counselling is great I had this when I found out I couldn't have kids. I used to get upset every time someone got pregnant or had a baby. I even used to say nasty things about pregnant woman was so ashamed to admit this. But by talking things through it really helped me, people suggested we tried adopting but I wanted to announce to the world I was pregnant and even go through child birth. I suspect your having the same feelings. Have you tired asking your doctor about support groups. I'm more then happy yo talk. Maven though we now have a little one it's come through not nice way. She was my brothers and both his girlfriend and him are drug addicts and the ss granted her to live with me. X

rabbitonthemoon Mon 30-Sep-13 21:16:59

Luck I am glad you posted this. I am at the start of the ivf mountain but things are not looking very promising as I have v low ovarian reserve. As I've gone through the start of ttc, to struggling, to clinic I've hung around mumsnet and made some amazing friends. Many of them have gone on to get pregnant and I've missed them an awful lot as they've moved onto ante natal clubs etc. I've lurked on adoption threads to try and make sense of that but what I really miss on mn is a place for people figuring out how to move on from infertility. A place to hear of people's stories and how they moved on, a place where you can talk to people in the same boat. The loss and grief of finding out you are not able to conceive naturally is shocking. Figuring out what on earth you might do if kids aren't on the cards is just so..where to begin. I understand fully about wanting to meet like minded people and the feeling of being excluded from the biggest club in the world. My infertility has ruptured my more fragile friendships and not through anyone's fault, we just don't have as much in common anymore.

If anyone on mn towers reads or is listening, a place for child free folks would be much appreciated I think. Whilst I recognise that this is 'mums' net I like it here, I like cooking, gardening, clothes, books - I am more than my capacity and desperate efforts to be a mum.

hilbobaggins Sun 13-Oct-13 10:44:46


hilbobaggins Sun 13-Oct-13 10:47:40

Oops! Meant to say, you might want to look at an organisation called Gateway for Women that is run by an amazing woman, Jody something sorry cant remember her last name but if you google you'll find it. It is specifically set up for the kind of healing you are looking for and the community sounds very cool. I stumbled across them on my own fertility journey some time ago. Hope this helps!

ceara Wed 16-Oct-13 08:46:56

luck, Jody Day's website is There is a private forum, regular meet-ups in London and elsewhere, and talks and courses.

I'd also second what has been said about one to one counselling, with someone experienced in fertility issues.

Best wishes for the future - it may take time but you will find it.

mintpark Sun 20-Oct-13 15:46:50

Hi luckbealady, so good to stumble across your post!!!
I so often come across mumsnet when I google anything, from paint colours to crumbling flapjacks, as just now, and it always gives me a bit of a pull in the stomach for not being part of it all, after IVF, IVF again, trying to adopt, resigning myself and now volunteering with a lovely kids group... So I've just signed up here despite feeling like an imposter! I wish it wasn't mumsnet, but womensnet :| - after all it now seems to be the online equivalent of the good old WIs. I guess your question was on the childlessness per se and yes I'd like to see a place within a broader organisation/ internet community like mumsnet where we could exchange stories, rather than some specialised counselling corner. It would be lovely if mumsnet in some way reached out and included childless women who are also painting walls, baking flapjacks and tending their gardens - and friends' kids... even if they may not have much to say about potty training and half-term activities. Well they didn't prevent me from signing up despite not filling out the 'my children' fields - maybe I just hang around then. Cheers, Kay

Jackie0 Mon 11-Nov-13 17:06:00

Hi ladies, I would be very interested in this type of thread. MN type topics are relevant to my lifestyle but I feel like a bit of an imposter for being here.
We had 4 ICSI treatments between 2005 & 2008. We were unsuccessful and now in my forties that chapter is over. It was incredibly hard. I believe it fundamentally changed me as a person and sapped my confidence.
I have accepted it now and I'm grateful for my lovely dh and we have a good life. I don't get sad often but I'm sorry we won't get to be grandparents and I worry about one of us being elderly & alone in the future.
It would be great to have a thread for people in similar circumstances.
I agree with mintpark "womansnet" would have been perfect. I want to talk to other women who are wives, homemakers ,business people or writers. I want to talk about how we navigate our relationships with our SO our friends , siblings & parents.
Maybe we can generate some interest.

luckbealady Mon 11-Nov-13 21:06:59

Thanks everyone, it's good to know we're not alone and that we can all appreciate what each other is going through. Thanks to Hilbo and Ceara - I'll check out Gateway. Apologies I haven't replied for a little while; DH and I went away, and since then work has been crazy busy. And stupidly I thought some action (yikes!) whilst on holiday may just succeed...but of course it didn't, and so the rollercoaster goes on.

ANYWAY: how do you stay strong? I think my theme song is Tears of a Clown - colleagues and friends would say I'm pretty upbeat and positive - it's all spin! Tillyo, it sounds like you've had to be incredibly strong, taking on your brother's little one.

Mint, Rabbit and Jackie, womansnet would be perfect - we all have valid opinions, even if we haven't given birth - oh and we also have nice tight pelvic floors! Let's accentuate the positive!!

