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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed many probs in this section are physical: I wondered if I could ask a mentally related one? I'm beginning to feel (well have been for a long time, but it's now getting more serious), how to keep going?

I haven't even reached the IVF stage yet, but as I come towards the end of my clomid chances, I'm getting scared as I know IVF isn't available yet on the NHS for me. I'm so worried as I don't know if I an go through paying privately. I'm thinking what if this doesn't work, how many can I afford??

It would be easier to cope with mentally if we could have subsidised IVF, eg pay half.

Sorry to take up space in this important section - I know there's nothing much anyone can say, but after Christmas shopping again for the third year without any successes and seeing all the happy families has made me feel particularly sad. I'm worried I don't know how long I can keep going for.... sorry for adding that. Love to everyone.
 

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Hi Rowena

Christmas is an extremely difficult time for all people undergoing infertility treatment, and the spending associated with it makes it worse!

It's taken me 2 years to finally be able to cope with having ivf/icsi, as I was terrified it would be our final step and we wouldn't be able to afford it.  In the end we used money from our deposit for a house, and agreed not to be upset if it didn't work, because no amount of money compares once you have that bundle!

As a mental health nurse myself, what you wrote worries me, 'I don't know how long I can keep going'...... I think you should make an appointment to see your GP and talk it out with them.  All this stress could be culminating in a grief reaction, or something more serious like depression.  Please, please, talk to your GP!!

Sending big hugs your way!

~Natt~
 

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Hi there
I think you have brought up a very important point here. I think we all know about the physical symptoms of infertility well but I also believe that we do all know the mental drainage it can out on even the strongest person. You are not alone in feeling like this, I know that each and every one here will have been through similiar experiences and these feelings are heightend at this time of year.
I am sure that you will get through this patch, talking to the other member on here will certainly help and maybe talking to your GP could as well, sometimes you need to vent to someone outside of your usual network of friends.
Good Luck
Chick
 

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Rowena

Please please remember you are not alone in this and there are plenty of people out here willing to support you throught his difficult time and don't forget your GP is there for mental as well as physical well being.  If you are with a fertility clinic already then see the counsellor.

It is a very very hard time for you at the moment and the only bit of advice I can give is to try and take one step at a time.  Sometimes chopping things down into manageable sections can help you.  Also don't feel as though you have to spend time over the Xmas period with friends and family with children - if you don;t want it don't do it !  be selfish, you are allowed to be !

As for next steps I cannot comment on medically but they may suggest you try IUI as a next stage which, is cheaper than IVF per cycle.  If the option comes back as IVF then have a look at a few of the following things related to cost.  Look into self funding at an NHS clinic, this is cheaper than purely private, speak to your GP aout drug funding some will pay for your drugs so you only have to pay for tx. 

For information we self funded an ICSI treatment and paiD £2452 for tx and about £450 for drugs.  IVF is cheaper than ICSI, the amount varies by clinic but from memory standard IVF was £1700 plus drugs

(((hugs)))

Clare
 

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Hi Rowena
It's so cruel isn't it that not only do you have to go through the pain of trying to conceive, you have to worry about money as well. People who fall pregnant easily have no idea what we go through!
I haven't got much advice about the financial stuff, but it terms of keeping on, like Clare S I've found that rather than looking at the big picture, which can be so scary and overwhelming, I try to break things down into manageable portions. I still have my bad days, but each time I get through something I feel a little sense of achievement, which helps me somehow.
You and your DH have already achieved so much, you should be really proud of yourselves. I think going through fertility treatment is such a brave thing for anyone to do. During your lowest moments, it might help to think of what a strong and courageous woman you are for going through this.  ^hugme^
All the best
Thisbe
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for all your kind words, they do help.

Re the Gp: The first sentence I say everytime I see her is something like, "I'm finding this really hard to cope with." However, I always leave the room with only my physical prob attended to. I don't pursue it as I don't want anti-depressants.

