Feeling afraid : It hasn't even been a... - Fertility Network UK

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Feeling afraid

Foodie23 profile image

It hasn't even been a week since my infertility diagnosis and I'm going through so many feelings. I know at the heart of it is fear. I'm afraid of the emotional roller coaster of IVF. I'm afraid of the probable depression I'll experience from the hormones and I'm afraid of the despair I'll feel if it doesn't work after a few tries.

I feel like my pain and fear are invisible to the people in my life, including my husband. I've tried being vulnerable and sharing that I've been experiencing depression and anxiety along this path of TTC, especially this last month. Everyone I've told just brushes it off. I've heard, "You just need to relax." "Its normal for it to take a long time to get pregnant." "Try to keep things in perspective." "Don't worry, it'll happen." "IVF is a pretty easy process, isn't it?"

I feel like I'm alone in the dark and all I desperately want is for someone to sit with me and hold me, so I don't have to feel like I'm here alone. I feel like I need to know that they see me sitting in the dark. I don't know why, but right now that's the hardest part, the feeling like my pain and my fear are utterly invisible to the people who I know care about me. It feels too great to hold by myself. I'm afraid of feeling the whole weight of my pain and fear alone. My husband is really wonderful and has been stepping up in important ways, but he doesn't feel this pain and fear I'm experiencing.

If anyone understands how I'm feeling and has any suggestions for how to cope with friends and family not knowing or being capable of supporting you in the ways you need, I would very much appreciate hearing them.

Thank you in advance ladies. The kindness and compassion I've already experienced from you has meant the world to me.

12 Replies

Wow, it's amazing how cathartic it can be to share difficult emotions. I'm already feeling a sense of relief. Words can't express how grateful I am to have found this community. I know this isn't going to be easy, but I'm strong and I know I'll find a way through this. I just happen to be at a low point right now, but this is far from the end of my story. 😊

Hi Lovely. It's amazing the way you've put those fears into words - so many people here will have felt the same at some point. It is an incredibly daunting thing to face, we haven't started treatment yet because I had to have both tubes removed first (had that done last week) so I can't comment yet on the actual ivf side of things, but I know that for me some days have been really tough and others better, and I'm still really apprehensive about starting treatment. I don't think anyone can know how they will cope until it happens, but you must be strong to have got this far so you can keep going and you can cope,even if some days it feels like you can't. And as you've already found, this is a great place for venting and getting support when you need it. Good luck x

Hi hunny, so eloquently worded and exactly how so many of us feel. I’m afraid that in my experience the only people who truly understand what your going through are others going through the same experience. It took me a level of frustration and little while to realise this and also to realise that although my OH does care about the process, in general men don’t get as emotionally involved or require as much support as we do. I too would be completely lost without this group and now no longer feel alone, but also no longer have any expectations of support from those who just can’t understand what we’re going through. Sending you a virtual hug and we’re all here if you need us x x x

Hey. Welcome - you are in the right place and all those feelings are ones that we here are all too familiar with. What is your diagnosis in terms of numbers? Your age etc? We will all do our best to give help and advice. Sometimes it can be quite clinical when you speak with a Dr or nurse and also within the NHS they can only advise on what is officially recognised. There also seems to be one route only. You will find a lot of support here. And we are all there for each other - day and night. You might just find that there is something you can do to improve your fertility. There are many many options xx

I can completely relate to this. To be honest I think it’s better to recognise that the process will have an impact on you emotionally, because then you can set out plans to manage that impact appropriately. You know yourself implicitly.

Just a thought... have you considered seeking professional counselling before embarking on IVF? Your inner strength is so important and you now have opportunity to address that, before diving in. It may help you to feel ready, supported and secure in yourself.... All your personal choice of course, and you may feel that counselling isn’t right for you...

You will always have support on here, and I mean that, because so many women (myself included) can relate. Know that you’re not alone xxx

Hiya! Well first of all you are not alone, which I hope you are finding from this group. Early last year, way before we started on our IVF (I'm 12 days into needles on our first cycle) I had a pretty bad depressive episode and I have been worried that the 'black dog' would come back with hormones and this whole process. So far for me I have been a bit weepy & crying but I have been able to rationalise this as its the drugs doing their work, and recognising it is not depression creeping back. Not sure if your clinic mentioned anything about accessing counselling? I thought that some of the IVF guidelines from NICE were that couples should be able to access counselling as they go through IVF? Ours certainly let us know about counselling and I am planning on booking time in the next month to go and access a counsellor. Can you ask and see if you can access counselling support? I personally have always found counselling & therapy really useful for my mental health but I realise it is not for everyone. Huge hugs - you might feel like you are sitting alone in the dark but so many of us are sitting right there with you.

