My husband and I are officially diving back in. We have been on a break for a few months as I prepared for and recovered from surgery. The break has been so refreshing – especially after the emotional torments of late summer when I turned 30 and celebrated my sixth wedding anniversary – without a baby…or a pregnancy. This is our third break, the other two immediately following my miscarriages. Each time I have found them so refreshing. I have definitely enjoyed these last few months of relative emotional and mental stability!
No more emotional breakdowns on the day I start my period (or the week before to be more accurate!). No wondering whether each symptom I am experiencing is a sign of pregnancy – or just PMS. No obsessing over pinpointing ovulation. I even attended my first baptism in several months. Although there were times of heartache and longing, I was able to deal with those emotions in a healthier way.
Now it is back to the grind. New supplements and medicines, more testing (although that never really ended), scheduling mandatory TTC sessions, and more obsessing all around.
It can be very difficult for a couple to decide that they need to take a TTC break. We often feel that we might miss that one perfect month when everything falls into place. There are also considerations as to whether we have grave reasons to avoid a pregnancy for a time. It is quite a change to have to actually think about avoiding a pregnancy for once! But taking a break can bring a lot of healing.
The pressure is off in your romantic life and you can spend time courting one another again. For a woman, it can be especially beneficial emotionally. It is important for a couple to decide together when enough is enough and it is time to refocus. If TTC is getting to the point of straining your relationship with your husband, family, and friends, or you are feeling that it is too difficult to bear, I encourage you to prayerfully consider whether it is time for a short break. Even if just for a month. This is a time to refocus – on what is most important in life and on how you are dealing with the particular cross of infertility. Over the past few months, I have recognized some of the destructive thoughts I was having when I would see a pregnant woman or young family. I have learned that my way of thinking was not the way God would have me think. I've become more conscious of those harmful thoughts and emotions and worked towards redirecting them. I know that I still have a long way to go, but at least, I have made a start!
"Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." Isaiah 48:17
"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength." Psalm 23:2-3a
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not." Proverbs 3:5
- How am I dealing with the cross of infertility? Is it negatively affecting my relationship with God, my spouse, or others?
- Do I need to change my attitude or correct destructive thoughts?
- What would be a serious reason for us to take a break from TTC?
- When taking a break, how could I use my time wisely to heal myself physically and emotionally? What relationships may need healing?
Litany of the Way: Prayer for the Journey
As Jesus sought the quiet of the desert, teach us to pray.
As Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, teach us to love.
As Jesus promised paradise to the thief on the cross, teach us hope.
As Jesus called Peter to walk to Him across the water, teach us to believe.
As the child Jesus sat among the elders in the temple, teach us to seek answers.
As Jesus in the garden opened his mind and heart to God's will, teach us to listen.
As Jesus reflected on the Law and the prophets, teach us to learn.
As Jesus used parables to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom, teach us to teach.