Sunday, November 18, 2012

PSA: Stopping vs Quitting

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.


  1. I LOVE this post....making the right decision for your situation is so important. For those still in the trenches, I don't see it as giving up, but as an option that is OK. The whole ALI experience is so taboo, it's relieving to me to see what the options are. Choosing to live child free is an option, and it's not taboo. It's what is right for those who choose it. I think realizing your limits is SOOOO important in this struggle. Right now my husband and I are at different places. His limits have almost been reached and mine have not yet(I really do have a limit, I'm just not there yet).

    I love how you ask for the community to wish you peace in your decision. It is so important for the community to continue supporting all it's members regardless of where their journey takes them. I'm hoping this cycle worked for you, but if it did not, I'm happy to know you have found peace.

  2. Very well said. I want to add that stopping doesn't mean you stopped wanting to have kids or that you must not have wanted them to begin with. Its a tough decision and one that requires a lot of thought and courage.

  3. When you know it's time, it's time. It doesn't matter how many or few years you've been trying, or how many or few treatments you've had, or how much or little money you've spent.

    This is an important post and I admire you and Ms. Infertile for making these points to a community that is (or can be) afraid to hear it. But first, lots of good vibes for this week. One step at a time...

  4. Well said indeed.
    "We can move into our future knowing that we did everything we could." versus how much heartbreak one can willingly risk.

    and also what butterflyonmyshoulder pointed out : "that stopping doesn't mean you stopped wanting to have kids or that you must not have wanted them to begin with"
    yes, indeed.

    Wishing you your future back (because I felt like I did not even have a future, so lost was I in the trenches)

  5. Such an important post for the ALI community about such a crucial difference in words...thank you for sharing this.

  6. This is just so amazing. It's so true. When I was in the proverbial trenches, a fellow fighter STOPPED. She was SO at peace and went on to do such fun things in the next year without any tinge of sadness, that I was consumed with jealousy. She totally inspired me to think of the possibilities and begin to even be excited about the possibilities of a child-free future. You've inspired with this post alone and wish that I could have given it to my in-laws when things started to get pretty preachy. You will have an amazing life no matter this outcome. Because that's what amazing people do.

  7. Understandable how you feel. J and I might yet get the chance to do donor eggs which will be the end of our journey no matter the outcome too.

  8. This is such an importnant post, and a perspective that is often lacking so much in our community. Finding peace at the end of the journey - no matter what the outcome - is so important. I really admire you for speaking out and sharing your perspective at this point in your journey. xo

  9. I hope you don't have to make this decision but either way I wish you comfort and peace.

  10. well said and I do wish you peace (and good news).

  11. Wow - this is a wonderful post that everyone should read. I like your point about not encouraging people to keep trying once they've decided they're done. So important! We all need to value each others' own decisions that we're making for.. ourselves.