The Femail of the Species (is more deadly than the Mail)

by | 2 Mar 2014

This week I did something I may live to regret. I agreed to do a feature in Femail. I can read the headline now. JESSICA HEPBURN: ADDICTED TO IVF. I can also read the online comments: ‘Desperate’; ‘Deluded’; ‘Why doesn’t she just adopt?’. Whatever I do, I mustn’t read the comments.

Part of me doesn’t know why I’ve done it. I want my book to be a sensational read not a sensational story. But the Daily Mail Online is my guilty pleasure. I read it every night to unwind. And yes, I have heard the news about Kimberley…in fact congratulations to all the Girls Aloud on their 2014 baby news. Two down, three to go!

My partner says I’m in danger of becoming a publicity monster. He’s even gone as far as drawing comparisons with the tabloid devil incarnate ‘Katie Price’. Frankly, I should be so lucky – she seems to be pretty good at making babies as well as selling books. No, I definitely don’t think there’s any danger of me giving Katie a run for her money.

And now that I’m ‘out’ about my infertility, I want to find as many ways possible to connect with women going through the same thing. Partly out of solidarity and partly because I want them to know that even if there isn’t a happy baby ending, I think it’s going to be ok. Sometimes there are even reasons to be thankful for my infertility – on Friday, for example, the Mail paid for me to have my hair and makeup done for my Femail photoshoot. It made me feel like a Hollywood star. Maybe Jordan has nothing to worry about but watch out Katharine Hepburn – who by the way never had any children – I’m on your tail!

So this week’s question is: can you find a reason to be thankful for the things in life you find the hardest?


  1. Dee Armstrong

    Good for you – very good place to connect with women. They do run a lot of fertility stuff. And you said it yourself – whatever you do step away from the comments section!

  2. Ruth Ward

    Hi Jessica, I have loved reading your book The Pursuit of Motherhood…. god that could be me I thought as I read it!! All these years I never met anybody going through this… and now… I am not alone!!
    Anyway I am going to be blogging again (haven’t for a week now) so will use some of your diary entries if ok.
    I will give you a ring for a catch up, and let you know how I doing with the setting up of my charity “The Egg and The Sperm” 🙂 and we must meet up …. nice glass of wine, good food to go with it!
    Take care. Ruth x

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      So glad you like it Ruth. I would love you to use the diary sections in your blog (let me know so I can tweet etc). Would also be lovely to catch up since your fantastic news to hear how things are coming along. And I’m always available for good food and wine anytime! Jessica x

  3. Joanna Norland

    Congrats on seizing the opportunities to get your message out where you can (and to get a great haircut & makeover in the bargain.) — Great question, about the hard parts of life for which one should be thankful. Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, I wonder who I would be without my insomnia, twinned with an ability to get by on anorexic rations of sleep. I would probably prefer to read & write at odd, unsociable hours than to not do these things at all. (PS – Hepburn is a fantastic child-free role model, but the standard bearer has got to be Jane Austen–who also found many alternative ways to nurture.)

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      I, on the other hand, need much too much sleep. The height of decadence for me is going to bed at 7pm on a Sunday night! And, I agree, Jane Austen is definitely the standard bearer. It does feel good to be in such great company. Jessica x

  4. Heather

    Thank you! thank you, thank you, thank you. You’ve made me realise I am not a monster. I’m not a selfish evil witch for feeling that gut wrenching stab of pain through my womb every time I go to facebook and see another friends pregnancy scan. I will not give up trying for our baby but at least I know that everything I feel, all the envy I have is

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      …is NORMAL! It so definitely is. You’re not a monster. You’re not an evil witch (and either way you’re certainly not alone). This has to be one of the hardest things a woman has to go through. Don’t ever give up (I won’t!) but also try and let a part of you (even if it’s a tiny part) know that it will be ok whatever happens. And thanks so much for commenting it means a lot to me too. Jessica x

  5. Michelle C

    I just saw your article in the daily mail and my heart goes out to you. No one can fully comprehend the pain and suffering infertility causes. I am so sorry for your losses.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thank you so much for saying so. As you can tell from my blog it was a big decision to publish my story in the Daily Mail but I really want to reach out to other women going through this with my book so that we feel less alone because, you’re right, it is inexplicably painful. Jessica x

  6. Lilibet

    Strangely by the vagaries of youtube I’ve just come across a clip of a radio interview with Katie Price saying she’d had two failed IVF cycles – guess you never know, hey

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Yes, I think I knew that (avid follower of Katie’s life that I am). In fact, allegedly, that was one of the reasons that she and Alex Reid split up.