Hello! Advice sought: How to persuade DH about DE?
February 21 2012 at 12:12 PM
HappyBean (no login)
Hi gang. I've been lurking for some time, and I'm so happy to see what a supportive network you've built! It's heartwarming.
Due to my age, and one OE IVF that resulted in BFN, I'm ready to look into DE IVF. DH is opposed, though, saying it puts us at an unfair biological advantage--that is, the kid would be "his" (biologically), but not "mine." Also, it freaks him out to conceive with another woman's eggs--to him, it's conceiving with another woman.
I see where he's coming from, and I used to say all those things, too, but as OE seems increasingly impossible and I become aware of how unlikely it is that I'll be able to adopt without tremendous time, effort, and expense, these concerns we used to share now don't phase me, frankly. I just want to get the show on the road and be a mom.
I don't want to hassle the poor guy. He's really been through a lot on this TTC journey, as have I, and I would be loathe to do anything that looks like I'm trying to steamroll him. We need to be in this together!
But the heartache of IF is leading me into a pretty dark place, and I don't know if I can face life without children. I know you all know what I mean. So I'm trying to figure out how to approach this conversation in a way that will be productive.
I'm not sure you can, but time might (success ment)
February 21 2012, 12:33 PM
Hello and welcome! I know it's frustrating when you're not on the same page with your spouse on these already stressful matters of ttc. I'm not sure there's anything you can do to persuade him, but over time he may change his mind. When my DH and I began treatment for IF, we were both adamant that we would not use donor eggs or sperm, reasoning at the time that such a child would be "half-adopted" anyway and that if we were to do that, we might as well adopt. After 6 failed IUI's, I was 43 and we were debating whether to go ahead with OE IVF despite the wretched statistics. We also realized that adoption was not going to be easy either, especially since we really wanted an infant. It was my DH who asked if I'd like to reconsider about DE, and it felt as though a door was opening. We now have a beautiful baby boy. My point is that our feelings about what we will and won't consider can be fluid. If you're able to give him some time (and I realize it's hard), he may come around. I wish you all the best.
I'm doing my first DE cycle this month - luckily, my husband came around pretty quickly (faster than me!). My physician put it like this - there's no genetic link, but because you carry the pregnancy you do have a biological link and I think the fact that I won't share genes with my baby is partially balanced by the fact that I'll be able to complete a pregnancy and that will create an extra bond.
I hope your husband can come around - you definitely can't proceed with him thinking of the baby as "his" and "not yours" (if those are his thoughts on DE, what about adoption, where neither of you have a genetic link?) - Our clinic required a couples counseling session with an infertility specialist - maybe someone with some professional experience could help him better understand that using DE isn't conceiving with another woman....?
Sounds like you have a great outlook - in it together - good luck! If it makes you feel better, DE isn't a walk in the park - just like adoption, there's tremendous time, effort, and expense as well...
It is such a magical, wonderful path to motherhood. I marvel that my children waited for me to be their mommy for so long (over 13 years in my case). It can be challenging to find embryos but I was lucky and only waited 4 months to get to the top of the list at a clinic in NM and loved one of the profiles. Anyway, it is something to consider.
I'm thrilled that you had such a short wait for your embies. Thanks for replying and bless you for your perseverance. We'll see what DH says about DEmbies. At this point, I'll be happy with any donor DNA.
I think men are on average, about 2 years behind us. And they are the opposite of those of us who are planning our next steps way in advance -- they can only take one thing at a time.
My dh was "open" but not really open to ivf, then de, etc. He has changed, on his own, but he still struggles. I think when we found our current donor (who we are hoping to cycle with in March), it really helped. Also, not having kids (which we both really want) really made the process our only choice. Adoption is really quite hard now.
I don't think you can talk anyone into it, but you can make sure they have good information (IF therapist, meeting with RE) and gently keep the option on the table.
Also, you could share information about epigenetics with him -- how the embryo is impacted in the womb, and changed by the carrying mother's body. The baby would have some of your genetic influence, like a recipe is different in every cook's hands. But you also literally have a genetic influence on the embryo you carry.
It's hard, as years go by and we feel we need to move forward, but maybe try to be patient and talk about it with as little agenda as possible so he can work out his fears. And yes, donated embryos are also a great option!
