Fertility Fest: Why do one in six couples feel alone?

A very good question is going to be asked in Birmingham on Saturday, 28 May 2016. If one in six couples experience some form of infertility, why do they feel so alone?

Birmingham Rep will be the venue for Fertility Fest – the first event of its kind in the UK.  Produced by Jessica Hepburn and Gabby Vautier, it will bring together 20 writers, visual artists, theatre-makers, film-directors and composers alongside some of the country’s foremost fertility experts.

We will be talking about, and sharing art around, the diagnosis of infertility, IVF, donation, surrogacy, the male experience, egg freezing, involuntary childlessness and alternative routes to parenthood.

I will be crying

I will be there (speaking at 11.30am).  I think it’s highly unlikely I will manage to be there without crying. (I say that to prepare myself as much as anybody else.)

Other people might want to talk about the effects of fertility science on future generations and how far as a society are we prepared to go in our pursuit of parenthood. I want to be there because I want to stand in the same space as people whose deep longing to have children remains unfulfilled.   Grieving is inevitable.  There is no escaping that. But whatever else we feel, we do not need to feel alone.

Day 26

One day I shall look back at this time

At the waiting

And the counting

And the bleeding

And the longing

The trying

And the not-trying

The loving

And forgiving

And I will say that it made sense.


I know the time will come again

When my womb will be holding

The secret hope,

The possibility of miracle;

Origins so awesome

That only God can know.


But today my vulva

Is tender-lipped

Heralding blood.


And today is the day

I have to live

Right now

Learning to embrace

My own body and grieving dreams

With the fierce



Mother’s love

That is present

That is ready

That is now.

Jo Ind