Fertility Network UK
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IVF - lack of family support

Hi, Im struggling to come to terms with this at the moment. I have good days & bad. One moment I'm doing fine, then (normally when alone) I'm suddenly sad again.

We have been trying for 2 years, found out a month ago that I have PCOS and not ovulating. Then I had to have an X-ray to check my tubes & at the same time we were getting my OHs sperm results (we hoped 3rd time luck as had 2 bad ones). I decided on the Sunday that it was time to tell my mum about what we have been going through, I text her to ask if I could come round on the Wednesday (appointment was the thurs). 40 mins later my little sister (who has only just moved out of family home) FaceTimed me to tell me she's preg!! I sobbed!! Felt like a total bitch but couldn't stop!

I went to my appointment last Thursday & was told that I also have a blocked tube & yet again OHs sperm count was too low. We were told our only option is IVF. I was (am) heartbroken.

Told ALL family Thurs afternoon. My sisters response was, "well, you will be having this one enough" she then proceeded to tell me all about feeling sick, eating loads & showed me the things she's already bought (she's about 8/9 weeks). I came off FaceTime & guess what I did??? Yep, cried again!!

Me, mum, sis & my cousin (my rock - but don't see her often) went out on the Sat, all sat at a table & sis & mum were talking about what it's like when waters break, birth etc. It was SO hard to not sit there & cry!!

I mentioned all this to my mum in the hope she would understand and maybe say something to my sister. But no such luck, she just told me that I need to understand that it's an exciting time for my sister & that they are going to be talking about it. I tried to explain that it's just so raw (3 days since finding out) but her response was that it's always going to be raw!!

I just feel like no one gets it (other than my cousin who has also got friends that are going through IVF). My OH copes with everything so well (he works in a 999 call centre so nothing really gets to him) he says "it is what it is, there is nothing we can do to change it, let's be positve, at least we have the option of IVF". To be honest I know his way of thinking is best! His glass is always half full whereas mine is always half empty (or more! Lol).

Since us trying I have had 2 family members & 5 friends (that I can think of) have babies & each time I have cried & then felt guilty for crying!!

Even yesterday, the 1st one to be born is now 2, we saw her & her sister for Easter, I read her a book and I felt like I was crying inside whilst reading! I so badly want to be able to read to my own child... everyone keeps telling me to be positive and blah blah blah... no one gets it though!!

We have had our blood tests and waiting on the results. We assume that they just go straight to the IVF clinic & the contact us in due course. I literally haven't got a clue what to expect with anything. I have avoided reading too much online as I did this before going for the test to see if my tubes are blocked & got myself worked up as everything I'd read was how horrible it was, but it was fine!!

Any advice or your experiences would be great to read.


Sarah xx

18 Replies

Oh gosh. Big hugs.

I think your family are being quite insensitive to what your are going through and maybe your sister needs to tone it down nevermind you have to sit and take all the gushing. Pity your mum doesn't see your feelings as important as your sisters.

My SIL had a baby at 40 and every time we saw them for the first two years she would just go on and on about babies and when was I going to produce a cousin! I tried joking about it "well your brother best get going" to "nope, happy as we are" to "doesn't have to go hand in hand with getting married " to just "no". I didn't want to tell them our situation as I didn't want the pity face. To be honest I just stopped seeing them because I couldn't take it. When I found out I had a huge mass on my ovary and it probably needed to be removed she said "well you've never wanted kids so should be OK". Never mind that it could have been cancer!

Sounds like your coping with alot of results and news about what's going on which is good so you know where you are and what needs to be done but bad emotionally. Are you already with a clinic and do they offer counseling?

It took me ages of feeling broken and sobbing and feeling less like a woman after all my results came in. Although the gp sperm tests came back as normal the clinics sperm tests said we had to do icsi as hubby had an issue which he took badly.

As all these results were coming in I just stopped speaking to friends and family about it and just cocooned myself away from the world. Probably not healthy but I hate conflict and just didn't want others opinions or silly comments to upset me.

You are dealing with alot right now and maybe some counseling can help you deal with it yourself and then be in a situation to address it with your family?

The good news is that ivf is available and it works.

