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Unbearable: Can You Ever Stop Trying?

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Unbearable  Can You Ever Stop Trying  Wait jpgHaving a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

Having a child is expensive. Without any fertility treatments or adoption lawyers, no matter how you get pregnant, children cost a whole lot of money. Hopefully, soon-to-be parents have considered this before they get pregnant. Most couples take a long, hard look at their finances, their lifestyle and their career before they start to plan a family. Or they don’t plan anything at all, get completely surprised, and look at all of those things in the next ten months and pray it works out when the baby is born. Whatever works for you.

So imagine that you went the Boy Scout route and you were prepared for anything! You already had plans to turn that guest room into a nursery. You’ve looked into your company’s maternity and paternity leave policies. You even secretly bought a baby name book that you hide under your bed. You’re all ready, but it’s taking a while to get pregnant. You’re prepared for anything, but nothing is happening. Most couples trying to conceive are familiar with this phase in the process.

So what happens when, all of a sudden, you aren’t ready? I’ll give a personal example to explain here. Last month, my husband went into the hospital and had major surgery. It was an unexpected emergency with a considerable effect on our finances. We’re fully capable of paying our bills, but suddenly, we were less prepared for a new child than we had been. That nest egg we were saving was spent on ambulance rides and anesthesiologists.

If I were a logical, responsible person, we would have stopped trying to get pregnant. We would have waited until the bills rolled in and the budget was balanced. I would’ve stopped my fertility push and made sure that our house was in order. This is how we addressed every other aspect of our life. We cancelled this year’s vacation. We held off on major purchases that could wait. We tightened the purse strings a little to make sure we had enough cash available to cover all our medical bills. This was the smart, grown-up thing to do.

You want to know what we didn’t cancel? Our fertility specialist appointment. Because after waiting a year to get pregnant, and then bringing myself to call a doctor, and then going through those tests… I just couldn’t put it off. I couldn’t stop trying over a silly little thing like financial stability. What if this month is the only month it will work? How can I stop trying when it might be my only chance?

That’s one of the problems with infertility. It takes away your sense of preparedness and control. It makes your entire life into one big game of blackjack, where luck means more than any skill or personal choice. We tend to think of our fertility as this depleting source of embryos that slips further and further away each month. Our reproductive systems fear aging more than a Hollywood actress who co-stars in action movies. We just can’t wait around! So how on earth could I stop trying?

The not-so-happy ending to this story is that we didn’t get pregnant. And now that we’ve received all those awesome surgery bills and know how much we’ll be spending on that hospital visit, we can budget the payments and feel more secure in our finances. Hopefully we won’t have any other major catastrophes to worry about. But if we do, I’m not sure I’ll be able to put my quest to have another child on pause. I really can’t promise that I’ll ever stop trying until I’m staring at my baby on an ultrasound screen. But don’t worry, I promise not to post those pictures on Facebook.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

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