Giving Up

In July, it will mark 9 years since we first met with our RE. In that 9 years we have done many treatments, no treatments, foster parenting, IVF, court for guardianship of our niece, and more…

We have had many people give us advice over these 9 years. “Just relax”, “Stop trying and it will happen”, “Once you have your niece it will happen”, etc. I’m sure you’ve all heard those and more.

Out of all of them, the one that probably bothers me the most is, “Don’t give up”. I know this one, like many others comes from a good place, and honestly when I see this one it is usually after a woman who has also been through infertility has a child, adopts a child, etc. They say “It’s all worth it”, and “Don’t give up on your dream, it will happen for you too”.

But here is the thing. If at any point, I decide that I no longer want to actively try to have a child, by treatments, adoption, or otherwise. That does not mean that I am giving up. Giving up makes it sound like infertility won. Like something beat me. Like I’m the one losing. But I believe that when people reach this point, where they have exhausted all their options, and they decide they no longer want to pursue this dream. It’s not giving up. I believe it’s winning. I believe it can be just as powerful as that moment you hold your child in your arms. It’s a birth of a new you. The birth of a person who is no longer burdened with shattered dreams and a broken heart. This new person still carries the scars, and some of the hurt, but they are CHOOSING to move on. Not give up.

For those that believe in God. Maybe you believe that you were destined to be a mother, that God has given you all the things to be an exceptional mother, and you just KNOW that He will give you a child one day. But what about those times, that having a child, is not in God’s plan for you? What if the things you believe were given to you to be a mother, are really for something else, and your search in motherhood is actually standing in the way of what your true calling is. I recently heard a song by MercyMe titled “Even if”. It literally took the breath out of me when I looked it up later and heard the lyrics.

“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone”

Think about this for a minute. This song is saying that they know God can cure all, and make miracles happen, God can make your pain and sorrow all go away, but even if He doesn’t, you will continue to believe, you will continue to be faithful.

Now, I don’t want this post to bring anyone down, or make them question what they believe God has in store for them, but I want to bring a different side of this dialect out. The side where there are women who never become a mother, they never hold the child they know was meant for them, and they never realize that dream they sacrificed everything for. I choose to believe, that this isn’t giving up. It’s moving on. It’s pursuing a new dream. It’s finding themselves all over again. And for those that believe, it’s choosing to continue to believe in God even when he didn’t give you a child.

I don’t know what I hope to gain from this post, or if it will help anyone else AT ALL. I’m not even saying you should never say, “Don’t give up” to someone. I just think that as a community, we need to remember that not everyone “gets out”, and we have to continue to support the men and women who choose to move on from this journey in their life.

This blog was written for #MicroblogMonday. Find my blog and others that also participate here every Monday.

 

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13 thoughts on “Giving Up

  1. Thank you for this. Also some people move on because they have no choice reproductively and adoption isn’t in the cards or isn’t working out either, and it’s not even a choice. I know you totally understand that, but the “don’t lose hope ladies!” posts don’t always seem to get that. With DOR, we could end up with no reproductive options and then just hoping adoption works for us but if we can’t, we can’t, and it’s not a matter of us not trying hard enough. I know that people are trying to share hope and I appreciate that, though. Some days reading success stories of women with my specific problems is inspiring. Some days I feel hopeless and it’s something I need to skip over.

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  2. Great post. The giving up comments really bug me. I have aggressively pursued so many avenues and am fortunate enough to be in a situation to do so. But for so many people certain paths are not an option. Choosing what is right for you is what matters. I actually think that women that have finally made the decision to halt treatments are often the most brave women of all. It is a decision to choose to live their life to the fullest instead of pursuing something more over and over. Xo

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  3. I agree with you. I know there are purveyors of hope out there who find this view anathema, but I really don’t like the ‘never give up’ mantra. It was right for me to ‘give up’ when I did and to start on a new path, and I resent people who suggest that I ‘can still do it!’ if I try hard enough. It undermines my current life. Lots of people with a bad prognosis (in anything, not just infertility) just know instinctively when hoping has become magical thinking, or simply futile, and it’s time to move on from it and live life. I like the message of your post, that ‘as a community, we need to remember that not everyone “gets out”, and we have to continue to support the men and women who choose to move on from this journey in their life’. This is expressed perfectly, and I agree 100%.

