Rosie and Richard met in 2003, got married in 2008, decided to have a baby and… nothing happened.
Like many people in a similar situation, they carried on trying and, er, still nothing happened. Months turned into years as their bathroom cabinet started to fill up with fertility monitors and pregnancy tests.
Soon they were ‘trying’ not only on specific days of supposedly peak fertility but at a specific hour too. And still nothing happened. So they decided to deal with it how most British people would: pretend nothing’s wrong.
With a body clock ticking and pressure mounting each month, they silently blamed each other. And themselves. Now the ‘trying’ for a baby became an ordeal. All around them friends were popping out babies seemingly without a problem. But still nothing.
Finally, when the issue had become a monthly roll-call of disappointment, arguments and excuses they decided it was time to get help.
An appointment with the GP in 2010 and thus their IVF adventure began…
Three very different attempts at IVF at three different clinics – two NHS-funded and one self-funded – would result in a negative result, a positive result and then a miscarriage and, finally, a successful pregnancy and the birth of their daughter.
By the end of that long four years they realised that they knew far more about IVF than any of the books they’d read had told them. They now knew that some parts of the process were far more important than they’d first realised and other things weren’t important at all. They knew how hard IVF could be on relationships and they knew all the mistakes they’d made during each of their cycles of IVF. By default they’d become involuntary experts on the subject.
Friends of theirs who were considering IVF would ask Rosie and Richard for advice on what to expect, what to ask consultants and where to have treatment etc.
Initially they planned to just write a page of A4 explaining what they had learnt but that page of A4 got longer and longer until they realised there was a whole book to be written on what IVF was really like, how people would feel during the process, what people needed to know and what they didn’t along with tips and advice on how to get through the process as easily as possible.
The result is Get A Life: His & Hers Survival Guide To IVF containing everything they know about IVF, with the aim of hopefully making IVF a smoother and less stressful experience for other people doing it. IVF is unpredictable and it can be hard to deal with the disappointments and waiting along the way, but with this book Rosie and Richard hope anyone reading it will be equipped with all the information they need to maximise their chances of success.
Rosie Bray is a TV producer. She began her career at the BBC and has made programmes for BBC2, BBC3, ITV, C4 and currently works for NBC. She also holds the dubious claim of being the voice of POD on the BBC3 show ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid’. She enjoys running, photography and singing loudly to Wham in the car.
Richard Mackney is a freelance writer and producer. He used to work in TV and was a reporter on ITV breakfast show, GMTV, focusing on such important stories as Britain’s Biggest Cow and Shed Of The Year. He’s also worked for BBC, ITV, Sky and E! Entertainment. He now spends most of his time sitting in front of a computer in a shed in the garden.