You see it a lot in the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss world and even the Infertility world. People questioning when enough is enough. I know even I was tempted by the ‘try one more time‘ even after 6 losses mind game as we planned on a FET after losing Abby. Often times you see the try one more time turn into a try again and again and again.
When do you stop this crazy trying to conceive(TTC) race? Or the crazy TTC and hope you don’t miscarry again race? When do you stop trying drug x or drug y thinking that might make it ‘work’ this time? When do you decide that you’ve seen enough specialists and have had enough labs drawn? How many miscarriages is enough?
This is such a personal decision- no one else is walking in your shoes or living with your relationship or parenting your child(ren)(if you have any). No one else can know what recurrent miscarriage or repeated IUI/IVF failures have done to your body, heart and mind. Other’s experiences may provide you with some lessons learned but ultimately you need to own your own experience.
This hits home when I realize that I’m a ‘quitter’ in the RPL world (and yes, I was called such by someone on a RPL group). I only had 6 miscarriages and Sally over there has had 11 and she’s still trying or Jill over there has had three children and then 7 miscarriages and they are still trying. I think many people try to be encouraging- ‘Don’t give up, don’t quit, you can do it, great things come to those who wait, maybe next time your bean will stick!’ Honestly, I’m not a huge encourager. I have to be realistic with myself, and I tend on the slightly negative side. I also don’t get how some women can keep doing the exact same thing over and over and over again with the same result don’t see that as insanity. But that’s their choice- if it doesn’t drive them insane, I really should have no say over it. I just think that in being encouraging that we should be encouraging people to be making the best decision for them, not just encouraging them to keep trying. People shouldn’t feel bad or guilty because they say enough is enough.
Then there are the things that just tick me off-
First is when these women say that if you stop TTC anymore that it means you didn’t want it badly enough. You must not REALLY have wanted that baby if you aren’t trying again. This really irks me that women who decide to get off the roller coaster of loss have to feel like had they just WANTED it more, they may have ultimately had success. I guess we’ll never know, will we? But I do believe, that when it comes down to it- what is in our hearts and minds has NOTHING to do with what biology may or may not do. At the end of the day, some women will not be able to carry a(nother) baby and doctors may not ever be able to offer an answer. You can want it till you are blue in the face, but that is a sad reality for some percentage of people. It’s bad enough to feel like your body failed you and to stop without a(nother) baby, but she shouldn’t also have to have others tell her that she should have wanted it more.
Next is when someone does FINALLY get that pregnancy success and then she decides that she’s going to swoop in and ‘save’ the rest of us from our RPL. I’m glad for her when I read that she has a healthy pregnancy after several losses. And I think it’s great if she says what may have worked for her this time (ie, this time she used steroids or progesterone or xyz)– maybe someone else can take that to an appointment with their doctor. But it irks me to no end when she generalizes that ANYONE who tries another pregnancy without using what worked for her that they are not advocating for themselves enough or they aren’t seeing the ‘right’ specialist or they should just get the drug and try it anyway because its a harmless drug. Like we are all stupid and just blindly miscarrying without trying ‘enough’ medical intervention. I’m glad you attribute a baby aspirin or a progesterone pill to your healthy pregnancy. But don’t presume that everyone will benefit from that or imply that their miscarriage was their ‘fault’ because they weren’t on this drug therapy or because you didn’t push your doctor enough. Last time I checked, there are no magic bullets to prevent miscarriage. There are some crazy (untested, uncertain, and sometimes even dangerous to mom or baby) things out there that people are trying and there are still no guarantees.
So I’m trying to be ok with my decisions and experience. I’m not there yet and I’m not where I want to be, but I won’t feel threatened or disappointed or whatever emotion when other people take different paths. If someone else is done, I respect that she has made that hard decision. If someone else is trying again, I respect that hard decision. If someone is moving on to adoption or surrogacy, I respect that hard decision. And when someone asks the question, ‘How do you know when enough is enough?’, I’ll offer the most thoughtful response I can and remind them that what’s in their heart is most important. If they don’t know, then maybe they need some more time to figure it out. But I owe them more than just blindly saying to hang in there and keep trying till they get their rainbow when that may not be what’s in their heart or what’s best for them. Only they can know.