Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS as it is more commonly known, is not a glamorous condition. I know that sounds like quite a negative statement to open with, but it is the truth as I see it. It is something that affects a large number of women in the UK, yet only receives very limited and stereotypical media coverage.
Highly educated women do have a higher chance of not having a family. Childlessness is on the rise and has nearly doubled in the UK since the 90s, but given the extensive press coverage in recent times of high-profile or careerist women choosing to forego the child-rearing experience you could be forgiven for thinking that most of those without children are of the 'child-free by choice' variety.
Said parents have just had a baby girl. The mother is 12 and still in primary school (she was 11 when the baby was conceived and is five months younger than Britain's previous youngest mum). The father is 13. The couple are said to be 'totally in love' and have the lowest combined age of any British parents on record. So if 50 is too old to have a baby, is 12 too young?
In what can often feel like a mummy-centric world, it can be very hard for women who don't have children and particularly those who want them and are childless by circumstance. Maybe they haven't met the right person. Maybe, like me, they've struggled to conceive. But statistics suggest that up to 25% of women currently in their thirties and forties won't have children.
Whether you deem it as a social family building trend or simply the scientific ability to navigate around Mother Nature, "traditional" surrogacy is not a new concept. As a matter of fact, it is the only form of assisted reproduction that dates back to biblical times. The story of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis chapter 16, is the most notable example.
Some say that the antidote to those very understandable and human difficulties is the willingness to love, forgive and to let go of the past. All too easily can we get stuck in the past, concede control and power of our lives to what has or could have been. With that frame of mind, perspective on life, and heavy heart it is difficult to move on.
What happens when the wick of that romance candle burns out and 3 months of you trying to conceive had long passed 2 years ago? By this point you are probably seeking out treatments. Instead of having a date night you are planning your life around your monthly cycle and your date night funds are all but gone from the costs of medical bills from clinics and pharmacies rolling in.
It's the New Year and many of us are thinking of resolutions. However, many are also in the unfortunate position of trying to have a baby, and experiencing difficulties. It's a hard time for those in that situation, and I fully understand the emotions that go with it, having been through this myself...
I am finally expecting a baby in February after almost four years of battling infertility and IVF treatments. Despite being so close to my goal of being a mother I have not forgotten for one second the pain that I have endured to get here. I especially cannot forget how much more intense that pain was at Christmastime.
No matter what holiday you are celebrating this time of year albeit Christmas, Festivus, Kwanza, Hanukkah, and any others I may have missed, this is the time of year where family gathers. Traditions are made and repeated. Tis' all about the kids this season. Kids, yes the one thing missing out of 1 in 8 couples lives.
We attempted everything under the sun to get pregnant and, although we are currently working with a surrogate, we got elbow, neck and knee deep in to the adoption process before that opportunity presented itself. When we made our announcement that we were adopting, we were shocked by the misconceptions people have about adoption.
What do you say to someone who is suffering through infertility? We'll we can certainly share with you what not to say. Over the years we have pretty much heard it all. Being on the receiving end makes you feel very exposed, sad, somehow less human. It was like we just admitted that we lost the primal ability to procreate, or procreate easily anyway.
During our last final bite at the IVF apple we let the world into our bedroom. OK, get your mind out of the gutter. We allowed MTV to film us for a year to document our infertility journey on the Emmy award winning series "True Life". Our show was "I'm Desperate to have a Baby". Not the most flattering of titles but also not entirely inaccurate either. We ARE desperate to have a baby.