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Coping after IVF

Discussion forum for those who had completed their IVF treatments without a successful outcome and are seeking other options such as adoption, surrogacy etc.

Coping after IVF

Postby kate_03 » Fri Jan 09, 2004 5:14 pm

Although i have never been through IVF and can't even imagine what you are going through I wondered if you could give me some advice. My sister, whom i am very close to, miscarried 3 weeks ago at 8 weeks pregnent. She is obviously inconsolable and although i ring her and see her as much as possible I am finding it hard to say the right things. I wanted to know if there is anything that she would definately not want to hear or would. Sometimes i think its easier for her if i sit and hold her while she cries. Her husband isn't coping very well and therefore is unable to give her the support she really needs. Please help me!
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Postby Lorraine » Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:46 pm

What a lovely caring sister you are Kate, your sister is a lucky girl to have you beside her at such a difficult time.

There is no need to tie yourself up in such knots worrying about what to say next - sitting, LISTENING and holding her hand is the greatest gift you can give her right now.

I have never experienced a miscarriage, but I know each time after a failed IVF I have been left bereft - even though I have never even actually been pregnant - I have experienced a very real grief and loss. For your sister this must be even more magnified - I am so very very sorry to hear of her loss and sadness.

It is just so important that you give her the time and opportunity to pour out her feelings of grief and sadness. Encourage her to be gentle with herself, and take her time.

Because it is sometimes very painful to be in close proximity to another persons grief it is natural to try and pacify them, or encourage them to move on/think of the future/try again - but I think this is the only thing you should avoid. As someone who has felt a degree of this loss it is so important to you, that others feel the same pain and understand why you feel this depth of despair. I know nothing was more comforting to me than knowing my loved ones cared as much as I did that I had lost 'somebody' - it made my grief seem more real and legitimate.

At times such as these, Husbands are often neglected, and it would be so helpful if you could offer him the same chance to talk too - encourage them to be open and honest with each other about their feelings - as it will help them to deal with their loss and facing the future together without their beloved baby.

I know some of the other girls who have experienced a miscarriage will probably reply and help prepare you for the time ahead.

I wish you and your sister peace, strength and happiness.
With Best Wishes
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Postby Amanda A » Mon Jan 12, 2004 5:49 pm

Dear Kate,
I miscarried at 10 weeks between Christmas & New Year and also earlier this year in July.

I think that your sister is probably feeling complete despair at this moment in time. She is also probably in shock that having had such a hard time to get pregnant, she now has the double blow of losing her baby.

If she is like me, she will feel that all her hopes and dreams for her and her husbands future have been taken away and that life is completely unfair. Things will be looking very black.

I have a sister who I am very close to and she is calling me a lot at the moment to check up on both myself and my husband. Just knowing that she is there is a big help and because we are so close, she is extremely upset too.

I think the main thing that you can do is not to say anything which seems to dismiss the pain that she is feeling or anything that suggests that because the miscarriage was relatively early (i.e. in the first 12 wks) that her baby wasn't really a baby (because of course it was to her).

I am sure that you would be very sensitive anyway, you must be to have posted this message. Be aware however that anger is an after effect of miscarriage and sometimes this can be directed at those closest to us and that might be you at some point but she won't really mean it!

When I had my first miscarriage, my husband and I found that it put an awful strain on our relationship. We were both grieving and this made it almost impossible for us to comfort each other. This time, we have decided to see a counsellor and hopefully this may help us. However, I think it is only natural to take your frustration out on each other sometimes and you can feel very isolated fro each other.

She may find it useful to read about others experiences on this board or on a miscarriage website.

Love RachX
Amanda A
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Postby fiona_lk » Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:50 am

Dear Kate,

As Lorraine has said, what a very kind jesture to want to find out more to help your sister through this difficult time.

My personal feeling would be to contact your local Early Pregnancy Unit. They have details of support which can be obtained for those having suffered a miscarriage. Even if your sister feels unable to face the world - and this can take some time (I took at least 4 weeks after my ectopic before feeling even remotely ready) - I'm sure you would be able to get pointers for yourself.

