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Thread: How do I help my wife?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Question How do I help my wife?

    My wife and I have been struggling to conceive for the last 2 years. We have had 4 IUI's, and I think every other test done. My wife tries so hard to do things right and take care of herself, but every failure seems to hit a little harder each time. She keeps blaming herself, and I try my best to comfort and support and tell her that we have not given up yet. What else can I do to support her and give her the fortitude to keep trying?

    Also, I made a mistake earlier in my life. I was in a bad relationship, and she ended up pregnant. We both agreed to end it. There is never a moment that goes by that I have not regretted it or wondered "what if". I feel like I am being punished which I dont doubt I deserve. Would it be a bad idea to tell my wife?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    67

    Default Response to concerned husband

    Hi There - firstly I apologize for the delay in response - I have just come back from out-of-town this weekend.

    You both sound as though you are suffering terribly at the moment - you are already doing something to help by posting here and reaching out. It doesn't sound as though you have an explanation for your difficulty conceiving, which often leaves people feeling frustrated and desperate for answers. It is important to separate out the emotions from your previous experience from what is going on currently - it is tempting to attribute blame to ourselves when things go wrong - both you and your wife seem to be doing that right now, however this strategy doesn't bring much relief but rather piles on the devastation.

    Just as you are assuring her that the lack of a child is not her fault - it is vital that you find a way to believe this for yourself - otherwise the distress you feel over the child that you terminated will continue to eat away at your conscience and ultimately impact your current relationship. I don't think that your desire to tell your wife is the best thing to do - this will likely hurt her terribly and contribute to her belief that her body is the problem, as evidenced by the fact that you were able to impregnate someone else.

    Taking care of your own guilt feeling about the past will help you to be present in your current situation with DW - I am not sure whether you have someone that you can talk to; a dear friend, counselor (maybe a minister, or rabbi if you have a religious affiliation) but I strongly encourage it. You are welcome to e-mail me off the Board if you need help with a referral. Holding her and saying nothing is always helpful when all else fails - kindest to you both Liz

    mindingmatters@aol.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    2

    Default Thank you

    Thank you for your kind response. She either doesnt ovulate or the egg doesnt implant. She doesnt develop many folicles either usually one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    67

    Default You Are Welcome

    Hi Again - you do not say what your options are in terms of moving to the next phase of treament - I would recommend that you and your wife make an appointment with your RE to discuss the treatment you have had to date and what the plan might be for future cycles.

    It is helpful to educate yourselves about your own circumstances as much as possible - resist reading too much about what others are doing -although it is critical to respect that the experts are expert on infertility you and your wife are the experts on you. How you move through this phase of your life reflects how well you can manage crisis together and has the potential to bring you much closer despite the grief of being unable to conceive a child - yet! Kindest Liz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    1,235

    Default I'd like to make a comment -

    Hi,

    Sorry to butt in, but I just wanted to make a comment. Liz, I know that you had said that it would not be best to tell his wife about the previous pregnancy. I just wanted to say that if they go to a RE, often that is one of the questions that is asked, whether either of them has produced a pregnancy. I'm actually surprised the question hasn't been asked already since they have had 4 IUI's. Anyway, just didn't want him to be caught off-guard if the question comes up, Liz do you have any thoughts about how he can handle the situation if he is asked about that in front of his wife?

  6. #6
    psilverman is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Aug 2006
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    5,303

    Default Barging in here...

    ...I was in the same situation many years ago. My husband really helped me in several different ways -- while every situation is different, I hope maybe some of these might trigger ideas for you.

    1) He NEVER let me say it was my fault. It wasn't that he didn't honor my feelings, but he just kept saying "we are a team, we are in this together, we will work through it together."
    2) He, on his own, found a qualified RE for us. I probably would have dabbled away more time with my gynecologist (you say you've done IUI's -- but not if you've done them with an reproductive endocriniologist or not... if not, I'd get to one now). You might also seek a second opinion if you are with an RE -- some things to look at: -- have you done the same protocol everytime, or is her RE monitoring her bloodwork frequently, and doing ultrasouncs so that her drug protocol adjusted based on that. I guess I'm saying, be an advocate for your efforts together. Don't leave the appointment making and information gathering to her.
    3) Keep doors open for both of you. What those doors are depends entirely on both of you -- but if she wants to discuss adoption, and you keep putting it off "until we have to" don't. It was important to me that I knew I had more than one path available to me.
    4) I agree with Liz, don't tell your wife NOW about your prior experience. When I was living through this, I felt like EVERYONE could get pregnant but me, I felt so broken and betrayed by my body. And felt like if my husband had married someone else, he'd have a baby. Please do not allow her to go through this. The prior poster may be right, your RE should know about this, but please, reach out confidentially and explain your reasons for doing so -- that you want to be upfront in your medical history, but not cause your wife undo pain. And as for you -- please find peace with yourself -- you are not a bad person. You may hate what you did but do not hate yourself. I can tell here that you are compassionate and kind.

