At the beginning of 2018, with over a year’s worth of very decidedly unsafe sex under my belt and shortly after learning that my husband and I were working with “sub-optimal” (read: lazy) sperm, I started writing a journal…of sorts. At this point, nobody knew of our desire – let alone our struggle – to have children and the journal became a much needed emotional punch bag as I came to terms with our (also sub-optimal) odds of conceiving naturally. Anytime anyone innocently asked me about starting a family or obnoxiously commented on my body clock, I vented it all into my writing and pretended I was Carrie Bradshaw in some kind of much less glamourous SATC spin off. Looking back over some of my entries, I realise now that this was what people refer to as the “angry phase” and I’m very grateful to myself for choosing not to publish any of what I wrote. Some of the gems I’m referring to include:
– The time that pregnant lady on the tube stole my seat;
– Ikea: fresh hell and full of children; and
– Thanks Dr. FatherOfThree but I don’t just need a holiday
…to name a few.
It was around this time that I trawled the internet in search of people “like me” and discovered the online community that would keep me sane for the year of tests and procedures that followed our diagnosis.
Facebook had me believing that absolutely everyone was popping out perfect babies on a 9 month rotating conveyor belt but Instagram introduced me to a world of people who were having a far more difficult time. And they were talking about it. A lot. I followed them all, I subscribed to their blogs, I listened to their podcasts and I bonded with total strangers over the internet – I had no idea of their first names but, oddly, I could practically recite their entire medical history and tell you what brand of lubricant they were using. I stopped feeling like I was the only person having a hard time getting pregnant (yes I know, very narcissistic of me but it’s truly how I felt) and I started feeling normal again….because it actually is quite normal…….in the UK, it’s a “1 in every 6 couples” kind of normal, it’s a normal that I didn’t want to keep secret and a normal that I eventually decided to share in considerable detail on this journal-turned-blog.
My latest piece for abc ivf features some of my favourite UK fertility blogs and I hope that anyone trawling through the internet like I once was will stumble upon one of these superb sites and find them as helpful as I did. Each blog and respective blogger has their own story and their own style so I’ve added a bit of speil to each one with links to their website and social media accounts to help YOU, dear reader, find your tribe.