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Fertility Fest’s Big Fat Festival Day
Fertility Fest’s signature day The Big Fat Festival Day took place on Friday 3rd May at the Barbican with a fantastic line up of artists and experts including actress and celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner talking about her new book Meant to Be and musician Izzy Judd partner of McFly’s Harry Judd reading from her book Dare to Dream.
Dare to Dream
The first session of the day explored what modern families look like and featured a reading from Izzy Judd’s book Dare to Dream. Izzy was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) when she was younger and was told it might take her some time to conceive. Following two years unsuccessfully trying for a baby Izzy and her husband Harry started IVF. After suffering from a miscarriage from her first IVF attempt, Izzy and Harry had their daughter Lola. Their son Kit was then conceived naturally.
Initially they only told a few friends about their treatment but then decided to go public about their struggles to conceive to help break the taboos around miscarriage, infertility and IVF. Izzy shared her tips for getting through treatment including putting herself first and taking things step by step. She saw IVF as something helpful to achieve her goal and did everything she possibly could including changing her diet to give herself the best chance.
Meant to Be
Following Izzy’s reading, Lisa Faulkner read the letter she wrote to her publisher about the book she wanted to write about her journey to motherhood. When she was going through her own infertility journey (ten years ago), there were no books that spoke to her personally as everyone’s journey always ended with a pregnancy and a baby. Lisa wanted to write a book that showed people there was light at the end of the tunnel and that there were many ways to become a mother.
Lisa honestly spoke about her decision to finish her IVF journey after 3 unsuccessful cycles and follow a path to adoption. She talked about the unconditional love she had for her friends and family and asking herself the question could she become a mother if the baby wasn’t physically hers? The answer was always YES. Lisa adopted her daughter in 2006 when she was 18 months old. Meant to Be, Lisa’s latest book is out on 27th June and shares her journey to motherhood.
Anything You Lose
The afternoon session featured a premier screening of the film Anything You Lose by Irina Vodar charting her surrogacy journey in India and her IVF treatment in the USA. Filmed over seven years, the film shows the raw emotions and reality of infertility and IVF through Irina and her husband’s unsuccessful treatment. Following the screening, Irina took part in a discussion about the “Pursuit of Parenthood” alongside Sally Cheshire CBE the Chair of the HFEA. Many questions arose about the quality of care for infertility patients that was so honesty portrayed in the film. The film is a must see for anyone wanting a better understanding of the heartache and suffering following unsuccessful treatment and the affects it has on your relationships.
The Big Fat Festival Day
The Big Fat Festival Day was an amazing coming together of performers, artists and fertility experts creating a community with a common shared experience. For anyone suffering with infertility, going through fertility treatment or trying to make decisions about their next steps in their journey, Fertility Fest is a great place to gain support and meet like minded people. The LWC are proud to have sponsored the festival again this year. Fertility Fest will be taking part in the world’s largest fertility conference ESHRE in Vienna on 24th to 26th June and at the Fertility Show in London on 2nd and 3rd November 2019.