Still Imagine You Might Be Pregnant Each Month Even after Adopting?

Dawn Davenport


OK, ‘fess up. Raise your hand if even after you’ve completed your family through adoption or successful infertility treatment, you still secretly do one (or all) of the following:

Still Imagine Pregnant After Adopting

  • Track your ovulation (not through ovulation predictor kits, but in an offhanded way of noticing symptoms and timing), and make sure that you have a romantic evening during that time.
  • Look for pregnancy symptoms towards the end of your cycle.
  • Feel disappointed when your period comes because your body once again failed you.

You are not alone. The longing to be pregnant is hard to kill.

Yearning to be Pregnant

It’s a weird thing – this desire to be pregnant. For some, it almost feels instinctual. If asked, you would likely say you’re happy with your family just the way it is. You might even say that you are glad to be finished with diapers and two-year-olds, and you’re probably very glad to be finished with fertility treatment. And yet, if your period is one day late, that little seed of hope starts to grow and you analyze every symptom (are your breasts a little more tender, are you more tired than usual, are you craving more meat) and the wondering begins. By the second day late, you may even start planning.

What is wrong with you?!?

What in the world is wrong with you??


This is a part of life you didn’t get to experience – pregnancy, birth, genetic continuity.  Your desire to experience this part of womanhood may be diminished, but that doesn’t mean it is completely extinguished.

Still imagine you might be pregnant

. . . that little seed of hope starts to grow

What to Do?

If it’s a momentary feeling, then just knowing you’re not alone should help. If, however, the cycle of hope then disappointment is wearing on you or interfering with your joy and appreciation of your life and family, then seek help, preferably from a therapist that understands infertility grief.

Although it’s not for everyone, I know of a number of women start using birth control after they have adopted. Even though they are infertile, doing this ensures that they no longer have to wonder each month if this might be the month that their body finally starts working.

Have you ever had this experience of imagining a pregnancy each month after you adopted or completed your family through successful infertility treatment? We’d love to hear more about it in the comments!


Originally published in 2014; Updated in 2019
Image credit: Laura D’Alessandro

13/03/2019 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Blog, Infertility, Infertility Blog | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Still Imagine You Might Be Pregnant Each Month Even after Adopting?

  1. Avatar Joy says:

    My tubes have been tied since 2001 and I take hormones just to have a period, but the yearning to experience pregnancy has not gone away. We have adopted and fostered four preteen/teens over six years. We are not done fostering, but any future kids will be teens.

    Our son will be 20 this year, and I am in my 40s, so pregnancy would up end our lives. Knowing I physically cannot get pregnant (tubal included cauterization and clamps) does not decrease the yearning for being pregnant, changing diapers, or raising an infant. No, small child fostering is not for our family.

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      Learning to live with the yearning can be very difficult, I’m sure. I appreciate that you shared your experience with us. I applaud your self-awareness that a small child might not be the best fit for you in this season of your life. Have you found support and care for some of your struggles with the yearning? We have a great online community — found here: — that might be of support to you!

  2. Avatar Cheryle says:

    I just wish I had been able to experience being pregnant. Just once. I really feel like I missed something. But, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. We never expected to have any children and now we have four.

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      Cheryle, thank you for sharing so vulnerably about the longing to experience pregnancy. It’s painful, I am sure. Have you checked out this resource –

      There’s a good section of it that offers ideas and support for finding a therapist that understands and can support what you are feeling. Finding tools to live with the feelings of “missing out” might be of great help to you.

  3. Avatar Anon AP says:

    It’s less a yearn at this point than an awareness that it could be an outside (as in somewhere in Antarctica outside) possibility. We certainly don’t schedule sex anymore, but the only birth control we use is me and my faulty reproductive system. There certainly are months where the thought floats up, but I think of it sort of like doing a catalog for the flu: hmm…that feels different. What’s the date? Riiiight. Probably that again. I suppose it could be that I’m pregnant (hah!), but I guess we’ll see, and god that would be weird. Might also be some sort of stomach bug starting. Or another damn cyst. Ugh. Hmm…did I restock those chick supplies after last month…?

    At some point we’ll decide our family is completely done – still not sure about that – and then my husband will go have permanent measures taken to really take the issue off the table. Honestly if we got pregnant now, I’d be entirely freaked out. Friends of ours who believed they were infertile recently got pregnant, and they said it’s been really hard to adjust to the idea that it’s real. Hard to plan, hard to get excited, etc. They’d moved on, and this came out of the blue. I think I’d be closer to that than the person planning from day 2 if it ever happened. Which it won’t because my innate birth control system is pretty damn effective.

  4. Avatar Mia says:

    I’m afraid of feeling this way once we quit ttc. I want to never think about it again!! But with the number of people who all like to chime in with their “just as soon as you adopt” chorus, it’s hard to ignore 100%.

  5. Avatar Sara says:

    Every blessed month! And up until recently I had thought we might still be up for ‘assisted trying’ and then we did two rounds of respite care for itty bittys. From that, I really realized that I’m happy with the ages of my kids, I’m still coming to understand the commitment of parenting two ‘trauma babies’, and I’m feeling just too old to start over again. So now, I think we’re at the place where I’m going to ask for some degree of birth control, not necessarily to prevent conception, but because I no longer really care if we conceive or not and I’ve decided my monthly cycle is more trouble than it’s worth.

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