Hi Laine, Gail and others bravely joining this board. Although we still have one frostie, we all on this FF site, in our hearts know that we may need to make the decision to stop txt to stay sane. Even though I have dd I still know that we faced this decision, and will face the decision to discontinue txt in 2004, so hats off to you Laine for suggesting it, and I hope this board forms a real source of support for couples who are child-free through no fault or decision of their own. I think it is hard for others to understand, so I hope this forms a real backbone of support for those of us who still have to put on a brave face to enter "buggy land".
Thanks for creating this forum - joining this is perhaps not what any of us had in mind when we started our journeys, but it is what some of us have to face when their dreams come to an end.
This board is not designed just for negative thoughts though. I hope that those of us who make the decision to live child free will be able to help each other through the good and bad times, to share their survival techniques and to just be there to let each other know that we're not alone.
I'm sure you've all heard my journey, but for those who haven't, here's the story:
I married Pete in 1993. I am now 32, he is 34 (35 in December). We didn't start trying to have children for 5 years, as we were both young and we wanted to see the world. In 1999, after 1.5 years of trying we went through the standard tests - blood, sperm, dye, post coital - all in Holland as that was where we were living at the time. Nothing was found, apart from 'hostile cervical mucous' about which there is much disagreement in the infertility world. Came back to the UK and saw gynaecologist here who did a laparoscopy and hysteroscopy - found multiple adhesions and both tubes and ovaries adhered to bits that they shouldn't be. Tubes clear though! Officially then we are 'unexplained', although Pete has no problems with his sperm.
Referred to ARGC where have had 3 unsuccessful attempts at ICSI (didn't try IVF as the number of eggs we got meant it was too much of a risk). It is now 5 years since we started trying to have our baby, and we just don't feel that we can put ourselves mentally or physically through it again. We are looking forward to having our lives back, to being able to plan ahead again - although we are both fearful of the 'what's it all for' question.
I took 6 months career break from my job for our 3rd attempt at ICSI, and have to decide whether to go back on 2nd January. It is the long term decisions that we both have problems with - what will we do? should we now move out of the south east? The short term stuff, like going on holiday, decorating the room we had setaside as a nursery etc - that just serves to ease the pain and help you get through the days in the early stages.
So what now? Pete and I have a pact that we just take each day at a time. If we feel sad, then we just let ourselves feel sad, and it does pass.
We sometimes both feel angry and bitter that we are still quite young, and haven't succeeded in our dreams when there are lots of others out there who have children and abuse them, or neglect them. We have also lost faith in IVF as a process and have become more and more cynical about the motives of the clinicians when the sums of money involved are so vast. However, we do know that it works for lots of people - this site is testimony to that - and we're sure that success rates will continue to improve over the years.
We are making no quick decisions about the long term future, and are trying to fill our lives with little things that give us a sense of satisfaction/achievement or that make us smile.
There are sadly no magic formulae for survival, and everyone is different, so if we share our experiences, I am sure we can help each other through it.
Sorry for waffling on - I'm sure it's made no sense. I am going to post it anyway, as it is just a brain dump and thus shows exactly how complicated this decision can be!
As Laine has said to me previously, we will help each other through this, so if there are others out there, don't be scared, come join us when you're ready.
How admirable you and your dh are! I read your story and think you sound very together about how you will face the future. You've both been brave and through so much tx at an emotional and financial cost. I really hope you will stay positive and get through your emotions and sadness.
I have been ttc for 4 years with my current dp and also several years before that with my ex dh. When my investigations started, I vowed to myself that if it came to the IVF route I could just not face it. Presently, I am at the stage where I've had 6 unsuccessful cycles of clomid and have to make a decision in whether to try the next steps. Having read the threads on here about the treatments some of you poor girls have been through, I'm still not convinced that I am as brave as you to face it all. I don't know why (and perhaps I shouldn't be so negative), but I just can't imagine anything will work so that I end up having a baby. I suppose I too am preparing myself for a child fee life. It is so frustrating, thinking of those teenagers that do it once and "have an accident", and you just think life is so unfair!
Your message is a tribute to your & dh's bravery. I may well come back to this thread as dh isn't keen on going any further. But in the meantime, I'll give you all what support I can.
