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Anyone else struggle with ambivalence - secondary infertility?

(6 Posts)
Luxnuova Sat 11-Feb-17 10:00:17

I just posted on the Conception board by mistake, but then I realised what I actually wanted to write was this - does anyone else who's been TTC for a while struggle with ambivalent feelings?

We are so incredibly lucky to have a healthy 5yo daughter. We've always been desperate for her to have a sibling and have been trying for over two years. I had a MC and a MMC in the first six months of trying, but since then we haven't had a BFP. Back in December 2015, after the miscarriages, we went to a fertility clinic and had all the tests. Everything came back normal and they told us to keep trying and come back in four months. We didn't go back at that time, as I'd just started a new job. It was a tough decision, but due to the job stress and the fact that I wanted to try Clomid but was worried about the side effects at the time, we decided to wait for a bit. We kept trying, but I stopped temping and OPKs, basically.

Now the job has settled and we've been trying again properly for a few months, and we're going to revisit the fertility consultant. But, something has shifted and I feel myself pulling back from the whole thing. I know it's self-protective, and I guess I'm afraid of getting hurt again, but part of me just can't visualise the next step, or believe in it.

Consequently I feel like my motivation is really low. My libido is down, and I find it really hard to ensure we have sex enough in fertile window, and things like I can't seem to muster the discipline to cut out caffeine and alcohol (though I'm moderate in both, I do think I need to eliminate caffeine). I also haven't been great at ensuring I take multivitamin and other supplements - it's like I can't convince myself it's worth it. I just find myself focusing on my daughter and our current life.

I know there's a massive grief there and I can't acknowledge it, and I haven't come to terms with the possibility of not having another child (this was particularly hard over Christmas) but at the same time it's weirdly easy to just go along in the present in a way that it never used to be. I used to stress really hard over temping and diet and feel destroyed each month with my period coming, but now it all just feels sort of...like I could be okay with it somehow. A bit anaesthetised, but okay. And yet, then I blame myself - like if I wanted it enough it would happen, but my ability to coast is evidence I don't deserve another baby. Or something convoluted like that. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Annab1983 Sat 11-Feb-17 14:29:09

Hi I could have written some of this myself! We have an amazing 5 year old and have been trying for a sibling since he was 1. We are about to start Ivf and I find myself feeling ambivalent and numb about it after years of desperation! I was more focused and conscious of being healthier a year ago! I am eating crap a lot and feeling bad about it and like I am setting myself up for a failure.. and thinking of how good life is with one child.. I definitely do think a lot of it is self preservation though so you are not alone!

Luxnuova Sat 11-Feb-17 20:36:01

Thanks so much for that Annab. I feel like noone really talks much about these feelings. It sounds like your experience has been really tough. I think probably we need to be kinder to ourselves. I think with me most of my motivation comes from sort of guilting or whipping myself into doing things. Perhaps if I framed it as eating better / doing the 'right' thing because it'll make life better in general, rather than just for fertility. Or something. Anyway, thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. Sending you all the most positive vibes for the IVF.

Annab1983 Sun 12-Feb-17 09:54:29

Thank you! Also I wanted to say I had a loss a few years ago too which was traumatic. I am so very sorry for your losses.. I think that's relevant too as it takes a lot of the 'niceness' out of TTC and even finding out you are pregnant and being pregnant.. I am almost sabotaging myself/convincing myself ivf is not going to work probably in an effort to lessen any future grief, which won't work anyway but is an attempt to protect ourselves I guess.. and also appreciating what we have is bound to be normal too as unfortunately my chances of ivf working are quite low so I may have to change my outlook and accept things as they are.. i am so very grateful for my son but my family is not complete.. but sometimes you have to try to convince yourself it is.. I think it's not that we don't want it it's caused by years of wanting it and fatigue.. how's that for convoluted! it's really tough and yes you are right no one really talks about this aspect of it, but years of trying and suffering losses takes its toll on you but you are right we just need to be kind to ourselves and try to keep hopeful! Wishing you all the best xx

cluelessnewmum Sun 12-Feb-17 22:56:14

I feel the same way right now. We've been ttc dc2 for 14 months and I have now accepted its not going to happen naturally (I have a lot of issues with my cycles which suggest something ain't right) so am going to start fertility treatment in the next couple of months.

I therefore just feel like I can't be arsed to try naturally until then, I'd rather just have a couple of months off all the charting, timed sex, obsessing over symptoms then the inevitable disappointment and tears when my period comes. Dh disagrees and gets frustrated at my lack of "effort" but he doesn't get upset like I do when every month nothing happens.

Last month I didn't ovulate at all so didn't have all that and I should have been worrying about why no ovulation but actually I was pleased emotionally to have a break.

I don't feel my family is complete and I don't want to give up on more dc but at the same time the trying has been so hard and I've not been trying as long as some of you either,so I hope my post isn't annoying to anyone.

Good luck with the next stage, I'm sure the ambivalence will lift when you're in the thick of treatment. Xx

Graceflorrick Sun 12-Feb-17 23:07:04

I reached that point with secondary infertility and I feel that I've accepted it now. It's sad, but honestly my DD and my life in general is wonderful. I'm very lucky and I won't let the sadness of infertility spoil my happiness.

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