Thoughts on stopping

Firstly, I’m really sorry about my silence over the last few months. WordPress tells me that I haven’t posted since July (gasp)!!! I’ve been mulling over a few things and have several posts in mind but today I want to engage with the concept of stopping trying… something that has been very much on my mind recently.

We have decided that our next transfer will be our last. We’ve been trying with my body for four years now… our entire married life. Thankfully we were together for 6 years prior to getting married so we did have a lot of pre-infertility time together, but it is rather sad that married life has been such a struggle. Anyway, I am tired. So very tired. What am I tired of?

Although I have continued to work through this whole time, my work has definitely suffered. I haven’t gone to any training workshops, I haven’t done much reading, I haven’t engaged in proper supervision… it’s as though my mind has been in an infertility fog. So consumed with the whole process of infertility that there hasn’t been room for anything else. I would like to get back on track professionally – go to some workshops, gain some new ideas for therapy, find a great supervisor and start reading again.

Travel. Although we have still managed to go away on one or two holidays over this time, we have spent SOOOO much money on infertility that there hasn’t been money left for any great adventures. Ironically, over the last four years we have both done pretty well financially, better than we ever had done before. Had we not been spending all our savings on infertility, we would have been able to go on several awesome holidays. I don’t begrudge the money we spent as I could never go through life knowing that we didn’t try everything we could – but still, limbo. I’d like to stop spending money on infertility and start spending money on one or two great adventures as I’ve always loved travelling.

Hmmm, what else… our sex life. I won’t even go there but suffice to say it’s taken a major dive.

Relationships – I’ve withdrawn from a lot of my friendships. Over the course of the journey it has been for several reasons. Sometimes because I didn’t have the energy to put in the effort, other times because my infertility gave me a new perspective on certain friendships (realizing that they weren’t the friendships I thought they were), and still other times because my friends were blessed and I wasn’t and the ensuing emotions were too difficult to handle. But I’m tired of this – I want to live again and to enjoy my friends.

Family. My family don’t live locally and so in order to see them, they have to come to me or I have to go to them (obviously). Due to infertility treatments…time and money, I haven’t been to see them as much as I would like to. This saddens me and is another thing that I am tired of. Although we are all in touch daily, I want to go and visit my family more and feel more a part of their lives.

My body. I’ve put on 14kg over the course of my treatment and have gone from being pretty fit (I was with a personal trainer prior to my wedding and was fit and strong for the first time in a long time), to being very unfit and weak. My back is really playing up and I know I need to shift some weight and get my core strength back. But I find infertility treatments so consuming – time, money, energy – that I have little motivation to exercise. I would like to get my body back and to feel fit and strong again.

Those are some of the reasons that I can think of right now, but I know there are others. I’m not entirely sure what we will do if our next transfer does not work. My husband is not open to adoption and¬†I had an epiphany about this yesterday. For the longest time I’ve tried to persuade (read beg) him to figure out what the block is and to do something about it. I’ve raged and got mad and sad and desperate. It may pass but my current feeling on it is that if he is not open to it, I will not do anything more to try and change his mind because it will always feel like second best, like settling… and I couldn’t bear that. I have no idea what the implications of this are and they scare me so much that I am not even going to engage with them right now. I’m going to be an ostrich and assume it never comes to that. Because I would love to adopt – would have done so four years ago and can definitely see myself adopting in the future… but not with my husband. So yes, scary stuff.

A lovely friend out of the blue offered to be a surrogate. This is an absolutely amazing offer – the kindness and selflessness just blows me away and we may very well take her up on her offer. The dilemma is that it means many of the above points become null and void and I’m not sure yet how I feel about that. So much uncertainty guys! But isn’t that one of the defining features of infertility… uncertainty and waiting… and my tolerance for both is almost done.

12 thoughts on “Thoughts on stopping

  1. I’ve often wondered how other couples arrive at this crucial question and how they respond to it.¬† I’m sure, like everything, it’s a very personal experience, but for me it is definitely the most difficult question I have every had to face.¬† At what point do we stop all of this?¬† You wrote very clearly about the multitude of¬†sacrifices infertility involves.¬† At the beginning, I found it easier to accept the sacrifices (many¬†similar to those you mentioned)¬†hearing¬†and reading the magic phrase “It’ll all be worth it when you hold your baby in your arms”.¬† But the passing time has magnified the uncertainty around this outcome and the question of stopping looms.¬† I don’t have answers, but I wanted you to know you are not alone on this journey.¬† I’m thinking of you and sending lots of energy your way as you prepare for¬†your transfer.

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    • Thank you for your kind comment and for sending energy our way… we certainly need it. I’ve just perused your blog and see we have much in common. You’ve also walked a very long and difficult road and express in this comment exactly how I feel… ‘it will all be worth it’… but what if that baby never comes? Then what? It does certainly help to know we are not alone, so thank you again for commenting xxx

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  2. Well this is a lot of good processing that you have obviously been doing! You should be proud of doing such good reflection! I am so sorry that treatment has not resulted in a baby for you. I can totally understand the need to weigh the pros and cons of no more treatment. Good luck with your decision!!

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  3. It’s like I could’ve written so much of your post. I totally understand, we’ve also tried our whole married life and friendships and holidays etc have suffered not to mention physical and mental health. My husband also doesn’t want to adopt. We also said our current cycle would be our last- it’s gone so badly that I don’t even know if that still stands as I don’t think we’ll even get to transfer.
    I agree with you, the uncertainty and the waiting wear you down. There comes a point when we have to start living our lives again. I so hope that things work out for you. Thinking of you and wishing you all the luck in the world. x

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    • Thank you so much for commenting. I hate that you also have to go through this but it is comforting to not feel so alone in this. I hope your cycle somehow pulls through and you can at least get to transfer. Will be thinking of youxxx

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  4. I can relate to a lot your points on life during infertility. I have tried to juggle some sort of a life with infertility treatments as much as possible but now I’m also reaching the stage where I am going to give it all or nothing for one more IVF round and then if that fails we would think about stopping. I hate the thought of stopping without having our baby in my arms but at some point I also just want to have my life back again! It’s so hard. Wishing you and your husband lots of strength. x

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