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How do you move on and accept it's going to be one child?

(10 Posts)
stilllovingmysleep Sun 27-Mar-16 08:34:47

Hi all,

I'm writing for some advice and ideas really. My lovely DS is 7 yrs old, and he was the product of IVF so he was a miracle really as it had then worked first time. We then had 4 frozen embryos left from that one cycle (which had been conceived when I was in my early 30s and were good quality).

For various (serious) reasons DH and I delayed / went back and forth about trying for these frozen embryos. I always wanted a second child but DH was conflicted about it and we had professional and financial constraints.

Eventually, we reached a decision, and this last year we tried for 4 all--thus I went through 4 frozen embryo treatments, starting from sept. 2015 and ending yesterday. It was clear to both of due to our age and other reasons (I'm now in my 40s / DH in his 50s) that this would be it after this.

None of the embryos worked. Yesterday I got my final negative pregnancy test. I feel numb, that's all, at the moment...but I had cried a lot after the previous 3 failed attempts.

I have told myself many times that people go through many many difficult things in life and this is not one of the worst although it involves grief and loss. For years I held on to this dream of a second child and it felt particularly hard having those frozen embryos there, 'waiting for us' (as it felt). Now that it's all over, how do I move forward & properly mourn for this & put it behind me? What have you found helps? I want to also add that our life with our boy is good & I can very well see the pluses of having one child rather than more, it's just that I have to find a way to move beyond my previous dreams & hopes...

Bambalina Mon 28-Mar-16 10:11:28

I am going to start by saying I don't have any answers. I wish I knew myself. Our dd (3yo) was conceived on our second round of ivf and using a sperm donor. Dp has a fairly damning chromosomal condition which means I am more likely to miscarry than Carry a healthy pregnancy. We had 3 frozen embryos which were replaced one by one last year with zero success, and I was devastated after each one, and so gutted at the end of it all,knowing that that was our best chance at anothe child. I feel shit that dd will never have a full genetic sibling (as the donor was only available for ivf not iui). Dp also decided that he didn't want to risk more losses and 'put me through more trauma' and has closed the door on trying against the odds for a child the usual way.
It's been nearly 9months now and around the time my last transfer would have been due. I have just spent the evening cuddling a baby that was born when my second transfer would have been full term.
Every day I think of the child I don't have while trying to focus on giving dd the best childhood she could possibly have. I don't know how to get past this either and am assuming time will be the key

stilllovingmysleep Mon 28-Mar-16 10:48:26

Bambalina I'm so sorry to hear of your difficult journey and many thanks for your thoughts. And how wonderful you did manage to have a DD under difficult circumstances.

I think what you say about trying to give our existing children the best possible childhood and focusing on having a rich, enjoyable life despite our losses is key. What I would never want would be to feel that I resent my DS for 'not being the miracle new baby' that of course he can't be at 7. Thankfully I have never felt that way & have always thoroughly enjoyed him; however, I did notice that in the last months (during the fertility treatment) I had less patience for him & generally was quite often low. So I'm grateful the fertlity treatment is over, that's one positive. Do you feel grateful for that too? (as it can be a massive roller coaster emotionally). I don't mean in terms of having or not having regrets for the future, but in terms of the expense & complications & all that goes with fertilty treatment being over.

I think another thing is that a lot depends on our age too. In my case (I'm 42 but DH is 10 years older) our ages make me feel that it's time to move on. DH doesn't want to try for adoption and I'm certainly not going to put our family into massive financial & emotional turmoil to convince DH to try for IVF again or for donor eggs. I just don't think we could take any more of this. If in your case you're much younger, perhaps it might be worth exploring other options?

A happy professional life also, I think, helps a least it really helps me, as I absolutely love my job.