I feel happier knowing there are others out there on this same journey. Please let's keep talking.


luckbealady Mon 11-Nov-13 21:16:13

Have just realised that Tears of a Clown comment is impossibly maudlin - forgive me, ladies! I shall go and drink wine and stop being ridiculous!

eurochick Tue 12-Nov-13 13:51:04

Nice thought.

We've had 3 rounds of IVF. I'm not ready to give up yet but for the first time in the past few weeks I have started to contemplate coming out the other side of ttc without a child. I'm not sure that adoption is for us, although we haven't ruled it out completely.

There is a "moving on" board on Fertility Friends, but this thread here is helpful.

ScarlettInSpace Tue 12-Nov-13 14:49:49

I'm not quite there yet either but I think I know how you feel and I think MN need to put a bit of thought into the 'Becoming a Parent' Section.

Perosnally I don't think I can face more treatment, my pitifully low AMH in July 2012 has probably dropped through the floor by now, I'm 37 next month and for the most part in my heart of hearts I think it's game over - but I just can't get rid of the last vestiges of hope!

For the last year or so I have struggled with how the Talk Topics on here jump from Conception to Infertility with nothing in between, I don't feel I really belong in either at the moment. I hate looking at the full Conception board as its full of the same old thread titles from TTC-newbies every time, probably because most posters move on to ante-natal in a couple of months hmm so I may well be missing threads that are relevant to me, but every time I click on the Infertility board I feel like a little bit more of the blind hope & PMA I do still need dies sad

<wonders if we should really rally up & post in site stuff!>

rabbitonthemoon Tue 12-Nov-13 20:02:19

Glad this thread is moving and nice to see you again luck. I actually wrote to mumsnet about this at the time this thread was started explaining why I thought there was a need for this kind of space. Scarlett, I'm 37 next month with diminshed ovarian reserve and currently going through the most disastrous ivf cycle. The conception boards are largely not relevant to me but I do find solace and good company on two of the boards, one I've been posting on for over two years. However, the infertility board makes me feel like I graduated in the wrong direction! I often red the adoption boards and have posted there. But the space for exploring moving on and child free living doesn't seem to exist. I often wonder how new adopters on the boards have arrived at that decision but it is often left, understandably, unspoken. That probably sounds nosey but the making sense of when/how to move on is something I am trying to make sense of.

I have no idea what to do next. My own fertility appears to be in the 'none' bracket. How to proceed? I have a very nice life but Jackie, agreed that this is a real confidence sapper. I will never be the same person as I was before this. Taking to people who are child free, for whatever reason, to embrace all the good that brings, exploring the above issues, talking about existing within the outskirts of a giant club I'm not part of, perhaps even arranging meet ups - I really see a need for this.

Anyway, this is want MN said;

Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. It is definitely something we will have a look in to.

If you feel that there is a lot of support for it could you please start a thread in site stuff asking for a new topic and encourage others to post there. By doing this we can gauge interest and get an idea of what could be the solution.

What do you think? What would the space be called and where might it live? Let's please keep talking. The best bit about MN is finding that you are not alone in whatever identity/situation. But this feels missing.

Cosmonaut1 Sat 16-Nov-13 22:41:10

This thread is very relevant to me and i would really like to read others posts on how they are coping and dealing with this. I've been ttc 6 yrs and had 4 Ivfs amongst other things and though still not quite given up just yet I desperately want a new life to open up rather than the closing down experiences of the last few years. I want to be part of a club even if its different to the one i hoped for! i did see this the other day which is local to me and I hadnt heard of before but I'm not sure I've got the confidence to go to something like this any more, if that rings any bells anyone?

CocoAndNuts Sun 17-Nov-13 09:08:07


I really identify with the feelings you describe and I'd love to have a place to share the feelings related to accepting a child-free future.
I'm not quite there yet but hate the feeling that my opinions on any other subject on here aren't valid until I reproduce. I know that this is not true but the sadness of ttc long term and the bitterness and hatered of naive insta-differs has turned me in to a person I don't recognise.
It's got to the point where I have turned round the folic acid tablet bottle in the cupboard, so that don't have to see the pregnant woman on the label. This is clearly not healthy behaviour, so hearing from others about moving on from ttc, even if that's ultimately in a years time for me, would be a great support.

Mrsden Sun 17-Nov-13 09:59:17

Dipping my toe in here. I'm not quite at the end of the line but I've just had my second failed ivf and feel that it is getting close. It would be nice to have somewhere safe where there aren't going to be pregnancy announcements and talk of new treatments.

I find the thought of life without my own children a very frightening one. It's not the future I had ever imagined and there are times in the middle of the night when I feel quite panicked about being old with no grandchildren or close family. I'm hoping that these thoughts will fade one day and it will get easier.

YouAreMyFavouriteWasteOfTime Sun 17-Nov-13 16:02:15

I have only recently started TTC but am 40 so obviously time is not on my side. I experience a range of comments from people that i find hard:

1) I look quite young, and have been asked Are we planning a large family a few times?
2) other people assume i am too old to have any chance of children and make this very clear to me.

my good friends (some with children, some childfree and some who are single in their mid and late thirties) are supportive.

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