PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT an announcement of the outcome of our cycle (beta results in a few days). It is simply a subject that has been weighing on my mind in recent weeks.
Apparently, it has to be said. Stopping is not the same as Quitting.
It is a subtle difference, but an important one. Quitting implies action ceased due to frustration or fear of failure. Stopping implies action ceased due to desire, an educated decision or strength of conviction.
I knew going into this DEIVF cycle that it would be our last, no matter the outcome. Our hearts and our wallets are exhausted. This was part of our decision making process going into the cycle... do we have the reserves to get through even this one more? We decided that we did, but that it had to be the final attempt. Half way through the cycle, I had the realization that indeed, I do not have the heart to do this ever again. In the card we wrote to include with our gift for our egg donor, I thanked her for giving us the opportunity to find peace no matter the outcome. And that is just the thing. This cycle represents our limit. We can move into our future knowing that we did everything we could. We will not look back and regret stopping here. Of course, a negative result or another loss will be heartbreaking without question. But we can find peace.
In this community, those few of us who resolve our infertility journey by choosing to move on child free are often rather frightening to those still in the trenches. They see only "giving up" without the release of a future that was chosen. They offer support in the form they themselves still need: encouragement to keep trying, keep looking for answers, get another opinion. It is well intentioned, but misplaced support.
What we really need, when we reach this point, is for the community to wish us peace with our choice. We need respect for the strength it has taken to make that choice. We need to not be ignored, just because our situation makes people uncomfortable. We also need to remember that resolving this journey without a child does not invalidate the years of struggle and the experiences we have had. We can be a resource to those still struggling. We can be an inspiration to those who are questioning their reserves.