Natalie Fitzpatrick is an amazing young woman. At just 30 years old, she has undergone 5 rounds of IVF, but tragically, has suffered recurrent miscarriages.
Her continued fight and determination to become a mother is however something to behold. She is courageous and focused and whilst dealing with her own grief, has brought much awareness to the facts surrounding silent miscarriages.
As part of her journey, Natalie has created a beautiful diary, called ‘Me, Myself and IVF’, that allows women to document everything pre-conception, from the number of follies produced, to the emotional side of their journeys. The diary is the perfect keepsake for anyone embarking on the IVF journey.
Here, Natalie gives us a brief insight in to her own journey so far, as she embarks on her 6th round of IVF.
“Diagnosed with PCOS at 16 I knew I would struggle to conceive, however nearly 14 years down the line I didn’t think I’d ever be sat here still struggling to conceive and be preparing for IVF#6.
It’s not been an easy process by far, naively I entered the world of infertility with rose tinted glasses & a sense of certain, how I was wrong!
After lengthy treatments of Clomiphene and IUI, I quickly learned that not only was I struggling with conception, my diagnosis then became complex with recurrent miscarriage – I learnt to refocus on getting pregnant, and staying pregnant.
I’ve wished on every four-leafed clover, dropped a penny in every wishing well, and brushed my stomach with the fertile lady in the office – yet nothing. It was clear that I had zero control over the process, and the only way to handle the rollercoaster was with humour, grace and dignity – and I did just that.
The hours and the days rolled by, defeat after defeat and new hopes and dreams vanished. I soon became just a number on the page, a patient within the clinic & it wasn’t until I decided that enough was enough and took a 12-month break that I’d realised how robotic the process was. I wasn’t living for the moment anymore; I was merely a walking pincushion, rattling with medication & raging hormones!
Researching our 6th cycle led me to PGS
PGS is a technique used to check the embryos for chromosomal abnormalities proved not only fruitful in positivity but also a time to find me again, my mental health had taken quite a bruising over the previous years and my inner creativity was desperate to be reignited.
Trying to research my previous cycles was difficult. I simply couldn’t connect with the clinical information, bundles upon bundles of medical notes, doctor’s codes and results that meant nothing.
It was at this moment, when ‘me, myself & IVF’ came to life.
A diary that would advocate mental health, somewhere to record not only my emotions but also those crucial numbers, blood levels, medication & a place to collect scans and photos of those precious moments. I had old scans placed within a drawer with no belonging or real purpose, but it was my history, a part of me that meant so much.
I started to create the diary for myself, something I could call a keepsake. If my cycle failed, I’d planned to close the final page & store it until I’d want to revisit the details, but I hoped that one day I could proudly sit with my children and show them exactly how they came to life and reflect on how proud I was of this mammoth task I was about to embark.
Me, myself and IVF has taken off a storm, from being recommended during counselling right through to stocking within local clinics and worldwide, and here I am, day 1 of my 6th IVF cycle and hoping to finally finish my own diary!”
We will check in with Natalie next week to see how she is getting on with her treatment. It goes without saying, that we all wish Natalie every ounce of love and support.
Drop us a line if you would like to purchase one of Natalie’s lovely diaries: firstname.lastname@example.org