My phone was inundated with messages after myself, Cat (@trying years) and Keeley (@tryingtobeamum) proposed our IVF questions on ITV’s Lorraine this morning to Dr Hilary. All three of us were aware we would not be talking to a fertility expert. But I don’t think any of us expected the kind of advice that was unfortunately given. The most controversy has derived from Cat’s question surrounding advice on how she should move forward after several failed rounds of IVF and two miscarriages. The generic answer of ‘trying to relax” was met with so much criticism and frustration from most of the TTC community (rightly so) because as individuals we are acutely aware of how annoying that phrase is when trying for a baby. Like I said in my post I don’t believe this was intentional to upset an entire community, just mis-informed and uneducated.
But…..I think Keeley (@tryingtobeamum) explained it in a very articulate way. You are never going to explore the true depths of IVF, baby loss and infertility within a 5 minute TV slot? I could talk for an hour and only cover a small aspect of our 5 year fertility journey. It would be great if ITV/Lorraine choose to follow-up the discussion and move the conversation forward, acknowledging the importance of having fertility expertise within such a discussion. Most importantly, the conversation has started but I do think it is fair that people have a platform to express their thoughts and feelings around the advice given.
I think the TTC community are left bereft with how advice so obvious and frustratingly insensitive can be dished out by a health care professional? Again not soley aimed at Dr Hilary as I am sure we have all heard similar at some point in our journey from a health care professional. As individuals on this journey we are very, very educated on how complex and multi-faceted our own individual diagnosis can be? So for it to be so broadly explained as just “relaxing” to help us conceive no wonder we’ve all got our knickers in a twist. In terms of my own question relating to any long-term health effects of medicated cycles I think that women should be aware of any possible health problems after IVF (if there are any) and screening available. Of course I understand the NHS do not have the budget for this. In most areas, including my own they have cut all fertility funding full stop. The Post code lottery in itself is an impossible task for many on this journey. This is something I may seek out privately if I feel I want to. It has and still is a big concern for me.
I guess what we really don’t want is subjects surrounding infertility and IVF to just fill air time on tv providing sensationalism? What we are really dealing with are people’s lives? The real, raw and emotional turmoil of not being able to conceive naturally and all that goes hand in hand with that deserves to be explored delicately and with respect for all those going through it both physically and emotionally.
There are some positives. Breaking the silence surrounding infertility and IVF must be acknowledged and thank you for all the lovely comments all three of us received from speaking publicly with our own personal battles. I don’t feel very brave, in fact far from it. Infertility gets me down most days but it is the support from the TTC community that lifts my spirits. I feel so passionate about opening up the discussion which is why I started my blog in the first place after I was left feeling so isolated and broken after our first miscarriage. I have met some wonderfully inspiring women and I am sure together we can all help educate, support and raise awareness on the heartbreaking road that is infertility and baby loss. There has been so much love shown today and I really hope it didn’t spoil anyones day too much, this glorious sunshine is hopefully lifting the mood and providing some much-needed Vit D.