How to accept being childless

I am having a psychological challenge to accept that may be I will never be a dad, TtC for over a decade, ISCI x 3, herbs, prayer, exercise and health eating but no deal. The thought of donor sperm is inconceivable psychologically, the process of adopting and fear of being denied by that child is another psychological barrier. Has anyone been over this psychological milestone? How did you go around it



8 Replies

  • Hello Ru! Welcome! Might I ask if there is anything wrong on the sperm side? What happened during your ICSI[s]? It may not be the end of the road... many IVF couples are successful after three attempts and the majority do not conceive after the first... We have just completed our fourth ICSI (long story), but in our case, it is my age rather than my husband's sperm. He has children from a previous marriage and I too am feeling like you. It may be over for me, and I don't know how to deal with it. How will I feel when my husband becomes a grandfather, etc? It really saddens me. Following the Paris attacks I began to think, however, that I should be more grateful and be glad about the fact that I am (at least) alive and that my life can be a happy one as long as I make it that way... I don't know if that helps or not, actually, so apologies in advance. :)

  • We decided to use donor eggs for our third attempt of ICSI, this took a lot of getting my head round. In our case they think my egg quality is the issue but hubby's swimmers aren't good either. My MIL suggested donor sperm to her son after his tests so a bit ironic that we're using donor eggs. She's not the most subtle person! She pointed out that the genetic origins are not important, it's a baby who would come from a loving family.

    It will be our baby regardless of the genetics and the child will know this from a very young age.

    Have a look at the Donor Conception website, it answered a lot of my questions about bonding with the baby/babies.

    I have no idea on how we'll cope if this attempt results in a BFN, I see it as our last go for a variety of reasons (age, finances as we're self funding). I believe there are support networks for people who are childless by circumstance but I haven't investigated this further.

    You don't mention your partner's views, keep the communication going between you.

  • I Noo how u feel!! It's soo bloody hard sometimes... U have to come to peace with it. It's more me, my husband Say's he is cool about it.( He does not have kids) which at times makes me feel even worse..

    I thought of adoption, fostering etc.. For us it's not want we want. You have to come terms with life without children. Were only human and life isn't easy. like the other replies Says, u have too communicate with your partner..

  • I don't know if these were directed at Ru or not (as in communication), but in our case, we are just taking it one day at a time. We have not discounted donor eggs, but it is a huge expense... no money left. However, of course the donor thing could happen at a later date. No rush at the moment. The other option in our case would be to opt for a third (yes, you read that right) third vasectomy reversal. Other than my age, you see, I am very fertile... but, it is another gamble that may not work, etc, etc. But, Ru, please tell us more about your plight, we can help a bit more then! :)

  • I'm sorry to hear you're having such a difficult time. It might be worth seeing a counsellor to discuss the possibility of donor sperm or adoption. Deciding to keep trying, to stop trying, to use a donor or pursue adoption are all really difficult decisions and you might find it really helps to speak to someone impartial to help you to process all these feelings and take the next step forward (whatever that is). Although at a different stage of this journey, I saw a counsellor last year and it really made a difference.

    Good luck and take care x

  • Hi Ru, I'm sorry you are at such a difficult stage of this very long process. I can't speak from my own experience (we have 'only' one failed IVF behind us and will still continue with 2 frozen transfers) but I can definitely relate to the thought that we might actually never have our own biological children. It's a very very scary and life changing thought. I have read somewhere that the psychological process is very similar to grieving - and when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. I think to a certain extent we are all grieving for something we've never had, we're grieving for a life that so many other people can 'just have' and is somehow not attainable for us. I would consider seeing a counsellor at some point if you think you might need help during the process. It's a very long and tough journey, and I think it's ok to ask for help sometimes. Best of luck & strength to you.

  • I just want to say how sorry I am to hear you're in this difficult situation as many of us are too. We've suffered 3 early miscarriages, Ivf twin one lost very early and our surviving daughter was growing perfectly til she was born at just 4 months so far too small to survive. They say there is nothing wrong with me physically, (OH has spermicidal antibodies) but I can't help thinking maybe I'm just not going to be able to carry, maybe there's things they just don't know that's wrong with my eggs. 5 children is a lot to loose and not worry about this stuff. We will be parents one way or the other, but I'd be lying if I said I don't want the path of adoption for us. I don't want to miss out on all those firsts you have with your own child from day 1, but for us it will be better than missing out on everything. I miss my daughter so very much, more than is even explainable, but I want to bring up a child. I know I'll never have my daughter, but hope that she'll see us happy again and honouring her with her brother or sister. But after 10 yrs of trying, if someone said this is all too much, I can't do this anymore, I get it. Completely. Counselling is a sensible option for those of us on the road of infertility in my opinion, wish we'd been advised on it earlier to be honest. The infertility network UK website does have links to the charity who help those living childless, but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called. Whichever way you go, know how much strength it took for you to reach out to us, that's no small feat. Take stock of your accomplishments (god knows it's hard on this path!).

    Take care xxx

  • Hi Ru

    So sorry to hear how youre' feeling right now, it is so unfair to so many.

    I wont go on as others have given you some very valuable advice and their thoughts, which are priceless. The part of Infertility Network that Parentsofangels mentioned is MoreToLife, I'm sure they will be very helpful to you. Someone also mentioned Donor Conception Network - I'm sure you're feelings about sperm donor are very common (although we never had to go down that route, my husband did mention once during the 6 years we were going through infertility treatments that he didnt want to consider donor sperm, so you are not alone). They would definitely be able to talk to you if you wanted to find out more. Everyones journey is very personal and you never know how you are going to feel, especially when you are caught up with it every day and for so long.

    Another place to look for support is FertilityFriends - they have a Men's Room so you may find some similar threads.

    I dont know the cause of your fertility issues but you can ask Prof Winston a personal question on the Genesis Research Trust website, and he will personally answer. A bit like having a consultation but without the huge cost! (they ask for a donation but it is up to you).

    Good luck, I hope you find some answers. x

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