Feeling like I can't cope with infert... - Fertility Network UK

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Feeling like I can't cope with infertility anymore


Been TTC for 2.5 years. After a failed FET from our first ICSI we have had a longish break from treatment to try and get my body (and head) back to normal before doing another FET with our second (and last) frozen embryo. We had to postpone our first full cycle as I got ill with OHSS. So our failed FET was back in November and nothing has happened since. However im feeling more depressed as the weeks pass and the more pregnancy announcements i hear the harder its getting. I sometimes feel like i want to stop wanting to have this baby so much so i can live a normal life again but know this will never happen as I want to be a mother more than anything (as well as being happy again!) im crying all the time, look fine on the outside but hurting every second of the day even in my sleep on the inside. i have tried accupuncture, counselling, support groups, talking to people, changing my diet, throwing myself back into work, working out, writing a blog, getting pampered etc but i literally feel like im drowning in horrible negative thoughts. Im not the sort of person to give up on things but its how i feel lately. You prob wouldnt think im depressed if you met me but i feel like im dying inside without sounding too dramatic! But how do women cope? I feel like im having a crisis and want to run away from it all but theres no hiding! I dont want to go on antidepressants as they will hinder chances of getting PG and dont want my GP records to show im depressed in case it jeapordizes future chances of adoption. Sorry for the negative moan but just not sure what to do. I may be greiving a little bit late after our failed cycle x

20 Replies

Hi, I'm sorry you're feeling so low. I know what it can be like.

In my experience, there's no one thing which helps on its own - but talking to friends and family, not giivng yourself too hard a time, trying to plan some treats for yourself, all help a little bit, sometimes.

I'm not sure how long you've been to counselling for - cost is often a big factor obviouslu - but my own experience is that therapy has helped to some extent, over a longish period of time. Sometimes even therapy feels v frustrating, but it has helped me to understand more about my tendency to withdraw from others when feeling hurt and angry, and the jealousy and rivalry which is within me, (not just in relation to my infertility), which can get in the way of my connecting with other people, if I'm not mindful of this.

Essentially, its a horribly painful experience we're going through. But maybe it would help to understand more about the negative thoughts you mention. I'm not for a moment suggesting that you need to 'think positive' (that would be ridiculous and paronising). But, speaking personally, I've found it useful to ask myself questions, E.g. Am I somehow blaming myself for my fertility problems? Am I putting too much pressure on myself to be cheerful/appear fine etc? Am I letting (trusted) people in enough to how i really feel?

Not sure if any of these thoughts will help you. But at least you can take comfort from the fact that you are not alone - that lots of us are struggling with this stuff, and sometimes feeling we are falling apart, and sometimes finding ways through...

Hi, I know exactly how you feel as currently experiencing the same thing. I know it's just more of the same, but if you want to chat, you can email me on louie_mac73@yahoo.co.uk x

Hi you,

As much as the following sentence can ever be true, as no one can ever really know what’s going on inside our heads, I know how you feel. The last few months I spiralled down into a big pit and felt like a big cloud had sucked the colour out of every aspect of my life. I know that I should be grateful for my wonderful husband, cosy flat, amazing friends and supportive family, but all I could think was:


I’ve wanted to be a mum since I was two and a half and my mum had my brother! Everyone tells me I’m amazing with their kids and will be a great mum, so why am I being denied this life experience?

In the same way as you, I’ve tried everything I can to boost my fertility and drag myself out of this hole. I’ve done the mindfulness-based stress reduction course via the NHS which is really helping, but I need to remind myself of the principles every single day. I’ve also been reading up on positive psychology for overcoming depression and putting some of the techniques in place.

This is my personal plan and is helping me but you have to do them repeatedly to have an impact. Let me know how you're getting on. Some of them might be a little way out, but I’ve got to the stage that I’m willing to try anything as I feel like I’m wasting my life being depressed about something which might never happen! As in being depressed about never having children when I know I will do whatever it takes to be a mum.

12 steps for climbing out of the Pit Of Doom!

1. Breath: Whenever you are feeling scared and overwhelmed: STOP! Take three deep breaths with 3 short inhales after each inhale and 3 Short exhales after each exhale. Put your hand on your heart and repeat:

“All is well, I am safe. I can survive this.”

2. Release: Do energy release exercises by Donna Eden whenever you feel low and at least once a day. This is a great physical way to get you out of a major downer. It only takes 5 minutes but you can really feel the difference.

3. Write in a journal every day and write down all of your emotions both negative and positive until you have nothing left to write. This could be in the form of a letter of complaint regarding why you are not yet a mother! I found this exercise quite entertaining as poured out all of my anger and then listed the reasons why I should be a mother and ended up laughing at myself. Which considering how bad I felt when I started was quite miraculous!

4. Meditate every day for at least 20 minutes either with a CD or the lovingkindness links below. Ideally first thing in the morning to set you up for the rest of the day.

