20 December, 2011


Pearl asked on my last post "If I stop right now and decide I can try to move on, will I regret it a few years from now? "

I can't of course answer that.  I firmly believe that for most of us, we will know when it is time for the decision that is right for us.  I didn't have a choice to stop trying to conceive - my IVF clinic told me/us to stop.  But I/we didn't then look at donor egg, or fostering, or adoption.  That was our choice.  We drew a line and said "enough."  I won't say I have never wondered if we made the right decision.  But most of the time, I know it was the right decision for us.  I don't regret it, and in fact, as time moves on, I am less and less likely to regret.  And I'm not the only one.

Example 1:  Over the weekend, my husband and I were roped into babysitting our adorable 3 year old niece while her parents attended a wedding.  At the end of the evening, my exhausted husband looked across the chaotic room covered in Lego/books/blocks/half a chocolate marshmallow Santa, and said "maybe we should be glad we don't have children."  He was kind of joking, but not really. 

Example 2:  Chatting with a friend who went through pregnancy losses about the same time I did, she commented recently "you know, I look back and think that maybe we were lucky we didn't get what we wanted."

I think our brains are amazing at convincing us that we make the right decisions.  They stop us regretting the choices we make.  I think we are wired to believe our choices are right, and to like or at least accept the lives we have.  It is perhaps a version of Stockholm syndrome.  If we don't, won't or can't adjust to our new realities, we will be miserable.  It's called survival.


  1. I like it! I can see my brain does this. Its easier to imagine my life without kids than with kids - that takes some stretch of my imagination but have wondered if my mind throws a few loops in there sometimes

  2. TOTALLY AGREE!!! We also drew a line after thinking and mulling over the options and some people may think it's weird that we didn't even try to have a full check-up, but we drew the line at that and that's that. I can relate to the brain being able to convince us that we make the right decisions.

    These days I don't feel sad about having my period, though thoughts of being pregnant still flash by if my period is a bit late...but all in all it wasn't devastating like in the past when we were still actively TTC.

  3. Mali, I don't remember how I came across your blog, but I am very glad I did. Thank you again for sharing your experiences and your opinions.

  4. One of the great things about being human is that pain - whether physical or emotional - eventually fades. We can remember the fact that something caused pain, but the pain itself is not something that stays with us. The "time heals all wounds" is trite, but true.

    Rationalizing the choices (or lack of choices) that set us on a different path than intended, and the whole "time heals" thing is what makes the childlessness easier to bear over time.

    I absolutely agree that I'm sometimes glad we never had children - when I'm sick as a dog and would have still had to care for a child, when I worked lots of overtime and just want to sleep the whole weekend (or take a 3 hour nap just because), or seeing the godawful mess that a kid can make of someone's house... it does make it a bit easier to deal with the path we are on now.