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 http://ow.ly/slmU1 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!?’