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So sad - just need to get it off my chest

(26 Posts)
spiralqueen Tue 30-Nov-10 23:26:29

Never had a problem with my age and had been looking forward to not having periods anymore. I'd spent my 30's with DP who didn't want DCs and it wasn't a problem. Then we split up and I met my DH, thinking I was too old to conceive we didn't bother with contraception and had the huge shock of getting pg at 44. Sailed through the pg and DD has brought us so much joy that we hoped that it would be possible to have another DC.

Sadly it wasn't happening so we saw a fertility consultant who told us the only way to have another would be to hand over large sums of money and get an egg donor. Knowing that despite the consultant's easy assurances donor were in short supply, I couldn't live with the prospect of potentially denying another couple the chance of a first child so that I could complete my family.

Now at 47 it was confirmed to me this morning by the GP that I'm perimenopausal and it makes me so sad. Blubbed in the surgery and everytime I think about it (symptomatic I know but I hate feeling that I'm falling apart). Although I thought I had accepted that I was infertile, this news signalling game over has really hammered the message home and it's so painful.

Plus my DD is in her first nativity and obsessed with babies and wanting one (many of her friends are currently getting siblings too). I feel that I'm letting her down by not being able to provide her with a sibling. Much as I fought with my own DS as a child it is now that I really appreciate the relationship, especially as you see contemporaries who are only children struggling with looking after elderly parents.

My lovely DH is very sympathetic and keeps trying to lift my spirits but I can't seem to escape from this overwhelming sadness.

Thanks for reading if you stayed with it so far, it is helpful to write it down rather than burdening RL friends with it.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 30-Nov-10 23:30:24

I'm sorry sad. I don't want any more children and, at 51, I'm really too old, but I think it's a natural thing to grieve for what can't be. I have two boys and do sometimes wish I could have had a daughter. (Although obviously there was no guarantee that a third pregnancy would have turned out to be a girl!)

How about adoption? I appreciate it's not the same as having your own child, but if you want more children, this could be the way to go.

Good luck.

HarrietSchulenberg Tue 30-Nov-10 23:34:28

I was going to say the same as Because - adoption or maybe long-term fostering? I know it's not the same, but that was what I always thought I'd do if I couldn't have childre, and TBH it might still be an option when my own children leave home.

spiralqueen Tue 30-Nov-10 23:59:39

Thanks BIWI and Harriet. I don't think an adoption agency would consider us with me being an emotional basketcase and rightly so. Children in need of adoption deserve a lot more than that.

purplepeony Wed 01-Dec-10 12:18:14

Would it help if you tried to put a more positive slant on this- and separate out whether you are grieving over loss of "youth and fertility" or a second child?

Stating the obvious I know, but you are really lucky to have one healthy child- which many women do not- and a loving DH- ditto.

You might also like to try to change your mindset on the menopause- it is not the end of life but the beginning of a new kind of life- without periods. Think of all the wisdom you have accumulated over the years, which comes with age.

At the same time, unless you are post meno it is still possible you could conceive- unless you have been told youhave no eggs left at all- so don't give up.

spiralqueen Wed 01-Dec-10 22:50:40

Purple - the youth element doesn't bother me, it's grieving for losing the ability to have a second child. I feel as if I have failed both my DD and DH.

I know I am very lucky - hence my reasoning for not going down the egg donor route. Thinking positive is not overcoming the sense of failure and loss of hope - and I speak as someone who as always been a cup half full person. Not being able to see the positives - and despite your kind suggestions for ways of trying to find some - it does feel like it's all downhill from here.

wallydog Wed 01-Dec-10 22:56:38

Sending (((hugs))) x Sorry no words of wisdom - just wanted to send hugs. x

purplepeony Thu 02-Dec-10 13:27:32

spiral- why does it feel all downhill from here?
do you see the menopause as something dreadful?

You haven't failed in anything. You spent your 30s in a relationship which was childless so time was running out when you met your DH- that was circumsance. How can you h ave let anyone down? Your body is doing what is normal- meno is from age 45-55.

That's why I said you need to tackle the 2 issues separately- your negative feelings about getting older and your inability to have another child.

Many women have only one child because of infertility or circumstances- meeting the right man too late etc- but that doesn't mean they feel sad about the menopause.

spiralqueen Thu 02-Dec-10 21:17:12

Purple - I can't think of anything (other than the end of periods) that will be better in the second half of my life. I don't anyone who raves about how much better their life is once they are post menopausal. It's not the menopause in itself, it's just what it signifies - especially completely extinguishing any hope (however deluded given my barely registering AMH) of another child.

