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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read boards in the past, but never had the courage to write on one, but I am feeling very confused, and don't know how to get over my infertility.

I am not sure that I belong on here, as I have adopted 2 children, (unresolved infertility is a big taboo in adoption circles!!!) so I should have come to terms with not having a birth child, but at the moment I am really struggling. I love my adopted children and wouldn't go back on the decision to adopt for anything, but the need for a biological child has once again reared it's ugly head.

I had 3 attempts at OI/IUI, the last attempt was in 1999, my marriage then broke up, and when I remarried, we decided to adopted rather than go back on the emotional rollercoaster of more fertility treatment. About 18 months after we were married, we successfully adopted siblings, and things are now settling nicely, I am blessed with two beautiful children. Throughout the years I have got upset when friends or cousins have got pregnant, but I have always had a cry and got over it. I guess, as my infertility is unexplained, I have never completely given up the idea that one day I might suddenly find I am pregnant. If I had a penny for every person who told me they know someone who adopted, then suddenly she was pregnant I would be rich!! (In fact I know 2 people this did happened to!!!)

Recently my sister-in-law has announced she is pregnant, a month after they decided to try. It has brought up all the old feelings, and I have turned into a green-eyed monster, who wants to scream every time anyone mentions the baby. The three month scan was yesterday, and when my husband came home talking about this amazing photo, I nearly bit his head off. He does not want any more children, and doesn't have the need for a biological child, and cannot understand why I don't feel the same. He is excited about being an uncle, and thinks I should just be happy for them, but I just want to bury my head in the sand and stay as far away as possible. I don't know how to deal with her ever growing belly, and future scans and baby talk, etc. He pointed out that we would have a new family member before Christmas, which made me feel even worse, as we never had "baby's first Christmas". I feel like I have missed out in all of this (my youngest was 2 and 3 months when we adopted her), and I am so jealous. To make things worse, I will never have a biological niece or nephew, as my brother died when he was 19, and also my husband is an identical twin, so their child will look as much like it's father as it does my husband. My sister-in-law is a lot younger than me, and plans on 5 children (no doubt all conceived as effortlessly). I feel I have become a really awful person, everytime anyone talks about the pregnancy, I walk away or change the subject and I feel like I just want to avoid them (obviously not possible, as they are family). I know they would want me to share their joy, but I don't know how to, as it is just so painful.

I wish someone could just wave a magic wand and take away the pain, and make me happy for them!! I don't expect this, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I can't offer any advice - cos I'm suffering just like you. I got the green-eyed monster blues (!)  I find myself hating a couple we know - simply for their good fortune at getting pregnant. (The ladies on this board have seen me mention them several times as I struggle with the issue). And it is not their fault - but I hate them just the same. I feel so wretched with myself for these feelings. Only today I was thinking - this HAS got to stop. I've got my life ahead of me - am I going to waste all that time and emotion on something I cannot change. It's like I'm ******* in the wind (pardon the expression). It's like I can hear Kenny Everett's voice"Get OVER yourself already! Move on - everybody else has!".
But I can't move on. So I want you to know you are not the only one who feels like this. And  we must believe that we are not bad people - we are just suffering deep grief.
At the very least we have recognised these feelings. How to change them - I don't know. I'd like a magic wand too.
Bernie xxx
 

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Hi Angel

Just because you are now a proud parent of two lovely children it doesn't necessarily diminish the heartache or the pain of what you have been through - its like people comment to me that everything must be ok in my world because I have a step child but it isn't - it will never take away the pain of not having my own child. Its very difficult trying to explain this concept to people though!

I just wanted to welcome you to this space. I am so sorry that things are so tough for you right now.

