Standing Tall

by | 2 Feb 2014

For years I kept my infertility a secret. I didn’t talk about it with most of my family or friends. I never took any time off work during my treatment. I was a secret stalker of online fertility forums, reading but never writing.  It was a self-inflicted shame that made me an outcast in my own life. It diminished me.

Then I wrote a book. Again, in secret. It took me over a year, writing like many first time authors on the tube to work. Daily I could find a million reasons for giving up – exposure, rejection, trash TV– but I pressed on. And with hard work (which has been no help in my real pursuit of motherhood) I eventually finished it.

This week, in the window of Waterstones in the heart of my home city, there was a large poster with the headline: ‘An evening with Jessica Hepburn’. Underneath it were the words: ‘Join us as we celebrate Jessica Hepburn’s new book The Pursuit of Motherhood which describes her long and heartbreaking struggle to have a child.’

The thought that something I was so ashamed of could now become so public and such a source of pride is nothing short of my own conception miracle story. Above all, I hope my book will encourage other women who are living with infertility to stand a little taller too.

So this week’s question? Can you stand tall in your infertility?

PS. If you’d like to come to my book launch on Tuesday 4 February click here for further details although – be warned – when I told my colleagues that the poster said ‘An evening with Jessica Hepburn’ they laughed and said: ‘God! Don’t we have enough of those!?


  1. Naomi

    Love your blog you are such an inspiration and I’m so glad that I have the chance to get to know you. See you at the launch.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      And I love everything you’re doing too Naomi with mindfulmumatobe. Thank you for all your support over the last couple of months. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Jessica x

  2. bigolgoofygirl

    I just devoured your book and want to say thank you! I’ve been on the infertility roller coaster for 3+ years and have read many stories, but yours rang the most true to my experience. Thank you for your honesty about the impact IF can have on our minds, bodies, and relationships! And thanks especially for being so courageous to share the perspective of those who don’t have the (expected) happy ending. We don’t hear enough about it, but I know there are a lot of us out there.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      And thank you for writing – you’ve just made my day! There’s no better feeling than knowing what I’ve written has meant something to someone I’ve never met. It makes the long journey (of infertility and of writing) seem worth it and as if you’re connected to someone else in the world with an invisible thread. You’re right there are lots of us who don’t have the expected happy ending and it’s so important we hear more about them so we know we’re not alone. I’m so glad you liked the book. Do keep in touch. Jessica x

  3. Joanna Norland

    Thanks for a wonderful reading last night. I posted about it on Facebook.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thanks Joanna. And I’ve just shared it (a first for me!) Jessica x