Rhian Sugden is just one of thousands of patients whose lives have been turned upside down, as their dreams of parenthood have been put on hold due to the disruption of COVID-19
Having already undergone two cycles of IVF that sadly failed, she was hoping to undergo a third cycle as soon as possible. However, her third round of treatment has been postponed indefinitely as medical resources are focused on battling the Coronavirus pandemic.
Rhian Sugden, 33, and her husband Oliver Mellor, 39, have been struggling with infertility, candidly sharing their journey on social media. They had a third round of IVF scheduled and were looking forward to the process when it was cancelled. After sharing her anguish and heartbreak and explaining that her motherhood journey will have to wait, she has received an outpouring of support on Twitter.
On April 7 she tweeted, “Had some lovely messages recently about my #IVFJourney
Quick update… our fertility clinic has closed due to #COVID19 so we are currently on hold until further notice. Good things come to those who wait right? #ttccommunity.”
The former Page 3 girl was devastated by a negative pregnancy test a week before Christmas, after her last round of IVF. She said that the hormone injections and raised hopes “broke her,” and put a damper on her and Oliver’s Christmas season.
She posted, “After getting so far on our second round it was really heartbreaking to find out it hadn’t worked. It broke me. It ruined Christmas for us both and it has been really difficult to deal with – especially for me having all the hormones injected and placing all my hopes on one egg.”
Rhian has never been afraid to share her struggles with infertility, revealing last April that she had been told by doctors that she had an “egg count of a woman over 45.”
She hopes to smash through the shame and silence that often surrounds a failure to conceive. “Infertility is something that isn’t really spoken about, and is something men and women shouldn’t be ashamed of.”
We love Rhian for being so open about her fertility journey. The more people talk about infertility, the more ‘normal’ a subject it becomes. No one should ever feel like they are ‘abnormal’ or ‘incomplete’ for not being able to conceive naturally.
But sadly, in talking openly, Rhian has had to deal with comments and insults from trolls who have sent her hateful messages, telling her that she doesn’t deserve to be a mum. It makes us sick to our stomachs to see how cruel people can be. These ignorant people have clearly never had to experience the physical and emotional pain, the grief and heartache of a failed IVF cycle. Rhian posted a video in which she openly cried about the trolls’ response to her failed IVF.
“I’ve come forward to talk about my IVF struggles and I’ve also started a blog to talk about it and I’ve actually helped quite a lot of women. But some of the comments underneath the article are absolutely disgusting.
“People are saying I don’t deserve to have babies, because I was a Page 3 model and saying my kids are gonna get bullied saying it’s karma from things that have happened for why I can’t have kids.”
These comments are disgusting – no woman deserves to have her journey to motherhood minimised and insulted
Our love and thoughts are with Rhian and Oliver at this time, and with everyone who has had their fertility treatments postponed.
Thank goodness we all have the love and support of the wonderful TTC community. Together we will continue to lean on each other, hold hands (virtually of course), listen, talk, cry, laugh and feel energised knowing that we aren’t alone.
Let’s have each other’s back even more than usual during these tough times. #ivfstrongertogether