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Fertility Network UK
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Unsupportive IVF

So, I’ve got my first ivf appointment scheduled to go over the paperwork and I’m p’d off. It’s only me that makes the appointments, husband didn’t even turn up to my consultation and is saying he has to work that day - no negotiation.

I feel like I make all the sacrifices and he just rides along picking and choosing and right now I feel so angry with him.

Am I being unfair?

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That would p me off as well. But only you two can decide how significant his work commitments are. It may be that he has to work now to be able to take time off later. Men also get embarrassed about asking for time off for this. My hubbie comes along but he always complains that they rarely speak to him and he feels like it is all about me anyway and he is a spare part, even though our infertility is mainly due to a problem on his side. It may be that they can’t proceed with a paperwork appointment without him though as the hfea paperwork has to be signed in their presence and there is paperwork for both of you to sign. Maybe put the onus on him to ring the clinic and find out if it’s ok for him not to attend, and if he has to be there, get him to reschedule so he can’t say it’s not convenient?

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Ha I made him call the clinic and reschedule. I agree, I think men find it embarrassing almost as though it makes them seem less masculine - I guess men think that of other men when their partners go for ivf. He’s not even the issue it’s me and my endo. But he’s done it now and I’m happy- ish I just want to see more enthusiasm from him I know he wants the same as me. He just doesn’t like having to do anything xx

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As my hubbie reminded me many times when we thought it was only me, it’s a joint problem! But sometimes it’s easier for one of you to pick up the admin etc. I’m glad he has taken some responsibility about the appointment, keep talking and you’ll both get through this. Good luck with your next steps x

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Interesting I have the same problem my husband is the same . We both work in retail taking time off for me is fine. Main reason I’m having injections and ivf is my husband . Yes I think they find it embarrassing .

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Let’s hope our ivf journeys don’t drag on too long then. He won’t be pleased about booking any more time off xx

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Let’s hope fingers crossed for us both xxxx

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My hubby only came to the initial consultation and the first nurse appointment to sign consent forms. I then told him it wasn’t worth him having to take time out for appointments as he works an hour away. To be honest they aren’t really needed except for egg collection and he came to the transfers as well.

However if you want him there for moral support I can understand how you would be annoyed with him. It doesn’t seem to affect them emotionally like us and they don’t quite understand why we need their support sometimes.

Hope you get it sorted xx

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Thank you, I agree it’s not their bodies that go through it, it’s moral support that I need really and for me to feel he’s part of the experience. It’s scary, especially if it doesn’t work. I will feel completely on my own xx

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Yep it’s definitely scary. My hubby also did all my injections as I was too scared so that involved him a bit more. Also sometimes it’s not as easy for them to get time off work I know my hubby’s work probably wouldn’t of let him come to every appointment with me but then at least he could turn around and tell them he was coming to egg collection etc whether they liked it or not x

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Hey Ajeff123, can totally empathise with why its annoyed u. Do u think on some level he is burying his head in the sand a bit and hoping in the end all this wont need to happen? I know when we had our first apt at fertility clinic my hubby thought we didnt need to been there as we had only been trying for a year at that point and the consultant said to try for another 3 months and come back however at next apt following test results we were told we needed ivf and hubby got on board after that. Though again didnt really think we would need it, he thought it might still happen anyway, which is great but equally it didn't happen and gast forward another year and half and we are going through ivf at the moment. He is fully supportive now, i think sometimes they just bury their heads in sand. If ur hubby is anything like mine its a nightmare trying to get them to attend a dental or GP apt. Lol xx

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Yes that’s exactly it. He’s always saying it’ll happen, we don’t need it but it’s been 4 months since my lap and 3 years of trying so yes I think he’s wishing it will happen between now and the appointment - I do too but it’s not realistic considering how longs it’s taken. It’s the only bit of hope I have, if this fails then it’s the end and I’ll have to move on. I don’t want to waste my life longing for something that isn’t happening. I’ll just have to accept it perhaps consider fostering or something xx

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My hubby was the same always saying it will happen. It is great they are positive but equally great we are there too to get the ball rolling. Id say when he sees the meds u have to take etc it will feel more real to him. I think we are more in tune with everything because of our monthly cycles, other women becoming pregnant etc whereas men dont have that up&down bit. Im not saying they dont get upset but it is different.

