Last Saturday, in a beautiful private room in a pub in Chiswick, 120 people gathered for a wonderful afternoon of food, conversation, information and comfort.
Friendships were made and the silence was broken….the key factors we set out to achieve with our campaign #ivfstrongertogether.
This event started out as a post on instagram, asking if anyone fancied a cup of tea…then the lovely @healthycatcan messaged me and said “I am holding a little gathering on that day, shall we join forces?” Our plans for a small tea party soon escalated as hundreds of you got in touch to say “can i come?!”
Prior to the event, we had many messages from you saying the the thought of walking in to a room of strangers and talking about such personal issues made you feel terribly nervous. However, you would never have known. As I looked around the room, I felt the warmth and love radiate from everyone, as we chatted amongst each other over lunch.
We shared stories and experiences, all of which we could relate to.
One amazing girl that I spoke to, told me that for the first time in a very long time, she felt comfortable in a room full of people. She didn’t have to hide anything. She didn’t have to pretend, or put on a brave face. We ‘got’ how she was feeling and we made her feel ‘normal’.
The vibe was perfect. It was saturday afternoon in a pub with friends. We drank, we ate, we chatted. The low level musc in the background meant there were never any awkward silences. We all wore name badges, so there weren’t any strangers in the room.
We were also joined by some amazing experts in the fertility world, so we must give them a huge thank you.
Cat Strawbridge from the Fertility Network spoke about the incredible work the charity does, offering support and guidance to those struggling with the rollercoaster of infertility and treatment. Did you know that the charity have a nurse on call everyday? I wish i’d known this when I was going through my treatment. Cat is passionate about making sure that everyone knows that they can reach out to this wonderful charity. If you are on instagram, follow them on @fertilitynetworkuk.
Dr George Christopoulous, lead consultant at TFP who works at Boston Place, 92 Harley Street and Thames Valley Fertility, gave the most incredible talk about the facts of IVF. He will be writing up the answers to the questions you posted on Instagram last week too. We will publish his answers next week.
Chloe Brotheridge put us all in to the most amazing relaxed meditative state of mind with her incredible hypnotic skills and calming voice. Chloe is the author of ‘The Anxiety Solution’ and is a fully qualified and insured hypnotherapist, registered with the National Council for Hypnotherapy.
Nicola Salmon is a registered acupuncturist with the Acupuncture Fertility Network and talked to us about the benefits of acupuncture whilst TTC. We were so keen to have Nicola at our event because we feel so passionate about this holistic treatment. Nicola has also created a lovely journal that you can use on your journey.
Hollie Shirley gave the most heartfelt and emotive talk on the way coping with infertility has made her feel. As she talked about the hurt and jealousy that comes when a friend tells you they are pregnant, I could sense the relief in the room, as we all realised that it is a common feeling. We have all felt that rage build as one of our super fertile friend says “I didn’t know how to tell you, but i’m pregnant!” Argh!!!! Hollie’s openness was a pure tonic. As many of you know, we are honoured to have Hollie as one of our writers at IVF Babble. We are also so thrilled that she has published her first book, with the brilliant title ‘What not to expect when you aren’t expecting’. It is available to buy on amazon now.
Sandra Greenbank Just before we all tucked in to the amazingly sugary and delicious pineapple cake made by one of our lovely readers, @plan_b_for_bridget, Sandra guided us through some of her top nutritional tips. With 9 years experience as a nutritional therapist working with clients across the UK, Europe and the US, Sandra has helped countless women get to the root cause of their fertility issues and achieve the healthy pregnancy and baby they didn’t think was possible.
Bruce Thomsen is the CEO and Founder of Coast Science, the company that make supplements to help others who are struggling with fertility. Following his own struggle to conceive, and not finding any suitable, all-natural supplements for men, Bruce took an ambitious step and created his own, which was the first iteration of the Male Fertility Supplement (‘MFS’). His desire to start a family, together with his background in science and medicine, led to the genesis of Coast Science and developing an ever-evolving group of products.
We were also lucky to have in attendance
Rachel Cathlan, the author of 336 hours
Claire Blake, a top fertility massage practitioner (and a lovely friend of ours) who combines traditional and cutting edge techniques to help naturally improve your fertility and digestion.
Chrissy Tay, from the Bird and Budgie Beauty Studio came down and gave us all massages!!! Chrissy has kindly offered anyone that comes in to the beauty studio wearing a pineapple pin a 20% discount!
Clare from Neals Yard provided everyone at the get together with a gorgeous goodie bag full of lovely products.
This gathering was more amazing than we could ever have imagined. We really want to do more of them all over the world!! Let us know where you are based and we can start making plans.
We are happy to announce that we have put a date in the diary for our next gathering in Manchester on the 28th April with other locations following this year!! We will announce details very soon.
To register your interest for our future events and requests for locations, we’d love to hear from you. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org