Finding islands: Fertility Fest 2019

I read this interview with Maxine Peake yesterday and I loved her analogy of islands so I’m writing this article to encourage you to dive in at the deep end and swim with us. Maxine is taking the lead role in Avalanche, an play which is an adaptation of the book by Julia Leigh. I have read the book and it moved me very much, to read not just about the treatment but it’s affect on a marriage.

You can see Maxine take the leading role in the play on 27th April at the ‘More To Life Than Children’ event at Fertility Fest which is in a new location at the Barbican in the heart of the City of London. On the day you can also hear from Chiara Berardelli, Victoria Firth, Rod Silvers, Benjamin Zephaniah, Bibi Lynch, Yvonne John and Sheridan Voysey . You’ll also be supported by me, Lesley Pyne, Kelly da Silva and Nicci Fletcher. The day is chaired by Jody Day from Gateway Women.

It’s a big deal thinking about going and an even bigger one when you decide to book a ticket, nevermind walking in the door, alone or with a friend or partner.

When I was invited to attend the 2018 Fertility Fest and speak on the stage, I was nervous. It wasn’t actually the speaking that concerned me. I know my site, it’s aims and my story. I have spoken about it so often to mixed demographics with no experiences, that I was pleased to have the chance to share in our community at last thanks to Jessica and Gaby.

My worry was the overwhelming thought that I’d be meeting others who shared my life circumstances. Would I feel challenged? Would it trigger thoughts I’d long forgotten? Would I know anyone? So many feelings that kind of ended with, am I brave enough?

It’s one thing to say to myself that I am not a parent, entirely other to admit to someone else and then to trust them. Thus going to an event that declares there is more to life than the very thing we have longed for, feels massive. What it doesn’t mean is that one has to be recovered to go along, it’s a helping hand. It doesn’t mean that everyone will walk in the door and get a magic answer but you will get a lot of support.

Last year was very different for me. I had that talk to prepare and a different focus. This year will be a change again. I’ll oddly miss standing on the stage, but I am pleased to have more time to talk to people and doubtless will spend time reflecting on my journey too. I found that last year I came away with a renewed sense of worth and vigour about what I do with a determination to speak about areas I believe in like fertility policies and equality in networking. I had a bit of a sort out of priorities and values and where I want to donate my time. This has led to some exciting opportunities including World Childless Week and another exciting collaboration which you’ll find out about if we catch up at Fertility Fest!  

I do hope you’ll be able to join me. There’s so much happening on the day to appeal to everyone. If you find that you need a break or time to rest, then you can find me, I can’t wait to meet you.