Precious Babies – being a mum after fertility problems…

Whenever you’re in a large group of mums and children in London, the chances are that at least one of those mums had some problems trying to get pregnant, and at least one of those children was conceived with medical help. One in every six adults will experience fertility problems – and given that many of those will go on to get pregnant, the end result is quite a lot of London babies!

I’m the mum of two children who were IVF babies myself, and clearly remember the moment I got pregnant after four years of trying. Once I’d accepted there wasn’t something wrong with the pregnancy test, the sense of joy and euphoria was wonderful, but was soon overshadowed by a growing sense of fear; could I really trust the body that had let me down so many times before to get through the nine long months of pregnancy?

If anything went wrong, I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to get pregnant again and I worried about absolutely everything, imagining all kinds of complications. It felt like tempting fate to even think about buying anything for the baby until the last possible moment and I didn’t ever quite feel I was “properly” pregnant like other mums-to-be.

I soon realised talking to other women who’d got pregnant after fertility problems that it wasn’t just me who felt that way, and that the differences didn’t just fade away the moment you had your baby. Mums who’ve had to wait a long time for their babies tend to have built up a very rosy picture of what family life is like and have incredibly high expectations of themselves as parents. They often feel they can’t ever complain about anything and should relish every dirty nappy and sleepless night. They can be more anxious and worried that they may not be up to the task of being a parent.

For too long, women who’ve become mums after fertility problems have assumed that they’re the only ones who happen to feel this way, and that’s why I wrote my new book ‘Precious Babies’ which offers support and advice. The good news is that as the children get older, most parents seem to find that they gradually begin to see their past fertility problems in a more positive light, believing that in the long term this has helped to make them more appreciative of how lucky they are to have their families.

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