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DS & DIL struggling with IVF

(62 Posts)
twiglet77 Mon 03-Aug-20 23:40:29

This may not be the best place, I don't know where else to ask.

My son has lived in China for several years, happily married to a wonderful Chinese woman. Both early 30s. Like most people, they assumed they could start a family when they chose. They've just had their 5th round of IVF without success.

They switched to a different clinic last year, DIL had surgery (something causing fluid to build up and prevent the implanted embryo from sticking). They really thought there would be success this time. They're so sad, angry, desperate. I don't know what to say, or perhaps more important, what not to say, given the difficulty of emotional conversations over the phone or Facetime. DIL doesn't speak English so DS has to translate everything.

My DD is a little older and has a child, DIL's brother is older and has one. I don't know anyone else who has gone through IVF, or struggled with infertility.

Has anyone been through this? It's costing them a fortune. Coming here to try a British clinic is hardly possible as DS can't take blocks of time off work and DIL can't manage here without him to translate for her. I only wish I could wave a magic wand to make it work.

Esspee Tue 04-Aug-20 07:24:42

It must be hard on them but I find it difficult to understand the obsession that drives people to try so many interventions.
Being child free opens wonderful possibilities for a full and exciting life together for a couple.
As a concerned parent twiglet77 you are in a difficult position. Best to say nothing.

GagaJo Tue 04-Aug-20 08:48:21

Even more difficult in China were early marriage and babies will make them stand out as childless even more. Family is so revered there, they must feel like outcasts.

Will they consider adoption, if they can't have a baby of their own?

Iam64 Tue 04-Aug-20 08:54:05

I don't mean to sound cold because I do understand the desire the need to have children. Five rounds of IVF sounds enough to me. We shouldn't forget IVF takes a toll on both parents, isn't risk free for mother or if a baby arrives, for the child.
The same goes for adoption.
Sometimes, making the decision to accept what life has given us, however hard that is and however unfair it feels, is the least worse decision we can make.
I hope this doesn't sound cold and heartless because that is not my intention .

Beechnut Tue 04-Aug-20 08:57:30

I have been that person with obsession and looking back it is something that we had to work through. Just as we started to come out the other side to get on with the life we had and to make I found myself pregnant.

sodapop Tue 04-Aug-20 09:08:48

I have to agree with Iam64 about IVF. Are there cultural reasons why adoption is not possible twiglet77.
I know its difficult when one has children to understand the desperation of childless couples. I have seen before that this completely takes over their lives at great cost both emotionally and financially.
As an adopted child I have of course fairly strong views but I understand this route is not for everyone.
I would be encouraging your son and daughter in law to have a break twiglet and take stock of their life and future.

Marydoll Tue 04-Aug-20 09:10:00

We have been in that position with my DS and DIL. It was a horrendous time and DIL had a nervous breakdown because of it all.
It had a terrible impact on both their emotional health and after years later it is still affecting them. DIL nearly lost her life having my wee granddaughter.
You have to keep your own counsel and just be there to support them. It is very hard to watch them suffering, but only they can make the decision to stop trying.

Pippa22 Tue 04-Aug-20 09:38:03

Adoption isn’t an easy option. There are lengthy vetting processes, children can be emotionally damaged and not easily fit into family life particularly if they have been shunted around foster families previously. A close young friend recently after a long process adopted a apparently lovely little girl who after two years had to be returned with much sadness by my friend and her husband. The poor little thing had had such an appalling very early life and was so damaged that she will never be able to join a family but will need to be in care with intensive therapeutic help. Really sad and broke the lovely young couple who just wanted a child to love and care for.

GrammaH Tue 04-Aug-20 09:38:15

Our DD & SIL went through 3 rounds of IVF. DD isn't a great communicator at the best of times, they lived a long drive from us so most of the info I had about the process came from a young friend of mine who'd been through it herself,or from SIL. It was a harrowing time for both of them, not only mentally but physically & the desperate disappointment after each failed attempt was so painful for them & also for us. 3 times was enough and they gave up and, as we thought, settled into a childless marriage...only they didn't, they split up and I'm sure the failed IVF was a root cause. I'm amazed Twiglet's son & DIL have managed 5 rounds, they must be at their wits' end & I can't imagine the toll on DIL's body. It's hard to stand by & not interfere but I'm sure you must be feeling, as we did, that enough is enough & if it hasn't happened by now, it's almost certainly not going to. I too wanted to wave that magic wand. I feel very sorry for you, it's not a good place to be in.