I feel I've failed because I can't give my DH another child (he would have loved a son as he will be the last to carry his family name) and I can't give my DD a sibling and she is at an age where she wants a sibling and doesn't understand why she can't have one. She now refers to her teddy as her brother all the time.

I'm sure that if I had been incredibly lucky and had another child, this wouldn't be affecting me like this. Or if I hadn't been blessed with my DD it wouldn't have been an issue as I wouldn't have had any expectations about having a child. I get your point about other parents of only children not being sad, but how many of the infertile ones have gone straight from having a child into menopause? My expectations were raised by my GP and midwife telling me there was unlikely to be a problem having a second child given the ease with which I produced DD. Inevitably you start to plan for it and develop a belief that it is possible - only to have those dreams stamped on.

purplepeony Fri 03-Dec-10 11:24:14

spiral maybe you should think about counselling.
Your reaction to the menopause- rather than just your inability to have another child- seems extremely emotional.

I feel very positive about the "2nd half o f my life" if you can call it that.
I have more time and energy for myself and my career- which has changed- since my children have grown up, and i know who i am .

I am not looking forward to being any older, but that is not anything i can control, so we just have to get on with life and be thankful we are alive.

Clure Sat 04-Dec-10 14:06:58

spiral, your circumstances are so similar to mine. You are still so very raw and hurting. I completely understand. You need to give yourself time for things to sink in and maybe the acceptance of your situation will come. I am 42 and perimenopausal, have one gorgeous DD conceived using clomid at the age of 37.
We tried again for 2 years to have another DC and was then (like you) advised not even to go down the IVf unless using donor eggs. My DD also would love a brother/sister and we have had several sad conversations.
My DH is open to talking about adoption, I will talk a little further down the line but for now I need to give myself a little break from the emotional rollercoaster.
I have also been advised to take HRT, I'm scared about this prospect too.
I send you a big hug and understanding x

spiralqueen Sat 04-Dec-10 20:39:35

Clure thanks for your support. You've had a tougher time than me by the sounds of it.

I've got the HRT chat with the GP next week although she is anti as she says that when you come off it you get all the symptoms back and it can be very difficult to wean off it. She is talking about complementary medicine as she thinks that will improve the physical and mental symptoms. I just want to feel like me again and stop getting so emotional and crotchety. Do you have specific worries about HRT?

Being that bit younger than me are you getting people asking when you are going to have another child? That will be tough if you are having to deal with those questions. People aren't asking me as much when we are going to have another one, normally now it's just when you meet someone new at nursery or the mother and toddler group. It's such an automatic question for anyone with a toddler but I've learnt the hard way how unwelcome that question can be.

Clure Sat 04-Dec-10 22:34:24

Spiral, I'm being quite open about it, I feel that it states to ourselves and everyone that that decision to have one child was not ours to make, if you get what I mean.
i haven't had the Gp appointment about HRT yet as I was kind of putting it off. We had the ivf appointment back in june but things have been very stressful at work and I;m a bit of an ostrich!
i'd be more inclined towards compelmentary approach, I have currently take meds for hypertension and so have been unable to take any form of hormonal birth control for over 20 years due to the hormones contained in it, so this is a worry, Again I need to have a chat. Unfortunatley I don't have great faith in my GP
It is tough isn't it when people automatically assume that you'll have more children
Can I as if you have any perimeno symptoms?
good to communicate with someone who understands

Ormirian Sat 04-Dec-10 22:40:35

It's all about losing the choice I think. I have 3 of them and I wouldn't want another if you paid me TBH, but the knowledge that that decision is out of my hands makes me feel quite desperate at times.

Added to which the feeling that 'it's all down hill from here'. DH and I were lying in bed this morning, he had a cold and I have a really bad back. We were very happy snuggled up together but it felt seriously middle-aged. Time isn't our friend.

purplepeony Sun 05-Dec-10 18:17:41

Clure- it is very important that you do take HRT as you are classed as premature/early meno.

without oestrogen you will be at a high risk for osteoporosis in your 50 s and 60s.
HRT is not dangerous if taken up to the time of a normal avergae meno- 50/52.

Your dr would be being negligent not to offer it.

Clure Sun 05-Dec-10 18:45:14

thanks purplepeony, i know you are right. I will be making an appointment for my regular BP check and so will raise it with him.

Ormirian Mon 06-Dec-10 16:12:56

I didn't know that purple.

