Feel complete despair :-(

Hello, I've just found this site, thank god. I am nearing the end of a horrible three weeks since my last and final negative pregnancy test. I have lost count of how many times I've seen the 'not pregnant' words now, with the last cycle failing after using three donor embryos in Athens. I have been over and over in my head for ways to try again, against my partner's wishes, but knowing that this last go where i literally gave myself the best chance i could get (a 24 year old donor, a hysteroscopy, 3 embryos) and it still didn't work (after trying all last year using my own eggs) i know that it now has to stop. Trying to keep the hope alive in some way is damaging me and our relationship but I'm so scared about actually facing the truth. I am going to find a counsellor to help me try and order my thoughts, keep calm and help to try and deal with life in a world where children play such a big part. I've pretty much shut myself away for 3 weeks as most of my friends and both my sisters have children and I just cannot face that yet. I keep putting people off and arranging dates to see people in the future. I know that this must be the worst bit right? It was good to read posts on here today, you're all thinking the way i am, focusing on careers, holidays, houses and relationships and puppies. It's good to not feel alone :-) and there really really has to be more to life than having a family because the prospect of always feeling like there's a huge void in life is really depressing. I'm so sorry to everyone out there who is feeling this. It really is awful.

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  • Hi, I just read your post and I am in exactly the same place right now!

    I've had four failed attempts (two positives though!), the last has been dragged out for nearly 9 weeks now, nothing showed on scans but had low hcg in blood tests and (tmi warning!) I've been bleeding for four weeks now. I just want it to stop so I can start to try and order my thoughts and like u say maybe start thinking about a future without children in it.

    Fiancé and I went to our first counselling session this week and basically I cried through most of it & F talked which I think really helped as he doesn't usually!

    I've kinda shut myself away too and stopped doing things I enjoyed for nearly two years and forgotten who I was but I'm starting to want to be that person again and enjoy my life as it was pre ttc, but I know it's going to be hard changing a lifetime of thinking I would have kids to not!

    Sorry for the ramble! It's good to talk about these things though right 😉

  • Hey there, that's really shi*t you're going through all this too. I do wonder how many people are, whether openly or suffering silently, it is such a child orientated world out there often i feel like I'm on my own childless planet, which i suppose COULD be good and fun one day but at the moment is dark and lonely. don't ever apologies for rambling btw! we have to be able to let all this out somewhere. Your partner sounds similar to mine in being able to talk about it, although sounds like your counselling was good for him. I have put off counselling until now as, like you, think i would be hysterical throughout, but things felt so bad yesterday i found a few online and just waiting for them to call me back. Need to start somewhere right, these feelings are too big and overwhelming to just deal with without help. It's the first step i'm struggling with, saying to myself that that really is it with treatment now and moving on and saying those words 'i can't have children'. It's been like a full time job at some points these last few years, trying to conceive. I can't imagine the paid you must have been in to go from positive to negative twice :-( heartbreaking. I did get a positive on my last test but the blood test the day after wasn't high enough and the test i did that night was negative but to drag it out for 9 weeks must be completely unbearable, a hideous limbo. I'm here whenever you need to talk. I'm finally seeing my mum today, having a break away from home for 4 days, i haven't even been able to talk to my sisters, they both have kids, they love me, but they really don't get it and i think i'm frightened to put myself in situations where someone could say something that upsets me even more than i am. I suppose this is like a form of grief where there are stages we go through. Here's hoping this is the very worst of stages. Lots of love to you, hang in there, and remember you are not alone xxx

  • Hey,

    Thank you for replying, it's so pants that we and I'm sure many others have to go through this but it's so nice to be able put my feelings down on (line) paper and have someone understand exactly what I'm going through and reply with the same thoughts!

    Counselling did help, you should definitely give it a go with your other half, it will give you both a sounding board to say things you probably feel you can't say directly in case you upset each other, that may sound strange but that's what we found.

    It is tough when so many people around you have kids, especially so close to you, I'm sure your sister will give you all the support & love you need but you might need to be really honest and ask them to think before they say certain things.

    I have a sister but she's never wanted children which is good in one way but in the same way as yours just wouldn't understand how I feel! I've not told her yet either.

    I have a friend at work who went through this when she was younger, she is in her 40's now and spoke to her in the week, she has obviously got on with her life without kids, it was great talking to her and seeing how she dealt with it. I think it's good to be able to get a different view from people who have been there too and I'd like to thank everyone else who has replied to your post who's messages I've read and take a little bit of wisdom from x.

