How do you know when you are ready to stop trying?
The decision to stop fertility treatments and live childfree involves much self-reflection. Some things to consider:
- Emotional, physical, and financial limits of fertility treatment.
- Cost to the relationship with yourself and your partner.
- Readiness to stop keeping life on hold.
- Finding meaning in the experience of all of that you’ve gone through with pregnancy losses and fertility treatment.
- How to cultivate letting go of the idealized family and refocus on being a family of two.
- Existential concerns on finding purpose and connection and an openness to living life on a different path.
- Finding new ways of looking at personal meaning around femininity and what it means to be a woman.
- Recreating relationships – finding a new way to fit in with family and friends.
- Acceptance of the decision and integrating it into a new identity.
All of this self-inquiry essentially encompasses grief work. There is much grief work to do. As you can imagine, the decision to stop trying is subjective - every woman or couple has to decide when they've had enough and reached their limits around trying to build a family. Through infertility research, we know that over time, the pain of infertility lessens but it doesn't completely go away. It is in integrating infertility into your identity, while no longer letting it completely take over, that the healing begins.