So here’s a couple of questions? Did you know that this week is National Fertility Awareness Week? And did you also know that 1 in 6 couples are impacted by fertility issues? That's a big number!
Let me tell you about my friend, Steffie. She’s honest, supportive and fun but she is also living her own personal nightmare. You see, after years of being let down by her medical professionals Steffie is now unable to conceive naturally. For a number of reasons she has also been informed that she isn’t eligible to have IVF treatment on the NHS. It’s a numbers game, which changes from region to region, and where she lives early 40s is considered too old! But here is the other thing, private IVF treatment is extortionate – we’re talking £7,000 for just one go, and the average couple needs 3 attempts until it works.
Steffie tries to remain positive. Instead of letting her situation beat her, she has created madebysteffieB and introduced us all to the world of the cuties. These little balls of cuteness are made with love, each one is unique and comes with it’s own name, but most of all they are helping Steffie raise the funds she needs for IVF. I have two! One is Millie who you may remember I introduced in my earlier blog and the other is the fabulous Fantine, named after a character in my fave show, Les Miserables! They’re special to me not just because they’re cute and fun, but because they are helping to make a difference.
Given it is National Fertility Awareness Week I felt compelled to write a blog. I’ve been helping come up with ideas to raise awareness both of Steffie’s cause, but also awareness in general. We're half way through the week and I’m saddened to say that there seems to be little noise. The organisation behind the week doesn’t seem to be supporting the couples in need (unless it works for their own fundraising objectives), there is little in the press and when I have asked friends they didn’t even know the week existed. Fertility issues seem to be a taboo subject. People just don’t talk about them. Why is that when it impacts so many of us?
We're all quick to ask the newly weds or the couple of a certain age when babies are comingalong. I’ve experienced this all too often myself since getting married less than 18 months ago. But if 1 in 6 couples struggle with fertility related issues, based on these statistics alone we probably all know at least one couple who has or is struggling with fertility related issues. While I won’t go into other people’s personal affairs, I can say that I know other couples who have been impacted. I’ve watched their joy as IVF finally works, or they have adopted beautiful children. I’ve also been a shoulder to cry on while some of them have gone through some of the hardest years of their life. It’s brought couples together, and torn others apart, and no doubt I also have friends who are going through it right now and just choose not to share.
So, I know this is a little different to my usual blog but this is my way of doing something. It’s not much, but each and every one of you who read this will have taken 5 minutes to think about the 1 in 6. It touches me daily because although I'm not a mum yet I can’t imagine a future without children in my life. If you feel the same then please do what you can to support couples in their plight, whether that is Steffie or someone else you know. Take some time this week to think about them, and show your support where you can with a donation or a share. I know that whatever works for you is always greatly appreciated.
Thank you. I support 1in6.
If you would like to know more about Steffie’s story or want to adopt your own cutie this can be done by visiting her website. If you want to simply make a donation you can also contribute to her GoFundMe page. Thank you again.