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Question
Posted by: K | 2020/01/10

Should I give up or not?

Hi Doc, I need advise, actually I need someone to make a decision for me (if only it was so easy). I have been married for 9 years, we have been pregnant throughout this time 4 times, one of the pregnancies were successful and we have a now 4 year old son. I am turning 36 this year and I feel that i am really now getting to a stage where i really need to decide whether i want to go through this any longer. I know that i want another child, my husband says that he would be happy either way so it is up to me. I keep putting myself through the heartache every month when that test is negative and it is really emotionally draining. Add to the fact that everyone around me is pregnant (my best friend, 3 of my work friends and a cousin that i am very close to). I am almost a regular at my gynae, and there is really nothing wrong with me or hubby fertility wise, but it is just not happening. I know people always say that i need to forget about it and it will happen itself but i wish it was just that easy. I spend a lot of time with my son, and try not to think of it, but i just cant help feeling that disappointment each month, and the clock is definitely ticking.. How can i just find peace with having only one child? Or should i keep putting myself through this for another few months just to perhaps be disappointed with another miscarriage again?? Should i give up or not, and if i do, how will this affect how i will feel in future when i look back at this time and wonder if i shouldn't have tried a bit longer? We have been trying to get pregnant the last 2 years again, first it took quite a while and when I eventually got pregnant again, it resulted in a miscarriage.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2020/01/13

Hello K,
It's never best to ask other people to make significant decisions for you, even in situations you find baffling.  Suitable others can perhaps help you clarify the problems you face, what your options are, and to help you make a wiser decision ; but do not give up you own important power.
I'm sorry that you have had the sad experience of a number of miscarriages ; that's quite a common experience but no less sad for that.
I wonder whether the problem is not entirely what you assume it to be.  Many women are for various reasons unable to ever have a child ; many of these are not happy about this, but come to terms with it and gain satisfaction from other aspects of their life ( which exclusive focus on pregnancy / non-pregnancy tends to prevent ) ; or they look at other options, such as adoption.
Many women are content to be the mother of an only child : only children have a number of real advantages in life, especially if their mother can avoid excessive focus on their "only-ness" and avoid spoiling them. 
Child-bearing,  very important as it is, is only one of the many potentials of any woman.  Focusing too exclusively on that, as if it was the only purpose in life, and the only thing she might be good at, is unfortunate and can reduce someone's capacity to find all other varieties of fulfillment in life.
As one approaches one's later 30's, the risks to mother and child of later pregnancies increases. 
But I'm especially concerned with the burden you are creating for yourself : "I keep putting myself through the heartache every month".  Don't allow yourself to feel pressured by whatever is happening to other people. When you say " everyone around me is pregnant" that's how it seems because you have chosen to see being pregnant as one of the most important possible things ;  I'm sure there are many excellent people around you who are not pregnant. But you don't see that as a reason to celebrate not being pregnant.   Maybe it feels like a sort of mockery of your repeated disappointments that others have become pregnant. 
It is an important fact that, as I remember from the days when I did some gynae /obstetrics, stressfully struggling to get pregnant can indeed reduce fertility just when that is not the effect you'd want ; and we're well familiar with couples who, when they decided to stop "trying", and just to enjoy an ordinary sexual and emotional relationship, do indeed find a sound pregnancy occurs.  Not always, of course ; but once one has freed oneself from this almost obsessive focus on getting pregnant, one is able to find greater fulfillment in all other aspects of life : in your marriage, so someone who clearly loves you, in the pleasures of raising your child, in helping him to feel celebrated for who he is, without so much focus on the other child, as though he is somehow insufficient on his own ; and so on.
I think it could be very useful for you to see a wise counselling psychologist who could help you to understand yourself better and to enjoy the whole good picture of your life, rather than looking only at one corner of it.
DO feel free to return to the forum and let us know how things continue to develop.

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