marionk Tue 04-Aug-20 09:40:31

My DD and SIL went through this in Australia, it’s so difficult to find something supportive and encouraging to say over the phone/Skype each time it fails. Watching the heartbreak and not being able to give them a hug was awful. Eventually they decided to try a different clinic with a slightly different approach and now we have 2 beautiful DGDs. Maybe they could try changing clinics, I know it’s quite easy to do in Australia but don’t know about China

kwest Tue 04-Aug-20 09:40:54

My daughter went through IVF. The consultant suggested that there had been some research to show that consuming several egg whites each day, I think it was about 7, helped the embryo to 'stick'. It was her second round of IVF, she took the egg whites every day for as long as was recommended, sick of meringues and egg-white omellettes (can't spell) she eventually downed them raw mixed into orange juice. She has beautiful boy and girl twins now 13 years old. No idea if the egg whites helped but might be worth a try.

GrannyLaine Tue 04-Aug-20 09:41:48

twiglet77 my heart goes out to you and to your DS and DIL. I am going through a similar situation with my youngest DD who is starting out on this treacherous journey. My heart just breaks for her, but all we can do is listen carefully, accept their valid feelings and simply be there for them emotionally. To try to convince them of "wonderful child free possibilities" will fall on deaf ears, I can guarantee

maddyone Tue 04-Aug-20 09:46:08

We’ve been in that position too. My daughter and her husband had IVF to eventually have their wonderful little family. Like Marydoll my daughter suffered very badly mentally from the awful stress of it all, and also eventually had a breakdown, something I don’t normally say on the public forum, although have said in PMs to individual posters. We eventually went to ARGC in London, which diagnosed the problem and was able to give them the family they so desperately wanted. It is not an easy route and is horrendously expensive.
My son adopted a child. A completely different route to make the family they wanted.
Both routes are difficult, long, and stressful, but eventually the family they so want is formed.
Good luck to your son and daughter in law.

jaylucy Tue 04-Aug-20 09:47:55

Having seen a friend go through just 2 cycles of IVF, I can say that the whole thing is possibly one of the most gruelling treatments anyone can go through, possibly next to chemo therapy.
The constant testing, scans, hormone injections every day, along with surgery means that your whole life just revolves around it.
As someone that lost 2 babies due to stillbirth and miscarriage before my 3rd time lucky son, I can honestly say that it almost becomes a compulsion to carry on the same route, to prove that you can be the same as others and to have a child.
The only problem is that you almost become so obsessed with having a child, that the whole reason of you being a couple and your marriage can get forgotten. I was told by my GP that something in the region of two thirds of marriages break down when there are obstetric or fertility problems.(As did my marriage and my friend's). Because of that, I would suggest that you suggest to your DS gently, that they have a break from the system for a bit, to allow them both time to recover their relationship.
I have lost count of the couples that decided to step off the roundabout that fell pregnant naturally ( 1 couple had adopted, several others were going through the process of adoption and one couple even took off on a round world trip!) So there may still be hope.

polnan Tue 04-Aug-20 09:55:39

my dil and ds had one IVF treatment, lost just before the 3 months,, decided not worth the pain and real physical pain to try anymore..
comes the time, when we have to make a decision

no, accept some of us have to be childless. or adopt?

SylviaPlathssister Tue 04-Aug-20 10:00:26

My DD and her husband went through this gruelling process and it nearly finished them off mentally. They went to a clinic in Greece which has a phenomenal success rate. My DD is a doctor so presumably had researched it to the nth degree. I gave them the money for one round in the UK.
They now have a boy and girl. They had counselling which she says helpEd them survive.
They didn’t tell what was going on, initially but as soon as they did, we started to be anxious for them, which does noone any good. Just keep your fingers crossed and be supportive, that’s all you can do really.

ReadyMeals Tue 04-Aug-20 10:02:20

So the conception occurs but the embryos fail after the implantation? If they're spending so much on IVF anyway, maybe they could consider a surrogacy?

