Infertility affects a huge number of couples today but, in spite of its prevalence, it’s a diagnosis that often feels impossible to share. Understandably, this can leave infertility sufferers in a pretty isolated place – which is how my first book, 336 Hours, came about. I wanted to open up about the reality of being amongst the ‘one in six’ couples we so often hear about, and about the impact that infertility has on every part of life.
Heavily influenced by my own experiences, 336 Hours is the diary of one woman’s battle through infertility and IVF during her five-year quest for motherhood. The story is set within the pressure cooker of the narrator’s third, and supposedly final, IVF treatment, exploring everything that makes infertility such a bitter pill to swallow: the impossibility of trying to keep the romance alive when your decision to have a baby has become a laboratory experiment; the emotional pain that now accompanies every pregnancy announcement and bump; the strain on your work, marriage and friendships; and the knowledge that, once you’ve started out on this journey, there really is no way back to the life you knew before. Not to mention, of course, the intensity of the final ‘two-week wait’ – that dreaded stretch of time when there is nothing left to do but to symptom-spot, to worry, to hope, and to wait.
This book was written for everyone who wants to understand this private and difficult world, and especially for all those who are trapped inside their own pressure cooker right now, and trying to navigate a nail-biting 336 hour countdown in their own journeys towards parenthood.