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Digital Subscriptions > > THE THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN


Jessica Hepburn, Fertility Road Columnist and Author of The Pursuit of Motherhood, talks to women on other side of their difficult journey to parenthood about the advice they would give to those just starting out on this path.

“The obvious answer is that I wish I'd known the end of the story, that I would end up having my son, but that is the heartbreaking reality of living with infertility: you just don't know what's going to happen." These are the words of Naomi, who at 19 was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and was told bluntly by her doctor that she was unlikely to ever have children.

Her words struck me immediately because they sum up the pain of infertility so perfectly: the fear of the unknown and worry that you may never be happy. If you have always wanted to become a parent or even just assumed it would be part of your life plan, being denied it is possibly one of the hardest things you will ever have to go through. So this is an article about the wisdom of women who have been through long fertility struggles and what they would want other women embarking on the journey to know.

Leyla and her husband, Richard, met on the third day of university. They got married six years later and always knew they wanted a family together. However, in the early years they were enjoying living, working and socialising in London and starting that family wasn’t their top priority. When they were both in their late twenties, Leyla was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome which meant that carrying her own child would likely prove fatal for both her and her unborn baby. She says they buried their heads in the sand for a couple of years as the prospect of IVF and then surrogacy seemed incredibly daunting. But then as all their friends started getting pregnant they knew they had to act.

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