85: How to Know It’s Time to Stop Trying

How does it feel to watch your dreams fade away? It’s never a good feeling, but what if those dreams involve how many children to have or when to walk away and end your journey to conceive a child? Somehow, this dream cuts deeper than other dreams that may go unfulfilled in your life. 


Dr. Maria Rothenburger is a fertility therapist and coach who has been through infertility challenges. Her doctoral research focused on post-traumatic growth as opposed to PTSD. Though she still practices as a psychotherapist, her passion has become fertility coaching, as she uses a four-pronged approach for movement toward optimal fertility. 


Episode Highlights:


  • How she and her husband tried for more than 6 years, going through deep depression, anxiety, and intense marriage struggles
  • Why they decided the process wasn’t worth the pain and decided to be child-free until changing their minds to pursue adoption
  • What post-traumatic growth is and how you can recognize it
  • Why Maria is passionate about growth and uses it in coaching
  • What is involved in the question: Can we have more children?
  • Questions to consider if you are wondering if “this journey needs to end”:
    • Do the negatives of trying to conceive outweigh the positives?
    • Do the positives of stopping outweigh the negatives?
    • Are you “talking the talk” but not “walking the walk”?
    • Do you spend time obsessing about trying to conceive instead of living life?
    • Do you live in a way that isn’t in line with your personality, values, and beliefs?
    • Do you feel resentful of the time and energy it takes to try to conceive?
    • Do you have a loss of creativity and curiosity around family-building options?
    • Do you have a feeling of dread around actually getting pregnant?
  • The judgment around your gratefulness, happiness, and positivity for every single moment
  • The acceptance piece and how it brings a healthy response
  • Recognizing the feelings and making the decision to stop
  • Realizing you can grow your life in other ways if you choose not to grow your family
  • How pain and grief can be the impetus for finding joy and gratefulness
  • Maria’s year-long plan for healing her marriage and finding peace
  • Maria’s advice to listenters: “Letting go does NOT mean giving up”
  • The fear and desperation that works against you in creating fertility
  • How and why we withhold joy and pleasure from ourselves
  • Re-train your brain to grow new neurotransmitters and synapses
  • Final words of hope: “Pay INTENTION about listening to yourself and trusting yourself. You already know what to do next, and you just have to tune into it.”






Find Dr. Maria on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter


Pregnancy Brain by Parijat Deshpande

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