I went to see my GP about 2yrs ago when I was getting weird meno-type symptoms (I was 43). She did some tests that showed up nothing. Since then the symptoms have increased 100x! Had i better go back?

trice Mon 06-Dec-10 16:37:09

I went through the menopause at 35. We would have had dc3 if we could. I have cried over it but at the end of the day we have two healthy lovely children.

I would have liked to be filthy rich or stunningly beautiful too but you can't always get what you want.

Try to be thankful for the good things you have. Failing that try anti depressants.

spiralqueen Tue 07-Dec-10 11:18:53

Clure I'm getting most of the symptoms but fortunately not the night sweats and only getting hot flushes occasionally.

Saw GP today who is very anti HRT as she feels people aren't told enough about the problems in getting off it and that it just postpones getting the symptoms.

She has recommended black cohosh to "take the edge off" the symptoms but reading the patient information leaflet she gave me it shows that there is little evidence that it works and the side effects (potential liver damage) can be a problem. She has also suggested anti-depressants although that would only tackle one area and not all the other symptoms and seems rather pointless to me as i would need to take something else fo r the other symptoms and you hit the same problems as HRT with coming off it. She has sent me away to think through what I want to do and go back in a fortnight.

I think I really need to get onto an even keel to be able to properly think everything through. I'm going to try the black cohosh in the meantime and see if that does anything. If it helps I can then have a better discussion with her and if not I think a short spell of HRT to balance things out is probably the way forward.

Did anyone hear the Woman's Hour programme about menopause this week? What was coming through from that?

purplepeony Fri 10-Dec-10 19:17:06

Spiral- I think you have been ill advised. Most GPs know nothing about HRT- the prog on Woman's Hour confirmed that- they get a half day lecture on the menopause.

I am on HRT and will come off it one day but you do so gradually to reduce symptoms.

I am afraid I get very cross when GPs let their own views decide what a patient has/can have. My gynae is top notch- fellow of the Royal College of Gynaes, and an expert in the menopause- and his attitude is that women must make the choice themselves, armed with all the info. he treats patients as equals.

If you are not happy with what your GP says you can ask to see a gynae of be referred to a menopause clinic.

She really ought not to take choice out of your hands.

If you go to the website www.menopausematters.com you will see a diagram of scales on the pros and cons of HRT and the latest opinion is that is is beneficial for women if taken early and for under 5 years.

purplepeony Fri 10-Dec-10 19:20:02

sorry it's co.uk
www.menopausematters.co.uk

purplepeony Fri 10-Dec-10 19:22:14

This is a useful link on the site
if you click on the orange writing- the ages- the scales tip in favour for ages 50-60.

[http://www.menopausematters.co.uk/balance.php]]

tiredbrightonmum Mon 13-Dec-10 18:35:47

I just wanted to say to Spiral that I totally understand what she is saying and how she feels. I too am perimenopausal, although I haven't had a period since June so I suspect I'm going full blown menopausal now. I'm 43. My husband had cancer when our son was born 7 years ago (I was 35 when I gave birth, he was my first child but my second pregnancy - the first ended in miscarriage a year earlier). After my husband ended his chemo we started to try for a much wanted second child, but they found that I had secondary infertility. After one failed round of IVF I was told, at the age of 38, that I would never have another baby. I was devastated, as was my husband. Like you I felt, and still feel, guilt towards my son and my husband for my inability to produce a second child and sibling. It is very painful, it never goes away and it is a grief that I believe you always carry with you. Being menopausal at such a young age is very hard to deal with, even though it is a natural process. The symptoms are horrid and it is just a constant reminder of your infertility. Counselling really helped me

LadyLapsang Thu 23-Dec-10 12:58:53

Sure it will get better once you get over the shock. Many people have such unrealistic expectations of their fertility, often gained from the media. We don't look or feel like our mothers in their mid 40s yet our fertility is probably the about the same.

Regarding people asking you about your plans to have another child, just tell them 'we can't' and change the subject, that tends to shut them up.

I would echo those who think it might be worth you getting a second opinion regarding HRT. By chance I saw a young female GP with recent experience in gynae, who was really knowledgable about the different options. When she said you'll probably feel a lot better within a week she was not kidding. I've noticed it's often the older, male GPs who are keen for you to come off it, or take a cheaper version.

JingleBelleDameSansMerci Thu 23-Dec-10 13:04:16

Spiral - I don't have anything to add really (although I do think you should push for HRT and even see a different GP if necessary) but I wanted to also send my sympathy.

I've got a different situation but it's making me sad for similar reasons. It feels as if something that we take for granted is being taken away. sad

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