Daughter's IVF not going well

newfiewoofieMay 29, 2012

Hi All-I am a long time reader/lurker but needed a place to turn to right now-just for some moral support, I suppose. My 37 y.o. DD is having such a hard time conceiving a child. Going through a second round of IVF right now and it is not going as hoped. How do you handle your children's major life's disappointments? She is devastated and she and her husband turn to me for advise and a clear objective viewpoint(!) But my heart is breaking.. I do know we all have many things to be thankful for and I am trying to focus on all the good things in life--but sometimes do you just feel like not being the strong one for the family? I want to wallow in pity....


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I'm so sorry. I have a friend who has also been trying.

The best advice I can give; there are so many new things they know; like how to track your discharge to know when you're ovulating. Possible she's already done this step. Next would be Giuliana & Bill Rancic. Giuliana is from E TV & was going through IVF. The 1st place she used was not working; so she went elsewhere & he's supposed to be one of the best. You should be able to find his information on their web site. I'm getting ready to leave; if you'd like me to find it when I get back; I should be able to do that. Here are their 2 main pages

Giuliana & Bill web site

Here is a link that might be useful: Giuliana & Bill facebook

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:29PM
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So very sorry to hear this. One of my dearest friends went through several rounds of IVF before finally conceiving twins. However she lost one twin early on. She has a healthy 3 year old. Don't give up hope.

There is nothing worse in the world than wanting something so badly and fearing you will never have it. It must be tough, but you need to be strong for your daughter, and then you can wallow in all the pity you want when she isn't around. Infertility is happening to her, not you. Even though you are truly sad for her she may become resentful of you because you have carried a child and given birth, and her biggest fear right now is that may never happen for her.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:32PM
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Thanks for the advise and perspective. She as changed doctors and feels confident in this new doctor who seems to really listen and try to figure out what is going on. But this round does not look promising. I am strong and positive in front of them, but just sad on the inside. Roselvr thanks for the links-I appreciate it. We are in the Boston area and do have access to some of the best docs/hospitals. Sometimes I think my sadness just bubbles forth...other times I do OK handling it...

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 1:59PM
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I too am so sorry for the situation your daughter finds herself in and the helplessness you are sadly feeling. My daughter is 34 and had graves disease a few years back. It was so scary for her and yet there was nothing I could do but give her hugs and encouragement when she needed it. We love them so that its hard to watch them experience life's pitfalls without wanting to just fix it for them.

Yes as the Mom, we are expected to always be the strong one, people forget that sometimes we just need a strong shoulder to lean on too!

I hope that patience and perseverance will eventually get your daughter and SIL to where they want to be. However I strongly believe that when our best laid out plans don't come to fruition, it's because there is something bigger and better in store for us. Understandably, adoption isn't always an ideal option for everyone but I know a couple who ended up adopting and when they look back at the experience now, as difficult as the journey was to get where they are, they wouldn't change a thing and feel doubly blessed.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Oh gosh. I went through one round of IVF back in the day when offspring were called 'test tube babies'. I was afraid I would get all caught up in the 'keep trying' mentality and spend more money than I had, with no guarantee it would ever work. We decided on our limits before hand and had a 'Plan B' in place before hand.

I knew I wanted to be a parent. I knew pregnancy was a tiny part of parenting so after we reached our limit, we pursued adoption without looking back.

My nephew and his wife pursued IVF and have a beautiful son. They ended up losing their house and filing bankruptsey along the way. I did not want to get caught up in jeapordizing the security I worked hard to build.

Your DD and her DH need to make some tough decisions and I wish them luck. Infertility is not an easy path. (((Hugs from someone who has walked the path.)))

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Come here to vent, scream or cry. There is always a shoulder to lean on. It is an exremely emotional time for you and your daughter and you need a place to release all these complicated feelings.
No easy answer to any of this. I wish you luck.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 5:16PM
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I wish you luck too, newfiewoofie, and strength and peace of mind.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 5:40PM
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For years I dealt with the guilt of miscarrying twins and then not being able to conceive again. Every now and then it would come back to haunt me, but I had to learn to accept that some things aren't meant to be.

Golddust, I was part of the test tube generation too. Would have liked to try it, but the money just wasn't there.

Newfie, wishing your daughter and her husband all the best.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 5:47PM
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I'm sorry Natal, I didn't know that had happened to you.

Newfie - I'm not a mother and have never been in your daughter's position. When we first got married we thought we would have children. When it didn't happen, we were okay with that. We both love children, but we never had that burning desire that your daughter has. I'm going to give you a daughter's perspective though. In any crisis in my life, my mom was there for me. Until I lost her over a year ago, I never went through any major problem without her there to listen, to encourage, to hug me, to cry with me, etc. IMO, that is what your daughter needs. Just knowing you are there with her, feeling her pain, holding her hand, just being there.

