Thinking about the options when you can’t have kids is disappointing and sad. But if you’re an infertile couple, you might find hope and inspiration in this list of ideas.
Never to Be a Mother: A Guide for All Women Who Didn’t, or Couldn’t, Have Children by Linda Hunt Anton offers 10 steps to healing the heartache. You’ll find support for leading a fulfilling, happy life without children.
It’s important to grieve your loss when you can’t have kids. “The difficulty of IVF (in vitro fertilization) or of any fertility issues is the hope and the shattered hope, the dream that it might happen this time and then it doesn’t happen,” says Brooke Shields.
The difficulties of in vitro fertilization also include the cost of infertility treatments, social stigma, and marital conflict…IVF is a tough row to hoe, but it’s definitely an option for infertile couples. Another possibility is naturopathic medicine, such as acupuncture or herbal remedies.
These possibilities for couples who can’t get pregnant biologically may help you realize that there’s more to getting pregnant than having your “own” kids. Here are six options for infertile couples…
When You Can’t Have Kids
Ask for Help Having Kids From Your Family
I read a story in a national women’s magazine – it could’ve been Chatelaine – about a woman whose sister carried her child. This woman couldn’t conceive a child, so the fertility specialists united her egg with her husband’s sperm in the lab, and placed it in the sister’s womb. The sister had a healthy pregnancy – and gave the baby to the husband and wife. The sister already had three kids of her own. In fact, her husband had actually refused to go along with the whole idea at first. But, after he was involved in a serious car accident, he agreed. This infertility treatment worked for them.
Research Infertility Treatments at Fertility Clinics
Do you have the time, money, and energy to pursue treatments for infertility? We did, but decided to “go on hiatus” after six months of relatively stressful sperm injections (via intrauterine inseminations — it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t a vacation in Hawaii, either). Maybe we’ll try again, and maybe not. Before you sign on with a fertility center, make sure you visit at least three and talk to the doctors, nurses, and support staff. You have to feel comfortable and relaxed at your fertility clinic, or your stress level will skyrocket.
We ended up at UBC’s Center for Reproductive Health (in Vancouver); it cost half as much as the private fertility clinic. But their rates practically doubled after our first six month, giving us another reason to take a break from trying to get pregnant. If money is an obstacle for you, read 6 Things to Consider About Fertility Loans.
Try Naturopathic Medicine – Yoga or Acupuncture for Fertility
We’re trying acupuncture for infertility and a Chinese herbal tea (prescribed by a naturopathic doctor) to increase sperm counts and motility rates. This, too, can be expensive – so do your research! Naturopaths vary in many ways, and it’s important to find one you can afford and who you feel comfortable with. Acupuncture for fertility has helped some couples get pregnant.
Think About Fostering Kids
Opening your home to children who can’t live with their biological parents is a marvelous thing to do when you can’t have kids. There are thousands of kids who need a good home for a short time; you could make a serious impact by opening your arms and inviting them in to your life. When you’re researching how to be a foster parent, don’t just look on the internet or in books. Talk to current and past foster parents, and find out what they liked most and least. Talk to current and past foster children, and see what kinds of kids need homes.
Consider Adoption When You Can’t Have Kids
There is a ton of information on the internet about adopting a baby or older child when you can’t get pregnant. Private adoptions, government-subsidized adoption clinics, family adoptions, overseas adoptions…there are dozens of ways to start a new family. When you can’t have kids, talk to adoptive parents and adopted children (both adult and young ones). Adoption can be expensive, and I’ve read that many couples go into huge debt while adopting (and while trying to get pregnant through a fertility clinic). Read The Benefits and Drawbacks of Adopting a Child.
Focus on Your Life Purpose
I would love to have a child, but I’d be okay if I never do. I wouldn’t choose to be childless, but I won’t allow infertility to make me bitter, sad, or angry. Part of my attitude stems from my goals and dreams outside the realm of family and children. If you have a purpose, then you’ll be less likely to let infertility destroy your marriage or life. An important option for infertile couples is to step back, look around, and figure out how you can make your life meaningful, productive, and happy.
If you’ve lost babies, read my tips on coping with miscarriage.
Are you struggling to accept that you can’t have kids? I welcome your comments below…