How Did You Know?

How did you know when it was time to stop actively TTC? (Meaning meds, appointments, super careful charting, etc?)

I've started to write this many times, but usually it is when I'm reeling from another failed cycle and I know most of it is hormones. But, I could use some guidance or feedback. I don't want to say advice because I know that this is an intensely personal decision that no one can really advise us about.

I'm also not saying we are there yet, but I won't lie and say I'm not weary. I truly do not know how those of you who have been doing this for years and years and years do it. You are my heroes. We have definitely decided I will see Dr. D. in late August and consider her recommendations. We have been careful to not say we will "never do" or will "definitely do" this or that beyond our commitment to honor and respect God as author of Life. We are trying hard to listen to the the Still Small Voice in all of this.

As much as I do not want to look back and realize I missed this life while striving for the another, I also do not want to look back with regret. Sometimes it feels like the two lanes of this road are right alongside one another and going in the exact same direction and sometimes it feels like there is an enormouse wood between them and the only reason I know there is another path is because I've seen it before.

So, if you will allow me to ask the very personal question of  how did you know it was time? What is your personal story? How did you decide when to stop actively TTC?

I understand this is intensely personal, and I will be extremely grateful for anything you wish to share - please use the anonymous commenting option if you prefer or if you'd prefer a private email (RebeccaWVU02@ gmail dot com), I will treasure your experience.


  1. We tried for 4.5 years before this pregnancy. In my mind, I was willing to keep trying until we had done everything allowed by the church and within our means and when we got to the last step, I would do that for a year before I stopped trying.

  2. Oh, and we didn't find the Creighton model until about 2 years ago, so I don't really count the first couple of years.

  3. Rebecca, I knew it was time to search for something else( how I found Na.Pro this past year), when my catholic ob.gyn of the last 5 years, said, so what do you think of adoption. When I first saw him 5 years prior, I asked what his plan of attack was. First it was meds, testing, more testing, surgery, more meds, & in the very beginning he told me once we exhaust all I can do, he said I can pray about adoption with you. Don't get me wrong, I am not against adoption. I just wasn't sure that he had exhausted all opportunites when I learned about Na.Pro. They know so much more & have done so much more testing & dig soo much deeper into the issues. I gave the Na.Pro a shorter list in my head of what I'll let him do, before I exhaust my TTC. I told him I was not open to major sugery.. He is trying to convince me if nothing works by the end of the summer to have robotic surgery.. I am not sold on the idea yet & that may be my time to stop actively trying. I just want to be able to live everyday not thinking of the what if.. tomorrow i get pregnant. I would love to have a glass of wine or go on a vacation & drink a bunch of margarita's not having to worry about what CD it is.

  4. What a difficult question. Through our almost 6 years of IF, we were in denial for a year or two, did intial NaPRo stuff for 2 took off some time and then found some other treatments that I think really helped us. The whole time I really felt like we could get pregnant. But looking back, maybe I would have pursued the adoption/foster route sooner, had we gone into the training sooner. We did talk with a few agencies into year 3 or 4 but I wasn't feelin' it.
    For you, I would give the surgery about 18 months to work. Keep doing what you are doing and try to enjoy life. I have found by being thankful for where I am and what I am doing the most peaceful. Let the suffering sanctify you, too. Praying for you.

  5. I understand that my background is different and my journey has taken a different turn. We tried for 8 months, which is a drop in the bucket compared to most, but I gave up when I miscarried. When I emotionally couldn't take it, we decided to put our time, effort, and money looking into adoption agencies. I don't know that it is an amount of time that you consider as much as emotions and personal preferences.

  6. I realize this is an intensely personal decision and comfort with how far to go varies from couple to couple. We were willing to go as long as we both still had peace. We too were thankful for a church who established boundaries. I was so close to giving up, but decided to wait out the 18 month post op window Dr. D gave us. In no way am I telling you what you should do, but I have such hope for you. Praying, as always.

  7. I don't think we made that decision just one time. We just took breaks once in a while until we felt like going back to it.

  8. I think I agree with Lauren here. There were so many months that we felt defeated and over whelmed so we would take a break, pray and decern the next steps, and then jump back in when we felt called so or when we felt ready. Those breaks can be hard, ie:you feel like you aren't being proactive, but looking back through all the years we've struggled, they were definitely necessary.

    Praying for you sweet lady!!

  9. Coming from someone who got pregnant on the third post open cycle, this might not mean much, but we could tell we were near a "place of change" ill call it by the frequency of fights and tensionin our marriage. I guess you could extend that to close interpersonal relationships but that's where I was at. I like what Lauren said though too.

  10. Oh, dear. What a loaded question. Mine is too heavy an answer to post here, so I will email you. But for an idea... You can look at my blog archives between my 30th badly (July 2011) and Christmas 2011. That was the time in which I made the ultimate decision.