    This is not going to be an easy road but as long as we can talk and cry when we need to and have people there who understand it will make it a little more bearable.

    Hugs to all xx

  • Hi Lilpemmay, I agree about this site. It's not about wanting to dwell in the misery is it, it's just important to connect with people feeling the same. I've taken so much comfort from all this already. Please do keep in touch - be good to have friends on this journey we're on. I only have one good friend who has been through this but it is a relief to talk to her. Having to completely redefine our futures is brutal isn't it. Hopefully we'll come out the other end as champs - although doesn't feel like that right now. I'm so angry inside most of the time :(

    Lots of love you xx

  • Hi Lesley1976

    Read your post and just want to hug you. I never had to go through the monthly hell of hope and despair - surgery age 19 sorted that. I struggled at times with friends and their children but I got most jealous of mums in supermarkets with screaming toddlers, desperately wishing I could have a child to embarrass me.

    People say 'you can adopt' etc but that was never really on the cards as any child would not be my flesh and blood however much I loved them.

    I have some good friends who are childless for a variety of reasons and friends who have children and are now having grandchildren. Occasionally I need to go and scream in the loo but most of the time I'm OK. I did have counselling and she was quite good, but had children and therefore couldn't truly understand the emptiness and sense of failure.

    Allow yourself time to grieve, the loss is a form of bereavement and just as significant

    Good luck

    xx

  • Hi Janey, lovely message, thank you. And reassuring that you are managing and life on the other side isn't all bad. I suppose wanting to scream in the toilets can also be managed. I'm scared I'll start taking it out on my wife if I do not get help soon. Interesting what you said about your counsellor actually too, I may find it difficult to relate to someone fully who has been able to have children. And yes your comment on everyone saying 'have you thought about adoption?' If I hear this again I'll scream. Of course I've thought about it! And that's a completely different avenue, not a quick fix to infertility! Ffs.... I'm definitely going to seek out childless friends when I'm feeling more myself.

    Thanks again for your message. I don't need to tell you how good it feels to find people who understand these feelings.

    Hugs back to you xx

  • Hi Lesley 1976. Sorry to hear you are going though this. It is painful, the realisation that you will never have your own children. You are right, it is like a grief reaction. Counselling can definitely be helpful. Whilst I didn't go down the IVF / fertility route, I am early 40s and we have now decided to stop trying for a baby. It is hard, but things will improve for you I'm sure. I think you just have to go though a grief process before moving on and embracing life without your own children.

    Thinking of you x

  • Thanks Ellen

    I'm sorry it hasn't worked for you too and that you're going through this pain. It is truly awful saying those words and coming to terms with all this is going to take me a long time. It's going to be like reprogramming the mind. I just heard back from a counsellor so fingers crossed she's good. Please do keep in touch and message whenever. Bouncing thoughts and ideas for coping will be so helpful. I have about 5 self help books now! And I may book a solo trip to Bali in a few weeks so I can read them all... Sending huge amounts of love to you. Lesley xxx

  • Hi Lesley. I'm glad you have found a counsellor. Do you get to have a taster session to see if you can work together? Hopefully it will help. Dealing with this is a massive, emotional thing and it will take time. I'm sorry you are going thought such a painful time. Do let us know how the counselling goes. Try and do the things you enjoy. Going for nice walks can be grounding. Like pm27 says, be kind you yourself. Big hug xx

  • We ceased treatment at the beginning of this year after 2 mcs from natural conceptions and 3 rounds of ICSI = 3 BFNs, we used DE for round 3. My hubby would have liked to have had another go but I couldn't face any more tests or disappointments. Initially it was a relief that we'd made the decision to cease treatment. The pain of being childless has lessened a bit with time and I've started counselling recently. It's always going to be a source of pain but it's something that I'm going to have to learn to live with. We've discussed adoption but it's not for us.

    You're still at a very early stage of the grief process. Be kind to yourself.

