I really appreciate some of the comments I got on the last post, because I think it's a good reminder of the truth about infertility. While I often write about the strength and resilience of people on IF Island who are determined to have a family, I also know that there is so much strength and resilience in those who are determined to have a good life, even if it means letting go of fertility treatments. I think one of the strongest and sometimes toughest decisions anyone on the Island can make is to call it. I've written about the decision to live child free before and I can only reiterate that knowing when it's time to stop is one of the most courageous things.
Someone commented about acceptance and essentially finding a different path. This is true for alternative family building and it's true for child free living. Sometimes life hands you a basket of lemons and you have to figure out how to make lemonade. Sometimes you plough through the options you have and when you think there are no more choices you find one that works for you. Sometimes you have to work really hard to look at what is, and accept it, and move forward. Being happy and content is sometimes a decision. Seeing the glass half full or whatever people say-- there's truth to that. Revising how you thought things were going to go is a process, but it's important to remember that each one of us is in charge of our own story.
I often think about the fertility journey as one that involves weighing choices, knowing what you're comfortable with, being realistic about your finances, and ultimately deciding how you want to live your life. Noah and I spent four years working to make a family. Fertility stuff had become our lifestyle and it was terrible. If Momo didn't come to us when she did, I'm not sure what we would have done but I know we wouldn't, couldn't have kept going in the same way. I kind of imagined we would have packed a backpack and left the country for a while. I think we would have needed a life time out and the space to reinvent ourselves and our expectations and decide what would come next. Living child free was never something we imagined for ourselves, so I imagine we would have taken a step away and perhaps begun the adoption process. But honestly I don't know what exactly we would have done.
I love what one person wrote-- that they "have chosen to just enjoy our lives." Sometimes the heartbreak of everything that people go through feels too heavy and too dark to see that there is even that choice. But finding ways to heal the heart and accept what is can help to move all of us towards finding the choices we have, and there's power in that.