As others have mentioned, I would encourage your daughter to find the best reproductive endocrinologist possible. There are other methods and if IVF doesn't work for her, something else might.

Hoping it all works out for your daughter.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 6:01PM
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I know this may sound too obvious, but has her husband been checked? My boss and his wife went through 3 cycles of expensive IVF before they discovered he had a varicocele. Once that was repaired, they were pregnant within 3 months.

Like golddust, once we reached our limit (no IVF) we adopted too, and I'm the happy mother of a special needs young lady.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Natal, that must have been very difficult, I'm sorry too.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Natal, I'm sorry too. I can't imagine getting so far as IVF without checking on the DH first. Times have changed, homemaker.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 10:53PM
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Golddust, my boss's son is now 2.
There are still doctors who miss the obvious.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 12:23AM
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I believe you. It is just that we had tto jump through every hoop back in the day before we were accepted into the program. DH was tested immediately.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 1:25AM
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Newfie, I'm sorry. You asked about our DD's and their major life dissapointments. My DD has gone through several of these and I can relate to you wanting to be strong for her and also to point out the good things in life and more good things that will come in the future. What I have found is that sometimes my DD doesn't really want me to paint a bright future, she just wants me to realize in the moment that it "sucks to be her". It's very hard to know exactly what to say to them, you want to help ease their heartache, that's what we mother's do. It's also ok for you to feel the sorrow and wallow in it. We aren't made of steel and you can't be strong all the time.

Sending hugs from one mother to another.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 9:54AM
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I must say that I am deeply touched by the compassion, wisdom and understanding that I have found here. I was so hesitant to write-but just reading your viewpoints and comments has helped ease my tension and worry a bit. I guess knowing that others have gone through this helps in some way. As a widow I think I try to carry the family's worries on my shoulders alone-but yesterday was just an overwhelming day. I agree- it is good to just say life can seem unfair sometimes. This mother stuff is a challenge-no matter what their age!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I too walked that heartbreaking infertility route. I remember thinking that it was so unfair that most women seemed to get pregnant effortlessly and I could not no matter what. It was an incredibly painful time for us, as I know it is for your DD and her DH. We finally decided, like Goldie, to adopt and were blessed with our beautiful wonderful little boy. What a joy and a blessing he has been! Nine years later I became pregnant, my first and only pregnancy. Our DD is now 18 y/o, but I can assure you that there is absolutely no difference in the love I feel for my two children.
I feel for your DD, her DH and all of you. I hope a future IVF works but encourage them to also consider adoption if it doesn't.
I believe that our son was meant for us and although extremely painful at the time, my infertility led us to our son. It's just us and our own very personal experience, but I'll forever be grateful for that . . . and him.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Newfiewoofie, I'm so sorry for your daughter difficulties (and for you and your family). I can relate ..... I had difficulties (miscarriages/stillbirths). I was lucky enough to have one child. My Dad side of the family had/has a long medical history of miscarriages/stillbirths. And sadly lots of family members don't like talking about medical histories. It wasn't until one of my Aunts died from a massive stroke (none of the standard risk factors) that I finally saw the right doctor for me.... a hematologist (Johns Hopkins, Baltimore). For me, discovering the "why" made it easier to make sense of these painful losses, as well as giving hope.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:42AM
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I am so sorry too, Natal. Must have been very hard and I truly sympathize.

I knew when I was 18 years old I wouldn't be able to conceive naturally. When my DH and I were first married (I was 30), we made the decision that our money would go for adoption, instead of the emotional and financial rollercoaster of IVF. I know your daughter probably doesn't want to hear about adopting, since she has spent so much time and money and emotions thinking about having her own, but, I truly wish she knew that I could not have loved my DS any more than if I carried him myself. I am so inlove with him and adore him so much! He is such a kind, sweet little boy, has a great personality and my DH and I always say, we could not have had a cuter kid, we certainly can't take the credit for that! I could go on and on about him, but I won't-ha! We are so just so blessed with him.

lynn, thanks for saying what you felt about there being no difference between your daughter and son, because, I think people don't realize that.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 11:00AM
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Natal, I'm so sorry too. That's a very hard road.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 2:44PM
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Thank you all for the kind words. It was a long time ago. This thread just brought back a lot of memories.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:32PM
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I just want to say that there are many times when I do not want to be the strong one for the family. There are many times when I do not know what to think or say. I am always there to support my family in any way I can but I just don't always have the answers. Sometimes the best thing you can do is listen and give them a place to voice their sadness.