  11. Bday... Stupid autocorrect. Although, I did take turning 30 pretty badly.

  12. I think I am in a similar place. Our tentative plan is to stop in December...but at this point, I have already pretty much stopped charting. We still are very aware of peak time, and still actively try, so I guess we're somewhere in the middle. By January 1, the plan is to stop paying attention to the fertile window completely. I know we haven't been trying as long as others, but it's been a painful road for us. I realized that I don't want to miss out on life, and by living the way I have been (in a state of grief and confusion) I haven't been giving myself the opportunity to enjoy the things God has blessed me with. I suppose part of me is still very negative about all of this, as the "God doesn't want me to have a baby" thoughts still creep in. If it is helpful, we made the December "deadline" back in March when I had my surgery. We didn't know what the outcome would be, but we knew we didn't want to continue on like this forever. In my situation, I feel we've done everything we possibly could to get to the bottom of things, and we DO have the answers we were striving for. There really isn't much more we can do, and the emotional roller coaster is/was really wearing me down. I've decided to really focus on the other amazing parts of my life. I will always hurt, and I will always carry this cross. And at this point, I do not expect to "cross the bridge" into motherhood. It's been a very tough realization (hence why I haven't posted in so long) but I'm slowly reaching acceptance. I hope this doesn't sound too negative...that's not what I'm going for. I just realized I had to be realistic with myself, and although people tell me we are "giving up" too early, it's what feels right. Besides, it's not like we will be using any kind of HBC, and we will definitely not be avoiding fertility. The possibility will always be there.

  13. What a tough, tough question. We haven't talked about stopping yet but I guess we would if the doctor said there weren't more treatments to try. At this point it might be quite a while yet if the doctor said another surgery would be worthwhile (which I am open to). This past year has been noticeably harder than year 2. But I think what helped us was that each month in the past year (except one), when we did the cycle review with the doctor, there was a new recommendation. So that kept us looking more short term instead of long term, which seems to help my sanity. :) Prayers for you, my friend.

  14. I wish I knew the answer. We've been trying for almost seven years, but we didn't start Napro until 2008 and I didn't have surgery until 2009. Then I had a pelvic abscess which negated all of the positive effects of surgery, so really we've really only been TTC since this past January after my surgery with Dr H.

    It's all a head game.

    I have been thinking more and more about getting off this roller coaster. I know that I've become numb to so much because of IF. I was so much sadder at the beginning of our journey when I had "unexplained" IF (which is a load of garbage, IMHO).

    I haven't given myself a date to stop. Perhaps perusing adoption will give me the impetus to make a decision, I don't know. I've put off the adoption process for so long because I knew I didn't want to give up on my body.

    Sorry for all the rambling. I wish I had a clearer answer for the both of us! I'm continuing to pray for you!!!

  15. I want to leave a comment, but I am coming from such a different place. Yet I can sympathize with you about feeling ambivalent about "TTC". You know my history of unplanned pregnancy, miscarriage, and 13 months TTC (thanks PCOS!). We are now TTC again, and even though it's only been 3 months, I can feel the crazy coming on. The other time, I let it stop me from living my life. And even though I did not have to wait that long, it was long enough to feel like I was going insane. I am so, so terrified of that happening again. I'm not infertile, but I'm not "normal" either, so I don't really feel like I fit in anywhere. Part of me really want to just stop charting and "see what happens" but I know that with the PCOS and progesterone problems, I need to know ASAP if I do get pregnant, so I can supplement. I feel so torn. I wish I could just give it all to God, yet I feel I still have to chart so I don't lose another baby. But I really don't want to overlook the amazing blessing before me because I'm in the TTC bubble, if that makes sense.
    It's not the same at all, and I know that. But I can sympathize with your ambivalence towards charting! I will be praying for you friend.

  16. As a 62-year-old woman who did not have children but who who really struggled in my thirties about whether or not to be a mother (I know, this is not the same situation you're in), I can say that it's possible to have a very good life without being a mother. Not better, not worse, but very good, and with a strong marriage. I wish I had known that then. It is not a second-rate life, but it is a different life from that of people who become parents.

    All the best to you--

  17. I've thought and thought and thought and thought about writing this SAME blog post (you beat me to it!). How do you know when to stop ... and I don't know that I have an answer, but I do know a few things I'm feeling in the last 3 months since I started thinking about stopping TTC ....
    The last treatment we had suggested to us to try was the IV treatment that Polkadot did (fingers crossed for her!). I need to get rid of the TEBB and infection. However ... I am simply horrible in the diet and exercise department ... so doing the treatment with me not being on board just doesn't make sense. I know, I know, food should not be better than TTC a baby ... but it has been, I guess. :(
    Adopting has healed my heart in a major way with mothering Luke. I doubted how it all would work. I told God when I was younger that "I'll adopt someday, after we have some of our own kids first." I think God knew that I didn't really "mean" what I said. :) He's smart that way. LOL I probably wouldn't have if I didn't face IF.
    Another thing is that I really don't care anymore. :-) It is SO FREEING to say that! I do care a teeny tiny bit, but really, not charting and taking meds since the beginning of April has been the first break that I've taken from meds & charting since we seriously TTC 4 years ago with a doc's help. It is so nice that I don't have to write down what I see on the tissue and think about what day of my cycle it is and what meds to take, etc.
    Something else that is causing me pause is that we are out of our "flex plan" money (money we save for dr visits pre-tax). We have spent that already. Since we have Luke now, I'm not 100% in the game and also if we did get pregnant tomorrow, the cost of 2 in daycare is also a factor.
    So ... I'm not sure if I've helped you at all, but that's what has been floating around in my head for awhile. I'm still praying for you on your journey! I hope everyone's comments have helped!!!


Comment moderation is turned on so you may not see your comment show up right away.