Sending you gentle  ^hugme^

Emcee x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bernie and Emcee,

Thank you so much for your support and understanding. It is nice to know that I am not alone or crazy. I really was thinking that I was a terrible person to feel so angry and upset about someone else's blessings and really thought there was something wrong with my personality to feel this way, so thank you for showing me I am normal and not alone.
DH was on the phone again last night talking to his brother about the due date and possible names, and I suddenly had the urge to go to the loo. (Stayed there until they had finished on the phone!) I just wanted to scream at them to shut up. This has turned me into such a two-faced b**ch.
I think some of my issues may be because I never competed treatment. After IUI failed 3 times, my ex husband and I split up, and I still had a follow up appointment, which I cancelled as I couldn't face it, so I never saw the consultant for the final time - I think that is coming back to haunt me. Also, as you pointed out Emcee, there is pressure to "get over yourself", as you have children by a differant means (either adopted or step children) .  I love my adopted girls to bits, and feel that I should have put my issues behind me, as I have two wonderful children and would probably be the envy of many people in these boards, but having a pg in the family, where I can't get away from it, has taken me back to where I was emotionally after the failed treatments. It all feels so raw again. I know that everyone expects me to appreciate what I have got and get over IF, but it is so hard when a pg is right under my nose. I love being a mum, and have bonded fantastically with my girls, but still feel that I have missed out on doing what women are meant to do - give birth! I also feel guilty that I feel this way, as I am lucky to be a mum and do have the coffee morning, school plays, etc, but I still feel like a piece of me is missing. Also, I think if your IF is unexplained, you live in constant hope. I found myself looking at reflexology, crystal therapy, etc and have gone on a strict healthy diet (I have put in 4 stone since my treatment, so am probably too large to conceive now) and of course the clock is ticking, but I still cling to the fragile hope of maybe one day...
Sorry this turned into a ramble. Thanks again for being there.
 

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Angel

I'm sorry to read about your painful situation, I cant offer any words of wisdom as Im in early stages of trying to move on from IF, after years of unsuccessful attempts at ttc, then failed treatments I'm still very raw.  Have been in a similar situation to Bernie where a close friend got pg (at the drop of a hat) I tried to remain friends with her but it was too painful, yes I was eaten up with jealousy and rage towards her, although this was explored through counselling sessions and I became aware that the rage I felt towards this person was due to hating myself at not being able to be pg etc.  She was also very insensitive on several occasions towards my situation eg, saying to me two weeks after a failed tx, that she would get rid of her pg if there was a genetic problem with it.  I havent spoken to her for over a year, the child has been born and I have never seen it although I still hear about her and her dh from time to time through friends which hurts.  I still really hate her but I continue to try to address these feelings/my grief through counselling. Unfortunately IF has opened up a can of worms in relation to resurfacing of old feelings of worthlessness and low self esteem which I suffered from as a teenager.  I know what you are saying Bernie about not being able to move on, life is too short however as we know infertility is lifelong, there will always be painful reminders.... I try and say to myself that time is a healer and that if I can walk by a pg woman in the street or not change channels everytime a tv advert is on advertising baby things without getting eaten up with sadness/jealousy or wherever then that is a sign that I have moved on a tiny bit.

You have found the strength to post on this board Angel, hoping that things become a little easier for you

Take care
Meerkatz x


 

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Hi Angel- I understand where you are coming from. I have,like Emcee a stepdaughter who although she has gone awol at the moment to live with her birth mother I brought  her up from age 4-5. My dh had always looked after her from day 1 and was awarded custody twice.

I always felt very close to her and we always wanted a sibling straight away . I too am unexplained and finally did oi/iui. My treatment also was left unresolved as we had thought iui would work and hadnt really planned to do ivf,my dh wasnt too keen. This was taken out of my hands as then my step daughter hit 15 and her mother started interfering again and we gave up any more discussion on the topic as we had to concentrate on keeping her on the straight and narrow.

Well, as I briefly mentionned she moved in with her mother in Aug last year -between this since a friend of mine has just done her first icsi (neg sadly) it brought all the feelings up again for me too. Like you we led a full life with my dh's dd for many years and I loved her (still do even though its a testing time now) but it never stopped the yearning I had for my own baby. Funnily enough I never feel bad when I see kids above 3 or 4 as I know I have been through those experiences with my stepd but I missed out on the baby years and actually feeling pg. I dont think this will ever go away for us so please dont be so hard on yourself.

It is very hard for you in that your brother sadly died too. One of my brothers died at age 22 and it is a comfort to us that he had a boy who is the spitting image of him- he is now 18. I do have another brother and 2 sisters and I can tell you I will be getting on the same way as you described when one of them is pg!!! Especially the sil to be who I am having a hard time getting on with!!! ;D

Take care- your feelings are normal xxxx
 

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Hi Angel,

Of course you belong here  ^hugme^

Personally, I don't think you ever fully resolve grief over not having a biological child. Adoption is different. Your children are lucky to have found you (and vice versa), but they are their own unique selves, with two families - someone else may have created them but their parents are the people who love and nurture them. I am sure you are a wonderful mum, but that doesn't mean you can't experience pain over your loss.

