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When Is It Time to Stop Trying?
Earlybird · 12/04/2004 13:33
For those of us with fertility issues/problems: when do you know that it's finally time to stop trying to conceive, and accept that a successful pregnancy is unlikely?
The emotional, physical and financial cost of fertility treatments is high, and can define life's decisions/actions to the point of almost becoming an obsession. The visits to the doctor at the precise time needed in your cycle, the bloodtests, drugs administered at the right times on the right days, the multiple scans, the consultations/evaluations - it's all consuming and defines what is done and when.
It's so hard not to think that a different doctor, a different course of treatment, a different fertility center, reflexology/chinese herbs/osteopathy, yet another attempt might finally result in a baby being conceived and born.
I don't want to rob myself of enjoying the wonderful life I have, but equally know that I would dearly like a sibling for dd - for my sake and hers. I will not conceive without fertility treatments (too complicated to explain here), and find myself getting caught up in the "next time could be the lucky one" trap, or the "are you sure you've really exhausted EVERY possibility?" syndrome.
But, when do you stop trying and get on with living the life you have? I know this is a highly personal decision, but would like to hear from those of you who have faced this as I try to decide the way forward.
gothicmama · 12/04/2004 14:23
I have accepted that short of another miracle I will not be able to give dd a sibling I think the emotional strain of trying and coping with disappointment is too great to deal with whilst providing a positive environment for dd and the energy put into trying may be used elsewhere. However I think you need to be able to accept it yourself and weigh up the what you have to gain with what are the problems / what you could miss out on then decided if the cost is worth it
150percent · 12/04/2004 15:46
I put a time limit on it: I didn't want there to be more than 5 years between any siblings (and still don't). But then there is 7 years between myself and my brother and it is too great a gap imo.
I was fortunate, and our ds2 was conceived on our first IVF attempt post ds1. At present I've decided not to pursue any more IVF treatment - given I am not working (I went back to work for 6 months to save up for ds2), I'm not sure that it is fair to the children we have, to sacrifice for those we might have. But I certainly wouldn't have felt that way before ds2. And again, the clock is ticking - we may try to conceive naturally, but when ds2 reaches 4.5 we'll call it a day, and I'll get sterilised.
bayleaf · 12/04/2004 18:05
For me it will be being 40 and having had 6 ivfs!
(I've had 4 so far and am about to have another and will give it one more go after that and a FET possibly as we have a couple of frozen already - but are unlikely to get anymore as we're having embryo screening)
If I hadn't just turned 40 then it would be harder to stop, I'd maybe keep going a bit longer - but I'm aware that my chances plummet with my age. Ivf isn't anyone's idea of fun - but if you already have a child it really isn't as big a deal as many people make out ( mainly people who haven't had it I suspect). Already having a child takes a lot of the acute emotional angst out of it and if you're lucky enough to live physically fairly close to your hospital for scans etc then ( at least for me) it's really not a big deal and it's only the ridiculous sums of money involved that would ever make me stop.
polly28 · 13/04/2004 00:54
We tried for four years to have our dd who is now 12.When she was one we started treatment again and lasted five years and then gave up.
I felt the stress was affecting us as a family and I wanted to "take a break" for a year or so.Well it turned out that we actually came to terms with the fact that dd would be an only child and concentrated on making sure she had loads of friends and neighbours to compensate.We felt grateful to have her so were thankful for that .We never went back to the consultant,the thought of starting that rollercoaster of emotions again was too much.
BUT and it's a big but...when I was 39 I discovered I was pregnant this time naturally.Unbelievable,we were gobsmacked and delighted when our son was born.
I still feel that I made the right decision to not have any more treatment.It definately added toomuch stress to our lives.
neetsmassi · 13/04/2004 16:29
I don't know when to stop either. DD is nearly 4 and we have been trying for a second since she was about 6 months as we knew there was likely to be a delay. DD was born after fertility treatment although not IVF. I don't want to go down the IVF route as I feel it would be too disruptive for DD but I would dearly love DD to have a brother or sister. Both DH and I are from big families and having spent Easter at my mum's with the family around I feel it more acutely today.
I am having reflexology but if it doesn't happen in the next six months I think we will probably have one go at IUI and then give up.
Sorry Earlybird I haven't given you any answers - just wanted you to know that you are not alone.
bunny2 · 13/04/2004 17:56
With fertilty drugs, getting pregnant isnt a problem for me but staying pregnant is. I have had 3 pregnancies but only one baby. I am now 8 wks pg and due for a scan tomorrow. I have half decided if I lose this one I'll give up. The emotional cost is just too high and I cant keep putting us all through it.
bran · 13/04/2004 18:06
We decided to try for a year and then see how we felt, but on one of my IVF cycles I got horribly ill with hyper-stimulation syndrome and I decided I'd never have IVF again. It took DH a couple of years after that to stop encouraging me to check out clinics in London (the treatment I had was in Germany) and cutting articles out of the paper about new developments in treatment.
Kay1 · 13/04/2004 21:30
I am struggling with the same question but have no answers either!!
My situation is different as i know that if it were only my decision - I would keep trying for longer. It is my dh who wants to stop and that is what causes me most angst right now. We have one ds who is now 5 (no problems ttc) and i would have ideally liked to have another child before he started school last Sept. I wanted to start trying 2 years ago but it took 8 months for me to persuade dh to even try. We have since been ttc for over 15 months and nothing doing!! I have been temping, using OPK's etc and have been to GP but basic tests show no specific reason - we're just 'sub-fertile'. GP has referred to consultant but it could take months for appt but dh now wants to stop before he is 45 (in May!) so he can 'get his life back'.
I have been very angry with him, the world, my body, the GP etc etc but recently have tried to talk to dh more about how i feel and am now trying to focus more on the lovely life we already have together and with ds. Basically i don't want the constant desperation/obsession each month, followed by crushing disappointment/anger and then pulling myself up with 'well maybe next time' stuff to get in the way of what we do have. We are still talking and have not given up entirely yet but if it doesn't happen soon, i think i will have to let it go... don't know if that helps with your situation at all, but i think for me, like others have said, when the balance of ttc becomes more stressful (emotionally and physically) than not having a baby, it's time to let it go.
Issymum · 14/04/2004 13:06
We stopped very early. We had been through investigations, treatment for endemetriosis (?spelling) and fertility drugs and were then offered IVF by ICSI. At that point we stopped and went forward with an inter-country adoption. We now have two daughters.
Inter-country adoption was long, expensive and wearing - we first contacted our local social services in the summer of 1999, adopted our first daughter in July 2001, our second daughter in September 2003 and we're still going through the hoops to re-adopt DD2 under English law. But the girls are fabulous, we simply could not love them more and, for us, getting off the infertility roller-coaster was one of the best things we ever did.
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