I too am going through the feelings of what is the purpose in life if you are childless, but I've come to the conclusion that if that is meant to be I will have to go out there and find a different purpose to make life worth living. We're looking at all sorts of things from moving, to career changes to further study etc.
I'm still hoping that my dream will come true but those thoughts just give me that back up to know that I can get back up again and start over. You're right that there's no magic formula but knowing that others understand the pain at least helps a little.
I'm not yet ready to join here full time but will be keeping an eye and helping all I can.
Years and years ago, (1994) when we were first diagnosed my Mum said something very thought provoking. She said that there is a child out there that needs you, and is meant for you to love.
This doesn't mean it is your own child, or even an adopted child. It might mean a relative needs a special person outside the parent/grandparent roles, who they can relate to as they grow up. It might mean you become a focus for children in your neighbourhood, or it might mean you suport a child overseas. But somewhere is your special person.
This really helped me. DH and I set out to have a really childfriendly home. We never said "don't touch" and encouraged children to visit. We had a couple of videos, some toys and I always took annual leave to take my dn out for a treat one half-term a year. It really helped.
So just keep your hearts open for that special little one(s) who need YOU
Lucy - It is so nice to hear that you and your dh are going through this together. Your story is very positive and I think that is a good basis on which to start.
Just wanted to let you know that I am not quite ready to join you in here at the moment. We have talked about trying Clomid and want to give it a go for six months after Christmas. Just waiting for the referral to
I will be coming in here to offer you support Lucy but you already know that!
Fee - I loved reading your post. What a really nice thing to say. It is so true and only after reading what your mum said did I realise that I have children to share things with as well.
Janie - Your thoughts on living childfree are inspiring too. Hope you realise your dream though.
Not quite sure who I'm saying Hi to as it looks like it's just little old me permanently over here. Don't get me wrong, of course I want the rest of you to be successful, and wouldn't wish childlessness on anyone!!
Well, can't say the last few days have been easy. Yesterday poor Pete had a day at work and came home thoroughly miserable with life, whilst little old me had sat at home and felt lonely all afternoon. We're a right pair! I must admit that I'm struggling to find people that I want to talk to/socialise with...I am longing to find others in the same situation as us, because I need to know that others do make this decision, and do survive. I want to ask them how they manage, whether they changed their lifestyles etc, but where are they? I have contacted More to Life and asked them to send me information, but with the postal strike it hasn't arrived....darn.
I have talked to family and friends etc - both people with children and without - and I'm sick of having to answer the question "So what are you going to do now". I don't think anyone understands that it will take some time for us to decide what we're going to do. It's almost like they think, ah well, they can't have children, so they'll do something new and they'll decide that immediately, and I want to scream at them and try and explain that we're still grieving for what we can't have...but no one seems to get that.
Sorry, this all sounds a bit depressed doesn't it? But I'm OK really. We're looking forward to our holiday, and received the tickets today which cheered me up.
I'm also making slow and steady progress on the decorating - there is SOOOOOO much sanding to do it's ridiculous. For some reason the last owner painted the skirting and dado rail in bright red gloss paint. They also painted the window frame in green gloss and the wardrobes all across one wall in green. That's loads of sanding to do before we even get started. And it's all so messy!! So I do a little bit every day and that makes me feel a bit better!
I have also gone back to the gym/running again after the 5 weeks I spent not doing anything during treatment. After our 1st and 2nd attempts I had put on a total of about 12lbs, and was thoroughly fed up with not being able to fit into my clothes. So I started running with Pete (who did the London marathon this year), and by the time I started attempt #3, I'd lost the whole 12lbs again, just through exercising (although it did take me 5.5 months)! This time I think I've put on about 4lbs, so I'm trying to lose it by working out again - let's hope I have the same success this time!
To summarise then, we're still living day by day by day. Some days are good, some are bad. We are still filling our days and the immediate weeks with short term goals to make us feel like we're achieving something. I think this is the only way to survive.
Just wanted to say hi & offer you some support , as Laine said you are not alone !
As you will know I have just had a failed IVF cycle & feel it has definately been like a bereavement . I feel I need time to grieve for our 3 embies as well as a loss of our hopes & dreams for our future together as a family . I am not quite where you are yet but am slowly moving towards it . It was only our 1st IVF , but as I'm 42 we need to consider the wisdom of carrying on . We have an appt with consultant at beginning Dec & will make some decisions after this .