Lovely free meditations recommended by the NHS course leader from the mindfulness-based stress reduction course. I do the lovingkindness one on a regular basis, they are very similar to the ones used on the mindfulness course but add in the self compassion part.


It's also worth watching this clip on the difference between self esteem and self compassion by the lady who recorded the meditations.


5. Write a gratitude journal of at least five things you are grateful for each day. This should be a separate book to the emotions one. This should include really simple things like gratitude for the dinner you have just had or the fact that the sun was shining. This is really hard when you’re really down, but make yourself do it as it does help.

6. Write down at least 3 things you have learnt each day, again these can be tiny things like write-down "do not eat sugar as it makes me more down!"

7. Support network: Make contact every week with others so meet up with like-minded friends, attend meditation or inspirational classes. Make new friends and get their contact details.

I’ve started a Facebook group called Mindful Mumas-to-be to discuss fertility boost tips, positive psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Meditation, healthy eating and how to stop yourself going crazy on this journey to motherhood! It’s a secret group so won’t show up on your page or newsfeed, but it also means that you can’t search for it, I have to email you an invite from within the group page. If you are interested in joining email me at mindfulmuma@gmail.com and I can send you a link via email that will allow you to join the group.

If you are just after fertility tips and a fun group obsessed with chatting about the best sexual positions, how to give up caffeine, if baby on board badges actually work and an obsession with mini eggs, then join us at:

Up-the-duff (or soon to be!) Divas! (Again email me and I’ll send you invite.)

Check out this website meet up for interesting groups. meetup.com

8. In a journal write " I love myself therefore: " at the top of the page and then write as many things as possible that you can think of below such as

I love myself therefore I approve of myself

I love myself therefore I can cope

I love myself therefore I eat nutritious food

I love myself therefore I am always learning.

If this is too hard (it took me three weeks to build up to this) then start with very simple things like:

Today is a good day because the sun is shining.

Today I will help myself.

Today I will do one thing for somebody else.

Add to this list every day and spend 10 minutes in the morning saying your Positive statement/affirmations in front of the mirror. Repeat your affirmations when ever walking or waiting anywhere. This is a great way, and I've found the only way, to shut the negative voice in my head up. Instead of trying to block her out. I just drown her out by repeating a positive statement. This can be as simple as "This too will pass."


9. Listen: Every evening watch an inspirational/funny YouTube clip or TED talk. ted.com/talks

10. Kindness: Do one kind thing every day for somebody else. This can be as small as holding the door for someone or sending someone a link of something you think they might like. Once a week send someone a letter or email letting them know that you appreciate them. facebook.com/the.one.kind.t...

11. Get some fresh air and exercise every day, even if that's only a 10 minute walk around the block. Natural endorphins are great pick me up. (Use this time to repeat your positive statement/affirmation.)

12. Action: Take action, do at least one thing every day to move yourself forward. This can be planning what meals you are going to make over the next few days, deciding what research you're going to do on diets, your medical condition or self-help techniques. Setting and accomplishing goals is a proven way to boost your self-esteem, however they must be just small steps, not overwhelming goals.


You can get yourself out of this hole without anti-depressants, I know because I’m doing it. Be strong and know that you are not alone.

Mindful Muma-to-be



Wow, this is a really good response.

It makes me think of what my counsellor said to me, make a list of just 3 things that you will do today, and make sure you do them. You will do other things too, but make sure these get ticked off.

She also made me focus on just being in the here and now, and to stop projecting forward. (which I find really hard, I'm a project manager at work!). A lot of the stresses and worries are becuase we are projecting forward into the what ifs, rather than focussing on the facts.

I also remind myself that there aren't a limited number of babies, and the fact others are having babies has nothing to do with whether I will or not.

Good luck.

Firstly thank you ladies for taking the time to reply. I have to say I have never experienced such an overwhelming support like this about anything before in my life and its made me realise how wonderful people can be. All of your words are more helpful than what my own friends and family tell me sometimes. (even though they do their very best!)

Noper, I too have a jelousy within me which stems back to insecurities from being young. I was jealous of married women before I got married and met my hubby and now im jealous of pg women so it makes sense why that bit is particularly hard for me. There is a lot of merit in accpecting that we will get super down during the process and it's OK to be like this. I have some more counselling sessions to take so need to book them - but you are right even the counselling can bring you down coz it creates so many other questions!

MM2b you have an amazing strenght and you remind me of my dear friend who is going through a different crisis to me and managed to turn it on its head and become a trainer to help others, including me. I already do the gratefulness trick which is great, today im grateful for connecting with people like you! I will check out the FB page and email you.

I LOVE ALL of the advice in here, it's truly invaluable and im feeling better and excited at reading the replies.

I will be checking all the links this evening as they look super.

Looking too far ahead has been dangerous for me, so the here and now idea is really useful too.

Thanks so much ladies :-)

Cheers to us for becoming better beings from a horrible situation


Hi ladies, have you joined us yet?

Mindful Mumas-to-be is a new group for anyone trying to conceive, going through fertility treatment or who is newly pregnant following difficulties/worries. Join us if you are looking for support, stress busting techniques, fertility tips and to meet others who are in similar situations to you. (Dads-to-be are also very welcome).