I fully understand what you say about not having a biological niece/nephew - and I am so sorry you lost your brother. I am adopted, so have only ever known adoptive family, and then came the double whammy of infertility. I know the grief and the yearning, and I promise it gets better. Mine hasn't completely gone away, but I no longer expect it to. I have reached a place where it is a part of me that I accept (most of the time!)

Have you thought of talking to someone about how you feel? There are counsellors who specialize in infertility issues, and that might give you some space to help you deal with your feelings.

I have re-read this post and it is a bit of a ramble. Apologies. I'm just trying to say that I think what you are feeling is completely normal, and please don't give yourself a hard time over it.

Take care,
Love,
Solitaire
xxx

 

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I'm so sorry Angel Child, I can't personally add much to what the other ladies have said however I want you to know that you are not alone trying to reconcile adoption with one's own biological desire for a child. I have a close relative with an adopted child who would echo your thoughts entirely (and the taboo nature of them) - she loves him dearly but it doesn't just wipe away one's own instinct.  Try not to give yourself a hard time - we're all only human.

Take care

flipper

 

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You are not a machine. You can't just delete your instinct to procreate - despite what adoption agencies might want you to do.

It is like losing a close relative or a limb. Although you have to move on with your life and you can love and laugh again, adapt to your situation and make the best of it, sometimes you will feel sad and yearn  for what you have lost. Grief is a long process. Counsellors will tell you that it takes 2 years to work through grief. In my experience it can take longer if the thing you have lost is especially close. Situations can trigger a relapse when you thought you were feeling better. As there is still a chance, however small, of you getting pregnant, it is difficult to completely resolve your feelings. It does not mean that you can't love your adopted children or enjoy those aspects of your life.

Of course other people having children will be a trigger. I have had a terrible time accepting my friend's babies. I cried for days, almost non stop, when my friend told me that she was pregnant at Hampton court flower show (the one who was not bothered about having kids and tried for a whole 10 months - all I could blurt out was try 6 years of it! and then I cried for the rest of the day behind my sun glasses - a very uncomfortable day).

But with time to accept it, I love them and love having the excuse to buy baby clothes and cuddle them. It makes me want to keep trying to get what I want from my life.

I have a similar problem accepting our infertility. In theory, I could potentially get pregnant using a sperm donor and IVF, but my husband is against it. I can't grieve for my baby, because I could perhaps still have one, but I am being prevented from trying. He has to work though his feelings, but that may take too long. Like you the clock is ticking etc. I find myself planning to escape.

I am told that I should be grateful for what I have. A good job, a nice house, a horse, 2 cats, a 4-days-a-month step son  - I am apparently so lucky that I have a step child!

I am an only child (conceived 37 years ago after my mother had a lap and dye for infertility when she was 37!). At least I cured my mother's torment over infertility! So I will never have a biological niece or nephew. My BIL's child lives in Australia (he went though lots of IVF with first wife, then remarried and his new wife, then 41 got pg in 2 months).

At least my 2 close friends call me Auntie Hazel to their children and I get to see them.

Try to enjoy your BIL's baby. With time to take a step back and reflect you will be able to enjoy the baby. I am sure your girls will love having a new cousin. Give yourself time.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for all your kind words and understanding. It certainly helps "talking" to people who really know what you are going through. I really appreciate all your advice. I have made an appointment to see my GP to ask about counselling. Also, I wrote a poem (for some reason, I suddenly write poetry when I am really down!) and I thought I would share it with you. I have um'ed and er'ed about posting it, but finally figured what the hell, so here it is. Hope you don't find it too corny!! ::)

Watching

You watch her belly swell and grow,
with an ache inside you that she'll never know.
A grief so deep you can't explain
your broken heart full of sorrow and pain.
And hour by hour, as time goes by
alone in the dark, you cry and cry.

You politely smile as they speak of their joy,
their excitement, "Is it a girl or a boy?"
Each second is so hard to bear
watching their delight at things you'll never share.
And day by day, as time goes by
you pray it'll work with one more try.

Their joy, total contrast to your pain
and all those feelings of loss resurface again.
The anguish with which you have to deal,
if only they understood how you feel.
And week by week, as time goes by
a little piece of your heart does slowly die.

