This week I’m delighted to introduce you to Jessica Hepburn.
I’m sure many of you will have heard of Jessica Hepburn from her media appearances or read her book the Pursuit of Motherhood. I love that she says she’s ‘living the fullest life imaginable without children’ and ‘I recognise that the life I am having is not the one I wanted but it’s a pretty special one and as life is so short we’ve got to make the most of every second we’re given on this planet.’
But the road here hasn’t been easy and you’ll read the physical challenges that Jessica has put herself through. Jessica is hugely inspirational to both me and many others and I thank her for her continued passion and involvement in the world of infertility.
Over to Jessica,
Where are you on your journey now?
I am 46 years old. My last round of IVF was three years ago and I have accepted that becoming a biological mother is all but the remotest possibility. I haven’t ruled out an alternative route to motherhood but I also believe that a fulfilling life without being a parent is possible. Right now, I’m living the fullest life imaginable without children.
What’s your story?
I always wanted a career but I also always wanted children. I never contemplated that the two things could be mutually exclusive and did what many of my generation did – went to university, spent my twenties pursuing my career and finding the right partner. By my early thirties I was running one of London’s largest theatres and had met the man I wanted to have a family with. We began trying when I had just turned 34. I thought it was the perfect age to have your first baby but it was the beginning of what became a desperate decade long struggle to conceive which involved eleven rounds of IVF.
I realise that this is the extreme end of the treatment spectrum but we were diagnosed with ‘Unexplained Infertility’ which meant that technically everything looked like it was working properly. Sadder still, we seemed to be able to make perfect embryos and I could get pregnant. We went through several biomedical pregnancies; an ectopic pregnancy only discovered at three months; and a miscarriage after we’d seen a foetal heartbeat. Doctors told us these were all very good signs that if we kept trying it would eventually work – and I’m not very good at giving up – so we did. But sadly nature had other plans!