Rhythm of Hope Retreat
Following the Rhythm of Hope retreat early in 2018, one of our supporters kindly wrote about her experience so that others have an opportunity to hear what the day is like.
“For those of us who have never attended a retreat day for childfree couples by circumstance this is a rare and daunting occasion. Let’s be honest there are not many of these conferences about. So when I heard about this event two years ago I nervously decided to attend. It’s now in its third year and I thought by sharing my experience it would help to give others confidence to attend this or other similar events.
Rhythm of Hope is a retreat day set up by a couple amidst their own battles with long term infertility. It is a faith based retreat and the first of its kind in this country. The church has remained quiet on the subject of infertility and IVF and has left many Christian couples struggling to navigate the murky moral waters of IVF alone. This event was created to give other couples a safe place to come rest, share, discover, listen, and question. It has taken the organisers Andy and Sarah Lang such courage to be vulnerable and host this.
It is done with such love and deep genuine care, that despite my own fears I found it to be the most helpful, warm and safe place for me and my partner to go. The age range is late 20’s to early 40’s. The couples attending are all at different positions in their journey. With some pre-treatment and with questions, to people in the midst of treatment and others going through trauma and grief post cycle, and those who are post treatment and questioning what route if any to take now. There is a good array of voices at the event to cover all these subjects; from couples who have used donor sperm, adopted, decided to live childfree after yrs of many failed cycles, IVF using adoption embryo’s…so all manner of experiences. Without events like this we would never have heard of some of the options available.
We heard from some amazing guest speakers, whose subjects covered dealing with stress, grief, trauma and gave names for the first time to the deep turmoil we had been experiencing. There were different talks from charities like fertility network, care for the family, broadcaster Sheridan Voysey, speakers on Ethics, Doctors, Vicars, and the hilarious ladies from the salt water and honey blog. All generously giving their time for free to guide, sooth, laugh and vocalise the struggles this very isolating and agonising experience can be.
It is a place to rest, to re-calibrate your thoughts, to chat amongst people who understand exactly what you are going through. The most encouraging thing is that you instantly don’t feel alone. Everyone understands why you are there without having to say a word, and while that is a vulnerable place to be, it is also an empowering place to be. To know you are not alone and your army is a lot bigger than you imagined gives you courage to go on.”
With thanks to Emily.
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