When you're trying to get pregnant, it can be so, so tempting to just keep going as long as you possibly can. You feel that if you stop before you've tapped every available resource, you'll always wonder if that next thing would have done the trick.
Of course, fertility treatment is grueling on all kinds of levels. There's the schedule of doctor appointments that must be kept with military-like precision, and a medication schedule that's the same. Not to mention scheduled sex, if you haven't gone the high-tech route yet. Also, little to none of this is covered by insurance, so it's hard on the pocketbook, especially in this economy when accessing some cash for treatments by refinancing your home isn't an option anymore. And it can be brutal on a relationship.
So when do you know it's time to stop?
That's probably the hardest question to answer of all the ones that come up during infertility treatment. For us, the answer was easy: We couldn't afford IVF, and if we could, it would have been one cycle with, at best, a 50 percent chance of becoming pregnant. Meanwhile, adoption cost about the same and had, to our minds, a much better chance of making us parents. So despite the doctor we were seeing accusing us of not really wanting children if we were willing to pull the plug, we did, and very quickly started the adoption process. And then I got pregnant (yes, I am that person; we do exist, and I would be the first person to tell you I was far from relaxed and positive when it happened, so tell your SIL or whoever to can it with the "just relax").
For us, it was just being tired of the roller coaster, tired of the crushing disappointment every month. We'd had it with the scheduled sex and the running to the doctor several times per month for painful and embarrassing procedures. And quite frankly, it was taking a major toll on our marriage because we kept feeling like we'd let the other person down.
This post from Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen talks about some of the reasons you might decide it's time to stop fertility treatments. It's really insightful and covers all the bases, I think:
- You can't afford more treatments;
- You're emotionally exhausted;
- You don't want to spend more time trying to get pregnant;
- The odds of getting pregnant are low;
- Other aspects of your life are suffering.
It's a heart-wrenching decision to stop, knowing that it might mean you'll never have biological children. I think, from my own experience, you'll know when enough is enough, but that doesn't make it any easier.
Did you have to make the decision to stop fertility treatment? When did you know it was time?
Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr