Accepting Childlessness?

As I sit in the recliner with a cat in my lap and unable to move, the dogs are excited. I wonder if the fox is back or it is simply a squirrel. Last night, I went to bed early to read. My husband came downstairs recounting how he chased off a fox that was sniffing around the duck coop. I stared at him blankly. You have to be kidding me – he didn’t think to call downstairs, “Fox!” so I could check him out. We see foxes often, not as much as moose, but they are still neat to watch. He has been instructed in the future to notify me of neat critters in the yard.

Tonight besides thinking about critters in the yard, I’ve been tallying up our finances which has me thinking, would it be so bad if we opted to be childless? Not so much as opting, but simply stopping treatments. To take the money we have earmarked for IVF and live. To not pursue adoption. To live a little more financially loose. Forever. The financial freedoms of stopping infertility treatments and not having kids are quite enticing. We could travel more. We could focus on our hobbies. As I type this, I received this text message from husband, “Gloucestershire old spot pigs!!! Err ma gawd!!!” Okay, even without kids, I say no to pigs. I may relent on my long standing no to goats though.

pig

It is one thing to have sex, get pregnant, and have a kid. The costs don’t come until it is too late to back out. For the infertile opting to become parents either through fertility treatments or adoption, we are required to fork out large sums of money before we even get to the expenses associated with having an actual child. Even if you have some insurance coverage, it isn’t free. The time, the heartache, and still some out of pocket expenses. We do not have any insurance coverage. We refuse to do a gofundme kind of account because we can afford fertility treatments if we simply tighten our financial belt. A lot. Plus, I cannot ask someone for money when we have trips to Germany and Hawaii planned. These are our own financial choices, and we are carrying this burden ourselves. Though I wonder if we should be punished because we are infertile and would like to become parents. I feel punished sometimes. You have to choose between children or a vacation? We have to choose between children and a gasket to fix our freezer. Our dryer stopped working, but I’ve refused to deal with it. Our house will remain unfinished and our appliances broken because we are tucking money away for IVF and travel (our current priorities).

I can hear people saying it now that if we have kids, we’d have to make similar financial choices. However, we do not have kids, we may never have kids, and we may blow another $18,000 to be told again, nope. If we do the third round of IVF, we are looking at a total of over $50,000 spent on treatment alone. That is not including time off work, critter sitters, airfare, lodging, and a therapist. Imagine those with or without children could do with $50,000? Imagine you had a baby and $50,000 in the bank instead of shooting it into your ass?

I’m also aware that we can make more money. We could also work less and enjoy our life instead of living in infertility purgatory. I think if money were not a concern, I’d continue to do IVF treatments until it was successful. However, money is a legitimate concern in both adoption and infertility treatments.

So take the money and run? Do our last round of IVF and hope for the best then move on? Kick the can down the road for awhile and try again in a year so we could be a bit more relaxed in our saving? I have a hard time kicking the can farther down the road. I want to move forward with my life whether it includes more IVF, children, or childlessness.

Advertisements

33 thoughts on “Accepting Childlessness?

  1. I can identify more with this post than i can possibly say. At the moment am running so much of the things you say in your post in my head and have been for months. The amount of money spent already on treatment (not to mention the heartache and pain suffered), what that could have been spent on. The idea of having to sacrifice so much for the cost of treatment with no guarantees.

    I get so angry sometimes at society, if we were raised with the idea that not having a child is ok instead of women (not to exclude men of course) but being asked repeatedly ‘when are you going to have a child’ would that make it easier to let go? I am trying so hard in my mind to think about a life without a child (because it’s a strong possibility) trying to let go of these ideals that are instilled from such a young age…

    You are not alone in your thoughts I promise!

    Like

    1. I agree – it is so ingrained in our life plan to have children that it is hard to stop. You go to college, you get married, you have kids, you die. Society makes me feel as if I have no purpose unless I have children. It is hard to come up with a new narrative.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more and so much fuels this. Headlines of celebrities who don’t have children (shocking – how dare they not have children) or of celebrities being pregnant or with kids and talking about how their life wasn’t complete without their child. It’s all so very sad and makes the alternative so hard to accept.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I could not agree more! Not even a week after my husband and I were married we were asked several times when we were going to start having kids. We had already made the decision we were going to wait a while. Now we are wanting to start a family and it is just not happening. I wish that we as a society could put more emphasis on living a full life no matter what instead of shaming people who do not have children immediately or ever due to circumstances out of their control.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This. So this. For the last few weeks I’ve been wondering if we just throw in the towel and accept our childless state – and begin to live a little – will the heart ache around holidays get easier? Once we’ve decided…we can make our own traditions for holidays so it’s not so upsetting. We would be able to travel, I could buy that new Violin I’ve been drooling over, we could get a new truck….etc.etc. Being in the middle of infertility treatments is like living in limbo – you do nothing to make current life better with the goal that your life is about to change so it won’t matter. But the change doesn’t come and all you’re left with is the pieces and a life you’re not enjoying. Everything is on hold. And the part that drives me crazy is that if I got pregnant naturally like everyone else seems to….this wouldn’t even be a question.

