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Childless future?

I'm 1 week post failed second cycle of IVF, aged 40. I had so much hope this time as we had 5 embryos which made it to day 5. Poor quality though. Now my husband says he doesn't want to try IVF again, but I'm scared of a childless future although sometimes I wonder if it could be great? Not sure how to make the decision and there's no one in my life who truly understands as close people all have kids. Thanks for reading lovely people! Xx

10 Replies

Hi Annabakeoff,

It is hard to make that decision to stop, we made it because it was getting way too hard to go through another ivf physically and mentally. It was a joined choice though, once one partner says enoughs enough I think that is the time to have the conversation about what it would be like, what options are still on the table, what will life be like. I always said I know what it's like without children because it is like our life now and before ttc (it's still true). The sadness is still there, the hope not quite gone, I'm not sure it is something I'll get over ever but trying to focus on other things has helped. I changed my focus to my career, seeing the world and other life experiences. We have turned the 'children's room into a guest room, I have changed jobs and we are saving for big holidays instead.

Moving away from the whatifs and letting go of the pause button that was on during treatment was hard, but communication between us was and is key. I'm sure you'll do what feels right for you both.


Hi annabakeoff

Do you think you and your husband would consider some counselling? It must be really difficult if your husband is wanting to stop and you are still not sure. We didn't have IVF so I can't comment on that, however, I do know what if feels like to experience the disappointment of being unable to conceive. We stopped recently and it was a massive thing. It is still hard a few weeks on, but putting closure on it has helped for us.

We are planning a nice holiday and I am trying to think of all the positives in not having children. I think life can be embraced without children, but it will just take time. You mention that people close to you don't understand because they have kids. I think this is true in a lot of ways. They can never really feel the pain, however I have confided in a couple of close people ( who have children) and they have actually been incredibly supportive.

This forum is great too as it makes you feel less alone x


Thank you so much for replying. I'm trying to find a decent counsellor in my area, as my last person was ok but not brilliant. I talked to my husband about adoption today but he was pretty against it. I just feel everywhere I look there are happy families/pregnant women and I worry I'll feel sad for the rest of my life.


Thank you for replying, it's so helpful to know I'm not alone (although I obviously wish others didn't have to experience this!) My husband and I have a great relationship but we are terrible at talking about our infertility as he gets cross, I cry, and never truly admit how I feel. I'm guessing he doesn't either...


Hi, if you end up going privately for counselling, most offer an intro session to see if you feel you can work together / get along. It is worth checking what your GP surgery or employer offer too though. Good luck x

It is hard and almost like a grief process. It is horrible to think there are so many of us going though this.

Making the decision to stop trying is the first step towards gaining acceptance, although,no one can say how long this will take. You mentioned you'd broached the subject of adoption with your husband. I raised this several times with my partner and it totally scares him. It is far too soon to have these conversations. My GP advised to try and put any thoughts of adoption on the back burner for 6 months or so. He is right. Stopping trying to conceive and then immediately moving onto thoughts of adoption is too much for the mind. We need time to heal and I also know that any adoption services would advise leaving it for a bit.

I know what you mean about seeing families and pregnant women everywhere. I almost look for pregnant women :-(

I am sure your husband will also be struggling too with the fact he won't be having his own children. My partner and I are planning nice things we can do together as a couple now, such booking a nice holiday and going out for a really nice meal.

Things will fall into place, I'm sure.


We stopped after 2 mcs from natural conceptions and 3 rounds of ICSI resulting in 3 BFNs. We tried DE for round 3 & still no success. I don't want to go through more tests or further disappointments or spending more money with no idea whether it might work, plus age is a big factor I was 42 when we ceased. We had a couple of joint counselling sessions at the clinic.My hubby would have preferred to have another round but has respected my feelings. We don't think adoption is right for us. Initially it was a relief that we had stopped after our 3rd BFN at the end if December. I've just started counselling to help me cope, like you say babies, bumps, families are everywhere and everyday comments/conversations get to me. It's such a hard decision to make & one that I never imagined we'd have to make. It seems so unfair that after everything we've had to go through we still aren't parents. Just as I think I'm coping ok something happens, it is better than it was but if our final attempt had worked we'd be due or perhaps even be parents by now. We rarely talk about it, I know we need to but it hurts so much, all part of the grieving process I suppose. Shame there's no magic answer.

I wish you well with whatever you decide to do next.


Thanks for the replies. I can't tell you how helpful it is to hear from you. I agree - far too soon to start thinking adoption. It is forefront in my mind as IVF recently become an Aunt to two amazing adopted children. A friend has recommended a counsellor to me, also I've started reading Jodi Days book which I hope may help. We've also decided we'll book a big holiday and sell our house! Nice to focus on different things. Thank you again, so appreciated and sending both love too. X


Aww, good for you annabakeoff. Big holiday sounds great :-)

Adoption may be an option in the future ,but right now, just try and focus in the two of you on order to heal. Then hopefully you will be in a better place to start considering whether adoption is for you or not. ( that's the way we are trying to play it anyway) x


I think it's too soon to make a definite decision - you and your husband are upset at the failure, he's probably extremely upset & frustrated at not being able to make things right for you. Have the holiday, spend time together and hopefully reach joint decisions. IVF wasn't a realistic option for me and we discussed fostering/adopting but decided against.

This was 25 years ago and it still hurts really badly sometimes but most of the time it's OK.

Good luck with whatever you decide x


Feel for you sister! That is really hard to see that, and essentially harder not to fall into profundities of obliterating distress. Best direction I can offer, endeavor to relax yourself: concentrate on taste of tea, falling leaves, snowflakes, have a go at watching activity movies with a huge amount of action. Just endeavor to be happy for others, I know, it is troublesome...

I know it's hard however worth a try. Additionally potentially surrogacy might be a route for you, it has its high points and low points however attempt to google about it, perhaps it will give you trust and an approach to get a kid.


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