For those of you who are winding down your fertility procedures, you might wonder how you will feel down the road if you never conceive a child. Some of you might be considering growing your family through adoption or fostering a child. Others might be deciding either to lead a childfree life or to more fully embrace the children you already have in your life without trying for more. Once you have ended fertility treatments, how will you feel in the long run?
I started trying to conceive in 1996, and I became a mother through adoption in 2001. I never succeeded in conceiving, even though I went through several years of fertility treatments, and I have not used birth control in over a decade. As the big “40″ is looming on the horizon, it is looking very unlikely that I will ever conceive. At this point in my life, as my son is entering the first grade, I can honestly say that I no longer desire to be pregnant.
All that being said, I still have grief that bubbles up from time to time due to my infertility. The vast majority of my friends have been pregnant at least twice, and to this day, they will still occasionally talk about their pregnancies and their labor & delivery stories. I have nothing to contribute to these conversations because I have never been pregnant. Sometimes friends will say that they are sad that this is their last pregnancy, and I will feel sad that I have never been pregnant while other women get to experience this miracle of life multiple times.
I have no regrets about my decision to stop trying to conceive. I definitely gave fertility treatments my “all.” I have accepted that my becoming pregnant was not meant to be.
I have learned how to let go of some of my need to control every aspect of my life. Even though my ability to grow my family turned out to be completely out of my hands, it all turned out well. I have a great kid, and the timing of his joining my family has created the life that I have today. Most of my friends entered my life because our children are close in age. My life would be so much different if my son had come into my life one year earlier or later.
Even though I was not in control, my life really did work out for the best. Without my experiences, I could not blog on the topic of fertility here, so I received a gift of a job I enjoy out of a very painful time in my life.
Overall, I am at peace with the way my life has turned out. At this point, if I could go back and change things, I wouldn’t, even though living my life the way I did was hard. The only thing I would change is that I would not have tied my ability to be happy to my ability to conceive. Those years were going to pass whether I was miserable or not. If I had to do it over again, I would find a way to appreciate and enjoy the parts of my life that were good rather than being miserable for 4-1/2 years. It was when I started to learn this life lesson that my son came into my life.
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