Anyway, hope some of these thoughts are helpful for you too and thank you again for writing. I hope others can share some of their thoughts too.

d0nkeyk0ng Mon 28-Mar-16 22:21:05

Hi stillloving and bambalina. I just wanted to write as yesterday we just found out out our ivf for 2nd child failed too after a few iui tries beforehand. Still processing but I just never thought my little girl would be an only child and even though I knew odds of success over 40 are not promising I just believed we were going to be lucky. I don't feel we can keep pursuing ivf because of that hideous financial and emotional drain - I think that constant expectation and disappointment makes it impossible to just enjoy life for what it is, right now, today. I can see there will be some relief in getting out of the ivf churn. Having said that, I am sure it will take a while to accept that 'this is it' and I'm tearful as I type. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for what we have - I'm unbelievably grateful - but as well as feeling sadness to think I won't hold my own little newborn again and to think there won't be the surprises of a new little personality emerging in our family, I'm just worried my daughter will feel she missed out - that is the thing that really upsets me. I really want to end on a positive note about the good things, I know there are good things - but it's a bit hard right now. Sorry if this is making anyone feel worse, I'm not sure if a problem shared always is a good thing...

Bambalina Tue 29-Mar-16 03:27:32

Thanks StillLoving, she’s an absolute blessing and a very cool little child, and it has crossed my mind of I don’t know if we could have been given another fabulous child, it seems kind of tempting fate (but I know that comes from a ‘not really being able to imagine how it really could be’ just like when you haven’t had any children and can’t really imagine the reality of being a parent.
And its true, we would be very financially stretched to have more children which is another of DP’s concerns - he is the sole wage-earner and I have been SAHP for the last 3 years. I don’t have a career and quit the career (or took a long break, however you look at it, it doesn’t look good CV wise) that I trained for 7 years ago after burnout and bullying - I did contractor min-wage work and more study in the 4 years before I had DD. I feel like I’ve shot myself in the foot there, but I don’t know what else I could have done - the work I do is quite specialised and not lots of options or local ‘companies’ to work for (2, in fact, and one was the bullying one).
Yes I felt very relieved that the fertility treatment was done with - I felt that as soon as we finished the second cycle - the cost of IVF prices us out of trying again, so that decision was made for us and its a relief in a way (but also a nagging ‘lottery win’ option in the back of my mind). The transfers were a complete headfuck as I did start off very laid back, thinking we were pretty much guaranteed at least one BFP , then the 2ww really messed with my head. I don’t remember being snappy with DD but I do remember being on tenterhooks, and of me being in bits sobbing in the kitchen after a BFN phone call from the clinic and her trying to bring me my bowl of soup that I’d been eating and not knowing what to do with me, that still makes me well up thinking about that.
I know we don’t have the money for adoption, and probably not the emotional temerity to go through the whole process which I believe is pretty gruelling and invasive - with no promises (always said when I was younger that I would adopt as well, clearly had no idea of the reality of it all). I’ve also considered fostering and I know, deep down, I’m not really a ‘child’ person - you know, like some people just really connect well with lots of kids? I’m not one of them!

Age wise, time is running out - I’m 39 in the next few weeks, and I reckon once menopause starts kicking in I will know there could be no ’happy accidents’ (like there could be anyway! That side of things seems a bit broken now). I am looking at what I could do in career-wise and whether I can use my training in something fulfilling and enjoyable (and well-paid). While I always wanted to be at home when I had babies, I feel that some balance, some independence and some more money would be very beneficial to me - we’re on the bones of our arses, no family nearby to help out, and on minimum wage income wouldn’t be worthwhile for childcare costs. I always thought that when DD went to nursery (starts 2 days a week soon) would be my time to get cracking on the career yet the reality of having to be available for drop off and pick up, then change my days again in a year - hmmmn, well I am scouring the job ads daily anyhow! I need to get out of the groundhog day of washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning surfaces. And I totally get that we’ve been privileged to be able for me to stay home for so long, even so the budgeting, scouring for bargains, cooking everything from scratch, never going away or holiday, saving saving saving every penny, second hand clothes till they’re threadbare, renting indefinitely - thats not the life I thought I would be leading anyway!

