Did I Give Up?
We had five losses.
A few bad doctors and one really smart one.
We learned that my body is unlikely to ever support a healthy full-term pregnancy without significant medical intervention with a hefty price tag and no guarantees.
We stopped trying.
But did I give up?
No, I don’t believe for a second that I gave up. And I don’t believe others who stop trying are giving up. In fact, I don’t believe anyone is beaten by infertility unless they choose to be.
I don’t think the decision to stop living a life consumed by recurrent pregnancy loss and/or infertility is a a negative choice, which the term giving up implies to me. For me, the decision to stop was a choice based in our decision to salvage what was left of our mental health and physical health. A decision based in recognizing that we needed to start rebuilding our lives, and our marriage.
For me, this decision, regardless of what we chose next, was a healthy decision and had nothing to do with giving up. I was not beaten by recurrent pregnancy loss. And I promise myself I will never sit down and count myself as a victim of circumstances beyond my control.
For us, we ended up choosing a different course of action. We chose open adoption. Others may choose surrogacy or a gestational carrier. And others yet may choose to live childless/childfree. Others may turn to donor egg or donor sperm. And others may choose to take a break and try again at a later date.
But, I do not believe for a second that any of these choices are a choice based in giving up.
Rather, for most of us, I think our choices are based in the realities we face which are often complex and intense with logic and emotion battling constantly.
For us, we embraced our reality, even if it wasn’t the exact reality I grew up dreaming about. We learned to live within our reality. Or rather, we are learning to live within our reality and to own our situation. We made choices and we continue to choose to be happy with those choices.
So, I refuse to say that I gave up.
And, I refuse to say anyone who stopped trying gave up.
Instead, I think we as society, need to celebrate those who make difficult decisions and attempt to figure out what is best for them today and into the future, regardless of what they choose.
We are all unique. Our choices are individual. And I for one believe we should celebrate this.
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The key thing which jumped out at me from your post was ‘that we needed to start rebuilding our lives, and our marriage.’ Having had five losses too, I completely understand this and how RPL affects every part of your life – your health, your marriage, your body, your sanity – everything. You chose to do what felt right for you – that’s all there is to it.
Many women can overcome RPL and have healthy pregnancies, which is wonderful, but we have also put a limit on how much more we can take until we explore other avenues. Like you, I don’t see it as giving up, just re-routing things to hopefully take us to the outcome that we’re looking for. Until people have walked in our shoes, its impossible to understand or judge, so you just carry on doing what feels right for you xx
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Yes! I think if you can get through Infertility/RPL without turning into a totally bitter person, you have won. If you are choosing to work at finding happiness and maybe even peace with your decisions when it comes to the IF world, you aren’t giving up. It’s hard, and we may not win every day, but the fact that we’re trying shows we haven’t given up. 🙂
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You embody perseverance. Your resilience and optimism and refusal to be defeated is unreal. My virtual hero for sure.
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Big thumbs up from the child free not by choice camp:-) I relate to pretty much everything in this post, especially the acts of salvaging mental and physical health, and learning (if but slowly!) to live within our reality. Interesting how very similar motivations can forge very different paths.
For us, our decision was both tumultuous and painstaking to make, the road to owning it an obstacle laden one. But we’ll get there – and giving up will have NOTHING to do with it!
I was getting close to stopping. And I always used that word, stopping, rather than giving up, on purpose. The idea that after 4 years and so many different approaches that anyone would deem my journey as ‘giving up’ rankled me.
I’m pregnant now, but it could just as easily have gone the other way. Like you, after several losses, I knew that I had reached a point where continuing would be abusive towards myself. There’s only so much anyone can take.
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I agree. Choosing not to continue trying to conceive is not giving up. It is what the word indicates – a choice. Nothing less. Nothing more. I know several people in my life would have stopped before I was ready to stop; I know because they told me so and because they invited me to stop trying too. I actually felt pressure to stop and considered it after loss #8 but that was not the message my heart and gut were sending me. I am glad now that I tried one last time with the immune protocol from a smart doctor. But there were various points along the way where even my spouse was not sure we should have risked my health (physical and mental), damaged my career (don’t let anyone tell you that private legal practice in larger firms is progressive) and racked up an enormous debt (similar to your U.S. adoption cost) for this baby. Now that we are on the other side of the pregnancy of course it is easy to say “it was all worth it”. But if you ask me whether I would recommend others do what I did I could not in good conscience say yes. It really is a very personal decision for the individuals facing it. And when the stakes, costs and uncertainty are unbelievably high I can see clearly why other options would appear (and are in many cases) more attractive and a better fit. I wouldn’t wish my debt or the stress and physically hard times I experienced and the residual anxiety I’m still wrestling with on anyone. Nor would I undo anything if it meant giving up this hard-won little guy pressed up against me right now. We all have a path or paths to choose. Nothing less. Nothing more. I am wishing you the very best on yours.