We moved on to DE after 6 failed OE IVF (unexplained infertility, low FSH, great embryos, I was in my early 30s). DH would not consider DE at all, thought it was strange - we had every arguement imaginable about it. I finally just gave up, and stopped mentioning it to him (he is also the most stubborn person that I know). He was very open to adoption, so I pursued that - did our homestudy, etc.... Six months later, out of the blue, he said he was ready. I didn't even know what he was talking about. We now have DE son and another on the way. I have no idea how the mind of a DH works, but I never thought mine would get there. I wish you all the luck in the world convincing your DH, I know how hard it is. And I really never thought mine would come around. Good luck!!
DH has really come a long way since we started this TTC journey--from utterly reluctant to fully invested. If I can just get over this one last hurdle, we can move forward. He is a little in the dark about how hard adoption is, and once he fully grasps that, he may come around just like your guy.
You're probably right about adopting, but if he's open to that and not DE, start the process. Once he gets an eyeball of how difficult and expensive it's likely to be, his mind may change pretty quickly. I'm taking it you're open to adoption, so as the aikido masters say, "Let your opponent go where he wants to go." Take care, Maggie (in VA)
First off, I'm likely to read any post that starts with "This may be evil...." A gal after my own heart. Yes, I know how sickeningly hard adoption is--my friend paid 150,000 for a private adoption a couple years ago. I think once DH really gets it that I am not likely to ever, ever be able to have a baby biologically, he may snap to.
And perhaps if I turn over the task of adoption research to him completely, he'll come around even faster.
My DH was also slow to come around. Unfortunately his delays cost me the ability to carry the baby myself as we had a few OE miscarriages that led to ruining my uterus. Where at first he was uncomfortable with conceiving with another woman (he said the same thing your DH said), in the end he had to make peace with also using a gestational surrogate. It took a few years to get him there, but eventually he saw the writing on the wall. Even though we both wish we never had to go through all the trials, we are very happy with our boys.
Someone a while back pointed out that in DE, the husband and wife are actually more equal, because she gets one thing (gestation) and he gets one thing (genetics). Whereas in regular conception, the woman gets both genetics and gestation while the man only gets the one thing, genetics. You might present it to him that way and see if it changes his perspective a bit.
Be patient even though I know it's easier said than done. He sounds like he really loves you so much, that he would rather forego his own genetic children than have children that are not genetically yours. That's really sweet and touching. I think once he is convinced that you are at peace with it, he may start to allow himself to consider it too.
Thanks so much for this: Be patient even though I know it's easier said than done. He sounds like he really loves you so much, that he would rather forego his own genetic children than have children that are not genetically yours. That's really sweet and touching. I think once he is convinced that you are at peace with it, he may start to allow himself to consider it too.
Sometimes I just feel so completely alone and despairing in this. It is good to be reminded that obviously he loves me. I just know it's harder on me than him because he already has children from a prior relationship.
In our case, we didn't have the option to try an OE IVF, so it was either DE or adoption. Neither of us is opposed to adoption, but after explaining to my DH just how much I wanted the opportunity to carry the child, he came around rather quickly... I think he just had let it sink in a bit, but once he saw that I was completely ok with not contributing to the genetics, he was too.
I completely and totally agree that any child conceived through DE will be 100% yours - if you provide that gestational home and you get the joy of nursing that baby, than you have a fairly large impact on that child's biology. It may not be yours genetically, but I argue that the biological link is just as strong!
"after explaining to my DH just how much I wanted the opportunity to carry the child, he came around rather quickly... I think he just had let it sink in a bit, but once he saw that I was completely ok with not contributing to the genetics, he was too."
I may find some success by expressing this exact same thing. Right now, he's thinking that his 44 year-old wife is going to beat the odds. I've been hanging around these boards long enough to know better, so I need to work gently and steadily toward an alternate route.
this doesn't answer your question directly... (everything ment)
February 21 2012, 5:54 PM
...but perhaps you can direct him to my link of my latest joy. in particular the paragraph about my journey. i think we've all gone through the fears you describe and get to the other side with nothing but gratitude and LOVE.
numberous times but my situation is different than yours. Actually it is different than most women on our yellow and pink board b/c we had OE children before we moved forward using DE's...and not just one or two but 5 of our own kids. Our last was born when I was 43 and DH was 44.
