• Phoebe Adams

Back to plan A

I'd like to introduce a gorgeous friend of mine to you: Jo Bambagiotti.

I was introduced to Jo last year and was blown away by her courageous, inspiring and also heart wrenching story and journey to have a child.

Jo has been trying for many years to have a baby. First on her own and then later with her partner John. In a cruel twist of fate, in addition to Jo's own fertility challenges, John was also diagnosed as being infertile. Jo has shared some of her story with us today. Follow her on Instagram at backtoplan_a and we hope to bring you more of her journey in the coming months (it's going to get pretty exciting!). xx

It’s the fourth “Summer off” from IVF.

The fourth.

And I know, that number is so much higher for many others struggling to start their family.

Another Christmas passes without a baby. Another year gone without a pregnancy. That biological clock ticks away so fast now.

There were some tough moments during the festive season, particularly on Christmas Day itself. I don’t recall having this grief on years gone by – that grief of not having something you thought you might have by now.

I get that uneasy pit in your stomach feeling.

The heart starts to race.

The tears well up in your eyes, as you see another Facebook post of a Santa photo. Another Kindy graduation photo. As you see all the excited kids at a Christmas party.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy being there. But, our names on the attending list seem to stand out. Everyone else has kids’ names that follow. I find it easier to sneak out before Santa arrives for all the excited children.

My heart almost explodes talking to my friends’ little ones about what Santa might bring them. And then that yearning to be a Mumma sets in, like a stab straight to the heart, and I must hold back the tears that want to flow out.

I’ve many expecting friends this festive season too. Seeing their growing bellies, knowing that next Christmas, theirs will be different.

Is it going to feel like this every December?

Another year ends… I tend to become reflective. This year was the last year trying to conceive with my own eggs. As a 36-year-old in early stages on menopause, with very low fertility, I said goodbye to the possibility of a baby created with my own genetics. We had to make the decision to stop trying with my own eggs and it simply isn’t happening.

There’s a finality – for both John & I – that our family genetics, end with us. There must be some inbuilt need in some of humans to pass on our genetic footprint, because for me, it feels strange or unfair even, to not be allowed that right?

As much as there is some sadness to the year, there is as much gratitude and hope.

The generosity of our donors – and thanks also goes to a good friend who discovered this amazing couple – has given John & I a chance to start the family we are so wanting. We are still blown away by their generous and selfless act of donating six frozen embryos they have left over from previous IVF they went through.

And so, we end 2018 and start 2019 with renewed hope that we may spend the next festive season with our own bundle of joy – whether it be inside me or earth side.

To anyone that is grieving, holding back tears, avoiding photo on social media…. stay strong and persevere. And know that you are never, ever alone. Here’s to a fruitful 2019 x

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