  • Hi pm27, totally relate to what you said about stopping treatment. Im still having nightmares about pregnancy tests. I wanted to feel that relief of never having to see another but I think I'm not at that stage yet, guess I'm a few months behind you. I'm still in the disbelief stage. I'm not thinking about adoption either so the only future is one where I have to accept it all. It's bloody hard and I'm hoping, like you, that I can find ways to learn to live with it. At least this week I've started to actually talk about it and seek counselling, a bit of progress. Keep in touch my dear, any tips or rants most welcome xx

  • I've had 3 counselling sessions so far and have mostly cried through them. The counsellor said this week that letting the emotion out is part of the grieving process. It's very different to previous counselling I've had as there's nothing you can do to speed up the process. Hopefully it'll all help in the long run but it is so hard. Fortunately we can support each other on here. No-body talks about infertility, guess others don't know what to say after treatment stops.

  • Hey pm27, well i had my first session and yes i cried through most of it. I'm quite unsure about whether it'll help but i'll carry on with another session in a few weeks. I did have a brief spell last week where things felt bearable, and Millie and I took the dog to Dorset for the long weekend, which was nice in terms of getting away but obviously we had all that time together so it ended up being quite intense and tearful a lot of the time. Today i feel like I've been dropped off a cliff but hoping i can claw my way up it again! How are you doing this week?

  • Counselling and discussing the grief leaves me whacked so I'm not surprised you feel like you've gone off a cliff. I've read some of Jodie Day's book and that explains the grief process which I found very helpful.

    I'm feeling a bit better this week. Hubby and I went for a long walk on Monday and talked a bit about our grief as suggested by the counsellor.

  • Hi Lesley1976, I'm guessing you're the same age as me by the way! I'm not far into "post trying to conceive" as you might've seen from my previous posts. Failed IVF about 3 weeks ago, and I appreciate it is not the same as what must've been a heart breaking miscarriage but what I can tell you is that there is still hope in life and I'm feeling much more balanced. You are not alone in this. For the first time yesterday - a friend said to me that having children is not the be all and end all, she has 3 grown up kids and to hear that meant so much as other friends with kids seem to think I'm "giving up" when I say I may embrace my life as it is and suggest further rounds of IVF/adoption. I should ask them if they think they're in a position to advise having not had to spend thousands trying to have kids, but I just smile and change the subject. Anyway, what has helped me since our failed cycle?

    Seeing friends and doing nice things, like going for dinner

    Planning holidays/short breaks

    Spending time with my sisters amazing adopted kids (I couldn't love them more) - when you're ready to see kids again, it's great but I have avoided many gatherings which centre around kids so the time has to be right for this one, I know.

    Having nice times doing nothing with my husband

    Finding this forum

    Wine!!!

    Doing a full day at work and feeling I'd made a difference

    These are small things but they have really helped. I'm so sorry Lesley that you've been through what you have, and please know we are out here, understanding how crap it feels and sending love to you.

  • Hi Anna, lovely message, thank you, and good to hear you're sounding positive about moving on. It definitely feels like it's initially a time thing, the old time being a healer cliche, I want to feel like you do though and possibly that's half the battle. I'm sorry to hear about your 3 IVFS. It is soul destroying, I did 3 too, then said enough is enough and went through the grieving process but all the while I had in my head id try a cycle with donor embryos, and after a brief spell of bravery I booked it all in Athens. I said to myself this was truly my last shot so I think I'm actually properly mourning the loss of my own fertility properly from last year, on top of the shock of the final chance failing. I didn't have a miscarriage ... My last test was positive but was negative 2 days later ... That rollercoaster in itself was unbearable enough I can only imagine the horror of a miscarriage :(

    Your words about people suggesting things and ways to try again, I really get that. I know they're trying to be kind and helpful but makes me so angry inside.

    And also what you said about being proud you'd done a full day at work and seeing the kids, that must make you proud just knowing you've coped. I'm starting a nursing degree in a month, and while I've been dreading the thought of functioning I think it's going to be really good on so many levels.

    I really want to be the happy fun auntie and friend to my friends' kids rather than feel bitter and jealous and these feeling I hope will get easier like you say, it's so raw at the moment and I'm beating myself up for avoiding situations. I have a counsellor sorted now and I'm hoping the worst is behind me. Finally opened up to my mum and little sister this weekend too. Letting people look after me isn't something that comes naturally.

    Lovely to know you're out there and willing me to feel better. I of course wish the same to you. Thanks again xxx

  • Lesley - great to hear you are starting a nursing degree :-). This will give you something new to focus on. It's good you've opened up to your mum and sister. You will find, over time that you will be able to spend time with you nieces/ nephews and friends children and I am sure you will embrace it and enjoy it. Just give yourself time, as things are raw still. I may write a post on this....

    Lots of love to you xx