    Good luck to both of you.

  7. #7
    ASIndy Guest

    Default

    As a fellow concerned and helpless husband I can empathize. My wife and I just completed our 3rd failed month of IUI as of... this morning. We spent about $800 dollars the month and I got to stick her in the abdomen with menopur shots 14 days in a row. Great fun had by all. We've had about 3 years now of negative results. My wife and I had a pregnancy scare when we were dating. We went to a clinic and she took the morning after pill. That little nugget always hovers in the back of my head. Of course I don't think it's the reason for our issues today, but who knows? It would have been worth having disappointed grandparents for a few months.

    I often have mixed impressions on how my wife would like me to react towards the heartache we go through. Sometimes I think I should be stalwart and brave, sometime weepy and openly emotional. I suppose it depends largely on her day to day attitude towards the whole mess. I don't let her openly blame herself and I try to encourage to refrain from doing it mentally as well.

    We need to be hero's to them. Honestly that is our job at this stage in our lives. For as long as we try to conceive. Medically we've both been told that there is a problem and it likely falls squarely in our wives lap(physically). I encouraged my wife to leave her job while we focus on this (she hated it anyway). I work a little more every week to help absorb that a little. I cook on weekends. Go to concerts and nice restaurants, mini vacations... Try to spend the majority of each day NOT completely wrapped up in fertility. Infertility is a time vampire and I want to do my best to make sure that we don't look back on this time of our lives as a complete waste of time if we never conceive.

    I don't know if that helps. We're relatively new to this too and I feel I could certainly handle things better than I do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    226

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ASIndy View Post
    As a fellow concerned and helpless husband I can empathize. My wife and I just completed our 3rd failed month of IUI as of... this morning. We spent about $800 dollars the month and I got to stick her in the abdomen with menopur shots 14 days in a row. Great fun had by all. We've had about 3 years now of negative results. My wife and I had a pregnancy scare when we were dating. We went to a clinic and she took the morning after pill. That little nugget always hovers in the back of my head. Of course I don't think it's the reason for our issues today, but who knows? It would have been worth having disappointed grandparents for a few months.

    I often have mixed impressions on how my wife would like me to react towards the heartache we go through. Sometimes I think I should be stalwart and brave, sometime weepy and openly emotional. I suppose it depends largely on her day to day attitude towards the whole mess. I don't let her openly blame herself and I try to encourage to refrain from doing it mentally as well.

    We need to be hero's to them. Honestly that is our job at this stage in our lives. For as long as we try to conceive. Medically we've both been told that there is a problem and it likely falls squarely in our wives lap(physically). I encouraged my wife to leave her job while we focus on this (she hated it anyway). I work a little more every week to help absorb that a little. I cook on weekends. Go to concerts and nice restaurants, mini vacations... Try to spend the majority of each day NOT completely wrapped up in fertility. Infertility is a time vampire and I want to do my best to make sure that we don't look back on this time of our lives as a complete waste of time if we never conceive.

    I don't know if that helps. We're relatively new to this too and I feel I could certainly handle things better than I do.
    I think the fact that you are thinking about this and analyzing it says a lot about the way you support your wife. I know when my husband and I were doing this (and physically it was me) it was very difficult to sometimes wonder if I had ruined his life - if we had to manage without children. We both agreed we wanted kids from the day we got married. But he kept reminding me that this is not just my problem but a joint problem we would tackle together. Not being"in this" alone is very supportive and helpful.

    I think you are "spot on" that the needs for both of you change daily in the area of how you support. It also sounds like you are good at reading those needs so I would suggest you keep on doing what is working.

    We did some getaways to Bed and Breadfasts too - we didn't stop having fun together even when we were cycling. It's so hard not to allow the medical appointments and anticipation to rule your life... but it is possible to keep some control in what seems to be an out-of-control way to live!

    Nancy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Lucky

    your wife is going through hard times- and she is so blessed to have you by her side.
    When I lost my second, and both fallopian tubes, my husband told me I had until he was 30 to come up with all the funding for IVF all by myself or "get over it" because he doesn't believe he should have to pay for conception.
    I have come up with the money a few times over- yet he spends it all on toys and fun, and accuses me of being selfish if I don't give him full access to all of the funds.
    Now he is 32 and making me "get over it" or he is walking out the door.
    I feel so unbelievably hurt. OUR children took MY fallopian tubes, and he gets to walk away in-tact to have a "free" baby with someone else?
    I will never have a family- and I feel like having an unsupportive husband stole that from me.
    You give her hope, and that's the most amazing thing ever. Really.

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