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Unable to have more children

(19 Posts)
only1no2 Tue 21-Jun-11 14:41:03

Hello,
I am wondering if there are any other people in my situation.I have one child but due to medical problems I am highly unlikely to be able to be able to have anymore children.I am now 41 and I am finding it very difficult to come to terms with my situation.My dd is 10 and seems happy as she has lots of friends at school I think but she does spend alot of time on her own outside of the school setting.I am constantly worried that she maybe feeling lonely because we have no friends with children and also no family living nearby.
I have spent around eight years trying to conceive a sibling for her and realistically I am now realising after many miscarriages that it just isn't going to happen.How do I move on from so much sadness that I just can't have the large family I imagined I would have?
I know I just have to get on with life and be grateful for what I do have.I don't know why I am writing on here really because I guess the only solution is to hope that time will heal the pain.I guess I am wondering if there is anyone out there who would have loved more children but has come to terms with only having one.How long did it take to accept your situation?

MammKernow Tue 21-Jun-11 14:52:35

Hi, i'm in a similar situation - we'd planned on 2, but I can't have any more. dd is wonderful, but i do occasionally still get a pang. When my medical condition was dx-ed, my GP told me that i would likely go through a process very similar to a bereavement, mourning for the children i can't have. And she was correct, i had some major depressive episodes but have come to terms with it now.

We make sure dd has friends over to play as much as poss, and are lucky to have some family fairly close. She is a happy and well adjusted girl (as i'm sure your dd is too, despite your worries!), so i guess she is doing ok smile

All i can say is be kind to yourself, your daughter gets her mummy's undivided love, which can only be good. And it does hurt, but give yourself that time to grieve.

Take care xxx

MindySimmons Tue 21-Jun-11 15:39:11

A friend of mine recently discovered that him and his partner are very unlikely to have children. He said up until them, he had thought children would be nice but not overly consumed with thoughts about it. Yet, once told the option have been taken away, he is finding it very difficult to come to terms with the situation. I could see how painful he was finding it all so can only imagine how difficult it must be for you and others in your situation.

I'm sure if you browse the One Child Family area you'll quickly see the issues of loneliness quickly dispelled. Your dd's circumstance sounds like me at that age and I had 3 sisters! It may well be her preference to spend some time alone and if not, nurturing any interests through clubs (especially things like guides etc) can do wonders. I do believe though that children can very much pick up emotional cues from their parents and if you believe she has been denied something by not having a sibling, then she may well see it that way too. When the reality is you are giving her everything she needs, love, care and attention. I hope you can find some peace but please don't think for a second you've not given her something, yes you don't have the large family you dreamt of but there's no evidence to prove she would be any happier with siblings.

NedSchneebly Wed 22-Jun-11 06:39:50

We're not going to have any more after I was diagnosed as being a carrier of genetic disorder DS has. I couldn't imagine doing embryo selection, so we've taken v hard decision not to risk having another who might have same condition. Definitely mourning for DCs we haven't had.... I still think of having a little girl called Poppy Grace..... sad

Starxx Wed 29-Jun-11 13:12:22

Might be a bit early for you at the moment but have you thought about adopting....??

Hulababy Wed 29-Jun-11 13:15:37

My DD is 9y (me and DH are 38y) and we started ttc fror #2 when she was 2y. I discovered I had Ashermans Syndrome a year later and eventually had a couple of ops and pretty heavy duty hormone treatment to sort that, and tried Clomid also. But none of it worked. It's been about 3-4 years since then and I haven't entirely given up, we don't do anything to prevent pregnancy. But after this long it looks extremely unlikely.

When will I give up entirely? No idea tbh. When will I be resigned to it? I suppose in my head I am now, in my heart....hmmm.

faintpositive Wed 29-Jun-11 13:27:43

41 here too, ds is 7 nearly 8 ttc for 4 years, im currently having my 6th mc.

Thats me done now.
I think it has taken this to bring me to that conclusion.
However, ask me again in a couple of months and i may well be less resistant to the idea of never having another!

Think we will do what Hulababy is doing and not prevent pregnancy.

Its all consuming and very distressing, and really not a decision you can make yourself, its kind of made for you in many ways.
Mother nature can drop huge fat hints, takes it out of your hands.

But then im bitter and twisted at the moment.

duffybeatmetoit Wed 29-Jun-11 13:48:46

I had my DD in my mid 40s (wonderful surprise) and was reassured all the way through by the health professionals that I wouldn't have problems having more children. However despite very enthusiastic attempts I didn't conceive and was then told I was infertile. It's been a real rollercoaster of emotions and not helped by now going through the change with a toddler. I don't get upset by other people getting pregnant, but I have this endless sadness about not being able to give DD a sibling and DH another child. I do feel (irrationally I know) that I've failed them.

It is hard on DD as we are a long way from family and I know she can get bored with just us for company, but we try to arrange time with other children for her. I do worry about when we are older and she will have to shoulder the inevitable problems of caring for elderly parents alone without any siblings to share the burden with. I know several only children my age and older who have this problem.