    I don’t have any answers for you except this: listen to your heart. Life is too short not too. Also, you’re not alone. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The live a little is hard. I feel immense guilt for taking and planning vacations. That money could be IVF money! What are we doing trying to be happy? I feel like we don’t deserve to be happy until we are successful at IVF. That is a bad way to live but hard to break out of it. But you are very right – life is too short and at some point, I need to write a new ending for us.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You know, round #2 of IVF was supposed to be our last, and while there was an immense disappointment, there was relief too. And now we keep saying #3 will be our last. They are good at selling hope, or I just have some hope left in me. No money left, but still some hope. I think that is another reason I want to get round #3 done if we are going to do it so I can move on with my life.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Infertility purgatory! What an excellent way to describe it. I can’t tell you what to do. I can tell you I’d take the money and run. My husband might feel differently.

    Like

    1. That is the problem I’m running into. My husband feels differently. We agreed on have sex and have a baby. This infertility bullshit is all uncharted. I’m more okay being childless than he is. I said after IVF round 3, we wait awhile then explore adoption. He was like, in 3 months, right? I was more like 3 years or never.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel that I’m simply feeding money into a slot machine in Vegas and hoping for different results. Few in our boat hit the jackpot. When do you say enough is enough and simply accept your fate? Or do you try one more time? sigh*

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I don’t think anyone wants to stop trying, but you simply cannot go on living like this. I’ve also found that the stupid red line moves. :/ We were done at two and now honestly thinking about round 3. You heal, you get back on your feet, and your hope builds again. Always thinking that this time it will be different because it does work for some people.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I agree with “cannot go on living like this.” It’s definitely not easy. I know, I’ve been living in it for 4.5 years. Yes, the red line moves. We haven’t created our red line. We’re hopeful we will be successful despite history.

              Like

          2. I’m sorry to say but i don’t agree, I think this can bread false hope. Everyone is different, with different biological set ups, yes i’m sure it’s true for some but i also think it can give people false expectations and it can also put pressure on woman to keep continuing with the chance it might happen – and in some cases it very much might but in others you have to look at the science and facts. I don’t mean anything by this at all – like i said but i have read so much stories of continued efforts with thousands down the line. I myself am thousands down the line and if anything further away from my child, i am not saying i won’t continue treatment at all but to keep going with no end in sight is not how I can live my life and wouldn’t wish it on others. I can only hope things go everyones way here.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I am glad we have this forum to engage with a diversity of views, even if we don’t all agree. I love that. I get what you’re saying above and I agree with parts of it. No one wants to keep living life with no end in sight, I totally get that. And, yes, we all have unique biological set ups. I like how you phrased that. We agree to disagree on the “false hope” part. This is me sharing my beliefs, rooted in the teachings of Jesus the Messiah and the Holy Bible: we walk by faith not by sight and there is nothing impossible with God. Miracles do happen. I realize everyone has their beliefs and I respect their right and free will to hold their beliefs, views, and opinions. I’m not trying to proselytize anyone; I’m just sharing what I personally believe and what is getting me through this grueling journey. I’m praying for us. Xoxo 😘

              Like

            2. I think fertility clinics are in the market of selling false hope. Statistically, IVF will not work for most people. If you haven’t succeeded by round 3, it is highly unlikely that it will happen. Granted, it does happen for some after round 3, but the odds are not in your favor. That is something I find comfort in. If we do a round 3, it doesn’t work, I can accept that and move on. I won’t have regrets. I know my clinic will say, the next round will be different, but that is only because they are in the market of peddling false hope. The only reason we can endure IVF is that we have that hope that it will work. That we will be in that 30% that it works for and not the 80% that it doesn’t work for.

              Science is amazing, but it is not a magic bullet. My aunt struggled to carry her pregnancies, lost two infants to premature births and had several miscarriages before having her one and only son. If that happened today, those two daughters she lost would have lived. Maybe in 40 years, there will be better treatments for infertility. I look forward to the day when no one has unexplained infertility diagnosis. That has to the be one of the most infuriating diagnosis.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I couldn’t agree more with everything you have said. These places encourage you to continue and charge thousands for it, it makes me so angry and sad to think about the whole process. It feels like they exploit peoples deep and nature desire to have children.

    There has a to be a cut off and everyone’s cut off is individual- there’s no right or wrong but for me, it makes me so sad when I read stories of women who have been on this journey for years and years and years, I personally couldn’t do that, I want to ‘live’ with my husband. We have paused treatment this year after 2 rounds (one ending in miscarriage), next year we are considering a donor round but we are trying to deal with the fact we won’t ever have a child that is biologically ours and to continue believing otherwise is foolish and cruel to ourselves. There’s very much a cut off for us next year both emotionally and financially and I don’t think we should punish ourselves for the cut off. I don’t judge others for continuing at all, I just wish there was some alternative.

