Taking a Break from TTC
Psalm 55:6 I said, "Oh , that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest."
Warblers darted from branch to branch as I paddled down the Rogue River in my kayak. A startled muskrat dove deep to reach its hiding place on the muddy bank. Fish jumped in the dappled sunlight. Gentle whitewater shushed anxious thoughts. For the first time in months, the knots inside me loosened and then fell away. I breathed deeply and thanked God for these moments of sweet relief.
Have you ever wanted to fly away? The words of David in Psalm 55:6 make it clear that we're not the first of God's people to long for an escape plan.
During infertility, our preoccupation with having a baby can leave us desperate to break away from the hope-despair cycle. And if you've experienced strained relationships, prayer block, emotional overload, financial over extension, or pregnancy loss, it might be time for a break.
"But I'm getting older," you say. "I can't waste time taking breaks. What if this is the month?"
Yes, I remember the uncertainty. The sense of urgency. The false belief that fixing our infertility was 100% my problem and within my control.
A reminder, friends: You are not God...and even he took breaks (see Genesis 2:2).
Taking time off from "trying " - for a few months or even a year - can help us find our way back to homeostasis, that state of equilibrium we enjoyed before baby dreams hijacked every waking thought. Giving up on the idea of a positive pregnancy test frees us to consider a menu of other positives.
So, what might taking a break look like?
Remember the first day of summer vacation when you were a kid? June, July, and August stretched out before you like eternity. Perhaps you dreamed of mornings enjoying your favorite cartoons, afternoons splashing in the lake, and evenings catching fireflies. Or maybe you anticipated your annual family camping trip, when mom and dad threw out the rules, doling out chocolate chip cookies like vitamins and inviting everyone to stay up late for stargazing.
A break feels like this. Wide open. Unlimited. Free from expectation, but filled with possibility.
During a break from infertility, there's only one rule: Stop. Trying.
Our 15-month break freed me up to date my husband again and to pursue a role in a community theater production. At the end of our break, at 31 years old, I held this nugget of truth: I still want to be a mom...but I'm done with trying (which is a whole 'nother story!).
Your break might involve:
Dating your husband
Deepening your friendships
Trying a new fitness plan
Taking your career to the next level
Getting away with your girlfriends
Dreaming new dreams
Pursuing a passion
Starting a ministry
A break is simply a time to hit pause on the baby loop playing in your brain. It is, truly, the beginning of anything you want. When you let go of the one thing you can't have, your hands are free to grab hold of everything else. Which is when a break becomes a bridge to hope.