I hope things work out for the best for them. You just never know what life has in store.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 4:42PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

New, I am so sorry your daughter is going through this, that you, Natal, have had such a disappointment in life, however, the thing that comes to mind, (and I have had more than my share of life's disappointments) is a quote from the favorite sayings thread,

"Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain."
~ Vivian Greene

That resonated with me. To not dwell in self pity/loss but be joyful NOW.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Newfie, I rode the infertility coaster too. I had my first miscarriage after an IUI pregnancy and felt such a devastating sense of loss and failure. I knew that if I was going to continue to try to conceive or to embark upon the adoption process, I would have to find some peace.

When we began fertility treatment, the goal was to have a baby. But I never had the power to achieve that goal. I redefined my goal- to do everything in my power to have a baby, and to recognize that I could not control the outcome. For me, that meant trusting God's plan.

We found a much better Reproductive Endocrinologist after that (our first was AWFUL), pursued "alternative" methods, and prayed. I had another miscarriage, this one much earlier than the first. The loss was painful, but I didn't feel that terrible sense of failure and inadequacy that I'd felt before.

Then came a twin pregnancy. Then I started bleeding heavily, a road I recognized. I did lose one, but only one, and my remaining DS not only survived, but thrived.

Infertility is so difficult. I don't think I could have gone on without changing my perspective. I don't know if my story will help your daughter, everyone has different needs. I wish I could take away her pain and yours as well.

My heart goes out to all of you who have shared your stories.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 5:46PM
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In addition to the obvious, what I find to be incredibly sad and unfair here is there are stories in the news almost every day about unfit parents or unwanted children and here we have so many great people who would do just about anything for a child but experience difficulties and can't. It's so unfair.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 7:32PM
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Sorry it's taken me so long to get back here.

From what I'm seeing; there could be differences in the Dr used. Most of us know Giuliana & Bill's story how she went to this new Dr who insisted she have a mammogram & they found early breast cancer. Thank God she went to this new Dr because even though it was very early in stage; her's was the type that they did not get clean margins without taking her breasts. Has your daughter had a mammo? God forbid there is a bigger picture here. The new Dr said that IVF hormones will feed cancer.

I wish I had personal experience with this besides knowing people that also have not had success. What I have read is that the 1st try is not successful for everyone. Giuliana had 2 that were not successful when she decided to step away; went to a natural Dr which I can't find; then the Colorado one. From what I've read; they say that diet can play a factor here & that for some; having blood work done where they test different things then a regular doctor would will give better answers.

Here is an article on Tracking and predicting your ovulation cycles where they talk about changes in cervical mucus. I know gals that have done this & are pregnant.

Hopefully something posted will help you to help your daughter. I can imagine how emotional she is. As I say with cancer; I wouldn't get treated locally if better medicine is within reasonable traveling distance. If they can't go to one of the better centers; hopefully they can find one in a major state that's fairly close.

Dr. Schoolcraft Discusses Modern Alternatives to Having a Child First things first, what do you attribute the high success rates of your fertility treatment clinic to?

The Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine has among the highest pregnancy rates in the world because of our laboratory. We have developed a lot of unique technology in the lab to grow embryos, including vitrification, or very rapid freezing. A lot of times, embryos have been frozen via slow freezing and it results in a much lower survival, but with vitrification, nearly 100 percent of embryos and even eggs survive. It has really changed or revolutionized the idea of freezing; you don't really hesitate to do that anymore. That enabled us to freeze Giuliana's embryos and implant them in the gestational carrier.

Can you recommend some reliable resources for couples who want to do more research into their options?

A lot of the information on the Internet is not very accurate, so I would be cautious about that. There is a website that our society the ASRM, American Society of Reproductive Medicineput together. If you go to asrm.org, there's a section for patients that has accurate information. Aside from that, I wrote a fertility book about a year and a half ago for patients called If At First You Don't Conceive. I tried to write in a way that was factual and accurate for patients. The book gives them an overview for what they need to know if they are pursuing fertility treatments.

Dr. Schoolcraft Talks Helping Giuliana & Bill Have a Baby

Quick Facts About Infertility
Infertility is NOT an inconvenience; it is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.
Infertility affects about 7.3 million women and their partners in the U.S. -- about 12% of the reproductive-age population (Source: National Survey of Family Growth, CDC 2002).
Infertility affects men and women equally.
Twenty-five percent of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility.
In approximately 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility problems.
Most infertility cases -- 85% to 90% -- are treated with conventional medical therapies such as medication or surgery.
While vital for some patients, in vitro fertilization and similar treatments account for less than 3% of infertility services, and about (or approximately) seven hundredths of one percent (0.07%) of U.S. health care costs.
Twelve percent of all infertility cases are a result of the woman either weighing too little or too much.
It is possible for women with body weight disorders to reverse their infertility by attaining and maintaining a healthy weight.
Men and Women who smoke have decreased fertility.
The risk of miscarriage is higher for pregnant women who smoke.
Up to 13 percent of female infertility is caused by cigarette smoking.
Chlamydia causes about 4 to 5 million infections annually in the United States. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause infertility.

