Feel like the only one in the world going through this

Hi, I'm new to this forum. Have been trying to conceive unsuccessfully for four years. Underwent all the usual tests last year and the verdict was unexplained infertility. I'm in my mid 30s now. I spent my 20s convincing myself that I didn't want children because I was so scared of turning into my emotionally volatile, abusive and manipulating mother. Now it's like a kick to stomach every time i see someone on the tube with a 'bump on board' badge on. I know that I have to accept the situation and move on with life but I haven't got a clue how to. I now consider it a good day if the sight of a pregnant woman hasn't driven me to tears.

I know that nothing can take away the pain. I think I just want to feel like i'm not the only person who feels like this and that someone out there understands.

17 Replies

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  • Hi, i remember feeling as you do and although there is nothing i can say to make anything better in the short term, i can tell you with the right support it does get a little easier. I was a little different to yourself as in I've always wanted children but just never seemed to meet the right person! All i can suggest is that counselling is kind of working for me in the interim but i'm afraid being in our position, there always seems to be triggers to bring all of those emotions back. Believe me you are not the only one going through all of this and although no one may not be able to say anything to you that may seem to help, please take comfort that we are here to try to help.x

  • Thank you so much for your response. It's so difficult because most people just don't understand how it feels.

  • My reply was no problem at all, if only to let you know that you are not on your own! Although there is no quick fix to what we are going through, there is hope at the end of it. The daily triggers for me are the worse part of the whole thing, adverts on the tv, seeing kids with their parents and i will admit when this first came to light for me that there was so much anger i thought about separating myself from children as much as possible but the truth is that i still love to be around kids so i looked at it that ok, i wasn't going to have my own, other people's children could still make me happy day to day. I would recommend specialist counselling as it is working for me although it is going to be a long road for me personally but whatever works for you, there are great support groups available and these can easily be found online so good luck and if you ever need to chat, just post on here.

  • Same here! For me it's the pregnant women with those 'bump on board' badges on the Tube. I can be feeling fine and then I see one and it reminds me and it gets me so down. Thank you, I do have a counsellor which helps but I'm glad I found this forum too, to just help take the edge off when I'm struggling.

  • You're not alone. It's often small things that set me off, like the Amazon Christmas advert with the baby name book. I know that they didn't intend to cause hurt but it got to me. These feelings of hurt at the sign of a bump, pram etc are less frequent as time has gone on. The due date for our 2nd naturally conceived twins was less painful than previous years.

    Initially I felt relief after ceasing treatment but then had a long period of sadness. I had some counselling to help me undestand and deal with the grief of the losses from mcs, the resultsnt childlessness due to the failure of treatment. With most losses there is some kind of recognition or ceremony but with fertility issues and childlessness there isn't. We're over a year on from our 3rd and final BFN. I couldn't face any more failures or tests, DE didn't work and we were self funding and I couldn't see any point in spending more money on something that wasn't going to happen. Time has helped. We've made some plans for our future such as a new kitchen - much cheaper than a round of ICSI!

    The good thing about this forum is we all get it. Our stories might be different but we're in the same situation.

  • That advert got me too! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experiences. I really am so glad I found this forum. I felt so alone in these feelings before.

  • Your not alone I feel the same I'm trying to pluck up the courage to go over to a friends house as I miss her but she has a baby we started the journey together I ended up failing ivf twice she ended up being pregnant right before going to her first ivf appointment. I worked with her so I changed my job and ran away I couldn't face it. We've text but not much ....so nice to know you're not alone with how you're feeling xx

  • Thanks lightl. I have a similar situation too! A very good friend accidentally got pregnant and then got pregnant again when her first child was only a few months old. I haven't seen her in over a year but every time I think I'm strong enough to do it, I chicken out. We'll get there in our own time.xx

  • I can really relate to this post. I have past abuse issues too and it does influence our feelings in a big way around having children. To the extent, I left it a bit late because I thought I'd be a bad mother because of my own past. And we finally did try - unsuccessfully. I have a lot of anger, but it is getting easier. I feel kind of cheated.

    Is that true? People wear bump on board badges on the tube? I know pregnant women need seats, but I' didn't know about the badges. That must be so hard for you to see every day.

    You are not alone, however I do understand you feel this way right now.

    Xx

  • Thanks Ellen6, it's really nice to hear from someone who has been on a similar journey of not wanting children because of the fear of history repeating itself only for it to not happen when you do make the decision to have one. I was thinking about it this morning and thought that's it's a really cruel twist of fate. I've found that aspect quite difficult as it's surprised me at times how much the whole infertility thing is affecting me because I spent so many years convincing myself that I didn't even want children. To be honest, at times I've felt like a bit of a fraud or a hypocrite, like i didn't deserve to be upset when I'd spent so long saying I didn't even want a child.

    Yes, they have little round badges! It's like it's not enough to be surrounded by women who are clearly pregnant, all of the ones who aren't showing yet have to advertise the fact too....

  • Berry_Girl, as horrible as our pasts may have been, it is nice to speak to someone who can relate. I spent years thinking I'd be a bad mother and sort of put it on the back burner. Then went though a period of trying to conceive with my partner and still found I was anxious about how I'd be as a mother. This all ended up triggering my past childhood issues. Things I'd locked away. You know.. Pandora's box... Tough times. I can so relate to what you are maybe going though too.

    I'm sorry to hear you have been feeling a bit of a fraud /hypocrite. This is what the abuse does to you. It is not you. Sounds like you went for so long saying you didn't want a child, purely because you were worried about repeating the abuse you suffered. I totally understand this.

