If you are new here and have found yourself at my blog because someone you know shared it (thank you everyone!), then I would invite you to click this link. It explains how to navigate around my blog and which posts to read assuming you haven’t really got time to read them all!! (If you do want to read them all though, that is wonderful!! My very first post is here.)
We have finally arrived, at National Fertility Awareness Week!! It feels like I’ve been waiting for this week to come, for a long time. The week of awareness runs from Monday 30th October to Sunday 5th November – and this year it’s a big one!! The reason is because this year IVF is 40 years old.
How amazing is that!
Louise Brown was the first baby successfully conceived via In Vitro Fertilisation in the world and this happened right here in the UK on November 10th 1977. Nine months later she was born in Manchester. Her parents suffered nine long years of infertility, with complications of blocked fallopian tubes. The procedure was developed by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, who was later awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine. Four years later the Browns had another baby –Natalie, who was the 40th person conceived via IVF. Interestingly, many years later, Natalie was the first human born of IVF to then conceive naturally her own children.
Whilst we are still waiting for our miracle, hundreds of thousands of couples have had theirs over the past 40 years. Although this process can be challenging and frustrating and devastating, it is worth remembering that without it – we (like many others) would have no chance of a biological child of our own at all. And even though one of the aims of the week is raise awareness around the fact that it is often not successful and fails 70% of the time, despite 40 years of research – we are lucky to have this chance.
The infertility community uses events like NFAW to raise as much awareness as possible and really try to smash the stigma around #infertility, trying to conceive (#ttc) and childless not by choice (#cnbc). The week is led by Fertility Network UK and I’ve mentioned in a previous post that there’s a few different campaigns being ran this year.
#IVFmemories is where they have asked people for their IVF stories or memories and are collating them all onto one page of the website. The hope is to reflect how people feel about the treatment; the good, the bad and the downright heart-breaking. I have (of course!) submitted our story for the website. You can find the link here – but as always, don’t bother to read ours…you know that one; read a new story.
#100fertilityfaces is where FNUK are asking infertility warriors to sign up to be one of their 100 Fertility Faces and pledge to raise £100. I am holding a coffee and cake morning next Saturday, in the hope that I can entice people out of their hard earned cash for a bit of sponge!! I am so lucky that my brother’s good friend Linzi from The Tiny Bakery in Clarendon Park, Leicester is providing me with a Unicorn cake, at her expense…this is such a generous donation and I know it’s going to be yummy!! If you would like to donate to my 100fertilityfaces online, then I have set up a just giving page here and any donations made, however small, are so gladly received.
Another aims is #talkfertility and this is about raising as much awareness as possible, which as you know – is a real passion of mine. So with this in mind, I have devised a way to get you guys involved (yey!). I have a plan to pledge £100 of my own money IF I get 100 unique shares or retweets of my blog. This means 100 different people share or tweet either my home page or this blog post, across facebook or twitter.
SO GET SHARING!!!
I really hope that by using all these techniques, we are able to change the way in which fertility is spoken about and start to make it easier for people to get help and find others going through a similar thing. Fertility Network UK provide so many services for people at the start, middle and end of their journey. I am proud to be a volunteer for them and to help them raise not just money, but as much awareness as we can of this brutal process. Things are starting to change, especially since the American Medical Association re-categorised infertility as a ‘disease’, but the more we talk about it, the easier it will be for everyone to get more comfortable with the subject, thus making women and couples feel less lonely and isolated.
Don’t forget, if you are in the Leicestershire area and dealing with primary infertility, I would invite you to join our confidential, closed Facebook support group which I run in collaboration with Fertility Network UK. Search Leicestershire Fertility Group in Facebook or follow this link.
And if you want to keep up to date with my blog posts, hop over to Facebook and like my blog page to receive regular updates, especially as we come up to treatment cycle four. The link is here.
Finally –more great writing news. My second article has gone live on Fertility Smarts website. I’m really chuffed with this one, it’s an adaptation of the post I wrote about myself and my best friends relationship during her pregnancy and my infertility (link to previous post). Fertility Smarts are pleased with it too, so I hope it does well. You can check it out here.
So all that’s left for me to say, is thank you so much for your support. It’s a big week in the infertility community and I want to do my best as an Infertility Warrior. Thank you to everyone who comes to my coffee and cake morning, everyone who donates via Just Giving and everyone who shares this post. By clicking that share button, you are directly helping other people suffering with infertility, by ensuring I donate £100 to Fertility Network UK. You have until next Sunday, so please get sharing!!