Re me: Sorry for being so introvert, but I am really scared and I am finding it hard to cope. My DH is the best, I love him so much, but noone, even him can mend this, without me having a successful pregnancy. We talk all the time, but at the end of the day, however supported he makes me feel, I'm still not pg. I read in Collette Harris' book, that one can always work with children or animals etc instead. Maybe I'm being selfish, but doing that doesn't deal with the burning desire inside of me. I have always worked with children, from childminding all my teenage years to working in orphanages as a volunteer in Africa and India. I've been wanting a child since I was 12, but wanted to get my degree and work abroad first. Now I'm 30, with everything I could ever wish for, including the right man, job and lifestyle but not the only thing that I can never live without.

Sorry to write so much, I'm so worried I'm going to get another 3 yrs down the line and still have no result.

I know a problem is that the only person I talk to is DH. I am part of a large family and babies are everywhere within my friends and family. My two brothers have even had vasectomies as they've got enough children! This I understood but was really hard to deal with. I know I'd be even worse if I talked to people I know about this, as I'd feel an even bigger failure as time went by and no result.

Thanks Natt, Chick, Clare and Thisbe. Hope you don't mind me giving you a hug....love to you all.

                                          ^hugme^
 

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Dear Rowena,

Why don't you ask your GP to be referred to a counsellor? I know this will not fix your problem, and it may seem like it is useless and hopeless, but it might make the process of what you are going through easier to bear. I know with me, sometimes I found the pain of infertility unbearable, and sometimes it was easier. It was like the proverbial rollercoaster.

The other thing is that you could possibly be depressed, in a clinical sense I mean. If this is so, then any problems you have will seem unsurmountable, and the world looks pretty bleak - the same problems will exist if you are not depressed but will seem not as overwhelming. Your GP probably isn't in much of a position to assess any depression unless she knows you well or refers you to a counsellor or a psychiatrist, who can spend more time getting to know you - and remember, anti-depressants are only one way of treating depression.

Believe me, there is no shame in this - depression can happen to anyone, is not a weakness and once treated you will wonder why you didn't do anything about it before. The thing is, it can be so insidious that it can affect your relationship, your physical health and also isn't a good way to start a pregnancy.

The other thing, don't apologise for posting on ff - in fact the more you post the better, I think - let all your bad feelings out here and I"m sure you will get support from other women who have a good idea of what you're going through.

All the best,

Suzy
 

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Rowena; I was right where you are now about eighteen months ago. I was almost overwhelmed by the prospect of IVF and the financial and emotional burden. Your story of your family sounds very similar to mine - large with babies everywhere. I've watched four babies been conceived and born since we started on clomid alone!
Don't know how I got through it, except by seeing some wonderfully inspirational stories from people on here, and by knowing that there's others out there just like me who are going through this as well. Somehow, despite it all, I'm still sane...although that's debatable!
I'll second Suzy's suggestion of a counsellor. If your GP doesn't suggest one, maybe you should make an appointment to see him/her regarding your mental health only - i.e. don't bring it up in passing when you're there for something else, but see him/her specifically and explain that your not coping emotionally and would referal for counselling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Suzy and Caz,
I don't know where you get your strength from. I'm sorry to whinge again, but I wanted to explain I'm worried as I feel like it's getting darker inside of me. Maybe I am depressed. Will it mend itself? I feel like my soul is disappearing somewhere and I'm becoming a shell. I keep telling myself I should pull myself together as there's people on this site who have been through so much more and are still trying and sane. I know that, but I'm feeling so scared and sad and just keep thinking bad things. Every negative hpt and wrong hormone result is getting to me. Time seems to be going so fast and I feel like one day I'll wake up and it will be too late. What's also worrying me is that I'm scared my feelings are affecting my chances of ovulating and conceiving anyway as I'm hardly stress-free and jumping for joy. I have been, but I'm finding it hard to keep going that way.

Thanks for being there and I will think about seeing a counsellor. I did ask a nurse a few months ago at my Gp surgery, if there was anyone I could talk to there, such as a counsellor, but she said they don't have a counsellor and carried on sorting out my physical problem.

