Tomorrow marks the beginning of Fertility Week 2018; an extremely important week organised by Fertility Network UK to raise awareness of infertility, change people’s perceptions of the horrible disease and raising funds to ensure fantastic charities like Fertility Network can continue to offer crucial support to people throughout the UK.
This year’s theme is #youarenotalone; a poignant message considering how isolating infertility can feel.
I know only too well how alone you can feel when you’re thrust into the world of infertility; especially when everyone in your life is getting pregnant and having babies, you constantly wonder, why me?
In the spirit of reaching out to anyone suffering with infertility and feeling lonely or isolated, I have written the following poem:
You Are Not Alone
You are not alone
When you wake up day by day,
And think you hear a baby cry
But remember they cannot stay.
They were only in your dreams you see
Where motherhood came your way,
And everything was golden
And your aching went away.
You are not alone
When you amble through the week,
Saying “I’m fine” and smiling
Praying a tear won’t leak.
It’s all wound tight inside you
Beating against your soul,
Yearning for that child
You want so much to know.
You are not alone
When you smile and wish them well,
Another mummy in the making
But not your tummy that will swell.
It’s always someone else’s turn
The pain is hard to swallow,
But strength we muster from hidden depths
It does no good to wallow.
You are not alone
We’re a family who have never met,
From every land across the world
We’re the infertility set.
The week covers many topics that are so important to the topic of infertility and go a long way to breaking down misconceptions and stigmas that still surround the illness. What follows is a brief break-down of the programme for the week.
Tomorrow will see Fertility Network reveal the best and worst places to live in the UK if you’re hoping to access IVF. I always feel incredibly lucky to live in Scotland, where 3 cycles of IVF are available on the NHS to eligible couples. However, the horrible postcode lottery that exists in many other parts of the UK is not only unfair but it is completely wrong and needs drastic alteration immediately. The #Scream4IVF campaign has sought to do exactly that, however every signature counts so please, please sign the petition here if you feel you want to help http://www.scream4ivf.org/
Tuesday talks about Life Without Children; a possible scenario that Dave and I may have to come to terms with in the future. At the moment it’s not something I can even begin to contemplate whilst we still have some fight left in us and options to explore; however it’s a situation that many people have had to accept and try to move forward with a life that doesn’t include children. Fertility Network will be hosting 2 webinars on Tuesday night; one with author Lesley Pyne who talks about her book ‘Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness’ and the other with Dr Sofia Gameiro who will offer practical advice for those who have not achieved their parenthood goals. I will be attending both of these webinars and I encourage anyone who is interested in these topics to do the same. You can find more information about these at http://fertilitynetworkuk.org/for-those-facing-the-challenges-of-childlessness/support/2018-webinar-series/
Wednesday explores the topic of #FertilityFellas. Infertility does not only affect women, however it is predominately women who feel they can open up and talk about infertility. Therefore, men often keep quiet on the area, despite the most common reason for couple’s resorting to IVF being due to male factor infertility. It’s about time that men felt at ease enough to open up and share their stories. Please offer an ear to any man you know going through this difficult journey.
Thursday talks about #Fertilityatwork and your rights in that regard. Do you know what your employment rights are if you need time off work for IVF or other fertility treatment? Fertility Network share some of the most important facts.
Friday focuses on Fertility Education and the important statistics that everyone hoping to try for a baby in the future should know. For example, did you know that by the age of 28 women’s fertility is already falling? #FutureFertility is so important. It’s not just people who are facing fertility challenges at the moment that should be aware of these vital statistics but it’s something that future generations should be educated on, so we can hopefully reduce the amount of people needing infertility treatment in years to come.
On Saturday & Sunday Fertility Network UK will be attending the Fertility Show in London. This is the biggest fertility show in the world and is worth attending if you want to find out more information about infertility or explore your options.
I hope this gives you more insight into this brilliant and really important week. For someone like me, it’s a way of making my voice heard through the fantastic work that Fertility Network UK do. Please offer any support that you can to anyone going through infertility. Sometimes all we need is someone to listen. Thank you so much xx