A Story of Love and Life

by | 23 Oct 2016

Other people’s pregnancy announcements are always going to hurt. It’s like I said in my film for Fertility Network UK about the ‘pain of never’: one of the things that infertility does to you is that you can never feel happy for someone when they announce they’re pregnant without feeling sad for yourself at the same time.

So on Friday when an email popped into my inbox with the header: ‘My biggest news ever! Yes. After five years, we’re having a Sprout!’, I felt that familiar pang. Rachel Campbell, is someone I’ve connected with over the last few years through my book and blog. She writes her own blog called ‘Sprout & Co’ and has had a long and heartbreaking struggle to conceive. We’ve never met – she lives in Australia – but I’ve always enjoyed her emails because they are filled with beautiful images of the antipodean sun and sea and, of course, because she hadn’t been able to conceive I felt a sense of solidarity.

Now Rachel’s twenty weeks pregnant and about to become a mum. And, yes, I felt that thing I always feel but when I read her email and watched the announcement film she’s made about her story – which she describes as one of ‘love, life and egg donation’ – a gift from her younger sister – my heart just soared with unadulterated joy. Do click and watch it here and have your heart soar too!

The longer I walk the road of infertility the more I feel that two things are becoming completely clear. The first is that the pain of not being able to make a baby the way you wanted to, never goes away. The second is there are many different routes to parenthood if you’re prepared to find a way to get there. So if you’re not there yet, keep looking.

And that’s enough philosophy for a Sunday night. Except to say, congratulations Rachel from the bottom of my infertile heart.




  1. kiftsgate

    Lovely and very honest post. I agree with you on the two big lessons you get from infertility. And on the different routes to parenthood, I continue being amazed and touched by the beautiful stories and all the ways people try to become parents. xx

  2. thepursuitofmotherhood

    Always lovely to hear from you, thank you so much, and you’re so right so many beautiful stories. J x

  3. Jane UK

    Lovely post Jessica – I think I find the announcements shocking whoever it comes from – knowing they have experienced difficulties can make it easier to be strong and pass on heartfelt joy. However, it does – no matter who it is; leave me feeling low for a bit. I question all my decisions to stop (even though I spent 17 years shifting my goal posts – one more, one more). I don’t regret the journey I took and the times I continued when I wondered why – I had to follow my path – equally, everyone’s line is different – i believed in my baby – had I been able to end that journey while I had the strength for adoption – who knows. I try not to question what has passed, not worry too much about the future and grab now with both hands.

  4. thepursuitofmotherhood

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I think you know from my post that I feel exactly the same. I also totally understand what you say about finding the strength for another pursuit…like adoption…I’ve found that hard too, but, like you, I am trying my best to grab life as it stands with both hands. Every single day. Jessica x

  5. brightontrunkmurderer

    You may be infertile but your heart is anything but that – so full of compassion and warmth and love.

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      What beautiful words from a murderer (trunk murderer). You can’t be all bad. Jessica x

  6. Emma Wood

    The way you keep opening different channels of this lifelong pain, while remaining supportive to others and upbeat for yourself, is really important to a lot of your readers. A beautiful blog Jessica.

  7. Rachel Campbell

    Thanks so much for having me on the blog lovely Jessica – it is just such an honour! I love your advice ‘to keep looking if you are not there yet’. I heard the most beautiful quote that a ‘baby grows in its mummy’s heart and not necessarily her tummy’ – I just love that. So many of my friends are creating their families through donor eggs, sperm, fostering and adoption – yes it might not have been the road we thought we’d take, but these options are truly a gift if we just open our hearts to the possibilities ahead of us – I’m not saying its easy, for me it was a 5 year journey… the doctors pretty much said I needed donor eggs from the start – but it took me 5 years to get there… My advice is to keep following the whispers from the universe and you will be shown the way… So much love and thanks for your beautiful words xox

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thank you Rachel. I totally agree with your advice too and am so happy for you that the universe showed you the way! I’ll be thinking of you over the next few weeks and looking forward to arrival news! Much love, Jessica x

  8. Susie

    Hi Jessica

    It certainly is hard and painful to be in a world populated by people having babies/pregnancy announcement’s etc, but can you not learn to accept the great things in your life and your health? Kids grow up and want to do their own thing and not necessarily with mum and dad either (if they’re still together). Kids can also be shockingly expensive, frustrating and sometimes downright mean! This is what my parent friends tell me anyhow. I’ve never had children either. I am through with menopause now, so the stork is not coming anyday soon! Believe me, I know how you feel – the what ifs, the lingering sadness. But you know eventually you have to let it go – it is what it is. I really hope you come to terms with this loss (and it is a loss) and learn to move on, whatever path you decide to take. Kind regards xx

    • thepursuitofmotherhood

      Thanks so much for your comment and thoughts Susie. I am certainly on a journey of acceptance and in a small way through my blog, books, festival and various fundraising challenges hope to take others on that journey too. This is my path at the moment, and it’s a wonderful one, but not forever, just this decade of my life! Jessica x


  1. The Human Side of Failed IVF - Silent Sorority - […] to Kelly and Jessica and others who generously shared their stories. You can hear them […]