Collaboration and support

It's taken me a while to put my thoughts into order, post-Fertility Fest, mostly because three days away from Cambridge meant coming back to lots of work and domestic stuff. It's very easy to get wrapped up in life and not take time to reflect isn't it? But it's important that we do, in order to celebrate those small moments that make it a little easier to bear the sorrows. So what did I learn from this?

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Married and Childless

I met the married couple who write Married And Childless at Fertility Fest. Both myself and Steph at World Childless Week would have happily dragged Michael to the stage because he spoke so movingly about infertility from the man's point of view. His wife, Vickie is an extraordinarily astute woman who had all the right words in the two days we spent together. They hail from Australia so I think they must be the most well travelled in the audience and I hope that we'll remain friends for a long time. I felt like I had known them for years

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Infertile at 17 years of age – finding perspective, creating meaning and living meaningfully, by Andreia Trigo

The WHO (World Health Organisation) defines infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” However, for some of us, we don’t need to have 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex to know we are infertile. I’m talking about children and teenagers diagnosed with genetic disorders, hormonal imbalance or cancer.

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Walk In Our Shoes at Fertility Fest 2018

A unique festival which recognizes that everyone has a fertility story whether or not they have children, the festival Founders - Gabby Vautier and Jessica Hepburn - represent two very different outcomes of the IVF journey. Gabby has IVF twins after four rounds of treatment and Jessica is still childless after eleven. Both women are passionate about creating a world that brings people together to discuss fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies. In particular they want to improve the understanding of the emotional experience of people who struggle to conceive in order to achieve better care and outcomes for everyone, whatever their story, however it ends.

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Walk in Our Shoes is at Fertility Fest 2018, There’s More To Life Than Having Children

Fertility Fest is for anyone and everyone. It’s for people with and without children. It’s for people in treatment and beyond it. It’s for fertility professionals and also for the general public who are interested in how the human race is (and isn’t) being made today. We promise that whoever you are it will be engaging, entertaining and exceptionally enlightening and whilst you’re there, you’ll feel part of a very special Fertility Fest Family.

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The social art of conversation

I was volunteering to speak to my peers at the university. At the end, there was studious silence which is terrifying when you’ve given your soul to something so important. Did anyone listen? Is that person asleep? To be fair to the audience, the fine art student before me had presented an entertaining piece on researching beer label illustrations which seemed to involve a lot of time in pubs.

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We Are Worthy summit

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Worth as a mass noun that is ‘The level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.’Many times in my life I have felt less valued or rated because I lacked the experience of being a parent. I am, according to one forum of professionals, unable to appreciate ‘how lucky I am to have the freedom to do what I want’ because I don’t have children. 

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Mental health issues caused by infertility after IVF or ICSI treatment failure

To do this subject justice, I would need to write a book or two as there are so many variations of mental health problems with different causes and whether or not people have them before or after infertility treatment.  People may be infertile due to many different factors and may not have found a partner to have children with and so are childless by circumstance.  Then there is the treatment itself and the methods, hormones and medications used and their effects on mental health.  There are also those people who choose not to have treatment or cannot afford it or cannot access it.  With all this, are society’s expectations that we should have children and the stigma associated with this when we find that we cannot.    

I am focusing on my mental health problems as a result of having discovered that both my husband and I are infertile.   The subsequent treatment we received and the fact that this failed to result in us having a baby.  

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Booted or bare? Mental health and childlessness

I was very moved to receive a post from a mental health practitioner who writes about her experiences of childlessness and how it impacts on our mental wellbeing. It's an inspiring piece that I felt was very powerful in her observation of herself against her demanding work. It also moved me because it gives so much useful advice that we can apply to how we manage too.

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New ideas, new look!

You'll now find that the website loads to a brand, spanking new landing page so you can find your way around a lot easier! I hope you like it! You'll also see that I've put all the links into neat folders. Under 'Get In Touch' you can email me via the form, find writing tips, get the low down on why Walk In Our Shoes happened and nosey all about me! In Twitter and Facebook you'll get the links to the two support initiatives I've created. And finally, there is the blog. 

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