I think it's so unfair that if I lived 50 miles west, I could have NHS IVF. It makes it so much harder to cope with, that it isn't seen as a priority here, but surely me having PCOS and my DH having sperm problems that we have tried to do everything about by changing our whole lifestyles, warrants some support. No doubt if I smoked, ate a high fat diet, didn't exercise and had a heart attack then I'd be seen with open arms and given the operation to save my life. It seems so unfair, that I'm looking after myself better than anyone could ask for and I'm being told my infertility condition is not seen as a priority to treat. I can only say that it is as life threatening as a heart attack, albeit not as acutely.

Sorry for all that. Not sure if I feel better now or not. Please forgive me. I know everyone has their own problems. Love to you all.  :-[
 

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Dear Rowena

This infertility thing is just so tough and the physical side is only one aspect.  I've found it emotionally extremely draining so don't think you're alone. I also don't think you're whining and there is nothing to forgive.

At times I've felt utterly desperate and I consider myself to be one of life's "coper's" in that I cope. I always cope. Well nearly always..... Earlier this year I rang the Samaritans just to talk to someone who I couldn't upset with just how upset I was by the whole infertility thing.

I have to say that the symptoms you describe are virtually identical to the symptoms one of my rellies recently talked me through and he's been diagnosed with depression (he and his wife have also been through IVF).

You might want to try www.bica.net who can put you in touch with specialist infertility counselors.

The funding things is totally unfair however there is little you can do to change it and to dwell on it is destructive. Someone told me recently it's better to light a candle than to dwell in darkness.  Sounds naff but it kinda works when you think about it.

I'm so, so sorry your suffering in this way but you're not alone and you're not a whinger.

^Cuddle^

flipper



 

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Dear Rowena

Clinical depression is caused by an imbalance in chemicals of the brain, and the use of antidepressants is designed to rebalance these chemicals. 

However, you are obviously grieving for the child you so dearly want, and a grief reaction can mask itself as depression also.  Talking it out, and venting to a person (DH or an independent counsellor) would help you SO much.  I know it's hard to talk to people about one's inner feelings, but having done this myself, it's like a huge weight gets lifted off your shoulders.

I'm from Australia, and not familiar with services in the UK, but this is what's available here - hoping similar things are available there:

1) a community health centre - here they provide free counsellors.  You can self-refer or get a referral from your GP.

2) phone counsellors - lifeline and other organisations have confidential, and anonymous telephone counselling sessions for no charge.  This would help if you're not comfortable talking face to face with a stranger.

3) you could present to your local A&E and ask for a review by a psychiatrist.  As scary as this sounds, it would maybe be free (it is here), and you wouldn't be forced to see them again if you didn't want to. 

4) If your GP isn't taking notice of your mental health, then find one who will!

Rowena, try and keep your chin up!  My thoughts are with you! Remember, there is no shame in seeking help!

~Natt~
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Flipper and Natt. I do appreciate your replies.

Flipper, I was wondering did your relative with depression have to have anti-depressants? I'm scared of them. I'm usually such a coper too, but after having such enthusiasm for life for so long, and putting so much in to it, I'm only asking for one thng back and finding the failure of this extremely hard to cope with. I've had enough of living without a child. Thanks for your suggestion of lighting the candle, that's good. I'm having trouble accessing the website you posted though.

Natt, Thanks for the suggestions. I will talk to someone. I like the way you say I am grieving for the child I so dearly want - this is how it feels. It made me emotional reading that. I'm crying a lot since being on clomid. It's not usual for me and I feel out of control with my emotions like I've never felt before. It's not making me moody or volatile, just sensitive, tearful and sad. I don't think the clomid is causing me to write what I've written though, but that it is bringing out what's inside of me. I suppose it may not be helping me cope with my inner feelings though?

Love to you both and thanks for taking the time to reply.
 

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Hello again Rowena

Yes in the end he did opt for anti-depressants partly because by the time he sought professional help he was in a pretty poor state (putting it mildly). A few months on and a bit of counselling and he's looking and sounding much much better I'm pleased to add.

