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Coping with the reality of one

(6 Posts)
nervousnelly1001 Tue 01-Mar-16 21:09:01

Sorry if I sound like a moany, self indulgent cow. Just need to get this out..

I have a fantastic 4 year old boy, conceived through Ivf/icsi as my DH had very low sperm. For ages before he was born I thought I wanted two kids but after horrendous birth and early difficulties getting into the swing of motherhood (post natal depression and just adjusting to the demands of motherhood ) I realised that maybe one was perfectly ok...and I had genuinely settled on that.

However my DH wanted another so we went through ivf again which was tough this time round as I was put on steroids which made me spacey, ill and depressed. The ivf utterly failed when my DH failed to produce sperm on the day andthe frozen samples we had deposited four years ago yielded no usable sperm. I was sad and shocked to find this but my DH was utterly devastated.

I took one day off work to recover mentally and physically and to be honest I have spent the last few weeks since it happened propping up my DH as I feel so sorry for him. I thought I was ok. Meanwhile I've been moody and snappy at work and only tonight I realise that really I'm very sad, hurt, disappointed and angry about what happened. Not with my DH but just the whole thing...I had, during the ivf, begun to day dream about another cuddly baby and a sibling for my son but now it's all gone forever. I suppose it's only really hitting me now and it's completely shit. We told no one in our family, circle of friends or work places about this as my husband is very ashamed of it so it feels like I'm in some sort of secret mourning which probably doesn't help either.

Maybe someone else has gone through this? Thanks.

LostInTheTriangle Fri 04-Mar-16 20:48:14

You don't sound moany, or self indulgent. I really felt for you when I read your post.

I also conceived via IVF and prior to this, imagined we would have 2 or 3 children. The disappointment and physical upheaval you've been through with your attempts to conceive number two are considerable and mustn't be underestimated.

It's not the same, but I can understand how your husband is feeling, as our reproductive challenges are my 'fault' and to make matters worse, I've now managed to conceive naturally, but had two consecutive missed miscarriages at 9 and 11 weeks in the last year of ttc our number two. Undoubtedly due to my fertility issues, so I'm not sure if my daughter will ever have a sibling either. For this reason, I also feel sadness, anger, disappointment and guilt.

The only thing that gets me through (and this is just my coping strategy) is being thankful I have my daughter, as so many people do IVF and are unsuccessful. A few of my friends have one child for various reasons and they're all perfectly happy, well-adjusted children. I've also taught a lot of only children and think it is now very common.

I know your post was seeking advice from those with male factor issues, so sorry I haven't been very helpful in that dept. It sounds like you both need to talk about what's happened as bottling everything up and not sharing these experiences with those close to you will be destructive in the long run.

I hope things look up for you soon.

stilllovingmysleep Sun 27-Mar-16 08:40:51

I'm sorry to hear this nervousnelly... As Lostinthetriangle says, the upheaval and physical / emotional rollercoaster that is IVF shouldn't be underestimated. In time (if you decide you're stopping the journey now which is not clear from your post) I think you may feel relief from at least not having to go through that again. The hope that builds up with each IVF cycle, only to come crashing down again at the end, is quite cruel.

I also feel for you when you talk about the 'secret mourning'. This really resonates with me. Compared to other, more 'visible' losses and griefs, infertility is something not many people understand or are able to share. So a lot of us go through it in secret. Can I ask, in your particular case, why you hadn't shared any of this with your family & friends? Usually (despite the many who offer just insensitive comments/ advice along the lines of 'relax and it'll happen') there are some who are really able to support and help.

Bambalina Tue 29-Mar-16 03:44:11

Sorry you are going through this NervousNelly, I've just posted extensively on another thread here so won't post another tome. We had the male factor issues here, which DP doesn't like to talk about either, we just don't mention the low sperm count and if talking about our reason for losses/IVF I have always said "one of us carries a chromosomal condition" rather than just saying it was him. We used a sperm donor which is something that isn't secret but private, so not a lot of people in DD's immediate life actually know about this (she can tell them if she wants, or not, when she understands) although our immediate family know.

That sounds very stressful for you both about the IVF - such a lot to put your body through and it sounds like your DP is fully aware of this . . . so hard - not like its something either of you have any control or intention over.
I reckon its like the grief cycle for this stuff too - switching between shock/denial/anger/depression (I think it is) and can take longer and be much more insiduous than one expects. And like mentioned upthread - there's nothing tangible with loss of a dream or mind-picture of your intended family/future but doesn't make it any less hurty

lem31 Tue 29-Mar-16 23:02:01

It sounds awful and of course you are grieving. Can you see your doctor or a counsellor perhaps so you can talk about these feelings in confidence?
Although I haven't been through this personally, other couples I know have looked into/gone through adoption instead of more ivf. Perhaps this could be an option if more children are important to you. Although it would be obvious you have adopted, there are lots of reasons why people choose to do so so you can tell people that you decided too many children need a home so you wanted to adopt instead. It sounds like you are an amazing wife and mother and I hope you realise that. X

stilllovingmysleep Sat 02-Apr-16 09:13:22

lem31, yes adoption can be an excellent option for many people, but it's not necessarily an easier / more straightforward fact, in this country children who are taken into care go through so much (often WITHIN the care system too, e.g. endless moves between foster carers) that by the time they're up for adoption they have really suffered so much, and it's hard for them to trust you. It can work beautifully but is a long, difficult process and needs stamina, knowledge & time. I think it's totally worth it though. (I say all this speaking from the other side, working with children in care professionally, and recently adopted children).

Realistically, for some people adoption is not an option--they might feel they don't have the resources to go through the whole process, and I think it's honest and fair to be able to acknowledge that. Not everyone can do it or wants to do it and many adoptions tragically fail for this reason. It's totally different to being pregnant & having a baby, a wholly different process. SO I think the grief of failed IVF is again a separate process that has to be worked through before even considering adoption.

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