Each passing day their anticipation grows
and they can't spare a thought for you woes,
your yearning to feel a child grow inside
is a deep rooted emotion you struggle to hide.
And month by month, as time goes by
with each joyful moment, you stifle a cry.

A grief you can't speak of, a pain they can't know.
The void in your heart drags you down so.
Each scan or kick's like a knife in your heart,
why didn't God let you play this part?
And year by year, as time goes by
Alone in the dark, no-one hears you cry.
 

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That is a very good poem, and is so completely the feelings that every woman with infertility has to live with every day.
 

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Your poem sums up how so many people feel who visit this site beautifully.

Thank you for sharing it with us.  :-*

Love
Emcee xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi again,

I am absolutely fuming this morning!!! Last night, I put my hand on my husbands back, and he said, "yikes, your hands are freezing, that's naughty!", I replied with a smile, "naughty, what am I, a six year old child", to which he replied, "no, but you are certainly acting like a two year old with my brother and his wife over this pregnancy!" I was so shocked, I couldn't speak and just went to bed. This morning he is fine, but I am still so angry and hurt!! I can't actually write any thing else, it has left me "speechless"!! ^swear^ :( :mad:

Angel
 

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They just don't "get it" do they?

We know how you feel. I would be fuming too. That is the exact type of comment that cuts so deep. I am sorry that you nearest and dearest don't understand. Mine don't either. I now don't expect them to. In fact I have stopped talking to them.
I have had similar comments - I got from my husband one evening when I was crying my eyes out after I found out a colleague was having twins that "this is  ^swear^ horrendous - I can see why men murder their wives"
That certainly shut me up and made my blood run cold.

My beloved MIL has told me to go and get antidepressants and to get on with my lot in life. Ohh and apparently if I went into breeding pedigree kittens that would help!!!!!

It is times like these that make us feel very alone with our infertility and that our feelings are invalid.

You feelings are real and valid and no one has the right to belittle you over such a serious grief reaction.


 

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Its like a conversation I was having with 2 very dear friends yesterday (you know who you are girls)! and we agreed that because IF is not a tangible loss, no-one seems to understand the very deep and real grief we all go through when parenthood has been denied to us, or its something that is very difficult to come by in the first place.

Its hard to put it into words here, but think about if you had a funeral for someone - you are able to have a service and mourn your loss and have somewhere to go to (eg their grave or wherever their ashes are scattered) to be able to grieve.

What happens if its not a person that has died but its the death of your hopes and dreams for the future? Its still a huge grieving process to go through except no-one has any physical 'thing' to equate to their loss - its unseen, unaccessible to the outside world and sadly we are expected to simply 'get on with things' and 'pull ourselves together'.

Sadly we live in a stiff upper lip society who expects us to withold our emotion and not 'get upset'. IF and the loss of our hopes and dreams is still very much a taboo subject, one that has far reaching implications and is massively misunderstood by the majority of folk who have never had to experience IF themselves.

What do you see whenever you read anything in the media about fertility treatment? You see the 'happy ending' and not the pain the person has been through - its kind of glossed over. Sadly most IF treatments end in not having a child - where do all those people go? Not that they feel able to share any of their pain mind you, society has seen to that!

To those of you out there with families and partners who don't get where you are coming from at this difficult time in your lives, I am truly sorry that this is the way things are for you - my heart goes out to each and every one of you.

Its bloody awful enough having to live through this hell never mind having to educate those who don't understand the hurt they cause with the comments they make!

Group hug everyone  ^Cuddle^

and love from me
and if you can take a little consolation in knowing this - there are some of us out there who understand the very real pain you are going through.

Emcee xxx

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks everyone for all you replies.

Hazel, it is unbelievable how insensitive husbands can be. It would be nice just to be held, so we know they are there for us, even if they can't say anything. I think they should come with a button installed that they have to push, after engaging their brains, but before engaging their mouths!!! :)
Your MIL has obviously got the solution to all our problems, we should all rush out and by a pair of cats to breed. Why have a never thought of that!! Unbelieveable, that is so insensative and ridiculous, it is almost funny! ::) I think I would have punched her!! (If I wasn't a lady, of course!! ;))