I hope you've had better luck connecting to the bica website.

Good luck and take care of yourself.

flipper



 

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Glad to hear you're going to talk to someone Rowena  :) You'll find it really does help!

Many years ago I was on Clomid, and I was a volatile, agressive maniac!  Playing around with hormones can do such things!

Either way, we still grieve for our not-yet conceived children and it's hard for others to understand how you can grieve for something that never was there...... but you can!

*hugs*

~Natt~
 

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Hi Rowena,
I think the other lovely ladies have probably given you all the advice you need.  I just wanted to send you a hug. 

One thing I noticed from your posts is that you use the word 'sorry' alot and you also say how 'hard you're trying' to be healthy.

Can I make a little suggestion?  Please try to let yourself off the hook a bit.  You are grieving and when people grieve they need to cut themselves a bit of slack.  It's life's copers who drive themselves into the ground.  I have close family who have suffered from depression - everyone said they were the last people they would think could get that ill because they always seemed to cope.  It was this kind of pressure that they imposed mostly on themselves that made them unwell.  Please try not to try so hard!  See if you can just be, and just do.  :)
As the other ladies said, break it up into pieces, and try not to jump ahead to the end game all the time.  You've admitted to us that you're finding it very tough, that's a great start. Now start giving yourself a break. It isn't failure to get off the rollercoaster every now and then.

I was once warned because of my family history to be very careful with myself - it was a psychologist on a management course who spotted that I used similar language to you -he said he heard me say the words tiring, exhausted, hard work in every sentence!  I couldn't let myself off or disappoint anyone.  I embarked on a tough journey of 'letting go' !! It was hard but I feel mentally much stronger now which is good seeing as this was all before I found out I had fertility problems!

I wouldn't be at all embarassed about asking your GP for counselling, or see if your fertility clinic offers it.  Sadly from what I know from a friend who has experienced it, and another who 'works in the trade', the casualty route on the NHS usually needs you to be in very desperate circumstances before they can help.  But your GP should be able to refer you.  Or do you have a work scheme? Or you can find someone in the phone book and refer yourself privately.  Try not to worry about the money, your mental health is just as important.  And please try not to worry that being so sad will affect your chances of conceiving.  I think this is a myth.  All of us lot on this site are pretty damn sad alot of the time, and loads of us do conceive in the end. You only compound your problems by worrying that worrying is bad for you....  ;)

Have you thought about some acupuncture or other calming alternative therapies?  I have been seeing an acupuncturist for a while and I do think it helps.  I feel like I'm more in control, at least.

I know alot of people are wary of their GPs simply prescribing seroxat or other anti depressants and telling them to get on with it.  You don't have to take drugs if you don't want to. No one can force you.  At the same time, don't be scared of them if you have had a good consultation with a psych and they recommend it.

Best of luck, and all my sympathy that you're having such a rotten time. 

lots of love,
Claire xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks Flipper, Natt and Claire for taking the time.

I will make it my new year's resolution to not say sorry and ok .... to perhaps be proud of what I'm doing rather than beat myself with a stick. I admit this is a trait of mine which I'm embarrassed you've pointed out. I do need to relax more, but it is so hard not to be on edge when I'm so so desperate. Obviously I have to learn to be, I agree. I did think something today that I keep saying over to myself and that's 'Survival of the fittest', i.e. the strongest pass on to the next generation. I think this means I have to be stronger otherwise I'm not going to get there am I.

You know, I would emotionally like to say that you lot make a very good counselling team. And, thanks for the hug Claire, it felt really good.

Sending you all a lot of love.
 

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Hi Rowena

I agree with all thats been said, please do talk to someone about your feelings, FF is a start. IF is so hard on those of us that experience it and we wouldn't wish it on our worst enemies.

IF is certainly made harder by the lack of understanding by most other people surrounding us, and the fact that a lot of medical professionals don't see it as an important issue, plus the patchy care that is available around the country.

Big hugs to you and your DH, sending you +ve thoughts

love

Camilla
 
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