Anyway, I actually starting writing to offer you some solidarity, and ended up whinging on about my own situation, again! I don’t really talk about it to anyone and- clearly, as I get so upset and most people don’t fully get it (“at least you have DD” “be grateful for what you have” kinda comments which just diminish and shut down the whole thing), DP doesn’t ever talk about it - his mind is made up, and he doesn’t really get it either. We talked to a counsellor at the clinic, and discussed creating the life we want instead - career, opportunities, travelling etc . . . I will get there, and aim for it I’m sure. Still wound licking. I just plaster a smile on and get on with the day to day, and I know that’s not ‘dealing with’ anything

Sorry D0nkeyK0ng that your IVF was not successful, its such a hell of a lot to go through to not have a good result, isn’t it? I was nodding right through reading your message, spot on. Didn’t make me feel worse. Its quite validating to recognise your feelings in another persons writing, as there seems to be so few people in this position irl. 
I felt so stink for DD as she is such a little ‘mother’ and sits breastfeeding her dolls and changing their nappies and pushing their buggies etc, I thought she’d love having a baby around too (although latterly she seems quite indifferent to the numerous babies that are in our weekly activities). I know there’s no guarantee that siblings will get on or like each other. She seems quite happy playing by herself, but its not like she knows any different? I think when she starts asking about brothers and sisters will be the crucifying part

Bambalina Tue 29-Mar-16 03:33:03

God, that was long. StillLoving do you have hobbies and interests that you could pursue? I know that sounds so obvious and cliche.
I've spent the last 6 months exercising and losing 10kg (in a 'if-I-can't-be-pregnant-again-I-want-my-body-back way) which makes me feel better on so many levels - fitness/endorphins/clothes fitting properly/time out from the drudgery. Just snippets of time through the week - 40 minutes here and there - to exercise.

Maybe a kind of bucket list for the next 5 years?

stilllovingmysleep Fri 01-Apr-16 16:33:29

Hi Bambalina and D0nkeyK0ng

I'm so sorry I didn't respond earlier but I kept thinking that I wanted to give this some proper thought...and then as it sometimes happens the time passes sad.

Once again, I'm so sorry for all that you've gone through. I do agree, whatever else one may try to do to make it easier, it really hurts. There are no easy answers, none that I have. I too am very very sad but it does help that other parts of my life feel quite full. Hobbies & interests and my job itself do help a lot but I guess as D0nkeyK0ng said, that's no replacement, the loss remains a loss...

SkodaLabia Fri 01-Apr-16 16:45:46

For me, time passing has been the biggest factor. The older and easier DD gets the less I can imagine having a baby. We can't afford IVF and at my age that would be the only option.

I really do feel I've turned a corner, I desperately wanted another baby for about 3 years, but I think I've made my peace with it now.

I do still worry about DD being an only child when we're old, but knowing that there are lots and lots of only children out there makes me feel better.

stilllovingmysleep Fri 01-Apr-16 17:20:00

SkodaLabia, thanks for saying that. It gives me hope to think time will help. I'm 42--almost 43--and DH is older, so for us too these frozen embryos were really our last chance, both for financial and for emotional reasons. I imagine there will always be some regret, as you say...perhaps like with every other mourning process in life?

It does feel very painful at the moment, though, for me. Also this is linked to menopause looming ahead which scares me, in the context of not having had the number of children I would have liked.

iloveberries Thu 07-Jul-16 13:20:15

I had my "only" for many years and felt many of the same things so I completely understand how painful it is. I felt such guilt for wanting another when DS was so amazing.

I just wanted to say that I am also an only and my mother will often say how bad she feels about it still and how guilty she feels for when her and dad go. I can truly say that having not known siblings I am sure it won't make a difference to me. What I do have is lots of fantastic friends and about 6 very close friends who are there through thick and thin. I also have a great relationship with my parents and whilst I would have loved a sibling it helps to know that my parents tried and it didn't happen for them.

It's so hard to not be able to have the family you'd hoped for. flowers

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