Hi foodie23, it’s a tough emotional rollercoaster and one all of us on this forum understand. It sucks us in and takes over our lives and it’s so hard to get perspective and pull ourselves back out of our feelings.

I find the waiting the worst thing. I’ve been TTC 5yrs all up and waiting for a BFP test, I’m waiting for doctor appointments, waiting for fertility test dates, waiting for my hubby to catch up emotionally. And I haven’t even started IVF yet!! There’s a host more waiting ahead during the IVF journey including (hopefully) the 2ww.

I really understand the feeling of invisibility and pain. I sometimes want to tell more of my friends and family as I don’t think infertility should be taboo to talk about. I’ve told all my immediate family and close friends but I haven’t had a satisfactory response from anyone thus far. And I think it’s because there is nothing that anyone can say that will comfort me. As others above have said unless someone has been through it they just don’t get it.

How do I cope? Well I talk to my husband about how I feel, about the fact that I think about my lack of pregnancy about 20times a day (vs his few times a month). I’m seeing a psychologist that specialises in infertility (early days but hopefully they can help me). I’ve taken on a large project that is exciting and new to distract myself. And I know I need to get outside and exercise more, walking through parks really does lift my spirits especially if I can call my bestie and have a good ole chat!! And after more talks with my hubby we’re going to start with a private clinic soon-ish.

I read others posts about their IVF treatment with hope and anticipation. I smile when people post their BFP and baby news. I cry when others miscarry or have hopes dashed. But it’s hope that keeps us all going. Sending you loads of hugs xx

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It’s brave and hard to write exactly how it feels, but as so many others have said I can completely relate.

I went through some pretty dark times over the last year or so and have now stopped drinking, which for me became something of an (unhealthy) emotional crutch. My first post to this forum was about those feelings and I after I felt so much lighter and supported by all the amazing people here. So please do vent, share and offload. We hear you and see you in the darkness.

On top of this forum, I’d say find and invest in the things that work for your wellbeing. Counselling is definitely an option and something you should have been offered, but each of us will have some similar and some individual ways of navigating this rollercoaster. For me, it’s been exercise, quitting a job a hated for something I’m more passionate about (which means losing out on potentially amazing maternity pay..) but the result is I’m much happier and more stable to go through this. Anyway I’m rambling now!

Sending lots of love, luck and support your way. X

Sorry to hear you are feeling like this 😢 Infertility brings so much sadness that many people don't understand. This forum is amazing with so many woman (and men) in the same boat, I don't contribute very often but I come on this forum on a daily basis and read everyone's stories, it's nice that there are so many people who understand how you feel and comforting that there is so much support here, I wish I'd found it sooner!

Sending you lots of love and luck for the future xx

Hi. It’s now about 6 weeks since I found out we need IVF and I felt just like you did at the beginning. All I will say is six weeks in, I still feel pretty crap and scared about what’s to come, but I don’t feel anywhere near as bad as I did in that first week. Actually the first week and a half I fell into a deep depression and really struggled to function. Now I’m doing ok with odd hours of feeling down but I’m far more ‘ok’ with it as I’ve got my head round it all a bit more. Sending massive hugs xx

Foodie23, let me start by saying we are all here for you! My partner & I had IVF as we are same sex, and I must admit that prior to embarking on this journey, I was very naïve about how infertility affects people’s lives. Since we started the process almost 2 years ago, I have learnt so much, & I honestly think that more should be done to raise awareness of the colossal journey that is undertaken with IVF.

I can understand how alone you must feel, and I’m glad you’ve found solace in this forum. If you feel up to it, maybe try to educate those closest to you (I don’t mean that in a patronising way!), I just mean tell them the facts, the various emotions you are feeling, & will continue to feel throughout. If people knew just how complicated, exhausting and devastating infertility can be, I genuinely think that they would be more empathetic.

In the meantime, I will finish by saying - we are all here for you! 😊

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of warmth and support I received from all of you. It truly amazes me that it has all come from complete strangers. It has significantly lifted my spirits and brought some light into this place I'm in. I'll have time to respond to everyone's beautiful responses tomorrow. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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