Love, love, love this!
Our decision was based on our recurrent pregnancy loss. How many times would it take; would it ever work or would this never bring us a living child. That wasn’t a risk we weren’t willing to take with out a “guarantee”. And we know both know that even when you find out your pregnant that doesn’t promise you a take home baby after multiple miscarriages. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you 🙂
And your post also helped me today…it’s nice to remember this when people say we should have kept trying. No one can know when it’s time to change directions except us!
Everyone viewing your situation from the outside in always thinks trying again is EASY. You’ve gone through it a number of times, what’s one more? They don’t realize how much each cycle or loss takes from you. I believe your choice shows strength and intelligence.
Totally agree. We talked about the need to take a different path and start living again.
There is a HUGE difference between “giving up” and “accepting reality”. I believe that when you realized that the reality you personally had to live with didn’t match up to your expectations and dreams, you had a choice – to fight it (to the death, if need be), or to accept it and move on. Let’s not forget that refusing to accept reality is, essentially, insane.
You made the sane, healthy choice – to accept the reality given to you, and to do what we all should strive to do: to figure out the best way to make it beautiful. You didn’t give up or make do or make the best of things. You are living your life as it really is, moving through grief and joy and disappointment and hope and good times and bad times … and the result is exactly as it should be – something beautiful.
You did not give up. No way. You are still fighting for you family now! But even if you’d chosen the no baby path you’d still be fighting for your family as right now that is you and Mr MPB and keeping your marriage strong is so important x
This is beautiful!
You’re choice is not the right one for me, but not in a million years would I call it ‘giving up.’ Gosh, for all the hoops you’re jumping through to manifest this dream, who in the world would call it that??? I’m glad to see you validating the spectrum of choices. It’s warranted. Love to you, future mama.
Oh, iPhone embarrassed the English teacher: * “your” choice 🙂
Absolutely! There’s only so much that we can put our bodies and minds through, before we would end up in the loony bin. Giving up is when you just don’t bother to try beyond seeing what your options are. (With all of these IF issues, anyway, I believe.) We all do whatever we need to do, and go on for as long as we can bear, and then we have to know our own limits with things and learn that it’s okay to say that we’ve had enough, and we can’t take any more. That limit is different for everyone, and nobody is wrong in how much they can handle. We just all need to realize this, and realize that it’s okay to know that you reached your limit, and that it doesn’t matter what everyone else says…you have to do what’s right for YOU. I know that’s what you guys did, and I’m so proud of you and admire you so much for everything you made it through. *hugs*
Although it seems using this word is ironic for me, this is what I thought after reading your post: Amen.
I’ve always believed that you can’t ever understand the variables that have an impact on people’s decisions, and as such, I find that I’m very non-judgemental because of it. I say this because you’re exactly right in how you lay out your situation and why you chose to pursue a different journey to parenthood- that it’s not you giving up, but rather that given your experiences, adoption is what fit best for you and the mister. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times), people can’t see past their own lives and make conjectures on what other people should be doing, and I feel like us IF’ers and RPL’ers spend a great deal of time educating people on simple manners and how to be empathetic. It’s hard work, and a lot of time it hurts, but I would like to think that it makes a difference.
I’m with you on hating that phrase, it’s right on up there with ‘got over it ‘which usually comes as ‘have you got over it yet?’
Imo you didn’t give up- you fought harder and in a different direction then others might chose and soon you’ll get your little one. You are a very strong person and that always shines through in your posts, even when they are filled with heartache or you are having a bad time of it. Your husband is lucky to have you (as I’m sure you are to him) and your positivity is definitely something that helps others.
You’re right about celebrating all decisions and choices, be they hard or easy. In truth, I think there should be a lot more shown and made aware to people about baby loss and the pain that comes with that, with trying to conceive when it’s difficult and the feelings and pressures involved in other options because quite often I don’t think people can understand it at all.
I really appreciate this post.
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Absolutely agree. We chose surrogacy, and it was very freeing to accept finally that my body just couldn’t do what I wanted it to do.
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Agree 100% and the only person that knows is you. In my opinion, you havent given up you have taken a different course of action. Hang in there – as difficult as I know it is 😦