I am the most negative person but in the ivf game you have to be positive. Try reading the book "the secret" it may help. Certainly got me through the dark days including all the lovely support from the group x


Hi Emma, thanks for your reply & kind words. I haven't got any info on it yet, I know where the clinic is & we have had to blood tests that hospital said we would need to have. Hospital told us it normally takes about 6 weeks to get funding so hopefully we will hear from the clinic then. I have heard that they do offer counselling but that's all I know. I would definitely take it though as I feel like talking to someone that isn't my partner would prob help.

I'm finding that I'm having good & bad days emotionally, which I'm finding really strange. Today was a bad day, no reason why, it just was. I kept thinking about it & nearly crying, sometimes I'd ask myself why am I getting upset but I really don't know...

I'm a way I'm glad that both of our results were bad because I don't blame either of us (I know no one is really "to blame" but I'd hate myself if just me).

I too have conflict, hence why I just dropped it when I tried telling mum that it was hurtful as she can take things the wrong way & the last thing I want is to fall out at the moment.

Who writes "the secret" please & what is it about??

Thanks & good luck xxx


So as you say you are probably a few months off. It all depends on waiting lists in each area. We applied in may got funding and first fertility appointment in September where we got referred immediately for ivf and first ivf appt 31st December. First cycle started Feb.

Maybe ask the GP for counselling through the surgery? Because that might come quicker than the ivf stuff.

I just dealt with mine on my own, really bad idea for an extravert and probably extended it all.

It also helped that both of us were broken aswell.

Secret is by Rhonda Byrne quite a popular book should come up on Google quickly just from the title. It's on the power of positive thinking. Yes I know, sounds corny but if you can get yourself thinking positive then hopefully the hopelessness and sadness has no place in your mind x

1 like

Oh Sarah, my heart goes out to you! I think what you are feeling is totally and utterly normal and not something to feel guilty about. Throw that guilt away right now and be gentle with yourself. This is an upsetting thing and it is normal for you to feel upset at times.

I honestly think that although your mother and sister are excited, they do perhaps need to be more tactful and empathetic to what you are going through. They need to think about how they would want to be treated if they had received the news you have.

But on the plus side, your OH is right about IVF! IVF is a hopeful thing. It is a chance. And it can work. Don't give up, keep your hope alive and come visit us here. We know how you feel, we support you and you will find lots of love on this forum.

All my best wishes to you! Xx 😘❤🍀🤞💪


Also I forgot to say, if you have any questions about IVF and want any advice (non-scary I promise) just send me a message! ☺


I do know that they are normal feelings & that my family are being insensitive but I tried telling mum & she didn't get it so now I just have to grin & bear it...

Thanks for your kind words xx


Oh Hun my heart really goes out to you, that is such a lot to deal with all at once and not having the level of support from your family that you need just makes it harder. Please know you're not alone though, so many of us have been there (or are experiencing it right now) in one way or another.

Could you access counselling at the clinic you get referred to? Mine offers it right from the discovery that fertility treatment is needed. It's not something I'd ever had before but I have found it helpful through various lows on this journey.

Put yourself first and retreat little from those who just add to your upset & stress, I've struggled with this previously but I'm doing it now because all this is hard enough. My hubby is EXACTLY the same! In fact his glass is often brimming over 😂 I need this but I'm totally different and envisage every way it can go wrong, it works though and we have cocooned ourselves a little, do what you need to do.

Lots of luck, you'll find lots of support here xx

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Hi Georgia,

Thanks, luckily my OH is a rock, even though he is often annoyingly positive about everything when sometimes I just want to wallow in self pity lol!

I have been told that the clinic do offer counselling which I would defo take up, I just haven't had my referral through yet. Hospital did the screening bloods & said it norm takes about 6 weeks for funding so we should hear around then... fingers crossed!

I am the same as you, I literally look at the negatives in everything!

I have been doing this already about IVF, everyone keeps telling me to be positive etc but the way I see it is that there is more chance of it not working so therefore I don't want to get my hopes up! I would rather expect little then if it works it's a blooming big bonus rather that it not work & id got my hopes up the heartache would be 100 times worse!!