Adoption is an area we will need to consider very carefully too .
I hope you have a good holiday , give yourself time & space to grieve your loss & try not to expect to much of yourself .
I wish you all the best in everything you do
I'm so glad you've put this subject on the board, it's something that's at the back of all our minds I'm sure. The longer the nightmare goes on, the more you start to think about it. I've been trying for nearly 5 years & in the past few months have sunk more & more into depression. It's getting harder each month to pull myself out of it. I haven't had any conventional treatment & I'm still sceptical about it though I know it's successful for lots of women.
I also have the different problem that I am in this alone really. My husband has never wanted children but in the last year has finally been supportive (he wasn't before).
In some ways it does make things slightly easier for me because whereas I haven't been able to see any future without a family, he sees a great future for us of travelling and freedom.
I seem to be okay & can see some sort of future until another friend gets pregnant, at the moment, my next door neighbour & a work colleague. I feel like there is a brick wall stopping me from seeing what other sort of life there is without a family. If I can just get through it then maybe I can be happy. I don't know anyone else personally who is going through this so it was wonderful to find you all writing these things.
I feel so drained by all of it, as I'm sure you all do. I don't know whether to try clomid, although I'm 'unexplained' or just try to come to terms with a child-free life. My nehew is 7 this week & always makes me laugh with the funny things he says. He was naughty at my house last week & my sister made him phone up & apologise when he got home. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
Anyway, I'm rambling now, crying as well, because I can't seem to stop at the moment.
thank you for being here.
I really understand how you are feeling sweetheart and just had to post you a reply.
We have been ttc for 11 years and are also un-explained. My dh is not always as supportive as I wouldlike him to be either, nut men do dealwith things in different ways. Perhaps your dh is finding it hard but you don't know it.
Having to accept that we might not have our baby is hard and because I don't feel ready to yet, we are going to try Clomid for six months after Christmas hopefully. Why don't you talk to your dh about Clomid and see what he thinks? After all what is there to lose, people to conceive on Clomid.
The depression you are feeling does not make it any easier to handle does it? I know because I suffer from it and struggle every day.
Sometimes I find it helps when I cry about the infertility rollercoaster we are all on. So let your feelings out.
If you want to im me for a chat, please do so. Sending you a cuddle.
Hi Nicola - I am so sorry you feel this way . You are right, we all consider life without children. We have been ttc for 7 years and I still hurt when I hear of a pregnancy.
Children I hoped would grow up with "our" children are growing up so quickly now and are no longer babies. However and even though I say so myself, I am a fantastic auntie and god-mother with 3 fur babies.
I felt alone and isolated like you and my DH (I feel) has already accepted our life without children (although we are waiting for treatment). This site has been a god-send to me and you realise that there are people worse off (it's quite humbling sometimes).
Anyway - you are not alone. You have all of us and we DO understand.
I hope these words help - take care!
Love Nicky xxxxx
Thank you so much Laine & Nicky
I cried when i read your kind words (I do that alot at the moment!) because they were so nice. I think the problem is that sometimes you just feel so alone & it really helps to know that someone understands.
I know that now & thank you again. I hope I can help someone when I stop crying so much!
I don't know that I can add much more than Laine and Nicky have except to reinforce that you aren't alone.
We all go through these feelings and the thought that it will never happen for us. My dh too isn't keen on children which makes it difficult in one way, but as you say at least you don't feel as if you're not giving them their dream. My dh is quite happy to have a life without kiddies and has often talked of plans. Like you, I'm not ready/unable to think too much about it. I try to, to please him but it tends to upset me more and then I just think about what I haven't got. I know I've got lots too but sometimes you can't get there eh?
We are here for you. And we Do understand. If there's anything we can do for you, we will
I am very glad this thread has been opened. I have already been looking for one in preparation for my life after infertility treatment. And come next February or so I would have asked the administrators for this thread myself. So- thank you again.
Living child free- Well, it is a completely different issue alltogether. We don't want to be here but according to statistics most of us will end up here.
Lucy- You wont be alone here for long. Although I think it is important to move on with my life I will want to stay in touch with all the lovely ladies I have met on this site. To be able to discuss issues or just rant about insensitiv comments from babybump-a-licious motherships(no offence, please, just having a moment!- she is a friend!) As just happened to me a few days ago.
Lots of love Andrea