Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What does a mother go through when her daughter is infertile ?

This is a guest blog entry from the mother of one my patients. It offers great insight into the impact of infertility on other family members !

Q 1 What do you feel when you see your daughter go through IVF ?

A There are mixed feelings – of high hopes as well as anxiety. On a positive note, I feel good that with the advances in medicine today we have expert guidance in Infertility Treatment which was not available to the previous generation. So, a ray of hope crosses my heart that there is still a chance for my daughter to conceive and achieve her dream.

Anxiety, that my daughter has to take so many injections and medicines. I can see her emotional strains when two IUI cycles failed after all the efforts put in not to mention the financial loss incurred due to her taking leave without pay from her current company to attempt IVF as also the risk that she may not get her job back.

However, the biggest risk – “What if too much of these injections and medicines end up in pregnancy, but with a child suffering from Down’s Syndrome? Better not to have a child than give birth to one who will face difficulties for life.

Q 2 How does your daughter cope? How does she feel about it?

A I can see my daughter struggling to cope with difficulties and there are quite a few – the main being to reduce her weight.

I admire her commitment to have gone through it all. She could have chosen the easy way out and said ‘No’ to Infertility Treatment. After all, she has crossed 40 yrs. and she knows her chances are low. She has sacrificed her job, left her home in Pune to be under Dr. Malpani’s excellent care in Mumbai.
As a mother, I’ve encouraged her to do her Best and leave unto God the Rest.

It is said that some of our principal regrets in life are the opportunities we passed up and the chances we didn’t take.

Q 3 How do I feel about one child having children, one not?

A Each person has his own Destiny – Karma. My daughter got married at 41 yrs, while my son was quite young when he married , so by God’s grace he did not have difficulty vis-à-vis “infertility factor”.

According to me, the be all and end all of marriage is not just re-production. Sure, grand children are a source of delight and posterity is ensured.
However, I’d rather apply the analogy to marriage that “Oftentimes two people working together find easy that which seems un-surmountable to one alone.”


  1. Anonymous2:11 AM

    Dear Dr,

    This is a wonderful post. Is there any aspect of infertility you have left untouched? :) I just leave my insecurities and worries to my mom. I took her with me during my last IVF cycle just to show and make her understand the science behind IVF (and also with the thought that she can at least see our offspring as embryos :(, :D). She is a brave woman. When I lost my dad she is the person who stayed strong enough and let us be what we are today. But she never could tolerate if her children faced problems. She is my sole source of unconditional love. She is the best moral support I have. When I am literally shouting and blabbering after my egg collection due to anesthesia she started to cry. She felt really bad that I am undergoing such emotional pain and physical discomfort. I realized that I have done a mistake by bringing her with me. I tried to console her by saying amma, it's nothing, I just enjoy going under anesthesia (I really do! nothing is as wonderful as that :D), and it is not painful at all. She looked at me and said ‘all your suffering is because of me’. I was confused. She said when she was in her 30s, she aborted a baby, formed due to contraception failure. She now carries a guilty feeling that because of her I am suffering from infertility. I realized not only me but my mom is also going through a surge of irrational emotions. I did console her. Nowadays I avoid telling her my stupid feelings (sometimes they are really stupid but bad enough to cause my mom lots of pain!). Infertility is hard not only on the persons concerned but also for their parents especially for a mom. I am sure she is happy when my sister had her babies. But for me it is unbearable when I first heard my sister is pregnant. I swear I am not jealous. I love her a lot. But when your misfortune stands in front of your eyes and when you cannot be happy wholeheartedly that your sister is pregnant….I can’t explain my feelings but my mom understood it. When I cried (stupid, selfish me!) she cried with me too. She gave me her total support. I owe my sanity to her :) I am sure more than me she will be happy the day I have my baby. Sharing all these with you through your blog helps me in letting out my bottled up emotions and thoughts. Thank you:) Have a beautiful day!

  2. Dear Commenter,

    You are obviously a very thoughtful person ! I do wish you'd keep a blog - this will help you let out your bottled emotions in a constructive fashion. Keeping a journal has been proven to help patients cope better - and helping others is the best way of helping yourself !

    Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
    Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, SBS Road, Colaba
    Bombay 400 005. India
    Tel: 91-22-22151065, 22151066, 2218 3270, 65527073

    Helping you to build your family !

    My Facebook page is at

    You can follow me on twitter at!/drmalpani

    Watch our infertility cartoon film at

    Read our book, How to Have a Baby - A Guide for the Infertile Couple,
    online at !

    Read my blog about improving the doctor-patient
    relationship at

  3. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Dear Dr,

    I liked the way you addressed me :) Commenter is better than anonymous or:)Beleive me or not, I thought if you would comment you will ask me to write a blog. My intutions will be mostly right, I am a cancerian too :) Thank you very much for the kind suggestion. I always think about it. But I am very poor in time management. If I start writing a blog I am afraid I will not do justice to my job. To tell the truth your blog has helped me in a lot of ways. I am a very confident now than I was few months before. I am sure I will write a blog soon. But being anonymous has helped me to be honest when I write since there is no fear of public opinion :) But I have to come out of my shell sometime and I will. THANKS :)


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