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Taking a Break from Baby-Making
a blog by Katie Landry, January 6, 2013
Sounds counter-productive, doesn't it? Counter-intuitive? Like the last thing you want to do when you are trying to get pregnant, right? Every month, day - and for the love of God - every second is critical. Isn't it?
If you are waiting for someone to give you permission, then OK, I will:
It is okay to take a break from baby-making.
I know how important getting pregnant is. I know how important every cycle is. I know how important it is to be tenacious in this fight.
But you know what else is important?
And if it gets to be too much, it is okay to take a break.
If it is costing your well-being, your emotional health, your marriage, your sanity, it is okay to take a break.
After my first miscarriage last November (2012), I was ready to get right back on the horse with the next cycle. After trying on our own (unsuccessfully) for seven months, we sought fertility treatments and got pregnant in August with our first round of Clomid.
And we lost that baby in October (2013). This was not an easy miscarriage (not that any are) physically or emotionally. Or spiritually. The physical part dragged out for about a month, beginning with an awful experience with misoprostol (which didn't work) and ending in a D&C. The emotional and spiritual part started right from the day of our first negative sonogram and -to be honest - hasn't really quite ended yet.
By the time my D&C came and went, I was worn out on every level. With trying. With praying. With crying. I didn't think there was another tear left in me (which is never the case). I was just exhausted.
The doctor told us we could try again right away. But you know what? I didn't know if I wanted to. Oh, I knew I wanted to have another baby. I just didn't know if I was up to trying again.
I didn't know if I could deal with trying and failing. The let-down of our failed efforts. Of a negative pregnancy test.
I didn't know if I could deal with trying and succeeding. The fears and worries that would be sure to come with a positive pregnancy test. That another success could mean this all over again. I just wasn't ready for that.
So you know what I did? Nothing. We didn't try.
I wanted to heal. I wanted to feel normal, like myself again. I wanted to laugh and smile and not be stressed out. I wanted to enjoy Christmas without worrying about timing and symptom-spotting and counting the days-past-ovulation. I wanted to be free of that. For just a little while.
So I gave myself permission to take a break from baby-making. I know, I know, time isn't standing still, but you can only run on this treadmill for so long before needing a rest.
There is so little we can control in this whole process - we can't cause ovulation or fertilize an egg or make an embryo grow from sheer will (Lord knows that if we could bottle that up and sell it, we could all retire right now).
But what we can do is take care of ourselves. Be good to ourselves. Let our husbands and family and friends actually enjoy us again. Let ourselves enjoy life again. Let go of the vice-grip we have on our infertility plans just a little... for just a little while.
So much is out of our hands. Maybe we can spend a little energy on what is in our hands: all the good things and blessings and reasons to enjoy life that we do have.
And who knows if that just might benefit us in more ways than one.