Our family was complete after our 5th arrived but even though it had taken a long time to conceive her and we had had a loss along the way, I surprisingly got pg again at almost 45. Sadly we lost that pgcy at 8 wks.
It was after than m/c that I started down quite a spiritual path ttc...not religious but one that I was listening to my soul. I really felt like there was a strong desire that someone was still missing.
Bringing babies into the world to me is not just a biological event...I mean once you hold your newborn baby, full of it's own spirit, you really start to wonder...where in the heck do these soulbabies come from any way.
Since I had been able to get pg on my own in my 40's and my hormones were all in very fertile levels we decided to ttc on our own...but moving forward having more children was always a roadblock with my DH...after our first 2 and he was done so I had to convince him each time that there was still one more to come...most of our discussions continued for MONTHS before he would agree to move forward with me. TTc our last babies was no exception.
I think one of the reasons he agreed to it was that he too had experienced a bit of the magic when our last DD was born....it had been such a long journey to her and he never really thought we would get pg again...when she came it was to us like a miracle...and she was such a lovely baby and child...and so he agreed.
After ttc several years though and after some early chemical m/c's I wasn't able to get pg on my own and keep the pgcy going. Shortly after my last chemcial m/c when I was 47, I just put it out into the universe during one of my mediattions...that I was wanting to either close the door or have an insight on what path to take. During this time we were looking into adoption..and even fostering. Being older though really meant that adoption was out...even foreign adoption....and a social worker had suggested that we not consider fostering since we already had a houseful and foster babies (often born to drug dependent moms) need intense care.
While I was letting go of the idea of having any more children...I met a few women on line who were either on the DE route, or pg with De babies. They inspired me...and then I met a woman in Rl who was taking this path. She too was older but she had been married later in life and they were starting their family using DE's. I shared all this with my DH...the whole process of this new idea took several months. First I told him about meeting these women, then I told him about some who were having babies...I showed him pictures of their babes and cautiously I presented the idea to him.
At first he was against it b/c he felt that our oe children may not accept a new sibling born using this biological path. I convinced him though that if I had done a good job of raising them, this wouldn't come up. By this time in my journey...after doing several years of yoga, doing meditation, going on a meditation and yoga retreat, doing acupuncture to balance my body...I had come to the realization that we are all connected on this planet. Yes we may come to earth using different genetic means but we are all spirits first, living a earthly existence. I know some people may not embrace this but it really resonated with my soul.
Also, all along I was getting these whispers from my soul....a little voice saying, "I'm here and waiting patiently"...I had had a few dreams of my babies....one had occured before our last oe baby arrived and when our baby girl arrived she looked exactly like the baby from my dreams. So it was all a bit surreal...very soulful. When I asked DH if he loved me...and if he trusted me...and he agreed that he did...I then said that he had to trust that this next baby was meant to come through but it would be in a way that we hadn't expected, or ever dreamed of. The lessons I learned along the path, and the ones that my DH was able to appreciate as well is that we have to listen to our hearts, follow our intution when making these kinds of decisions and then just let go and trust.
Once we both decided to move forward everything happened really fast. Espcially since I live in Canada where you have to find your own donor...there aren't agencies, or donor pools at fertility clinics...you have to do the footwork yourself. After I put our ad on this infertility web site we quickly were contacted by many women...but amongst them was our perfect donor. She held the same life philosophy I had and she believed that between the 3 of us we were meant to bring this special little soulbaby to being.
This is a long post but I just wanted to encourage you to take some time and go for some walks in nature, do some meditation, practise some yoga, get in touch with your breathing, your spirit, your intuition, your heart...ask for guidance on how to approach your DH...when you bring your highest self to the table then all manner of help and guidance will come your way and miracles literally happen.
Our family is complete now. Four years ago when we started working with our donor, I NEVER in my wildest dreams would think that we would have been blessed with not one baby but three. When I look at our little guy, now 2 and our twin baby girls 9 months I know they were waiting patiently...allowing us to realize that this is just a biological way to bring them onto the earth...they were meant to come through but had to wait until we could move all the fears and earthly reservations about what others would think aside.
