Whilst I am writing this I still have not been able to come up with a title for this piece. Hopefully something will come up as I go along. The anticipation is killing me, so it had better be good! If you see a title it did come after the composition.
What is this piece about you may be asking yourselves. Just the most enlightening, heart rending, satisfying, soul searching, sad and joy filled experiences I have the opportunity to partake in two days of the year outside of my normal life.
I speak about the Fertility Show in London where I get to meet the most incredible people who are either taking their first steps towards creating a family or indeed those that are coming towards the end of their journey. Time and time again I am astounded by the resilience of these people. Stick them on a battlefield and they would be victorious; and indeed for the majority it is just that, a battlefield. Yet many, many prevail; they win their battle. I know that in the majority of cases it is with our support.
Whilst my wife Ruth has decades of knowledge and experience that many in her field as a fertility nurse specialist would die for, she has not lost the desire or passion to connect with patients on a personal level, many of whom are now close friends or volunteers who are willing to give up their time to share their personal experiences with complete strangers who visit the stand. I am in awe of anyone who is able to divulge their fears and hopes, successes and failures to someone they have just met. Thank you peeps! You know who you are and how much more successful you make the exhibition for us as well as inspiring the people that you speak to.
From the point of view of a 50+ year old bloke (me), it is not always easy to get the information that will help Ruth either in a personal consultation or with a follow up call. The girls are obviously always more comfortable speaking to girls. So you can imagine how privileged and saddened I was when two years ago a twenty something year old who was at the show with her mother told me that because of some weird genetic aberration she had been born without a womb. This is obviously something that she had lived with all her life and something of an extremely personal nature, yet for her to be able to impart this to me was astounding and I felt honored that she felt comfortable enough to be able to divulge such an intimate part of her life to me. Thank you to that young lady. I hope that you are happy and well and I truly hope that your dreams whatever they might be come true.
That is just one true encounter among many, many others that have affected those of us who participate in promoting our services at the show (which are free by the way). This year I spoke to a couple who had just tested negative from a UK cycle a week or so before coming to Olympia. A raw emotional scar for them, yet they were still strong enough to want to see what options and advice they could garner to help them in the future. Obsessive; No. They are brave and committed to having a child that they can love and nurture.
If my reading audience will allow me to generalize for a moment, none of our lives are as straightforward or as simple as we would like them to be. To a certain extent we are all a little mixed up and from time to time lose our direction in life. Sometimes we crave to re-live parts of our childhood or adolescence, whether this be holidays or from hearing snippets of a song that either makes us cringe or makes us feel happy or sad and just sometimes screams where did life go. Life is there, ready to be embraced and accepted for all its hardships, joy and flaws. Like most people I have had to deal with life; not always as well as I would have liked, but we strive to be better and we fight for our dreams to become reality. None more so than the kind of people that attend the fertility show in search of the answers to their wishes.
Co Director, IVF Treatment Abroad