This is the time of year when people start to talk about hope and inspiration and miracles. It’s a lot of “Don’t give up/lose hope/stop trying/lose faith” or “Your rainbow baby will come” or “I didn’t give up because I knew we would be parents”.
The reality is it is ok to stop. It doesn’t mean you lost hope or faith or that you aren’t meant to be a parent and it doesn’t mean that you “gave up” and all the negative connotations that come with those words.
It means that you made a decision that was right for you. A very wise friend once told me “you will know when it is time to stop” and while those words seem simple, she is right. You, and only you, will know when it is time.
There is so much guilt surrounding the decision to stop trying. The self-doubt (should I have done more? Treatments/weight loss/clean eating/meditation/whatever), the shame (I failed. We failed) and the isolation (where do we fit in the world now?!)
But when you push all of those feelings aside, you will know. My husband got there faster than I did, but when I really looked inside my heart and shut out all the noise that comes with abandoning a lifelong dream of being a mother, I knew. It was time.
Making the decision to stop does not make the guilt or the grief any easier but it does give you back something you haven’t had for a while – control. You regain control over your life, your path (and your sex life!)
We hear so many miracle stories and we don’t hear our story. The story of trying and stopping and learning to move on. Because nobody wants a bad news story. Especially not during the holidays.
But it does get easier. Day by day. I promise.