More To Life
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Hi everyone

I've recently had a 4th ivf cycle fail and my husband and I have decided to cease treatment.

Since then my life feels like it is a constant struggle and all I can think about is not being able to have my own children. I have isolated myself from everyone (all of my friends have small children) and I don't enjoy anything anyone.

Please tell me this gets easier. I have had 2 counselling sessions but I don't feel like they have helped really. I have an appointment with the doctor next week too. Has anyone gone on to mediation to help them through? I've never wanted to go on antidepressants but I feel so dreadful that I am willing to try now. I'm so scared that I'll never get over this.



11 Replies

Hi Pez G

Due to previous surgery the rollercoaster of IVF was never a viable option, but I did cut myself off from any talk about babies. It does get more tolerable with time, but like any significant loss, remains a part of your life. I went through a period of being fine with other people's pregnancies and babies, but having a meltdown at a child having a tantrum in a supermarket. Thoughts of 'at least you've got a child to embarrass you!'

I'm a community mental health nurse and thought I could deal with everything myself, but have had treatment with antidepressants and counselling myself and often have patients for whom childlessness is a major contributor to their depression.

Do see your GP, if they recommend medication please take their advice. If you don't get a good relationship with your counsellor ask to change to a different one. Remember we don't get on with everybody we meet in life.

People who have children, or have chosen to remain childless, don't understand the hopelessness, emptiness and overwhelming feelings of failure, that we endure. Well meaning comments about adoption just emphasise the enormous chasm between the cans and cannots.

Please remember this is a form of bereavement and takes time to adjust to and everyone deals with it differently. Your partner will also have a whole lot of emotions to cope with.

Just remember it does get easier. Sending love and hugs xoxoxox

Jane xx


Hi Jane

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post. You have made me feel a bit better.

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles too. Life isn't fair is it!

I'm just so scared that I will feel this way for the rest of my life and I won't be able to feel happy again. I guess it will take time. In the mean time I will take my doctor's advice re medication and I'll try and find an alternative counsellor too.

I worry about my husband because he says he's fine but in not sure.

Again, thank you for your reply.

Gem x


You will feel happy again and hopefully be able to enjoy other people's babies. I don't know if you've ever lost a loved one, but for me the loss of potential motherhood is much the same, always there but mostly well in the background.

My husband didn't and doesn't talk about anything emotional and struggled with my upset as he wanted to be the protective man and rescue me, which was impossible. Time is a healer.

is your counsellor nhs or private? I don't know what's available in your area but there should be nhs counselling available, but as with private, the quality varies. Don't settle for anything that isn't helping or doesn't feel right.

Good luck xx

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That sounds exactly the same as my husband! He just says that he wants me to feel better bless him.

I've had 2 counselling sessions through my Ivf clinic so private but I am on the list for Nhs counselling. Just received a letter today saying that I'm on the top of the list. I'm not sure I'll be able to go to this though as I work full time as a teacher so can't have time off work. Hopefully I can sort something out.

Thanks so much for your help and reassurance. It's nice to hear from someone who has survived this. I really appreciate it x


We ceased treatment earlier this year after a 3rd bfn from 3 rounds of ICSI. Initially it was a relief but then I felt sad for a long time. I accessed some counselling and the sessions focused on dealing with the grief of childlessness. I am starting to feel better and more like myself but things can still upset me, the counselling helped me understand that my reaction is 'normal'. I've also been reading Jody Day's book, she explained the grief cycle and views grief as part if the healing process and that helped too. I've got friends and family I can talk to when I need to and this forum has been supportive too. I can think about the future now.

I've got a history of anxiety and depression and went back on antidepressants after the first BFN. I came off of them earlier this year. Medication might be helpful and you won't be on them for ever. As a friend put it you'd seek treatment for a physical issue and it's the same for mental health. It takes a couple of weeks for the meds to start to have an effect and I had time off work, my GP was really good and said lots of people have a few weeks off whilst the meds start to kick in.

Infertility and treatment, especially when it fails, is very hard to go through so be kind to yourself. I'm not so good at this, helps me to think what would I say to a friend in this situation.

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Hi pm27

Thanks so much for your reply and I'm sorry to hear you've been through similar to what I have. I would not wish this on my worst enemy!! I'm pleased to hear you're feeling a bit better though and that you can look towards the future. That gives me hope!

Thanks for your advice about the antidepressants too. I will see what my gp says but I am willing to try them if they will help me.

I think I will try some counselling again. I am lucky to have some very supportive friends and family too. I might get a copy of that book too.

Thanks so much for your help and advice. I already feel a bit better from just hearing that you are learning to cope. Gives me hope.

i hope you continue to feel better and you can find some peace in all this. Lots of love x

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It's rubbish and has been really hard. Others gave me hope on here and things are definitely better.

I'm a teacher too. Take the time for the counselling sessions, you'd do it for physio sessions or other hospital appointments. Your colleagues don't need to know just say "medical aappontment" if anyone asks. You may need some time after the session before going back to school, they may be able to offer you an appointment in the afternoons or after school. If you have told a senior manager about your treatment it'd probably be a good idea to tell them about the counselling appointments.

I hope the counselling helps.

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Yeah you're right, I'll try and sort something out. Yes the head knows about my treatment and he has been very supportive so I'm sure he'd understand.

It's hard being a teacher and going though all this isn't it! Not only are you surrounded by children all day but I'm finding it hard to plan and mark etc out of the classroom as I've lost all motivation for anything. I feel like I'm just about hanging on.

Anyway, I could moan about anything at the moment so I'll stop going on.

Thanks again for your advice x

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My comment is whatever you are feeling we have felt it too, so you are not alone! I agree with all the comments here and truly, it will get better but the loss will always be there. We tried councilling but it wasn't for us but I was with a life coach for 6 months. I couldn't stop thinking what is the point, my whole life I wanted children so what do I do now? We explored many avenues but in the end the suggestion was time. Time to grieve, time to asorb, time to find a direction. At first I thought the whole thing was a waste of time, but looking back now it was so right. I just needed to get used to the idea that I was never going to be a mum and some how find a new path for myself and my husband. We now travel lots and to everyone we have a perfect life and in lots of ways we do. I now try and focus on the good stuff we have rather than what we don't, and that helps me personally get through each day. Sending hugs to you all xx


Thanks very much for your reply. I keep thinking 'what's the point?' too. Hopefully, like you, I will learn to adjust and find a new path. I used to love travelling before ttc so hopefully I will find that again.

Your reply has given me hope, thank you. X

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Feel for you sis! That is truly difficult to see that, and significantly harder not to fall into profundities of devastating despondency. Best guidance I can offer, attempt to occupy yourself: focus on taste of tea, falling leaves, snowflakes, have a go at watching action films with a ton of effects. Simply attempt to be glad for others, I know, it is difficult...

I know it's hard but try. Also possibly surrogacy may be a way for you, it has its ups and downs but try to read about it, maybe it will give you hope and a way to get a child.


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