Emcee, your conversation about tangible loss reminds me of one I had with my mum yesterday. (She tries to understand, so in spite of her putting her foot in it occasionally, I do talk about it to her from time to time). I said to her, how I equated IF grief, with the grief for a missing person. I can't begin to imagine how it feels to have a loved one go missing and not know whether they are dead or alive, but in this situation too, the relatives have no body, no funeral and no grave to visit, etc and I imagine they constantly live with the dim hope that their loved one will return.  This is how I tried to explain how I felt, saying that it is a grief that doesn't end and can't end, because it doesn't have a conclusion. (hope that didn't offend anyone!!!) Also I feel that although my chances of pg are slim to none, I see other peoples miracles all the time, so I keep grasping and living in endless hope. This all keeps the grief very raw. You are very right in saying that we are expected to just get on with it, because the loss of hope and dreams aren't a tangible loss other people don't give a  ^swear^ no matter how awful we feel inside. I mention that my younger brother died when he was 19 earlier on this post, I miss him deeply, but I have dealt with that loss, don't get me wrong it still comes back to bite me every now and again, but I have moved on with my life and coped with that grief, but I find the IF grief harder to deal with. Obviously at the time  of his death the grief was unbearable, but over time the rawness has faded, but with IF grief it just goes on and on, year after year and that is what makes it so hard.

One more thing, do you thing showing DH my poem would help him understand my feelings? I have changed it slightly and added another verse, but don't know whether to show him or not. (Don't want to be accused of acting like a two year old again!!!) What do you think?

Thank you all so much for being her, it is so comforting to have found some new friends to share things with and I really appreciate it!!! ^hugme^

Angel
 

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Hi Angel

I'm pondering on you showing your DH your poem - does he know how you feel about all of this?

Men are complex beings - if he thinks all is well in your world then would you showing him this be a huge shock to him?

I don't know what you should do honey, all I can say is you know your hubby best of all.

Its a great poem though  ;)

Love
Emcee xxx
 

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Dear Sweet Angel Child

Thank you so much for your poem, it really expresses how hard it is to be a bystander to everyone else's joy when we want so much to have a baby ourselves but know it will never happen. And thank you even more for explaining how adoption is not the simple answer to the pain of IF (We have had some recent controversial posts about this.) Your posts have shown us all that even if we can become successful adoptive parents, IF leaves scars that we need to have healed.

I am sorry to hear that you and DH are not really in harmony just now. I am not sure about showing him the poem either - don't know him so it's too hard to say. But he must know all is not well anyway.

As he did not go through the IF investigations and treatment with you, perhaps it is hard for him to understand just how it affects us women? Most people who have not been through it seem to have difficulty grasping what it is all about, as Emcee says, it is a grief.  Maybe he thought that having adopted you would find it easier when other people in the family started to have children? I understand that is not so simple, after all  people who grieve for a lost loved one aren't expected to shrug and say "never mind, I've got other loved ones!"

I suppose that as men do not actually give birth and don't have the same hormones as us broody women they have a different point of view. And you say he has no great urge for a biological child anyway. So maybe he is finding it hard to understand your reactions now.  Maybe some couple counselling would help you to communicate and get through this together?

I hope that things will get easier for you soon, let us know how you are.

Love Jq
 

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Hi

I find that I really struggle when I find out someone I know is pregnant. My cousin is currently expecting her 4th. The only thing I have found over the years to ease this pain I feel, is to concentrate on the child themselves. When my sister first told me she was pregnant after only trying for 6 weeks, after I had been already trying for a few years, I was so evil I felt so green with envy. It took me most of the 9 months to deal with it the best I could. But when my nephew arrived I fell in love with him. That love helped, even though the hurt never goes, and seems always to come back.

Strange as it seems, I am so glad we can share our pain, most people don't want to know.

Rachel ^gossip^
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry, I haven't been on here for a while, a lot of things are going on. I probably won't post here again, as I think we are going to have one IVF attempt. I don't want to look back in years to come and wonder what if we had just tried IVF. It's early days and my age is against me, but hopefully we will give it one shot, so for now I will move to other boards rather than offend anyone here. Thank you everyone for all your support & advice and good luck in everything. ^hugme^

As for the SIL, the relationship has broken down. We invited them round twice, thinking it would be a chance to talk, both times they made excuses, then DH asked them to babysit, BIL said shouldn't be a problem, then rang back shouting at DH. Basically told us to **** off, as I wasn't doing cartwheels over their pg. BIL just shouted down phone at DH and eventually DH hung up on him. We haven't had any contact since.  ^furios^ Great - now I have something else to feel guilty about!!!

Isn't infertility great!!!! :'(
 
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