Please think before you ask personal fertility questions: OPINION

We were so overwhelmed by the love and support we received on the back of our announcement last week in my column that Matt and I are expecting our first child.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 5:15 pm
Cheryl has been overwhelmed by the messages of support following the announcement of her pregnancy

A few close family and friends remarked that I really ‘put it all out there’ when I revealed that we had been trying for two-and-a-half years for a baby, had IVF and I had to have an operation to remove my right fallopian tube.

But for me there wasn’t any point in hiding any of this.

It’s our story and while I’ve not written about our struggles to conceive over the past couple of years, I always knew that when the time was right I would be completely open and transparent about it.

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The column did exactly what I had hoped it would – it sparked a conversation and I had several people message me direct asking about the clinic we used, the treatment we had, and telling me about their struggles.

Fertility is a funny thing. Some people don’t have to give it a second thought, they want a baby and, Bob’s your uncle, they fall pregnant. But for so many others, including us, it can be a long and painful journey that is really lonely.

It also amazes me that it often carries an element of shame – the inability to do the one thing that most of us are designed to do and that’s procreate.

But I never felt like that. All our friends and family have known we were having IVF. We were very open about it.

We couldn’t be any other way because as soon as we were married we were inundated with people asking about our fertility plans.

So once we knew it wasn’t going to be a straightforward process for us it was easier to tell people about IVF than keep it quiet.

The danger there would be feeling sad when yet another person told us we needed to hurry up as our biological clocks were ticking. 

Trust me, people did, and their lack of sensitivity was shocking. 

If you know someone who you think may want children and suspect they are trying for a baby, I beg of you, please don’t ask them. Wait for them to open up.

The nesting is beginning in earnest – starting with a bath

Now that we’re having a baby, we’ve gone into Operation Doing mode, or nesting, as they say.

We’ve been in our bungalow in Clanfield for three years now and there is so much more work to do than we originally thought. 

With the garden still not finished, it’s proving to be a money pit. 

First thing’s first – we must get our bathroom sorted.

When we lived in Copnor we only had a bath, so for 10 years we had two baths a day.

In Clanfield we only have a shower and that’s not practical with a baby. 

We’re now in the process of getting a new bathroom so we can have both.

With five months to go, there is still a lot to do to baby-proof our home. 


You don’t know what’s really going on in someone's life 

It was World Suicide Day on Wednesday and I was humbled to see how much of a conversation there was about it on social media – but are we doing enough?

A lot of people shared photos of celebrities who have taken their own lives as a result of depression or mental illness.

Of course, the number of regular people who commit suicide is even greater, but what the photos showed was that these celebrities suffer too, despite seemingly having it all.

Love Island’s Mike Thalassitis took his own life earlier this year after suffering depression when his nan died.

Little did the world know his inward struggles. Be kind to each other.