Some Doors Close on Their Own {Letting Go of the Struggle with Infertility}


woman sitting in grass gazing at sunset

The Plan

This is not the life I planned.

It’s a wonderful life — full of joy and love and laughter. But it’s definitely not the life I had planned.

It was a really good plan. There would be several children. (Mostly girls, of course.)

I did all the things I was supposed to do: worked hard, went to college, got married. Check, check, check. I was well behaved and super responsible. I did all the things in just the right order. My husband and I spent five solid years together, just the two of us. And then we were ready for the logical, reasonable next step: parenthood. We were ready; we were excited.

But pregnancy didn’t come as easily as we expected.


Infertility catches most of us by surprise. It’s an unexpected detour down a long, lonely road.

We pursued adoption and fertility treatments simultaneously, trying to be open to every opportunity, to leave each door open. Eventually, I did get pregnant. I was one of the lucky ones.

It took us nearly three years to have our son. To anyone still in the middle of the infertility journey, the most encouraging thing I can say to you is that the day I held my sweet boy for the first time, it was like someone turning on a light. I felt like I had known this precious baby my whole life. Oh, there you are! Where have you been? I’ve been waiting and waiting for you.

>> RELATED READ :: My Broken Road to Motherhood :: A Story of Infertility <<

The Plan (Again, A-hem)

The infertility treatments had worked. So, clearly, they would work again — immediately and easily. We waited a year to try again. There was no rush. I felt like I had figured it out; I had solved the problem. I knew how to get pregnant. I deserved to get pregnant. 

But, I didn’t get pregnant. And then, I still didn’t. Years passed. We considered adoption; we explored and tried different medical options.

My friends and family were as supportive as they knew how to be. But, at some point, I began to feel like I had worn out my welcome a bit. Was this my whole story? Was this the only thing I was talking about anymore? Was it the only thing I was thinking about any more? Had I accidentally become obnoxious?

I realized I was spending so much time, so much energy, focusing on the children I wanted instead of on the amazing child I had. So, I made a decision to let go. I decided to celebrate the son I had waited so long for. (He’s pretty fantastic and definitely worth celebrating.)

Letting Go?

silly faces

I have been able to shift my focus, to be grateful and content. I cherish this sweet boy and delight in being his momma. I’m not sure, though, how to completely release the old dreams.

I find myself in an undefined space. We aren’t actively pursuing pregnancy or adoption. I no longer spend my days at doctor appointments or my evenings dreaming and researching and worrying. I’m not spending money on ovulation kits and pregnancy tests and fertility treatments. I’m not spending my time with friends talking about the next step or the new plan. I’m not spending quiet moments with my son imagining his little brothers and sisters. Not usually. But sometimes I am. 

If there is a space that lies somewhere between letting go and holding on, that’s where I am these days. Some doors just close on their own. I am on the other side of my mid-thirties, and my husband is well into his forties. At some point soon, I suppose we’ll just “age out” of this whole conundrum. For now, I’m not entirely ready to say that I’m all done. I don’t know what that means exactly, and I think I’m okay with that.

The one thing I can say for sure is it doesn’t matter what I plan, what I decide. I cannot control the future. I know for sure I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.

But do you know what? Even if tomorrow isn’t what I planned it to be, it might just be wonderful.


  1. I completely understand your story as we went through something similar. Our first child was conceived through IVF with ICSI and we tried again after her with no results. My husband being older and I decided that we were meant to be a family of three so we decided that we’re complete and stopped trying for another. But life decided that we did need another child in our life a few years later, so now we are the proud parents of one IVF girl and one surprise little boy. As the saying goes, life happens when you’re busy making other plans!

  2. Such a beautiful accounting of a painful part of life. Thank you for sharing your story and making another person waiting to “age out” feel not so alone.
    Unfortunately, just when you think you’re over the hump, your friends start having grandbabies and a whole new yearning has to be dealt with.
    Loving the life you have rather than the one you envisioned is a wonderful way to find joy.

  3. Well said Heather. Your story is what makes you who you are. You are kind, sympathetic to others, well spoken, funny and a great writer.

  4. I did everything “right” too, but never ended up (or at least so far) with a life partner. I decided to adopt a baby, and then was asked to consider a 7 year old. I had to grieve the loss of some dreams to replace them with the amazing. I don’t regret anything, but there were seasons that were lonely and hard. None of us is truly alone.

    • What an awesome story! And, you are so right — even when we I felt alone — I never was. Thank you for sharing. ❤️


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