Two Good Eggs

Two cracked eggs find the sunnyside (and funny side) of trying to conceive

How do you know when to stop?

on March 31, 2013

Recognizing personal limitations is one of the hardest things to do.

My husband’s grandmother is elderly and sickly.  She lives alone in a home that needs repair.  She forgets to eat.  She forgets to take her meds.  Yet, she wants to remain in her home.  How can she tell herself it’s time to stop?  Time to stop caring for herself, and let someone else help?

My uncle has been diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s Disease.  He’s cognizant of most things, but has momentary lapses in memory or presence.  His favorite thing to do is drive his old truck.   It’s too dangerous for him to do this at all, much less alone.   Yet, he feels capable.  How can he make the decision to stop doing the one thing he loves?  To give up his independence?

It’s easy for other people to see when it’s time.  When loved ones have had enough.  When they’ve reached the limits of their capabilities.  When they need to move on, walk away, let go.

It’s not so easy for the person holding on.

This weekend was tough for me.  It was the one year anniversary of my miscarriage.  Last year, on Good Friday, I found myself in the ER at almost 6 weeks pregnant, in excruciating pain.  Last Good Friday I was released from the hospital and told there was nothing to do but wait out the inevitable.  Last Easter, through a painted on smile, I soldiered through Easter celebrations at my home as my uterus shed all evidence of a pregnancy no one knew about.

A year later, the wound has healed, but the emotional scar remains.  A year later, we celebrated Easter with the same family members again.  A year later, on Easter Sunday, I got my period.  A painful, bloody reminder of what I haven’t been able to achieve over the past year; of what I lost a year ago.

A painful reminder of the past 16 months of unsuccessful attempts at having another baby.  Of giving my sweet boy the sibling for which he continues to ask.

How much more can I take?  How many more months do I try, and fail?  How do I know when it’s time to stop?  Every time I think I can let it go, to settle in to the life we have and accept the cards I’ve been dealt, I find that I’m wrong.  I see the signs of ovulation, and think “maybe, maybe this is the month.”

I think it would be easier to let go and move on if I was just harboring the pain.   But, I’m harboring pain mixed with hope.  That’s a strange cocktail to imbibe.  When the bitter pill is wrapped in the sweet coating of hope, you keep swallowing the pill.

How do you know when to stop?


8 responses to “How do you know when to stop?

  1. Courtney says:

    I don’t know how or when we know, but I do think we just… know. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately where the gals just one day know that they’re OK with stopping. I know that I was very close to stopping when we were trying for #1 – and it was B who wanted to keep trying. When we went into our second full IVF cycle (we’d done an FET just prior), I told B that that was it – that I was done regardless of the outcome. He had me convinced to do one more if it failed, but I was only agreeing for him. I would have done it if needed, but I was ready to stop. I just knew.

    You’ll know when you’re ready to stop. You can’t listen to anyone else – you can only listen to you.

  2. KS says:

    I enjoyed reading your post because it is a question I ask myself everyday. When will enough be enough? I don’t want life to pass me by while I wait. I agree with Courtney… you will know.

  3. Kitten says:

    Loss anniversaries are tough. Big hugs.

    I often wonder what our stopping point will be, how we’ll know we’re ready. I think it may be more a matter of not being able to go on, rather than being ready to stop. There are so many factors: emotional, physical, financial. For me, I’ve had to take it one step at a time. Eventually, there won’t be any more steps to take, or the price of taking the next step will be too high. That’s when it will be time to stop.

    • Scrambled says:

      Thank you! You’re absolutely right – so many factors, including money. When the money’s gone, and the tears are too hurtful, we’ll stop, I guess. Good luck to you! xoxo

  4. Connie says:

    Truthfully, I think us as women struggle with the emotional aspect of how we would feel if we did stop with all of the “what ifs”. My MIL gently told me after my 3rd loss being a molar pregnancy that maybe it was time for me to stop. My history of things going wrong the last three years of trying and my age was saying it was time to her However, my heart was not ready for such decision. I was going to keep trying until I couldn’t try any more. If it didn’t work out, then I can say that I tried everything that I could possibly do to have my second child. And I am glad that I did.

    You do what your heart can handle. When it is time to let go or move forward one more time with it, your heart will tell you so and you will feel with every fiber of your being that it is the right decision..

    • Scrambled says:

      Thank you! I think you’re right. My therapist asked me yesterday, “Are you ready to set a deadline?” and I said, “no.” And she said, “Then why are you burdening yourself with this?” I honestly had no answer – other than I’m tired of being sad. But the sadness hasn’t yet trumped the desire to have another baby, so we continue to try.

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