Infertility. A subject very close to my own heart but a subject that is so very often left unspoken. The white elephant in the room, but a subject that effects 3.5 million people. And as I know from my own personal experience, this time of the year is often the hardest when struggling with infertility, with Facebook and Instagram awash with happy families enjoying the snow and trips to Santa and Elf on the shelf fun – an all too painful look-at-what-you-could’ve-won reminder.
I’ve been there, injecting fertility drugs on Christmas Day, turning down the offer of a Baileys “just incase”, driving in snowy conditions to get to time critical appointments for egg retrieval, wondering if this Christmas was going to be the one our wishes came true. And to the nurses at The Priory who walked miles to work in the snow to make sure those time critical appointments went ahead, I will be forever grateful #unsungheros
So why am I writing this today?
Well, a few weeks ago I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram (as you do!) when Fearne Cotton popped up in my feed wearing a rather cute little pineapple pin badge. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a pineapple these days?! But this wasn’t some fashion forward pin she was promoting. It was something far more special than that. This pin badge is the brain child of Sara and Tracey who founded IVF Babble – an online fertility magazine providing resources and support for people facing infertility – and is being sold to raise money for the Infertility Network UK charity as part of the #ivfstrongertogether campaign. So I of course wasted no time in ordering my very own. Because I understand just how very important it is to know you’re not alone and that having someone to talk to about it is invaluable. Mr W and I were very fortunate to meet Mr & Mrs C in the waiting room of the clinic on one particularly depressing visit and they became a fantastic support to us. But I know this is unusual as fertility clinic waiting rooms are usually silent, full of couples staring at their feet, too consumed by their own journey to have the capacity to reach out. But I thank our lucky stars that Mr & Mrs C found that capacity to reach out to us because I’d have never have survived it without them.
Therefore it’s time we started talking about it. I know it can be difficult, but it means such a lot when you’re struggling with infertility. To know someone’s thinking about you enough to ask how you’re doing, to show an interest in what you’re going through, without the need to offer “advice”.
So if you have a friend going through a similar battle, don’t be afraid to ask about it. Take an interest. You don’t have to be an expert and know the ins and outs of how it all works – that’s what the fertility doctors and nurses are for. It’s time for people got over the awkwardness. And if your friends don’t want to talk? They’ll tell you. But please know they will have appreciated you trying.
Here’s a good article on what not to say that might be helpful
And finally, to all of you reading this who are going through it right now, I’m sending you a big, warm hug and lots and lots of positive vibes as you navigate this testing season. I will be wearing my pin badge with pride in support of each and every one of you xx
Show your support by buying your very own pineapple pin badge here
*Please note this post is in no way sponsored and I will not be earning any revenue from promoting the pin badge – it’s just a blummin’ good cause that I wanted to write about and share #passiton
A great write up on a topic very close to our hearts 💕. I have most definitely bought 2 pins in support of this extremely worthy campaign :0))) I am the ‘Mrs C’ you speak about & thank goodness myself & Mr C met you & Mr W in the waiting room because you also helped us pull ourselves through the rollercoaster of IVF treatment. My name is down at the clinic to be contacted as a support to patients going through treatment & I have spoken to many people who just need a friendly ear from someone who’s ‘been there’ – You were there for me & im forever grateful xx