Here is a link that might be useful: Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:24AM
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My heart goes out to all of you who have suffered from infertility, miscarriages, and stillbirths. I am so very sorry.

I worked at an infertility clinic when I was younger (just doing admin work) and it was heartbreaking. When I was trying to conceive my second DD, I had issues . . .believe it or not, my cycle was strongly being affected by extreme stress. I didn't figure that out until years later; my doctor thought it was a permanent issue, but once the stress was gone I was OK. I know it is not so simple for everyone and the LAST thing anyone needs to be told is "relax." I just thought it was interesting that the cliche was true in my case.

I think, in your case, I would not give advice-- only a shoulder. Your daughter is smart, I am sure, and proactive. She can get advice and ideas from her own research, message boards, etc. You are there ONLY to listen . . .not to go along with how bad it is (tell us instead) by saying "It's horrible" or be too optimistic "It will work out." Both will leave her feeling worried, sad, etc. Instead, make sure your message to her is, "We will get through this . . .together."

Come and worry here with us. We will listen!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 12:23PM
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anele; I agree to a point. Such as your case with stress; newfiewoofie can offer the shoulder but may also be able to help in other ways; especially if she knows there could be another cause such as being too slim or over weight; or knowing the foods they eat & being able to suggest taking a mental break & changing eating habits while looking at natural routes. I go to FB message boards; you would not believe how many women that are TTC (trying to conceive) have no clue about when they ovulate. Even asking if the hub was tested because even if they have kids with another woman; something could have changed to where their sperm is not up to par. What I know from the gals that are having problems; they're so close to it that they may not see what could be obvious.

I have a net friend that tied her tubes when she was younger; then met her current hub & had the surgery. She has so much stress in her life without trying to have a child that I've always wondered if that was playing a part. While we're close; I don't feel close enough to her to talk about the stress aspect & even if I did; it's so deep rooted (we same family issues) that it would take a lot of therapy to help.

One common that I read is that once a decision to adopt is made; some do get pregnant on their own. My SIL adopted 2 kids then ended up finally having 2 children.

My heart goes out to everyone affected by this. It upsets me that the people that want to have children can't but we see people like Mr 30 kids & his girlfriends having no problems.

If she decides to look into adoption from another country; feel free to email me because I've been reading from adoptees on things that were lied about.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 2:05PM
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I can tell you from personal experience that your love, support and compassion for your DD & SIL's disappointment means a great deal. I know infertility is life consuming with few to no ups and many downs. I do believe that unless you live it no one truly understands. We too are among the ones that chose adoption after 12 years of infertility treatments, numerous Dr's, drugs etc. Just continue being there as you have been.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 9:18AM
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You're right eandhl; I've tried to put myself in their shoes & can't imagine how painful it is. 10 years ago; hub & I considered having a child together. I could have found myself not able to had hub & I decided to have kids. I was mid 30's; the age when a lot of women do have problems. I've watched Giuliana & Bill as well as The Little Couple (Bill & Jen) & am brought to tears. Jen always wanted kids; she knew she could not carry a pregnancy. Even though she's a doctor; never thought to harvest eggs when she was younger & is finding herself not responding to IVF. I'm tearing up just writing this; since she's so tiny; her anatomy is not like ours; they've had to go through her belly to try to extract eggs. If that's not bad enough; they can't give her anesthesia. They thought the 1st round would be successful; she was given an ultrasound right before being brought back to harvest & by the time she got on the table; she ovulated. We're talking a matter of minutes. I don't know how often people have that happen.

While I will never know the pain the men & women who are going through this feel; watching the shows that are showing us what it is to struggle with infertility; helps us to "some what" understand what they go through.

Are there any decent infertility blogs that would help answer the OP's question of what she can do for her daughter? Does she just come out & ask her?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 12:22PM
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I found this thread looking for something else, and am glad I read through it. Newfiewoofie, I hope your daughter and SIL have success with this second round of IVF. I had no trouble conceiving, we have 3 children now, but had multiple miscarriages along the way--- including one set of twins we lost at six months into the pregnancy. It's heartbreaking that a process that is supposed to be so natural is so difficult for many of us. Good luck and god willing to your loved ones... from experience I know it helps to have a sympathetic and understanding mom.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:36AM
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