Good luck with your journey xxx

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Hi Sez655. I'm sorry you're having such a rotten time. Your family are being insensitive but they won't be able to see it. My mum asked me who's fault it was i.e. Me or my husband. I didn't appreciate this and said it was none of her business and irrelevant given we are a team. As it happens we have unexplained infertility but we both agreed that it would be best to keep info to ourselves. She said she didn't know why she asked and since then she's said nothing else except that she knows how I feel because she took 10 1/2 years to have me after my sister. I find this frustrating as it's not the same in my book. Desiring a child is not the same as desiring a second child. I hope they see the way they are being insensitive to you. xxx

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Hi sarah I'm sorry to hear you haven't had the support you were looking for from you mum, im assuming she was fine in conceiving you and your sister and as a result simply can't relate to what your going through I'm guess she thinks tough love is best.

Before I was in the position I'm in now I always thought infertility and mc would be an awful thing for anyone to go through but I had no idea of the daily emotional heart ache that all of this causes and even though others try and offer comfort i know its hard for them to relate to unless they have been in my shoes.

It's sounds like you have a loving and supportive partner which is amazing and these are the ppl that you need to surround yourself with when things get hard. I think you need to put yourself first and if your having a down day cancel meeting up with your mum and sister if you know its going to be to hard for you.

I've had 5 close friends announce pregnancies all in the space of a few week all emailed happy scan pics and Ive cried after seeing each one of them of course I'm happy for them but at thr same time its also make me feel so sad.

Dont worry about not knowing anything ivf wise I totally get it when you want to shut off and ignore it all but you just have to take one day, one appointment, one test at a time. Someone on here will have gone through the same treatment as you and will be able to answer any questions or worries you may have xxx


Hi, yes, there's 3 of us & she never had any issues so she doesn't get it.

My OH is an absolute rock! I am envious if his way of thinking! I find myself feeling down & crying for no actual reason, I know the results & I know that we have a chance with IVF and I need to think positive but it just creeps up every so often (found out 10 days ago).

Thanks for taking the time to reply! Good luck with everything xx


I think finding out 10 days ago is still a pretty raw time to be dealing with and trying to come to terms with the diagnosis and what lies ahead. When I was diagnosed I think I pretty much cried everyday for a month and I hadn't thought I was a particularly emotional person before any of this had started. I just want to say that there is no right of wrong way to deal with all of this and tears are only natural and it's better to let them go because you release stress and other hormones when you cry so it's a good release. Xxx

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Thanks Hun xxx


Hi Sarah,

It must be so hard to not have family support, maybe spending time with your cousin and talking to her will

Help and meeting her friends going through it. It's nice to have support and it does help. We're always here to help aswell. You are not alone and it is an emotional rollercoaster your allowed to feel up and down, we are lucky to have an alternative like IVF and once you see someone about it I'm sure your feel better and hopefully it will give you Hope that one day your miracle will happen x take care of yourself x

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Thank you xxx


What a story I'm sorry to read you are having some real ups and downs. I would imagine most women on this page with empathise and understand with some elements of your story. It's ok to cry, sometimes the pain is so horrible, I remember it well. It may be annoying to you but your husband has the right attitude in this situation. Men have this great way of being able to separate emotion from things and it keeps them going. Your journey is just that, your journey. Even though it seems bleak now it doesn't have to be that way forever. Your mum I suppose is in a tough spot and she has to be happy for your sister and maybe she doesn't really get your feelings yet. Most women who have multiple children without trouble don't get it tbh. The glass is half full, you aren't out of the running and your focus should be on what sounds like a good husband you have and you deserve your own child when the time is right. Have you read the book the secret? It's always a brilliant way to refocus your mind to all the positives. The mind is as important as the body and you need to be happy too. Best wishes for you xx

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Thank you xx

I do tell myself how lucky I am to have him, he is so affectionate too which is great when I feel low he will give me a nice hug & tell me to snap out of it, we need to be positive. Although, he did understand when I said that I'm scared of being positive because the heartache of it not working will be worse if I've got my hopes up!

Someone else mentioned the secret, who is the author please?



Its by Rhonda Byrne you should find it in lots of places or order off eBay. We all have good and bad days it's normal but finding a way through it without losing yourself is the tough part xx


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