And yeah, before I close I have to say...after our donor gave us beautiful eggs and my DH offered his contribution...I was a bit sad that night as we waiting to see what was going to fertilize. We were on vacation near our fertility clinic...near the ocean. That night we sat on the beach with our family and were roasting hot dogs, eating marshmellows and my donor's eggs and my DH's sperm were mingling...a really weird feeling...but then we watched this amazing July full moon come over the horizon and glow above us..it was like a sign that magic was happening. Our moonbeam baby was conceived....and his sisters as well.
I hope your DH is able to get over his reservations..often it is just the fear of everything that gets in the way....tell him to let go and trust...it's really a good mantra in life and when we do that our life really takes off.
It's an honor to hear from you, Hope. I follow your posts on the boards with great enthusiasm, and we share a love of the "woo woo," (or "the woo" as it's shortened to more and more these days) It's very nice to find a kindred spirit.
I had a turbulent upbringing and young adulthood, and it took me until way into my late reproductive years--and 8 years into my marriage--to finally get to a place where I believed I'd be a competent, lovable mother. Of course, that puts the longings of my heart right up against the hard realities of my biology!
That spiritual call toward motherhood, once ignited, no matter your age, is impossible to refute. I tried to hope, pray, meditate, and therapy it away. Not going to happen. DH, with his own kids almost grown, was initially opposed to parenting "all over again." But now, many, many, many months of tears and discussion later, he's game for it. Excited, even. But I have to be realistic about my body's ability to cooperate.
I'm going to do as you suggest, and just try to get things aligned with this baby-to-be. Prayer and meditation and, frankly, miracles, have brought me and my husband into agreement, and many other aspects into a harmonious place (money, housing, husband's health, etc), so I'm going to do my best to operate on the principles of faith: If it's meant to be, it will come to be. The means of such are a mere technicality.
Not that it's that simple--there's a lot more discussion to have, finding a donor, keeping up with my own health, finding a good RE, etc. And, because I am who I am, managing the grief over statistics as it fences with the lingering hope that my body may cough up one good egg and we get lucky the old-fashioned way.
Thanks for taking the time to reply to me. It means more than you know. Hugs, HB
Sorry to barge in here, but Hope, I just had to say that your story is incredibly beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing it.
My favorite words of wisdom are these:
"I just wanted to encourage you to take some time and go for some walks in nature, do some meditation, practise some yoga, get in touch with your breathing, your spirit, your intuition, your heart.."
How easy it is to forget this, especially during all the insanity of IF and IVF. I sometimes feel as if I've completely abandoned all the things that have kept me grounded throughout my adult life (like yoga), and now, more than ever, I desperately need to find them again... Thank you for the reminder.
I'm glad my words resonated with your souls. I'm glad to hear that you are both realizing this is a spiritual path. We all learn our life lessons in different ways and although having IF is an incredibly dark path at times, it is also an amazing way to build our trust in this earthly existence. 'FAITH grows in the dark' is one of my mantras lately.
Believe and let go that it is just a matter of time before your soulbaby comes to you...in the meantime enjoy the journey and all the lessons that will be taught...as you said Happy Bean...these lessons are shaping you to be the mom that your child will need of you.
I read your post above Happybean...I'm glad you find this board a good place...it reminds we that we may have different stories but our spirits are one.
P.S....I really like your board name Happy Bean...hold that vision...my little guy Will is the happiest child. Before he was born I had a psychic healer tell me that there was this joyfilled spirit nearby. This little guy came into the world smiling (well no he was actually crying but not for long...he arrived looking exactly like the happy Buddha) so keep holding the vision of your little person. This is a good way to connect to him/her.
And Leigh...other than sun saluations...my fav pose is the happy baby pose...it feels so good and right now my little twins LOVE this pose the most too...they are close to crawling. Nothing connects to the breath of our spirit like practising yoga...enjoy...allowing miracles to happen.
Hope, glad I'm not the only one who consults with psychics and healers. Going to have a visit with mine on Friday...curious to see what she says. So far, her guidance along this path has been spot-on. Not random anyone-could-guess-it stuff, but eerily specific.
So we'll see! Visualizing a happy bean (or two) in the meantime.