I met my husband when I was in my 20s, we got married, and when I was 35 we decided the time was right to have children. After a few months nothing had happened and we were referred for IVF. It was a real shock; one minute we were trying naturally and the next we were in the IVF clinic. We just assumed everything would happen naturally; if only we’d known how fast my fertility was falling, our lives may have turned out differently. We felt isolated and alone. The only people we told were our parents and all around us friends had young children or were getting pregnant naturally.

Over the next three years we went through six rounds of IVF. Before we started we made the decision to stop when I was 40 and we stuck to that. By this time we were done, physically, emotionally and financially. But it was so hard. We were never offered support or help of any kind and felt as if we were the only people in the world who couldn’t have children.

I felt completely alone; I didn’t know who I was or my place in the world. On the outside I was projecting the Lesley who was ambivalent about children, the Lesley that was tough and strong; but inside I was falling apart.  My head knew that I wasn’t going to be a mother, but it was taking my heart a long time to catch up. I know now that I was grieving, but I didn’t know then. I just assumed I felt sad.

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