Is Taking a Break from Trying to Conceive a Joke?

Dawn Davenport


How to take a break from trying to conceive

Were you able to take a break from trying to get pregnant, or were you always in the back of your mind “trying”?

Trying to conceive when you are infertile is exhausting – physically, financially, and emotionally. Sometimes you need to take a break to allow some time to heal. But when you took a break from fertility treatment, where you really able to stop “trying” and hoping (read: obsessing)? Were you in the back of your mind still tracking your ovulation, timing your sex, and hoping for your period to be a “no show”? Did you secretly hope that all the ignorant folks in your life who told you to “just relax” might just be right–not trying might just be the secret to getting pregnant.

  • I would pretend that I wasn’t trying and wouldn’t test, but when I knew I was ovulating I would make sure to have sex, and if I was a day late or nauseous I would jump for joy.
  • Nope! Still check my calendar… Still hope for missed periods!
  • No. I don’t see how you can ever really stop hoping or being aware of your cycle after so many years of tracking it.
  • I actually did stop paying attention to what time of the month it was (in regards to conception), and that was a great relief. So in that sense, yes, we did stop trying. Now that’s not to say that once in a while I don’t think to myself, “Oh, this might be a good time to try,” or “I wonder if I might get surprised this month,” but on the whole, I don’t give it too much attention. I don’t think the abandonment of hope is the point. The difference is the path we’re purposefully walking down now, and the focus and attention we give to that path. For us, that’s adoption. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t be happy with a pregnancy, but it’s not our focus anymore.
  • We really did take a break, and it was a huge relief. A few months of not actively trying really saved my sanity.
  • No, and this continuing to try even when we’re taking a break contributed to the stress I actually should be avoiding.

Like I said, infertility is exhausting, and our minds, marriage, and wallets really do need an occasional break, but how in the world do you get it?

Were you able to find a way to truly, honest-to-goodness take a break from trying to conceive each month?


Image credit: mariela

23/09/2014 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 12 Comments

12 Responses to Is Taking a Break from Trying to Conceive a Joke?

  1. Avatar sharah says:

    I agree with not being able to take a break unless you are actively preventing. After so many years of trying, I know my body and can’t help but pay attention to where I am in my cycle.

  2. Avatar Karen says:

    While I am taking a break from fost adoption not getting pregnant I can so relate to these posts. And I just want to say I am feeling so said. And so weird because I think my friends think I’m nuts that I’m mourning a phantom child who I never met yet. Anyway, I so appreciate the goals not related to having a child. I spent the last several years preparing to do respite from foster care to and the go for adopt from foster after that if all felt right. Yesterday I learned my agency (whom I just completed certification with this summer and so have not had a placement) is having to lay off 80 percent of staff and I need to start over with another agency. The system here in Philly right now is so confusing that even the agencies I am researching can’t explain themselves how it is working and I am utterly overwhelmed and not feeling at all clear about which agency or path to take. And so sad. I feel like I don’t know where to go next and confused about some other areas of my life (relationship I’m in — supportive of me but we don’t live together and he doesn’t want to raise a child as he is older). I know that in my heart that means I need to take a break when I am feeling so sad and confused. So… my first goal is to write down the phrase: where should I go next and put it in my journal. Then I am going to get out of my home environment (crib, toddler bed) and go to the beach with my boyfriend. I pray for the ability to focus on our relationship and think of some good goals while I’m there. Thanks for listening. Sorry if I high jacked this post about fertility. I am 50 so I am have had to move beyond that path right now.

  3. Avatar Angela says:

    I try to focus on exercise when I’m on a break, but then it just gets me thinking about how in shape I will be when I finally conceive and that gets me thinking about what time of the month it is and if that twinge in my side is my indication that I’m ovulating and if I feel up to having “the sex” that night and if we do will I want to run tomorrow because that might not be good for trying to conceive and…it gets exhausting. I think until there is some resolve, it is hard to not always try-conciously or subconsciously.

  4. Avatar Becky says:

    Honestly, we have taken a break for more than 6 months and it has been the best thing for my sanity. I did 15 medicated cycles back-to-back, and I needed some space. Now, I feel renewed and ready to tackle the TTC struggle with new hope and energy.

  5. Avatar Jill says:

    I just got back on birth control after not using anything but natural family planning for the last 10 years. One baby and then nothing for the last 7 years. I am relieved. It’s hard once you know your body to not know your body so you can’t ever not know the signs of ovulation. Sex for us has been spontaneous and fun again since we terminated treatments about 18 months ago. Honestly I cannot wait to start the pill again. Much like the poster above we started trying when our child was 1. I stopped tracking when we started IUI since they tracked everything for me but I’m looking forward to actively preventing again!

  6. Avatar natalie says:

    I just wanted to add what my goals were because it might be helpful to someone else. You don’t know if there will be a baby in your future. The only thing you know for certain is that you will spend the rest of your life with yourself. Investing in you and in your marriage isn’t a distraction from TTC. It isn’t a time killer. It’s how you grow find happiness.

    My goals:
    1. Join a workout group of women who build each other up and know how to have fun. I joined a jazzercise group. Three days a week I lug my chubby butt in and sweat like a construction worker. I laugh the entire time (mostly at myself!).
    2. Surprise my husband with a few fun trips centered on things I know he loves. We spent a weekend at the beach eating pizza, watching car shows, and smoking cigars. I bought us tickets to see one of his old favorite bands. The music was… Horrible lol. Who cares? He was beaming. We are so much more romantic and affectionate with each other now.
    3. Volunteer with a food bank. I’m still working on this one, a lot of the food banks are done through churches here and they aren’t too keen on having someone who doesn’t attend volunteer.The best I’ve been able to do so far is make burritos at home and hand them out to the homeless. I hang out for awhile and we talk.

    My point in sharing this is that sometimes you have to look at what you can and cannot control, and decide to be happy. I would rather have my lost babies in my arms… But I don’t. I’ll never get them back and although that is so painful, there is nothing I can do about it. I can make a difference in the lives of the people around me. I can build myself into the healthiest version of me. I can listen to death metal for two hours in a crowd.

  7. Avatar natalie says:

    We had two miscarriages before our rainbow baby was born in 2012. My pregnancy with DS was full of so much apprehension and fear. I thought I was going to lose him so many times.
    Fertility problems have been in the front of my mind since 2006. We started TTC again when our son turned 1 (April of 2013). We had two more miscarriages that year. After the last one in December, I just couldn’t take it any more. It was too much pressure, too much heartache. It put such a huge strain on our marriage. I was very depressed about our losses. It was heartbreaking.
    We are on a real break from TTC. We use protection now. I haven’t taken my temperature once since our last loss. I don’t test anymore. I am honestly trying to focus my attention on my husband, son, and my health. I donated all of our baby stuff. I don’t keep toys “just in case.” We tell people who aren’t close to us that there won’t be a second child. Our closest friends and family members know why.

    It’s still hard some days. I know that at some point in the future we might decide to try again. For me it helps knowing that we have a list of goals we would have to reach before we considered it. It also helps that we made a deal to NOT get pregnant for two years.

    If someone is reading this and thinks that this sounds like their situation, hugs. I would really consider picking a few goals that have NOTHING to do with TTC. Pick things that contribute to your personal wellness and overall happiness. Do things that make your marriage stronger and make your spouse feel loved.

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