Sorry I can't be more positive and I hope you find ways of coming to terms with it.

coffeecupmum Thu 30-Jun-11 15:19:50

Hi only1no2

I think I am in a very similar place to you. I was diagnosed as having very low ovarian reserve and given less than a 5% chance of ever conceiving even with high dosage drugs through IVF. Wonderfully, but after a painstaking and frustrating journey we adopted DS age 3 through our local social services. We always said if we were lucky enough to have a sucessful adoption we'd stop at one because adoption is really hard all round. But we would like another. We are trying to adopt again but it is hard to get the right match I am also coming round to the possibility this may not be right for us that we might be a one child family - not what we'd envisaged. There are definately feelings of grief for a second child we'll never have and feeling of guilt for not providing a sibling. DS now 5 has plenty of friends, a big extended family who adore him and a cousin on the way anyday now - so I think that might be it for us. I keep waiting for that moment when I get that -I don't know - sign from up on high - that instinctive feeling about the right way to go.

only1no2 Fri 08-Jul-11 14:23:42

Thank you for your repies.I had thought of adoption but I don't think I would get through the stringent vetting process.Was it very difficult Coffeecupmum?
I am thinking of ways to move on in my life and I am enjoying my dd being more independent now that she is older.So in a way it would be very hard to start from the beginning again with a new baby.
I am so sorry for everyone who is suffering from secondary infertility,it is so very painful and very difficult when around other families with more than one child because it feels so isolating.For many years at the school gates I have felt like a different species of mother,inadequate because I could only have one.I have felt like people are looking down at me and pitying me.I know this is probably my paranoia and lack of self esteem but it really hurts.
But this summer I am determined to enjoy my holiday and revel in the fact that I only have one child to pay for!I can afford to do perhaps more than parents with many and I am going to really appreciate the fact that it is easy to travel with one.So many positives to focus on!
Your GP was right MammKernow,It is like a bereavement and the pain comes in waves,always there lurking under the surface.It often hits hard in supermarkets because there are so many babies around making themselves heard however the squealing does often turn me off the idea of having another!Now that I am getting older I do enjoy peace and quiet.

nouveaupauvre Sat 16-Jul-11 22:28:22

Am struggling with the same thing myself - ds now 4, been ttc a second for what feels like forever and can't: we don't know why (unexplained secondary infertility) which makes it in some ways harder to give up, because there's always that chance....anyway i am now 40 and really seriously trying to think about how to move on. Last week I sorted out and packed up the tonnes of baby toys, clothes and paraphenalia I've been keeping for an imaginary second child, working out which friends etc to give things away to - not ready to just stick them all on ebay but giving to friends feels like a safe halfway house: if the impossible happens and we do have another baby i can always ask for them back! It was upsetting doing it but I actually feel better for giving the stuff away: it has actually been a constant reminder of the baby we didn't have, stuffed away at the back of the wardrobe.
The other thing I am trying to do is focus on what we do have and not on what we don't: DH and I went away for a weekend just the two of us (DS with grandparents) & kept telling ourselves we couldn't do that if we had a baby as well. Easier said than done but I don't know any other way to deal with it and I do know that we have to deal with it, somehow.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 19-Jul-11 12:16:40

Hi. I've written about this so many times I hope you'll excuse me for being quite brief.

In our case, serious medical problems were diagnosed before we had our child. In hindsight, I had done such a good job of accepting that we would not have children - I had made all sorts of alternative plans for my life - that I spent the pregnancy in a state of (very welcome) shock. It wasn't that hard, therefore, to decide not to pursue the pretty slim chance of having a second child, although I did wobble a bit once my antenatal group started to have their second and subsequent babies.

I know it sounds Pollyanna-ish, but I think you are right to say that you have to focus on what you do have and not on what you haven't.

LouJane Mon 05-Sep-11 14:50:37

It's been really helpful for me to read all your posts - I managed to conceive my DD naturally after 3 IVFs failed - we thought we would try for another and it would just happen again but I've been diagnosed with really low ovarian reserves and am currently struggling with being medically managed for an ectopic pregnancy. sad

I'm not sure I can put my body through any more turmoil but I so want to have another child, a sibling for our DD and somehow I can't shift my dream of having 2!