Disgruntled Tue 04-Aug-20 10:11:43

Twiglet I'm so sorry, and it must be very difficult for you, too, hearing about all this and not being able to help. I have heard that Reiki, Reflexology and Acupuncture can work. Far less invasive - more about balancing the body. Good luck.

icanhandthemback Tue 04-Aug-20 10:20:18

I had my last child through IVF (ICSI) and it was emotionally draining. My brain went to mush and my husband had to pay twice for the car to be drained down and cleaned after I put petrol in instead of diesel! However, the worst bit was the first pregnancy (after the first round) had to be terminated when the baby was found to have a life limiting congenital condition. I was over 20 weeks through mistakes made by the hospital, my uterus ruptured because I had placenta acreta and I nearly didn't make it after losing huge amounts of blood. The trauma of that on top of the IVF was crippling and I didn't think I would ever smile again.

It was a big decision whether to carry on trying for another baby but I was absolutely desperate despite the risk I was taking because placenta acreta is a high risk with a scarred uterus. We got pregnant on the 3rd round and the pregnancy was a huge worry. The night before the CS I was panic stricken at the chance I had taken which would possibly leave my other 2 kids as orphans. However, everything went swimmingly, I had my son who is now 19, who is a complete joy and has made me smile more than I could ever have believed. I would have happily tried again with the remaining embryo's but my husband said a very definite no! To be honest, when I had a radical hysterectomy it was a relief to know I didn't ever have to think about a faint chance of being pregnant ever again.

I don't know whether your DIL should accept her fate. I know I would have resented it big time if I was forced into giving up. It is only a decision that both parties can make and their wishes respected.

harrigran Tue 04-Aug-20 10:24:36

I am sorry that you feel frustrated at being unable to help.
I am not in favour of IVF and feel that it does take a great toll on a woman's body.
I know of two ladies who suffered from hyperstimulation with the hormones they had to inject and both went on to develop ovarian cancer, extreme scenario but it does happen.

RosesAreRed21 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:31:11

I feel for you so much as I had to watch my DD go through IVF and until you see someone go through it and for it not to work you just don’t understand the heartbreak it brings - just be there for them both when they need you

CrazyGrandma2 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:40:00

IVF is a roller coaster of a ride without any total assurances that it will work. Our latest GS is an IVF baby. They were fortunate that it worked first time as my DIL can't conceive naturally. That in itself is another heartbreaking story.

All you can do is be there for them in whatever way they need you.

It wasn't until our kids started their own families that I realised how exceptionally fortunate we had been to have ours so easily.

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 04-Aug-20 10:45:01

It so depends on what is preventing her from getting Cyprus, basically because a clinic there had a good reputation - and it worked!! DD was 43, cancer treatment had caused her fertility problems. That is why I shall be looking after a 4 year old GD this pm!!

GranJill Tue 04-Aug-20 10:54:48

My daughter (at 40 now) and S-i-L are struggling with this. The problem was his, each time my daughter gets pregnant and then miscarries, now they have found she does not have enough Natural Killer cells. The treatment for this is experimental as they know more about having too many Natural killer cells. She was due to start the treatment as Lockdown came. I find that I do not mention it at all. She will tell me what she wants and when she is ready. I have assured her that I am here whenever she wants but do not want to add to her burden by keep bringing it up.

Her twin brother has 3 daughters,

Jillybird Tue 04-Aug-20 11:01:01

My son and DIL had a lovely daughter (now 15) perfectly naturally and then went for IVF. (Don't ask - I didn't). They had twins. A girl, perfectly fine, a boy with severe Down syndrome and autism. Son and DiL furious with clinic as had asked for only one egg, not two. Clinic swears they followed instruction and second 'twin' must be natural... who knows the truth and which baby is which. Although we all love our disabled baby,(now aged 12) he will be a lifetime of work for the parents. He will never be able to live alone, his communication is poor. The autism causes violent tantrums which are hard to pacify. I have no idea if our situation is a freak occurrence or replicated elsewhere. I just think;
leave well alone.
Partner's son has fathered one baby and now in 2nd relationship sought IVF. They paid for one round, partner paid for 2nd. No luck. I think you have to know when to stop.
Sad, but lots of others through the ages have had no choice... Maybe it's for the best...