My name is Harri, and an IVF Warrior on a mission to write a book that will document my intense journey
In brief, in 2018 I started my first IVF journey and was lucky enough to have a healthy baby boy at the end of it. In 2021 I started my second, and the day before embryo transfer I got Covid and couldn’t continue. In 2022 I started my third journey, which having been successful, sadly ended in a miscarriage. I have one embryo left in the freezer, which marks our very last attempt.
During my first IVF treatment in 2018, I began daydreaming about writing a book that documented the journey of what I was going through. It all felt so unknown, so unspoken, but also so personal and unique. Ideas would ebb and flow, but I’d rarely verbalise any of them, let alone even humour the idea of it becoming a reality.
After a successful first treatment, I was lucky enough to find myself with a small baby whom I looked at with such admiration and amazement (especially when I reflected on the journey we went on to get him).
In between wiping up poo, or soft boiling courgette fingers, I found myself submerged in the new world of parenting, and my big book idea took a backseat.
When Covid struck, like most, we were left with even more time with our own thoughts
I kept looking at my awesome little baby, and my heart would fill with warmth and gratitude. The science and wonderful team (shout out to the NHS) that collaborated to make my son, have never and will never, cease to amaze me.
Like a book pages in the wind, my mind would flutter back and forth to my original idea..”What if there was a beautiful visual book to illustrate this intense journey? What if I do this?”.
And so, a labour of love began. I’d scribble notes in my iPhone, have endless drafts in my Gmail, and it wasn’t until January 2022 did I find the courage to start sketching .
I’ve had endless imposter syndrome creating this book
Inner saboteurs that have held me back on many occasions; no Instagram following, no celebrity endorsement, no giant cash injection to propel marketing. However, the one thing I did have, was a strong energy that even if I just finished it for myself, that would be enough.
The nature of IVF is a broad exploration of sex, pills, injections, scans and ovulation checks, and the most fascinating part, is that no one experience is the same. Much like a fingerprint. Even if you share the same medical experience as another patient, I can bet your Granny’s silver that you’ll have different physical and emotional effects. Because we are all different. We process our thoughts, our reactions and our emotions independently. We also react very differently to the drugs. Our chemical make-ups differ; what might cause you havoc, could be a breeze for another.
The physical, emotional and financial demands of IVF can be exhausting, and life-changing for many individuals. A successful treatment can feel euphoric, but a failed treatment can fill you with grief, anxiety and guilt.
With all the above in mind, my goal with this book is to take you on a visual journey of fertility treatment. I hope I respectfully gather quotes, vignettes, and artwork for you to reflect on, and find comfort in.
I am vividly aware that this book won’t appeal to everyone who has been through (any) part of the fertility treatment journey. That it could in fact be too triggering, or just too removed from their own experience. Or like many, just unnecessary to reflect on as they want to focus on the future. And to those, I see you, I salut you, and wish you all the best.
I can’t finish this book without learning about other people’s journeys
I want to unite the warrior IVF community and try to capture as many experiences as possible. I have already started interviewing people and it’s truly amazing to hear the unique recounts or memories that stand out for everyone.
So, with this in mind the lovely founders of IVF Babble have kindly offered their space for me to ask all you lovely followers, should you be interested in sharing your story with me, to email me. I would be so grateful. It’s this community that motivates me to keep going with this book idea, and I can’t wait for the day when I see it on the shelves (no harm in dreaming big right?!).
You can reach me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read more from IVF Warriors who have written books about their journeys
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