Over the years, I have counselled thousands of infertile couples. There have been many hits - and a few misses too. Not every IVF cycle has a successful outcome and it’s not always possible for every infertile couple to walk out with a smile on their face. Though IVF technology and other infertility treatments have advanced in a significant manner, nature tends to throw curve balls at us every once in a while , and we are unable to do much about it.
When this happens and patients go through a number of failed IVF cycles, and are told that if they want to have children, they will have to consider alternative options such as adoption, it leaves them shattered. I have spoken and consulted umpteen patients who are inconsolable when they are told that they will not be able to have a child via IVF. They delude themselves into believing that once they have a baby, all their problems will be solved; and they start feeling that a life without children will be empty and meaningless. When I talk to these patients , I empathize with them, and offer them additional options.
One option is to choose to live childfree. Infertility creates a lot of stresses amongst couples and in some cases can lead to a breakup too. But if your sanity, peace of mind and your relationship with your spouse or partner is something you want to keep, choosing to be childfree can actually be very rewarding. There are a number of myths floating around with reference to this topic. Take a look at what they are and let’s bust them:
Some Myths and Facts
Myth- Childfree couples are selfish
Fact- If you look at it objectively, opting not to have kids is far less selfish than actually choosing to have them. Many people have kids for all the wrong reasons- they want their children to care for them in their old age, while some try to have children in order to keep their marriage together. When you choose to live childfree, you are making a responsible decision for yourself , and defining who you are on the basis of the role you play as a human being , and not just as a potential parent
Myth- Couples who live childfree never wanted children
Fact- Just as choosing to have children is a choice, so is choosing to be childfree. Some people just feel that living childfree is right for them, while there are others who have gone through the rollercoaster ride of IVF treatments and have eventually decided to live childfree. Though the journeys of people may be different, the final choice of living childfree is about a personal choice and living a particular lifestyle
Myth- Individuals who live childfree have empty lives
Fact- Many people who choose to live childfree live a life is just as fulfilling, happy ( as well as problem-ridden ) as the life people with children do. The important thing is to recognize the advantages that this particular path presents , and live life to its fullest. Childfree is not better or worse - it;s just different, and you need to have the courage of your convictions to pursue the untrodden and unconventional path.
Many people who do not have children find they are free of the time, financial and societal commitments and burdens of bringing-up children; they have the option to devote all these resources towards the betterment of society, their families , other people’s children, as well as themselves- and this can add a lot of purpose and meaning to their lives
The World Will Always Judge- Be Your Own Judge
I always tell patients who eventually take the decision to be childfree, that it’s important for them to do the things they feel are right and which work for them. They need to decide what works for them. It’s very easy for people around and society at large, to be judgmental of people who live lives that are different from theirs. But I also know for a fact, that though not everyone will admit it, many people will also secretly envy your decision and your independent lifestyle. Remember that childless does not that your life will be any less meaningful than someone else's !
Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better!