Many readers who've struggled with infertility issues could relate to the stories of one couple who decided to quit battling biology and one woman who's not giving up on fertility treatments — the final part of our special report "BabyQuest: The modern pursuit of parenthood."
The stories mirrored their own, many readers said. Most are sure they'll be parents one day, and some have decided adoption is the best route.
"I came to realize that my true desire was to raise a child, not to necessarily give birth to a child," writes Cindy of Orlando, Fla. "The funny thing is, he is so much like me in so many ways that we joke I must have given birth to him in another dimension."
And some readers explain why they still aren't ready to stop pursuing biological parenthood.
"It is so difficult to describe why you aren't adopting without feeling so horribly selfish," writes one reader. "But until I feel like adoption would be our number one choice, I can't do it. It just seems so sad to make a kid into a consolation prize."
Keep reading for more responses.
Two years of trying; 13 rounds of inseminations with the accompanying oral drugs and injections; 3 miscarriages; and finally one perfect baby girl! There is no price I would not have paid or procedure I would not have tried. Keep trying! If it works it's so worth it!!!
— Anonymous, Richmond, Va.
My husband and I know all too well the pains of infertility, after 2 years of testing, Clomid and 1 stillbirth. We adopted 3 beautiful children. We have never regretted our decision. Adoption was the right choice for us. We were sick of the testing and not being able to control our own intimacy. After the stillbirth the thought of another pregnancy was too frightening for me.
— Chandra, Ogden, Utah
At 27, I figured getting pregnant was not going to be a problem at all. I had it figured out — marriage for two years, and then children. Although it didn't quite work that way. Month after month we were not getting pregnant. This lasted about 2 years and finally we pursued infertility treatments. After much embarrassment, heartbreak and dollars spent we still were not pregnant. … My options were a very expensive egg donor program or adoption. … We chose the path of domestic adoption and are now blessed with a very active and charming 2-year old son. Our adoption experience was so positive we are now pursuing the adoption of our second child. Before all of this I never saw myself as an adoptive parent - now I wouldn't have it any other way.
— Katie, St. Paul, Minn.
We are still trying, but decided from the beginning that we won't go beyond the pills for a few months. It's so hard to give up though, especially if you married a guy who you knew would be not only a great husband and a friend, but also the greatest father in the world.
— Anonymous, St. Louis, Mo.
We wanted to be parents - it's as simple as that. While IVF may not have been the path for some, it doesn't mean it's wrong for others to attempt parenthood via this route. ... We were willing to adopt (We infertiles hate when the fertiles say, "Why don't you JUST adopt?" — like it's simple. It is if you're a celebrity.), but decided on the high-tech route.
— Marie, Los Angeles
My wife was terminated from her job because of her "desire to become pregnant" and I lost my outside sales position because I desired to support my wife's emotional needs more than I desired to travel. We relocated so that I could take an office job and my wife would not need to work. Soon after that my wife and I started trying again. This time we went for the IVF treatment. ... After 3 attempts and many doubts, discussions of quitting, injections, office visits, hotel nights, co-pays, and surgeries we were pregnant. It has been the greatest 16 months since Hailey was born. I believe because of our difficult road, we are more apt to look at what we have with amazement and to be a little more grateful. … Keep your head held high, for you are not alone. Please keep working at it because the reward is way better then you could imagine.
— Anonymous, Florida
My husband and I found that we were both “at fault” or “broken.” IVF was what we thought would be our only option and it turned out to not be an option either, and as a matter of fact today we mailed in our paperwork to get our international adoption process started!! We are looking at about a year and half but we know that God has a baby out there for us and we are so excited!!!
— Suzi, Indianapolis
I am at the opposite end of the spectrum. I currently work in a fertility clinic. I am in my 30s and single and I have made the decision that if I can't get pregnant on my own I can't do fertility. I see the obsession of patients, I've seen marriages break-up. I can't do that to myself. I can't be one of these patients. … It’s just not worth going through the stress of it working and the depression when it doesn't work.
— Anonymous, California
When I was 37 and unmarried with no children I tried artificial insemination. I went through a sperm bank in Berkeley, Calif. I went into it telling myself I would give it a try for about a year. I felt that if after a year I hadn't conceived, I would try something else. I didn't conceive through artificial insemination. I became a foster parent the following year. Within 2 years I adopted two healthy newborn babies. (They are now 9 and 7 years old!) I knew all my life I wanted to have a baby. It didn't really matter to me whether or not the child was my biological child. Being a mom was what mattered and I am the luckiest mom in the world!
— Julie, Seattle
My pursuit of parenthood has lasted since I was a naive 36 years old. I'm now 45 years old, and I still hold onto the childhood dream that someday, somehow, someway I will be a mother. ... My story is filled with heartache, but also I've been blessed with a new and deeper appreciation of myself and what I have. — Nancy, Collingswood, N.J
After 6 years and 2 miscarriages my wife and I decided that it wasn’t going to be. Just the emotional side of getting pregnant then staying pregnant was a lot of stress. We turned to a different path 8 years ago by becoming foster parents in New York State. Since then we have had 30 children with us. At times up to 7 at once! We adopted 2 children one boy and one girl. We realize that we may never bring a life into this world, but being able to take care of those that are here and in need is priceless.
— Kevin, Ripley, N.Y.
I finally had a child after trying for years. … I had 2 miscarriages prior to her arrival, and three more after. I thank God each day for giving me this wonderful person who is now my best friend. … My beautiful daughter is 27 and works with autistic children. She is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I have much sympathy and lots of admiration for those who keep trying. It is definitely worth it, there is still hope!
— Teri, Morro Bay, Calif.
I tried for 12 years. I knew that I wouldn't be able to let it go unless I tried everything. Finally, I realized that it was up to me to find a way to be happy with what I did have — a good marriage, a nice home and a job I liked. We finally adopted (with only a 9 month wait for a newborn, because we were willing to accept any race). It turns out that my adopted daughter is the one that I was waiting for all the time.
— Kelli, Houston
My late husband and I decided after several years that we just wanted to be parents so we got off of the in vitro fertilization roller coaster. We adopted an incredible baby boy internationally and we never looked back. He is the joy of my life now and is a happy 5 year old who is at the moment racing around the house with his dog. I grieved for several years the loss of "what could have been" biologically before we adopted and now I could not imagine not having my son in my life. He is the child I was meant to love and parent and truly is the child of my heart. When people ask me, "Is that your son?" (I am white and he is Latino) I always smile from ear to ear and proudly say, "Absolutely!"
— Kim, Winston-Salem, N.C.