In an ideal world, having children would really be as simple as wanting to have children.
But it’s (increasingly) often, not that simple. And when you start negotiating your way through fertility treatments, you can begin to feel like you live in a bit of a will-I-ever-have-a-baby? bubble.
In all honesty, it’s not a particularly fun place to be. It can be lonely. Often it’s not something you really talk about with other people. And even the ones that you do talk to, most of the time don’t get it. They’re either full of well meaning, but a little bit patronising advice (“just get drunk and have a good night, it’ll happen”) or they tell you to “relax.” (Word to the wise, hearing this does not make you feel relaxed. At all.)
Throw in some added hormones once you start actually having treatment and it’s all too easy to lose yourself in a big swirl of longing, fear, envy and god know what else.
We were lucky. We had friends who had endured their own struggles to have children, who would talk to us, check in on us. Remember to ask how we were, but didn’t pry. I worked with a lady who was the self-declared oracle of all things fertility and IVF related. She took me on more than a couple of boozy lunches (I worked on a magazine, in London. We could find an excuse.) to keep me sane. And gave me hope that we *would* one day have a baby
But not everyone has that. It’s one of the reasons I blog quite a lot about IVF and how it made me feel/what we went through/how it turned out. Because I know there are women like me who it helps to feel less alone. Who will stumble across a post late at night when the fear, that they will never carry the child they physically ache to, is becoming almost too big to bear. Who look at a photo of Sonny Jim and think, there is hope.
Bourn Hall, the world’s first IVF clinic, seems to realise this too. And ahead of their new site in Wickford, Essex, opening (very soon!) it’s worth pointing out that they run a number of events to support people who suspect they might have a problem conceiving, or who are worried about the impact of delaying trying for children.
Plus, they also run a Fertility Support Group for patients starting or in treatment and going through the same experiences. The informal meeting gives you a chance to talk openly about how you are feeling to someone who will understand. There is often a presentation by a health professional and an opportunity to ask questions and gain support from fertility counsellors. You don’t even have to be a Bourn Hall patient to join the group.
So if you’re struggling to fall pregnant, then this is just a little reminder that you’re not alone. I was you. Actually, some 3.5 million people in the UK, are currently having difficulty conceiving. And if you can find someone to unload to about it, who understands, it does help. Honestly.
To find out more about support available at Bourn Hall, go to www.bournhall.co.uk.