There's no reason it wont happen for u! IVF is hard but its an amazing chance for all of us who the natural way doesnt work for. Fingers crossed for u xx

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Thank you so much fingers crossed xx

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I think some men just struggle with the whole IVF thing. Actually, let's be honest, I'm a woman and I struggled with it! It's very emotionally challenging. I felt less of a woman (so dumb I know) and maybe he felt less of a man? The hospital and all our appointments filled him with dread, whereas I started seeing these visits as our future. It was only after we got pregnant that the hospital became a place of positivity for him.

The good thing is that he's rescheduled now. After he's done all his blood work and signed the forms, your partner only needs to attend for the egg collection and transfer, so it's not too much time off work. And in terms of it being about the woman, it's only going to become more so once you're pregnant!

Stick together and be patient with one another. And if yoy need a rant that's what all us ladies are here for :)

Good luck with it all!

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Hi Kempton, just had to reply to u as i felt the exact same, less of a woman! Though i never thought that of anyone else and still dont but it is strange when it's you yourself going through it. I still struggle with that feeling and ny body letting me down. But like u i see the process and apts as our future. Thanks for posting ❤ xx

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Thank you, hopefully it’ll be a smooth process xx

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I know my husband still finds it very difficult to communicate his feelings about our fertility journey after 6 years of trying. Could it be that your husband is struggling with it all and avoidance is his way of coping with it?

As far as you appointment goes, your husband will need to be present to sign the HFEA consent paperwork in order to get your treatment under way.

Perhaps you could try to sit down together and have a really open conversation about it all and be a support for each other for the road ahead xx

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Yea it’s difficult for him because everyone tells us how easy it was for them - I.e. it only took them three months bla bla bla and as I’ve been pregnant once and had a baby 5 years ago with him without assistance he thinks that it’s just in my head. Issue is my endometriosis has worsened over time and now it’s almost impossible it’s been three years of trying. I don’t think people realise what they say makes us feel like crap. He doesn’t get that either really - and doesn’t discuss it other than to say it’ll happen on its own. I’ll try to speak with him about it, he’s signed the paperwork perhaps in our appointment he might open up xx

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I know how frustrating and sometimes downright insensitive those comments from well meaning family and friends can be. I’ve had to grow a very thick skin but sometimes it just knocks you for six. Really hoping you and your husband can work through this together. It’s so hard. Thinking of you x

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I can definitely see why you’d be hacked off! My advice would be the scans leading up to egg collection you really won’t need him there, my husband came to all of them during our first round, but in the end it just ended up being pointless and I was me that was telling him not to bother! Round 2,3,4 had 5 😕😂😩 hubby only has come to egg collection and transfer, and of course follow ups. The way I got him involved was with the injections, he did all of them, and keeps an eye on all my meds, making him feel like he is part of the process.

This journey is really bloody weird, tiring, surreal, exciting and shit all at the same time!! He will come round, but sometimes men can be a bit black and white, probably in his mind your appointment is just signing some forms and putting a plan together, obviously in reality we see that as so much more! Good luck lovely xx

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Thank you, how many days off work would you say you needed off for a round of ivf? I only ask because I’m not sure what to say at work xx

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Well it depends how close your clinic is, if you can go after work for scans then you’d only need a couple of days for egg collection and a day for transfer, but it depends on what you do as well. I used to take an hour at the end of my day (secondary school teacher) and go to scans, and then the 2ww I requested off as I teach drama in a boisterous school and didn’t want to get caught in a fight!

As time went on though I actually got signed off as i found work was so stressful, and I’ve actually gone on a sabbatical, but my school was going through massive change and it was too stressful as I mange two dept, and to be honest I was really struggling. But everyone is different and fingers crossed first time will be your time!!! Cxx

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Thank you, I hope so too. Our clinic is about 50 miles away I’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I won’t need too much time away, just hoping it works. I’m tired of it all already and it’s the only hope I have left really xx

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Oh wow 50 miles that is quite a distance! You’d probably need a day off for each scan then, unless they have a satellite clinic? Xx

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My main clinic is 70 miles away but they’re willing to schedule necessary scans/appointments that I can’t do at the satellite clinic, pretty early so I can get back to work to do a half day. It’s do-able with a supportive clinic and supportive workplace x

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Oh that’s good, 50 miles just sounded so far away! my useless knowledge of geography!!!! Xx

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Yes they have satellite clinics which I may end up going to - I’m debating on whether to donate some of my eggs to a worthy cause so I was sent further afield. If I chicken out then I’ll be going off to the satellite clinic xx

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