Right To Reply

by | 1 Jun 2014

I love writing my blog.

Those are five words that I never thought I’d say in the same sentence. In fact, I never thought I’d see the words ‘my blog’ next to each other. But there you go. Conception miracles do happen to me, even if they only relate to my giving birth to words on the web.

One of the things I love most about my blog is receiving people’s comments. They are like little jewels when they pop into my inbox. Last week, I had some brilliant ones about my post on whether your mindset affects your fertility – many thanks to you all.

I have to say that so far by in large all the comments I’ve received online (be it blog, twitter or facebook) have been wonderful and wise. However, I am very nervous of trolls, acutely aware that things can change in a heartbeat. The problem with the internet is that its anonymity allows people to go uncensored and say the cruellest things which they would probably never dare utter in public or to someone’s face.

Here’s a good example. This week the city of York hit the headlines for being the only place in the UK that will not provide any IVF cycles for women on the NHS. The comments made under the article on York Press online were extraordinary. One of my favourites was: ‘IVF is an indulgence’. I’d post the link here to make your eyes pop out of your head except they seem to have removed them – yeah, they were that bad.

Ah well, if IVF is an indulgence, I guess I’m lucky enough to have over eaten. Why then, like so many women living with infertility, do I still feel empty?



  1. Cherie Trahar

    Gosh this is worrying, I am only 29 years old and believe in my 3 years of attempting to maintain a pregnancy IVF may be something I have to consider in the near future or should I say indulge in?!

    I’ve never smoked and drink on few occasions a year. I will do what I can to carry naturally but this is looking like it could be my only option to be a mother. If I smoked 20 a day and a bottle of wine every evening id say that was an indulgence and I’d probay cost the NHS much more in the long run. Is being a mother really an indulgence?

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      I couldn’t agree more! I just don’t understand how anyone can say that infertility isn’t an illness that deserves the same care and attention as anything else on the NHS, and you’re right we spend much more of the taxpayers money dealing with issues that have resulted in self inflicted harm (or indulgence!). I don’t begrudge that, it’s just so unjust when people make judgements about a condition that they probably know nothing about and certainly have never lived with. Thanks for commenting (a new jewel!) and sorry to hear you’re struggling to conceive. Jessica x

  2. Lou

    Grrrr!!! An indulgence, they make it sound like we are on a very expensive shopping trip to treat ourselves! But unfortunately we came home with empty bags. Some people just have no idea do they. I’ve been struggling so much recently like most women in our situation, I’ve been off work & I only started my job in December, I go back tomorrow…feel so anxious about that, anyway thats another story.

    Wouldn’t it be great to put all these singleminded people in a room & make them listen to what we have all been through, emotionally & physically.

    Lou x

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Great idea – I’d love to be in that room! Sorry to hear you’ve been having a really difficult time, hope work is ok tomorrow. May the force be with you! Jessica x

  3. barrenbetty

    I think it’s disgusting York can get away with funding no IVF when the recommendation is 3 cycles. My infertility isn’t my fault! I get no funding for fertility treatment where I live, yet they are quite happy to fund treatment for illnesses as a direct result of smoking, eating and drinking too much. We pay tax and fund all of that, but I have never smoked. I won’t have any smoking related illnesses. Is that fair? I think it’s far too easy to flippantly say IVF is an indulgence when you already have children, and especially anonymously online.

    I’ve also been the victim of an online troll in the middle of my third IVF round and it was really distressing. People just don’t think when they are writing online – it’s far too easy to be abusive and cruel when you are anonymous!

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      The thought of you being trolled just makes me so angry and sad. You are one of the wisest, wittiest and generally all round brilliant bloggers on the subject of infertility that I’ve ever read. Keep doing what you’re doing and, together, gradually we’ll make the world understand! Jessica x

  4. kiftsgate

    I have been lucky enough I have not been trolled by anyone. The thought of any of us getting aggressive comments makes me so angry. I don’t mind comments that disagree with what I say, as long as they are civil and respectful. Arguing that IVF is an indulgence doesn’t seem respectful to me. I indulge in chocolate (mostly used to actually) but I don’t indulge in IVF. I do IVF because my body doesn’t work as it should and I don’t have an alternative.. xx

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Absolutely! And, like Barren Betty, you are another brilliant blogger (and a great photographer too!). But sorry to hear you’ve given up chocolate, one of the great, real (!) indulgences of life!

      • kiftsgate

        hopefully I haven’t given up chocolate for ever! xx

  5. Joanne Harper

    Don’t get me started – IVF an indulgence??!!! How dare they?
    So if IVF & wanting to be a Mother is an indulgence – what the hell is a Boob Job or Nose Job classed as??
    Obviously the person who wrote this has had or will have no experience of Infertility – lucky them is all I can say!!
    How does the health authoritys get away with it? The same way they class myself &
    my husband as non – childless as he has children from a previous relationship & while refusing us NHS funding with one hand, the consultant happily accepts the fees for our private treatment with the other!
    So it seams we have no-one but ourselves to stick up for us or fight our corner – so for now I am going to indulge in my indulgence – which is reading Jessica’s blog every week & her book!

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      I think the fact that you are not classed as ‘childless’ because you’ve got step children is a travesty. And, like you say, unbelievable that because of that they won’t give you treatment on the NHS but you they will let you pay for it. In so many ways the world of infertility treatment is just so wrong. Thanks so much for your comment. It’s great to hear from you. I hope you’re well generally. Jessica

  6. Pippa Kassam

    While I lie awake in the middle of the night with the physical and emotional agony of failed IVF, I feel cheated and certainly not over indulged! While I travel through our own IVF journey I remember many different anecdotes from your book. On our second round of failed IVF my IVF bubble has well and truly burst.But with each cycle IVF offers that hope to couples who long for a baby, something the majority of people take for granted (and boy do they at times!). Infertility is not a choice or something you do to yourself. It is a cruel and damaging disease that robs you of so much more than the chance to have a baby. Ignorance and the good old British stiff upper lip have not helped in the fight to get people taking about infertility. This is why people can be so cruel when talking about something they can’t possibly understand. You really do need to go through it to truly appreciate the raw feeling of being this empty and unfulfilled. When I am strong enough I will do my bit to raise awareness I promise you all that.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Reading your words just makes me feel so sad. The hope and then the pain of disappointment after another failed round of IVF is indescribable. No one can fully understand it unless they’ve experienced it, and really no one should comment unless they have. I feel for you so much, and hope that you can find strength. As more of us speak out, more will happen to make things easier for everyone going through this. Take care of yourself, Jessica x

  7. gsmwc02

    I take on the trolls because 99.9% of the time they are ignorant and their arguments prove to be thin.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Quite right too and the remaining 0.1% probably haven’t got a heart! Jessica x