2019 … what a year!

Back in November 2016 we launched IVFbabble. Our dream was to create an online fertility magazine that would help people make more informed decisions about their fertility treatment

Alongside the magazine, we wanted to build a community of amazing men and women from all parts of the globe, all trying to conceive, who would support each other, united in their fight to become parents.

Our mission was to help break the shame and silence of infertility and create something we wish we’d had when we were on our own fertility journeys. It’s now Dec 2019 and we are awestruck by the realisation of this dream

Since we launched, we have met the most amazing, brave and defiant men and women. We are blown away by their strength, but also their compassion for others. We see it every day in the support the TTC community offer each other and it is truly amazing.        

Our travels this year have taken us all over the world, from India, to Europe, to the USA. We have spent time with consultants and nurses and embryologists and scientisis – genius men and women who continuously work tirelesly to help make dreams come true. Next year, our travels take us to Canada, Australia, Africa and the US where we will be taking part in some incredible fertility expos, all of which offer the correct guidance to help people make more informed decisions about their fertility journeys.

Before we take a look back at some of the amazing highlights of our year, can we just start by sending all of our love to those who have had a bloody awful year.

We get many many emails, every day, from women and men who are struggling, following failed rounds of ivf and miscarriage. Coping with this grief is hard enough, but throw Christmas into the mix, with everyone in the party spirit and endless family gatherings, and it can become even harder. You come first, so don’t be bullied into doing anything you don’t want to do. 

When an IVF round fails, it is very hard to see any light. We put out this post earlier in the year that we thought was very powerful, and it offered a lot of comfort. 

We hope this offers you some comfort too.

The Pineapple Support Pack

In looking back over this amazing year, we must start with the initiative that has made us literally cry with joy. We had a long chat with the Fertility Partnership earlier in the year about creating something that patients could take home with them after their first IVF consultation that would help them feel really supported outside of the clinic. You know what it’s like after the first meeting – you feel overwhelmed with the fertility jargon, and talks of protocol, blastocysts, transfer and the TWW. You leave the consultation feeling overwhelmed and really rather alone.

So, we teamed up with The Fertility Partnership to create a patient support pack that patients can take home with them after that initial chat with their consultant. 

The pack contains a lovely little wash bag, our now very famous little pineapple pin that has come to represent the TTC community, and 3 months membership to Babble Prime, our interactive platform where you can find a TTC Buddy, buy products at discounted prices  and watch videos from the experts about your treatment and your wellness. We hope this pack makes patients feel like they can access information when they need it, and see that they really aren’t alone in their fight to become a parent.

The Fertility Partnership will be giving one of these packs to EVERY patient at their first consultation! This really is a dream come true and we want to thank the amazing team for really looking after their patients this way. Our dream is for every clinic across the globe to eventually support their patients this way.

The power of the TTC community

This community rocks. It really really rocks. Yes, counselling is incredible for your mental wellbeing when TTC, but the comfort you get from others in the same boat as you is like no other. We have been blown away by how quickly the TTC community has grown over the last year, especially on instagram, and, during Mental Health Awareness Week, the support for eachother simply rocketed. We posted this quote on instagram:

It is a question we hear frequently from women TTC. The response to the post was incredible, with hundreds of women saying that they felt this way. However, with everyone talking, came an overwhelming feeling of strength and survival as women encouraged each other to see past their fears. The sense of comfort, as women saw that these feelings of desperation were so common, was amazing. This post and the response it received shows the power of the TTC community and how it can release the intense pressure that infertility can place on your mental wellbeing.

Thanks to this amazing community, we want to 10 Downing Street!

This initiative was one we were very proud of, but due to the awful mess that the UK government is in, has not quite achieved the result we wanted it to achieve. Our petition, launched to fight for fairer access to fertility treatment, in partnership with Fertility Network UK, smashed over 100,000 signatures and it is all thanks to the wonderful ttc community, so we delivered it to 10 Downing Street!

The Change.org petition was launched following the continued reduction in access to IVF treatment by NHS clinical commissioning groups across the UK. The unfair cuts are just tragic and leave so many men and women across the UK totally stranded, with the cost of a private IVF cycle ranging anywhere up to £8000. Until the Government sees how unfair it is, we will continue to go out and ask clinics for free rounds of IVF that we can give out to our readers Both in the UK and around the world. We can’t help everyone, but we will do what we can. 

As a result of our free IVF initiative there are 5 babies born

So far we have given out 27 rounds of IVF, with another 13 rounds standing by to be given away in the New Year. Out of the 27 rounds of IVF given away, there are now 5 little babies and four more pregnancies!

We still can’t quite believe that this has happened! We are just overwhelmed with joy and are so thankful to all of the amazing clinics who have been kind enough to support the free IVF initiative. We will be announcing the first of our current giveaways, from the wonderful team at Procreatec  in January. The remaining 12 being offered, entries will close on 5 March  2020.

Can we also take this opportunity to thank our wonderful clinics and experts with whom we are partners with. Their knowledge, support and guidance is simply incredible and we adore working alongside every single one of them.

Next year we have some really exciting new iniatives that we are bursting at the seams to launch. We really want to make sure that you are fully supported on your fertility journey and that you feel you’re not alone.

Always reach out to us won’t you? We, alongside our utterly brilliant babble ambassadors understand the emotional pain of infertility. We understand the frustration, the anger, the hurt and the fear that it may ner happen. So please, drop us an email or a DM whenever you need us. We have your back. 

Huge love as always. 

Sara and Tracey 

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