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Visiting babies

(9 Posts)
spinyffud Fri 08-Jul-16 07:39:27

I'm 38 and Starting IVF and struggling to cope. Very tearful and angry with the world (totally unreasonable I know), but I am.

I think things have been complicated by 3 close friends announcing their recent pregnancies (all my age or older and all got pregnant in 1st 3 months of trying).

3 days ago my sister in law had a baby, yesterday we had our main IVF appointment. We told our in laws what we were going through last week. I didn't so much as get a text to wish me well or ask how I was from any of the in laws.

I am also in despair at how to visit the baby. I totally wrongly feel consumed with anger and envy at the timings of things and am struggling to manage my emotions. I didn't attend the baby shower which caused ill feelings. How do I visit this baby- I know I will dissolve into tears and I'm not sure how I'll get through it, but it has to be done. At the moment I can't even get through a day in work without crying- it's so overwhelming.

Any wisdom on dealing with this?x

Borisisback Fri 08-Jul-16 07:58:02

I'm in your SILs shoes due to have a baby (we've been trying for years and had ivf which miraculously worked the first time). My SIL is like you and has been trying for years - twice as long as we did.

We've had a gentle conversation over text about how hard it is for her. She's explained that she's happy for us but that the pregnancy / baby is difficult for her, painful and will take a while to be able to deal with. I'm fine with this as she's now acknowledged our pregnancy and child, but she's explained why she might stay away from us for a bit and not be able to reference the baby to our faces.

Could you write her a card and explain that it's not that you don't love her, her family or her baby any less but that you need a little time? Tell her you are struggling with hormones and also grieving for what might have been for you (and still will be - but I do believe infertility can leave us with a form of greif).

If you are my sister in law (or if SIL is reading this) I totally understand and you are welcome to our home when ever you want but if you need to stay away that's fine too. You just need to know that this is a massive thing for me and and for our parents in law too. if we seem a bit self involved at times it's because I can't ignor the fact I'm having a miracle child, due after years of heart ache. I'll try to be as normal as before but honestly it's impossible to completely pretend not to be pregnant.

knaffedoff Fri 08-Jul-16 08:11:06

Lovely response Boris.

Spiny, it's ok to feel angry and sad for the uncertain future. My dp and tried for 6yrs and were heading down the ivf route, when I unexpectedly discovered I was pg. It was a joyful time and my baby was due in March 2009, sadly the baby was lost at 12 weeks and it was incredibly hard working with 2 ladies who delivered on my due date, my cousin also delivered on my due date!!!! You have every right to feel emotional particularly when others seem to pop them out like peas and others don't seem to understand the privilege it is to be a parent.

Be kind to yourself, acknowledge your sadness and I hope very much that the ivf goes well x

fieldfare Fri 08-Jul-16 08:20:09

It's totally ok to feel the way you do, you've brought tears to my eyes as it's such a reminder of how I felt when I was in a similar position to you.

How do you visit? You have a good rant about the unfairness and shittiness of the situation beforehand to a good friend that will supply you with coffee and or gin and tissues. You grin and bear it cooing over the baby while you're there, stay for an hour and then lose your shit in the car on the way home so much so that Dh has to pull the car over onto the hard shoulder on the motorway to hold you.

Luckily I get on with my sil as if we're sisters. She's not been through this heartache and has popped out 3 babies in the last 9 years whereas we've been totally unsuccessful (not including 5 miscarriages). She didn't bat an eyelid when I stood cradling her beautiful newborn and sobbing at the same time in her kitchen. She brought me a chair, made me tea and shooed everyone else away from me. I love her all the more for that moment.

jaffajiffy Fri 08-Jul-16 08:31:25

Ah it's hard. So very hard. Echo pp but want to emphasise the effect of hormones as well. They're so punishing on your emotions. My Sil had me round to tell me in person that she was expecting a child who would be due on the same due date of my lost pregnancy. It was so hard. That time I just left as soon as I could and went home to cry on DH. Another time we went to DH's friend's 30th party and had to endure an entire NCT class worth of couples with their newborns (about 10 if I'm not mistaken). I got v drunk and was life and soul of the party and then cried all the way home. You do what you can manage with good grace and then sod the rest. It's ok to say "I can't do that because I'm feeling emotional" even if you fear the reaction is you're unreasonable. You may have people in later years come to you as "you understand" the situation they now find themselves in because you had courage to be honest right now. If you are genuinely doing what you can to be happy for others, you can be excused the niceties at other times. Feeling for you. It's awful and relentless.

BipBippadotta Fri 08-Jul-16 10:19:06

It's a very hard situation. Ultimately my way of dealing with this sort of thing has been not to visit babies at all. It's been the right decision for me, and everyone has been very understanding. My situation is different from yours, though, in that in addition to being late 30s and infertile, I also had a stillborn daughter nearly 2 years ago, which makes it particularly traumatic for me to be around newborns.

I still haven't met or even seen a photo of my nephew, born nearly a year ago (around the same time as the 1st anniversary of my daughter's stillbirth), and if I'm honest I can't imagine being able to have much of a relationship with my brother's family, though it would be nice to think that might change. I've also stopped seeing my friends who have had babies since I've been trying. I have been frank with them about my reasons and wished them well, and kind of said goodbye. People have all been very good about it. It's left me without much of a support network - but busy new mothers of bonny babies couldn't have been any sort of support to me anyway. It's a cruel and very lonely age, if your life isn't taking the same trajectory as everyone else's.

Life is (hopefully) long - you can dip out of relationships for a while and come back to them when you're ready. People with new babies have the rest of the world queuing up to congratulate them - they don't need your whole-hearted participation as well, particularly if they understand your circumstances.

Also agree that IVF fucks with your hormones and moods in ways you can't begin to imagine - I was crying all the time whether I felt sad or not, and swung between fury and despondency. You will feel more like yourself eventually - you may still have the rage, but it won't be so intense and overpowering. Perhaps if you need to visit the baby you can postpone until you're not sniffing / injecting anymore. Good luck - and fingers crossed for you for the IVF.

motherchuckinhen16 Fri 08-Jul-16 13:22:41

Having infertility and going through IVF is extremely stressful, emotional and draining. It was one of the worst times of my life. I am ok with seeing babies now but it has taken 2 years since ending treatment to be 100% ok with it.
Don't put yourself under any more stress than is absolutely necessary and if that means avoiding friends who have just had babies then do. It's absolutely time that you looked after yourself. If they don't get that it's too painful for you right now then that says more about them than you. Sometimes you just need to deal with what your going through in your own way, don't worry about pleasing others, Big hugs to you xxx

Thecatswhiskers33 Sat 23-Jul-16 11:52:54

I know how u feel. I start my jabs for ivf tomorrow but going to a baby shower today for my friend who is due in 3 weeks.
I feel abit selfish as i dont really want to go and keep thinking why am i having so much trouble getting pregnant and she is on no.3

MrsH14 Sat 23-Jul-16 15:45:10

It took me 2 months before I met my baby cousin. I spent the whole drive feeling anxious and unsure how it was going to pan out. She was the first born since we started TTC. My cousin suffered with secondary infertility. I was happy for her when she found out she was expecting but it didn't stop the heartache.

You need to do what you feel is best. If that means staying away for months or even years then only you know what is best to get you through this journey.

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