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  4. Three cheers to this. I think of it as stopping one thing/starting another. Quitting makes it sounds like nothing happens next. Like you’re just in a state of nothingness, which we all know is not the case.

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  5. Yes, yes, YES YES YES. I hate “Don’t give up” or “Don’t give up on your dream!” I hate the idea that anything where you don’t end with a baby in your arms is quitting, is giving up, no matter how tired or spent or drained you are in any way (financially, emotionally, physically). Only you know the right choice for you, whether it’s continuing on or moving on to a different vision of the future than originally envisioned. I also noticed that most people who say “don’t give up!” have that tiny one to tuck in at night. There is definitely a power in “I choose to end the limbo, I choose to move on, I choose to redefine my life.” Thank you for this post. I love it.

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  6. I always cringed hearing the “Never give up” words of encouragement. And I still hear it constantly. I remember being in the throes of our last cycle, hearing those words from others and wanted to break down. Because it wasn’t me giving up. It was going to me stopping treatments because we were financially tapped out. And ever since then, I hear people say that, and while I know they mean to be encouraging, I just can’t help but think how hard it is to hear that, because it’s so… negative? Negative if you do actually stop. Like you are letting people down.

    So I’m sending you a hug. Because deciding to stop and move on is hard.

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    • Thank you. While this isn’t a decision we are considering quite yet, I know that we have so many embryos in the freezer from our donor, and I know that if we ever get to the point where we have transferred all of them and not had success that we will be done. For many different reasons, including the investment of time and money into this process that we can’t possibly do again, and especially because we have our 11 year old niece now and treatments take up so much of our time and money that I would prefer to just dedicate to her. We have said many times that had we not already had the embryos in the freezer when we got guardianship of her we probably wouldn’t have actually gone through with it. It just takes so much out of a person in so many ways.

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  7. I totally agree with this. Even though I am now pregnant by DEIVF I would never say ‘don’t give up’ to people. It’s insulting. I have a friend who chose to stop trying and shortly after split up with her partner (not due to infertility but other factors) and at the age of 40 moved home to live with her elderly mum and then rebuilt her life. That is impressive and I’m in awe of her. There’s nothing simple about choosing not to continue and those women who do are brave and strong, like all of us who struggle.

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  8. Love this post! Just this week there was a woman posting on one of the IVF groups I’m in who had four failed IVFs behind her and had reached the end of how much she could put herself though emotionally. Instead of being supported, she got comments from some women telling her not to give up! And another woman wrote “I didn’t take no for an answer” and that her 5th IVF worked for her. Every couple’s situation is completely different though. I agree that deciding to walk away and move on with your life is much braver!!

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  9. YES YES YES. I totally agree with this. Surely, it comes to a point somewhere that you wonder how long you can go on for. A line in the sand needs to be drawn at some point. I would be devastated if I had made that decision and got the advice not to give up. It just isn’t a fair call for someone who is not going through your life to make.

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  10. Very thoughtful and helpful post. I think the only person who decides to “give up” or whatever you want to call it, is the person living that life. Everybody else is there to be supportive, if they can. And yes give up/move on/let go/change paths is absolutely the correct and sane thing to do at times. It’s foolish to pretend it isn’t an option or that it shouldn’t be an option.

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  11. Agreed! Although I may be guilty of saying this a time or two. I hope not though. We don’t all have the same path and we don’t all feel the same callings. If we don’t find our path to Motherhood through what we feel called to do, all we can do is move on and continue to live the best life possible. We are one of the lucky ones that we do feel called to adopt and foster. And we were lucky that we had an adoption agency in our state that was a lot less than a national agency.

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