I am currently reading a book that's really helping me cone to terms with the possibility of my DD being an 'only'
It's called 'Parenting an only child:The joys and challenges of raising your one and only' by Susan Newman. I'd recommend it.

lovethesunshine Mon 12-Sep-11 18:16:40

My DS is nearly 7 - we had him after 3yrs ttc, scuppered by PCOS. We've been trying ever since too. I've been through it all with those around me- the patronising "you'll have another, just you wait and see", "just stop trying, it will then happen naturally" (just about the stupidest thing I've ever heard - and I tried that theory with dieting, does NOT work!!), through the sympathy, avoidance, being treated like a china doll "don't say 'Baby' when she's in the room" behaviour. It hasn't helped to see my 8 members of my closest friends/relatives having a grand total of 20 babies between them in the past 4 years - not because I'm envious (how can anyone feel so negative about new life?!!) but because they all feel guilty and don't enjoy their pregnancies and new babies with me, to avoid 'hurting my feelings'.
Sometimes ....
I worry about DS being lonely - but in fact, we 'socialise' him so much, he craves time to himself!
I worry about DS being unsociable, but he's already got friends across 3 school districts, and across a wide age range, both boys and girls.
I worry that he'll miss the caring aspect of being an older sibling - but the childminder's other subject, a cute little toddler can't get enough of him and looks for him on days he's not there.
I worry that he'll resent being a lone child - but when recently asked at a public service last week whether he has brothers or sisters, he replied: "oh, no - we have a cat!", beaming with pride (got a big chuckle from the audience)
I worry that when my DH and I are old, he'll be burdened with us alone, with no sibling support (my recently deceased Gran had 6 siblings caring, and still it was tough). But an older wise woman I know who has a lone child told me that she's just given her DD (19yrs) permission to put her in a home, and enjoy the inheritance - which she won't have to share with anyone!
And most of the time ...
I feel happy because DS gets all that I am, while my friends with a houseful report that they barely have time to keep theirs washed and fed.
I feel lucky because he's excelling at school, at football and at cycling, and I get to savour every minute without juggling time.
I feel funny because although he'd gain a lot from being part of a sibling group... he gets a lot from being a lone child too.
I feel downright blessed when I see or hear of people who didn't get even one DC, or lost one.
On sunday mornings, when he climbs into bed, I am sooo thankful there's only one of him.
When he's a teenager, I bet I'll be glad to run a taxi service for only 1 ... and as for University (which he's sure to get into, as I've spent so much 1:1 time helping him learn!)
It would never have been my choice. We planned to have two close together, have a break then another two. Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get . But sometimes there's a yummy caramel inside the coffee cream wrapper, know what I mean?
p.s. I may seem to have treated this subject somewhat lightly... so I'll mention the 10 years (with a baby-sized gap in the middle) of: invasive treatments; Clomid; Metformin; stupid diets; denial; relationship strain; miscarriage; attic-emptying frenzy; denial agian; weeping over having another period; being denied IVF on NHS because of existence of DS; periods of depression; a bit more Clomid; grieving, hurting, true bereavement ... and then finally the healing that came when it was ready, the realisation that consigning a part of myself to that cycle mean that part wasn't being spent on DS,DH or me. I truly hope that one day soon, you'll have the strength to write something lighthearted on the subject (keep it shorter than my post though, for goodness' sake!). All the best. smile

mumblechum1 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:20:31

Our eldest ds died (cerebral palsy), so younger one is an only. I know he'd have loved to have siblings but for reasons I don't want to go into it would have been too risky

Like other posters I was a great inviter when he was at primary, he'd have a friend round at least twice a week after school and was invited back to theirs so not too lonely.

smilytwinglet Tue 13-Sep-11 22:10:16

just been to see our consultant for the 5 time in 12 months.he was very positive but the only one though.sounds like ivf but cant afford it.salso dont want my hopes up.cant come to term with only having one child who is 3..am one of 7 and loved been one of many especially in my teens..please help ..dont know how to handle this
am hurting so deeply

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Wed 14-Sep-11 00:49:59

Smily - I didn't want to ignore your post, but I don't know what to say that can make things look or feel better for you at the moment.

Is there no chance of you getting ivf through the NHS? If there isn't - and I know this is easy for me to say because my child is a lot older than yours - then things do get better in time. It comes as a blow when life doesn't turn out the way you hoped, but things won't always seem so bleak. It's great that you enjoyed being part of a big family, but that doesn't mean that your child, who is a different person, won't have a good life as an only child. Their childhood won't be the same as yours but it could be just as happy and in adulthood they will form their own network of friends and loved ones.

If ever you want to talk, rant or let off steam, come and find us in the tea room (it's usually the top thread in this topic).

Wigglesmummy Sun 18-Sep-11 16:37:45

Smily. Its rubbish. I am so sorry. Nothing I can say can help, but maybe, just maybe, one day in the future you too will read lovethesunshine's wonderful post 2 above yours and just give it a wry smile and recognise it. Its not what any of us choose but it can and does work. Hang on in there and let time heal or change things

Dooze Fri 23-Sep-11 08:23:35

Interesting reading through the messages and how other people feel. I've just turned 42 and I was diagnosed having early menopause just after dd was born almost 4 years ago and we couldn't have any more children. I'd had a miscarriage before then and it took a couple of years to get pregnant again, so I do see her as a little miracle. We would have loved another baby and I feel everyone around me is now on there next round of pregnancies and I feel quite jealous. I'm fed up of the 'when are you going to have another one to keep her company?' I have mixed emotions of being blessed and so glad I had my dd feel saddened everyday that she is alone with not much family around.

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