    I agree, hopefully one day there will be an end to the unexplained losses and a much clearer path for so many others

    Like

  5. Listen, ladies. I think you do whatever you want to do and tell the world to fucking stuff it. And I have to say, I think if you want to fight hard and do whatever it takes to be a mom, then do it. I sort of am feeling– and I apologize if I’m wrong here, as I often am– that you want someone to give you permission to not stop trying. To be “careless” with your money and keep trying. Because all I’m hearing is that you want a kid, and you are feeling like all of Society, capital S, is looking at you and judging. Plus, what else is money for? Clothes and shoes? Candy? Well yes, but this is a good place to spend.

    I feel all women do this. Like, we look out there and hear all the worst possible shit about ourselves that everyone is thinking and judging. This just came to me the other day. I realized that when I get up in the morning, sometimes I look in the mirror and say to myself, “You are an idiot. You are a mess.”I mean, what the fuck? You don’t know me, but these things are not true. This is what I imagine the world is thinking. But no one is thinking that. In fact, no one is looking at all.

    So if you want to have kids, spend your money the way you want. You will make more. If you are done and want to not have kids, do that. But don’t spend another minute worrying about what you “should” do or “what people are thinking.” Because everyone isn’t thinking anything. No one cares! It’s so liberating.

    Well I care. I want you to have what you want. But I’m special. Most other people can’t even see anyone else through the fog of narcissism. I get the irony here.

    Like

    1. I’m not so much looking for permission, I want someone to make the decision for me. What the fuck do I want? It would be even better if someone could just tell me if IVF round 3 is going to work or not before I do it. That would be ideal.

      At times, I find myself thinking I don’t give a shit what people and society think of me – then I catch myself caring and worrying about what people will think. Like you said though – no one else cares. They are so busy doing their thing to worry about you. As I get older, I care less. In fact, the older I get, the more I become my mother who actually now delights me. Again, something that came with age. On the kid subject, I’m coming to terms with being childlessness in societies’ eyes. And if they ask, I’m honest, and they feel like an ass.

      Like

  6. Oh, also, if I am wrong and you want permission to stop, then I give you permission. Absolutely! Go to Japan and have sex in somewhere really awesome and don’t come back for the sitter. YES.

    Like

  7. Great post. The problem with infertility is that in theory you could keep putting yourself through it indefinitely! It is up to the couple to decide at what point enough is enough. Do they wait until they are totally broke leaving them potentially childless with no money for anything else? That doesn’t make sense to me. Going through IVF over and over is so hard on your marriage and emotional health and pretty much everything in your life. In our case we could probably in theory afford several more IVF rounds if we saved up but we feel that our next and 4th one will be our last. I get really depressed with it fails and it’s awful and so hard to pull myself back up. Having the break the past few months has been really nice. And at times I think it wouldn’t be so bad if hubby and I could continue to travel and do other things. Though even saying that makes me worry that God will think I don’t want a baby enough or something! I hope you and your husband can make the decision that is right for you, it’s not an easy one and I’m wishing you all the best moving forward!

    Like

    1. I feel the exact same way. My final IVF round is this summer. After that, we are done with fertility treatments and moving forward with life. I’m looking forward to being done though I also need this last round before I walk away.

      Like

  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It can be so hard deciding whether to gamble finances on ivf! We have chosen not to! We can really afford it! And if we did get the Money together it’s a crazy gamble that could pay off! But could be over I a week! How are you feeling with this now? Love! 💜

    Like

    1. It is a huge gamble. My last RE didn’t like it when I referred to that so I tried to make him happy by calling it “an educated” gamble though I think that is also what gambling addicts like to think of it as. I have a friend that also opted not to do IVF. They are living childless and loving life 10 years on. It is nice to have a mix of role models to show you that life will go on. We will be okay even if our plan isn’t that same plan life has in store for us.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My expenses copays, coinsurance, etc are slowly starting to add up and I see all of my savings slipping away to pay for something other women make for free. Its so frustrating and the fact both of my best friends are pregnant (with babies they do not want might I add) I feel like Im dying on the inside. Im trying to be a supportive best friend but to constantly hear them complain when they have everything I want is the most frustrating experience ever! I pray that the third time is a charm for you and your husband. Thank you so much for writing this I am so tired of people with multiple kids telling me to just relax and it will happen! Much more complicated than that for me!

    Like

    1. Yes, exactly – “something other women make for free”. A lot of people don’t realize how expensive it is, even adoption hence the “just adopt” comments (uh, they don’t hand out babies for free and the adoption fee is a bit more than that of the animal shelter). I’ve watched friends have their first and second kids while I’m still waiting for my first. Being more vocal about my struggle in my life has helped people think about their offhand comments. I wish you luck on your journey – wherever it may lead you!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s