When Should You Stop Trying?

When should you throw in the towel and look for other options?  How long is long enough to know that you aren’t going to conceive?  I have had countless readers contact me with detailed information about their situations looking for hope and reassurance.  Sometimes they have been looking to me to help them decide if they should stop trying to have a baby over 40.  How does a woman make that decision?

I recently read that “over 90% of women over 40 need to use an egg donor.”  I certainly don’t buy that.  There are stories for decades about women over 40 who had babies (with their own eggs).    I conceived twice at age 44 with my own eggs and personally know many women over 40 who did the same.

This isn’t to say that conception rates don’t go down over age 40 because they certainly do.  And risks go up.  That is a fact.

I also thoroughly believe in the power of visualization and positive energy and am certain it helped me conceive.  So where does that leave us in trying to decide when to stop trying?

Each woman knows in her heart when it is time to stop.  My friend, Sharon Simons (www.momatlast.com) had a heartbreaking and life-threatening miscarriage of her twin boys in her second trimester and decided it was time to start focusing on adoption rather than conception.  She knew that was right for her.  Now she has 2 beautiful boys that she adopted in Russia.   I tried to have a second child but ran into problem after problem.  For me, it wasn’t as heart wrenching as it would have been the first time because I have my beautiful daughter.  It was still hard.  Very hard.

As many of you know, I believe strongly in the philosophy of having no regrets and I think that is where the decision to stop or keep going lies. These are some of the questions I have asked myself and I think it’s a good place for many women to start as they consider moving forward with trying to conceive or moving in another direction.

  • Is the pain of going forward and the risk of heartache stronger than the risk of regretting not continuing to try?
  • Do I have a deep knowing inside that one decision is the right one?
  • Can I live with the consequences of my decision (emotional, physical or financial)?

It is also very important to remember that there are other options for having a child besides conceiving and delivering that child yourself.  We routinely read about women (like Nicole Kidman, Giuliana Rancic and Martha Stewart’s daughter) having their biological children via surrogate  There is also egg donation and adoption.  I have found that very few things are impossible in life.  However, sometimes life does require us to look at a situation creatively to make it happen.  When I was in the corporate world, I used to ask my teams to come up with 5 solutions to a particularly difficult problem.  Some of the 5 might be outrageous, but the process of thinking creatively almost always got us to a good result.  I believe the same applies here.

I wish every woman the joy of having their own baby; and send love,  hope and peace to every woman trying no matter what road she winds up traveling.


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