Dear Amy:

I will try to be brief. (I will likely not be brief.)

I’m 36, with a soon-to-be six year old. When I got pregnant with her, it was of the “maybe we should start thinking about babies and I’ll just go off the pill and see what happens and oh guess what I’m pregnant” variety. Guess you can see where this is going, right?

I’ve been trying to get pregnant for four years now. When I do the math, and add up the months and months of doctor’s appointments, ovulation predictor kits, pregnancy tests, medical tests and lab work, medical procedures to fix the issues we had, counting calendar days, taking temps, fertility drugs and treatments, etc., I lose count. I’ve made myself nutty with different kinds and dosages of fertility drugs and hormone supplements, three rounds of IUI, two miscarriages…you get the drift.

Recently, after another failed IUI, my husband (who is insanely supportive and involved and patient) and I sat down for a very (VERY!) long talk (one of many many talks we’ve had concerning the subject and how far we are willing to go) and decided that for now, we need to stop. I need to stop. I cry too much and worry too much and snap at everyone too much. I have lost focus on what matters and have likely taken my daughter for granted in my quest to add to our family. So, we agreed to stop the treatments and just let things fall where they may, if it happens it happens, and to be grateful for what we do have, which is a solid three member family. That month was the first month in years that I didn’t cry for hours when the pregnancy test was negative.

But. (Of course there’s a but!) How do I stop the nagging voice in my head telling me to keep trying, to give my daughter a sibling, that our family isn’t quite complete? I’ve got closets stacked with bins and bins of baby clothes and stuff I felt certain I’d need again. I had colors picked out for a nursery (yes, I’m that person). Add to that my two very best friends in this world are pregnant, and I’m trying to be happy for them and not “that person” that can’t put my own shit aside. Add to THAT I have a very well meaning mother, who, when she has a bad day, calls me and says “I need a grandbaby to cheer me up” (she knows every nuance of our journey). When innocent acquaintances (or those asshole strangers) ask when we are going to have another child, I’ve perfected the smile and “oh we’ll see, you never know” – even though it feels like my mouth is full of broken glass.

So how do you know when enough is enough? Will I ever stop counting days? If I can’t have another child, how do I really and truly let it go and allow myself to move forward? I’m tempted to donate every single bit of baby stuff so I don’t have to see it anymore, but I’m not sure I can get behind that yet. I feel sad that there are things I learned the first time around that I won’t get to do differently with a next baby, I’m worried about my daughter being a lonely only, I’m worried resentments and regret could creep up and affect my marriage (even though it’s no one’s “fault” and thus far we’ve handled it well), I’m worried that even if I do manage to get pregnant again I’ll have another miscarriage and I’m not sure I can handle another loss. It all makes me lie awake and second guess myself at night, and every time I think I’ve made peace with a decision (any decision), I go down the rabbit hole all over again.

Any advice would be much appreciated! Read More