    Are you getting any therapy ? Do you feel you need to process your past issues. Maybe just keep in your mind for now. You are not your mother. You are you ! And I bet you are a lovely, kind, warm person, as you sound it on here. Let me know if you want to talk about therapy ideas, as I'm having it.

    The whole badge thing on tube must be soooo hard. Why does such an issue have to be made of it? It is just another reminder. I wonder if women who are pregnant ever think about those of us who have failed to conceive. Not that I would want to stop their joy. But wearing a badge?! If I was pregnant and on the tube, I think I'd just ask someone if I needed a seat. Hey ho. So sorry you are faced with this...

    Hug for you and flowers 🌷💐🌻 x

  • Thank you so much for your beautiful and kind reply. I did have therapy for a number of years and still see my therapist when I feel like I'm struggling a bit. I'm also hoping to start training to become a therapist myself this year. It has helped me so much and I'd like to be able to do that for others.

    I absolutely relate to what you said about still being anxious about turning out to be a bad parent even when you were trying to conceive. The mixed emotions of hope and fear drove me crazy and also confused me so much.

    Very good point and no, I don't think pregnant women do think about those who can't have children. I have friends who went through difficulties conceiving and it's like they forgot all about that experience after having babies and seem unable to empathise with me now.

    Honestly, finding this forum is a real Godsend! I don't feel alone anymore.

    Sending a massive hug back to you! xxx

  • Hi, you are welcome. I am glad you are feeling less alone. I can so relate to many of the things you are expressing too.

    Good for you - am glad you have a therapist you can turn to if need be. And to train as a theapist yourself - that's fantastic. Do you hope to start in the autumn?

    Yes, I think friends do sadly forget. I am blessed to have a couple of friends who are supportive, however I guess someone can only truly relate, if they've been though it themselves.

    I have a book I could recommend to you if you like. I can private message you though here if you want.

    Deep breaths if you are on the tube this morning. Must be impossible to ignore those wretched mum to be badges!!

    x🌻 x

  • Thank you for your message! Oh yes please do recommend the book!

    Sorry for the delay,I didn't spot your message yesterday. I'm glad I've read it today though. I must admit that I've had a crappy day. Really bad period pains kept me up last night and left me grumpy today. I got quite angry because I thought why should I have to continue to suffer periods for nothing. May as well get it all whipped out as it's all useless. Silly I know,just feeling sorry for myself and not seeing the point in anything.

    Yes, I'm hoping to start a course in either September or October. I've been thinking about it for a long time and if I start now I could be qualified around the time I turn forty. I feel like I could do with getting my teeth stuck into something worthwhile at the moment.

    How are you though? You've been so kind to me, I really appreciate your understanding and support.xx

  • You are welcome. Sorry to hear about the period pains. I ended up going back on the pill. At least that meant an end to the crippling headaches I experienced at period time. It was hard making that decision to stop trying, but it put some kind of closure on it for me. I really feel I've missed out on being a mother and nurturing my own child. I know adoption is a possibility, but decisions like this take time... And lots of consideration.

    I found having a period every month was just yet another reminder I couldn't conceive. It got relentless. At least on the pill, it is just a bit of breakthrough bleeding ( it's the mini pill). I'm not surprised you are feeling angry 😡

    Therapy training sounds a fab idea 😀 Am sure you will be great. Good for you. And it will be great for you to have something to focus on. I'm sure it will open many doors for you.

    Re: the book. It is called:

    ' Understanding The Borderline Mother - Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable and Volatile Relationship'. It is by Christine Ann Lawson. I got mine on eBay.

    My mother was abusive and like yourself, I too, went though that phase of , would I be an abusive mother if I had children? It is soul destroying. The book is obviously nothing to do with failing to conceive or anything.

    I will warn you, it may trigger emotion in you. I couldn't put it down. It helped me a lot, but did also upset me. I could relate to so much in the book and it made lots of sense.

    The 'baby thing' will get better for you. It takes time and is like a grief process. Be kind to yourself.

    💜💐 x

  • Oh hun, I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll definitely take a look. My mum wasn't abusive physically but she was very emotionally abusive towards me. She had her own issues and I'm sure it wasn't intentional but it still affected me a lot. I was basically depressed for the first 20 or so years of my life. Nobody noticed until I got to uni and a friend of a friend spotted the signs. Four years of therapy helped undo a lot of the damage but I think the scars will always be there.

    I was doing well for quite a few years but the baby thing is just a bit much. I've never been on the pill before but would consider it now. Like you said, it's a sad and difficult decision to make as it really means that you're giving up trying but I guess you have to do that at some point for the sake of your own sanity.

    I'm not one to bleat on about how unfair life is but given our histories, you'd think we'd deserve a shot at having a family and getting it right wouldn't you. I know thinking like that doesn't help but sometimes you can't help these thoughts popping into your head.

    I wish you strength and lots of positive energy to help you on your therapy journey. It's a very tough road to travel but it's definitely worth it. xx

  • The emotional abuse you experienced can be as damaging. It doesn't have to be physical or sexual to be abuse. The book covers all types of abuse and different mother types. It is basically about mothers who have personality disorders, which maybe your mum has? Who knows.

    Yes, shame, we haven't had a chance to be mothers.... It's ok to bleat on sometimes. At least we can somehow relate to one another... Are you an aunty or anything? I'm an aunty and love it, so that is positve😀

    I'm sorry you experienced emotional abuse. Sounds like you have worked on yourself though.

    It is a real personal choice re: going on pill. For me, I needed closure. Good luck with whatever you decide.

    I'm sure your personal experiences will make you a good therapist. Something good and positive has to come of this. I can tell you are compassionate.

    Hope your period pains wear off soon. Hot water bottle?! Warm bath...

    X

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