Follow mindfulmumatobe.blogspot.co... for updates.

Online discussion topics include: Fertility boost tips, positive psychology, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), meditation, healthy eating, infertility, endometriosis, PCOS, IUI, IVF and how to stop yourself going crazy on this journey to motherhood!

Also join us at Up-the-duff (or soon-to-be) Divas! A fun group whose conversations include the best sexual positions for TTC, how to give up caffeine, dealing with the stress of finding out a friend is pregnant and a shared love of Mini Eggs!

Both groups are secret Facebook groups so won’t show up on your page or newsfeed, but it also means that you can’t search for them. Please email me at mindfulmuma@gmail.com to join.

MEET UP - Our first North London group meet up will be at 6.30pm on Tuesday 2nd of April at The Alwyne Castle pub, which is a short walk from Highbury and Islington tube.

We will have an hour and a half group session which will be very informal to get to know each other and chat. At 8pm is the pub’s quiz night so anyone interested can stay and play. The pub does lovely food for anyone coming straight from work, we will be sat in the conservatory area at tables so feel free to order food.


Address: St Paul's Road, Highbury, London, N1 2LY

Please email me if you’re interested in coming, so I can make sure I book a big enough area. mindfulmuma@gmail.com

Future meet ups to include group meditations, afternoon tea book shares, fertility walks on Hampstead Heath and in Queenswood, talks on mindfulness, hypnosis, acupuncture and Mayan abdominal massage.

Follow my blog for more information on mindfulness, fertility boost tips, infertility support, recipes, group meet up details and more.



OMG how I feel for you Ive been there and felt the same way, i started trying to get pregnant when i was 26 and like you tried everything including IVF after two attempts they said i would need to go on a donor egg waiting list so cut a long story short we tried Chinese Herbal Medicine and two months later at the age of 40 I was pregnant see my website, Infertility help today . com infertilityhelptoday.com for contact details and more treatment options. Kindest regards and good luck.

Hi, I'm sorry you're feeling so bad. I know what it can be like. I am also experiencing same situation some time got frustrated bit more then routine. I am suffering from Double infertility. As I have problem with my Fsh so do my partner is below the threshold. We can hope for the best. And in my experience nothing which helps on its own. But trying to have something to cheer about or talking with family or giving some time to your self can help a little bit for sometimes. Good luck and Hope for Best !!!

Hello there, I'm sad you're feeling so terrible. I realize what it can resemble. I am additionally encountering the same circumstance some time got a disappointing piece all the more than normal. I am experiencing Double barrenness. What's more, in my experience nothing which helps without anyone else. Be that as it may, attempting to have a comment about or conversing with family or giving some an opportunity to your self can help a tad for once in a while. Good fortunes and Hope for Best !!!

Just wanted to send love and support to you as I couldn’t read this without responding. I feel the pain of the words you wrote. Some brilliant proactive advice and ones that I will be nabbing too. One day at a time and find a way to be kind to yourself. Big hugs to you. Hope your dream comes true because you deserve it. ❤️

I can totally understand the feelings you are going through, this post seems old but so relevant to myself. I am going through literally the same thing. Trying for a baby for nearly 8 years now and getting stressed with every passing day. I just do not know what to do, all of our tests are OK, everything is normal but it is just not happening. I feel jealous of people around me who are pregnant or parents already. I want to hide myself in a corner and never see the world. I do not know where to go, and what to do. I feel like there is wall in front of me or I am in a small dark room and there is no light, no way to get out and..... I do not know what to do. I do meditation every night, I go out with friends, I look a happy woman outside but I am dying inside me :(

I'm having the same problem here. Infertility is a lonely road. I cried so many times and asking God why me. But, you know something? Why should I always live in the future? My life is here and now. And Thank God I've got everything I always wanted. Except from a baby. So what? Life is so short. No one knows what tommorrow brings. So, I decided to stop all this crying and jealousy and misery. Everything. And I start living again. Sometimes we can't have what we want. That's life. But maybe there are great things waiting for you outhere. But we ignore them because we are obsessed with Infertility. I decided to make one more try with Infertility doctors. I give myself 6 months. If I don't get pregnant, it's over for me. And I am 34 and trying from my 29s for a baby. But all those years I lived in misery. It's time for me to live my life. I don't know if I helped you. But this decision was the best I ever made. I don't know what I am going to regret the most. Don't having kids or spending the best years of my life trying to have them and lose myself and my life.


Hello dear. Be brave sometimes things happen beyond expectations. I feel really sorry about your bad experience. Try to avoid negative thoughts. Sometimes life gives tough time and we have to be patient. I know you are really strong so stay positive. Hope that you will find a solution to your problem. You will get through it one day. I wish a bright light will come to lead you soon.

I can relate so much. Been at it for 12 years. Last IVF cycle. If it doesn’t work I think I may need to let the dream go and consider adoption.

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