Is trying to have a baby a healthy goal for your life, or should you stop trying to get pregnant because it’s causing anxiety and depression? Giving up on your dream of pregnancy might be right – the key is knowing when it’s time to give up or when it’s time to try different strategies (e.g., in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or adoption).
In It Starts with the Egg: How the Science of Egg Quality Can Help You Get Pregnant Naturally, Prevent Miscarriage, and Improve Your Odds in IVF, Rebecca Fett offers hope for couples who are trying to get pregnant. This book offers a concrete strategy that includes minimizing exposure to toxins such as BPA and phthalates, choosing the right vitamins and supplements to safeguard developing eggs, and harnessing nutritional advice shown to boost IVF success rates. If you’re not ready to give up on your goal of getting pregnant, the practical information in this book may give you new hope – and strength to keep trying!
Below are a few signs it might be time to let go of your pregnancy goals. But first, here’s one of my favorite quips: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” said W.C. Fields. “Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.”
Are you being foolish about getting pregnant – or are you simply persevering and trying everything you can, as all couples coping with infertility must do? These signs it’s time to give up on getting pregnant may help you re-evaluate your hopes and baby dreams, or chuck those goals and set new ones altogether.
Should You Stop Trying to Get Pregnant?
Persistence is admirable – especially when you think of women who got pregnant at age 45 or 50, or after 10 years of struggling with infertility. Some infertile couples beat all odds to achieve their goal of getting pregnant.
We often see people accomplish superhuman tasks – such as running a marathon after doctors say they’ll never walk again – and we think those achievements are possible for everyone.
Remarkable accomplishments do happen, but they’re not the norm, says Dana S. Dunn, Professor of Social Psychology at the Moravian College in Pennsylvania and author of Research Methods for Social Psychology. “We tend to overgeneralize from a handful of instances in which people do amazing things,” he says. “The danger of looking at people who succeeded against all odds is that we don’t know how they got there. We don’t necessarily know the steps they took, their background, or the support they had.”
But, research shows that dogged determination can lead to depression, helplessness, and a weakened immune system.
Signs It’s Time to Stop Trying to Get Pregnant
Couples coping with infertility – or women who can’t get pregnant no matter what infertility treatments they try – might decide it’s time to pursue different family goals when they:
- Have lost their joy and passion for having a baby – and instead feel depressed, anxious, and unhappy
- Realize their marriage is suffering, and their attempts to overcome infertility might lead to divorce
- Are “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk” (eg, talking about how much they want to have a baby, but refusing to visit fertility clinics or adoption agencies)
- Spend more time surfing the internet and reading pregnancy forums than creating a healthy, happy life apart from getting pregnant
- Are pursuing goals that aren’t in line with their beliefs, values, personality, and future plans
- Realize that their pregnancy goals – and the process of achieving those goals – don’t resonate with who they are
- Dread the thought of achieving their goal of getting pregnant
- Resent the time and energy getting pregnant (or infertility treatments) takes
- Refuse to try different ways to get pregnant, such as creating a vision board for fertility or talking to a naturopathic doctor about different problems that prevent pregnancy
Setting and achieving your goal of getting pregnant is challenging (to say the least – especially if you’re a couple coping with infertility!!).
If you’re motivated and dedicated, the obstacles to getting pregnant will be balanced by the joy of continuing to do everything you can to conceive a baby. But if the negative parts of getting pregnant overshadow the positives, then maybe it is time to set new goals for starting a family.
Giving up on your wish or goal of getting pregnant doesn’t happen overnight. For me, it was a process of slowly accepting the idea of living without my own biological children, and embracing the good parts of my life. Being grateful for the awesome gifts God has given me – and trusting that for some reason, my life was meant to unfold without children.
Can you accept the idea that perhaps you weren’t meant to have children? This is a sign of emotional health and resilience, and it will help you move forward in your life.
If you’re not ready to give up on your goal of pregnancy yet, read How to Stop Feeling Hopeless When You’re TTC.
What do you think – do these signs it’s time to give up on getting pregnant resonate with you? I welcome your big and little comments below…