I was with my partner for over 15 years and had what I thought was a loving, stable relationship. We travelled, socialised with our large group of friends, and spent time building our careers. Eventually became business partners and life seemed almost perfect.
We had never spoken about starting a family, but when I reached the age of 36, I decided it was time to start thinking about it and before long, it was all I could think about.
Most of our friends had had babies and we were the only couple in our friendship circle who did not. My partner seemed less enthused about starting a family and it didn’t take too long before our relationship began to sour, and I found my life turned upside-down as a single 37 year old. Not only did my partner leave me, but our friendship circle began to dissolve and before I knew it, I was alone, facing the prospect of having to go through IVF by myself if I wanted a baby.
I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that this would be where life had led me and I felt betrayed and angry, mostly because I had wasted so much of my time with the wrong person.
I also knew that time was not on my side, I was in my late 30s and if I wanted to start a family, I knew I would need to start now. I spoke to my parents, but it was hard to explain the process to them. As supportive as they were, they just did not quite understand the process and at times it was awkward. I wasn’t comfortable enough to disclose this information to my staff either and as I still had to run a business with my ex and I wanted to keep this separate.
I felt that the most comfortable way to find support was to do it anonymously, so I went online in search of IVF blogs to see if anyone was facing the same situation as me. Talking to these other women made me feel less isolated and gave me a platform to vent without being concerned about judgement from others.
It was nice to be able to exchange stories and experiences with women who were going through the same situation as myself. Some women were able to point me in the direction of a fertility clinic that had donor sperm and I made an appointment the next day.
Seeking fertility treatment as a single woman was a big step for me and initially, I found it quite overwhelming, especially juggling blood and scan appointments with work.
If I could give one piece of advice to anyone faced with infertility, it would be do not just simply give up if there is still a chance. Support is a big thing that helps couples, but sometimes it is hard to find especially if you’re a single woman. Finding a blog with like-minded people which allowed me to vent, exchange stories, laugh and cry, and not feel as alone made a big difference to my mental health. Especially at night when I felt the loneliest.