Although as her sister you are close enough to be able to give some very good support, I think you need to talk to your BIL. Even if he isn't coping well, he needs to be your sisters main supporter since it is very easy in these circumstances to mis-interpret non-support for non-caring. If you can make him see (in a nice a way as possible) there is a chance of loosing his wife if he doesn't grieve with her, it may also bring your sister out slightly if she understands his pain too (easier to be a supporter than be supported ones-self).

Also, is there anything you can do to perhaps commemorate your little neice/nephews being - one girl on here planted a tree in honour, another I know has a website http://www.geocities.com/ourangel_baby/ where you can join her virtual candle. Maybe something you can gently discuss with your sister which suits her - best not to organise this yourself but together since it will help your sister to hopefully move to a different state of grief.

Your sisters little baby will never be forgotten and has a special place in your hearts and with the angels and I'm sure all of us would wish that they get a little sister or brother to watch over. Even those of us with major fertility problems eventually see (although this can take months) the advantage of having been pregnant - not all hope is lost. There must have been some reason unknown to us, why they did not make it.

I wish you all the best for you and your sister and hope that you can find the answers you need to turn the corner to a better place.

Lots of love

Fiona xxxx
Me:36 Dh:46, ttc 5+yrs, M/F (96% abnormal).
13 unsuccessful Txs From 2000 [4xClomid (NHS), 7xIUI(d)s & ICSI#1 (MFS), ICSI#2 (MFS) Oct 02 (ectopic)] Natural pg Jan 03 m/c 5.5wks
ICSI#3 (CARE) +ve boy (Xander) EDD 21/03/04 - so excited!!!!!!
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Location: M/cr, UK

Postby Loonpants » Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:59 pm


Having had a miscarriage at 14 weeks last year I can honestly say that you are doing the best you can by being there for your sister when she needs to talk cry etc. The worst thing for me was when people avoided me as if nothing had ever happened.

If you would like a bit more advice as to what to say or do or find some support for your sister the Miscarriage Association website is really good and offers advice to relatives, the couple themselves etc.

I was lucky to have the support of my husband but it is a very difficult time and the man is not to be forgotten as women find it easy to think it has only happened to them and at least we find ways to express our feelings whereas men tend to bottle it up and withdraw.

Keep being the wonderful sister that you are, you can only do as much as you are doing and unfortunately you can't take away the pain but you can ease it with your support.

Wishing you all the best.

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Postby Zed2003 » Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:38 pm

Hi Kate,

What a caring sister you are and your sister is lucky to have you. It is so difficult to give anyone advice as only you know your sister. I think the best thing is to let your sister know you are there if she needs you and that's it. I too lost a baby at 8/9 weeks and the feeling of despair is incredible. I can honestly say though that me and dh withdrew from all who were close to us for a while and we greived on our own first. I especially wanted no-one (and I am very close to my sister and mum), but always knew that they were there when I was ready.

As someone has already said, anger can be vented readily, so be prepared for this. I was gutted when my sister got pregnant 4 months later - very early on in the relationship. Time is a healer though, and I think you just need to follow her lead - at least for now.

Just let your BIL also know you are there - all too easily are the men expected to cope and can be forgotten. I know how devastated my dh was but we were lucky to be open and grieve together - it was especially difficult for him as I had a missed m/c so he watched me go through the D & C as well which made him feel helpless I think. Is he close to anyone he can talk to?

Anyway, I wish you and your sister all the very best
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Postby kate_03 » Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:48 pm

Thank you for all you replys and words of encouragement. You really are uinbelieveably strong woman and I have so much respect for you. My sister is still finding it hard but is slowly opening up more to me. I just feel she needs to talk to someone who knows more about the situation but at the minute she refuses to talk to anyone but me and I don't want to push the subject.
I can't see her as much as i want to (due to school, i'm 17) and as we are not close to our mother I find it hard to cope. If there are any other numbers or website address I could give her, just so she has something when i'm not there, I would be very greatful.
Thank you so much for your help so far
Kate xx
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