Just been chatting to Hannah at INUK and she suggested I do a review from last year's Fertility Show to give you an idea of what it is like from someone who is having fertility issues.
I saw an advert last year at a time when we'd had one (unsuccessful) round of IVF, and I wanted to take some time out to educate myself and work out where we went from there - I was at a fairly low point at that time and thought that this might help me.
I went on the Friday, all by myself. Lots of others had either taken their partner or a good friend, but I was happy by myself as I was able to take things in, and then when I had time to process before feeding back to DH.
I arrived to see this massive hall full of stands, the very first one being the stand for the Infertility Network UK. I signed up there and then, having already come across this charity, but had yet to join.
I headed downstairs with my map of the stands, and my timetable of talks (I went to 3 or 4), and grabbed a cup of tea to work out how I was going to make sure I visited the stands I really wanted to.
The first talk I went to was by Zita West, it was good to hear from someone that I had heard of, and her holistic approach, and I took lots of notes.
I went to a talk on the emotional side of treatment, and techniques for managing your mental health during this very stressful journey (I was struggling at that time).
I also went to an acupuncture lecture, something I took up during my second round of treatment.
From the stands, these are all a mixture of types, from UK clinics, to international clinics, to those with vitamins, from methods to predict ovulation, alternative therapies. You name it, they were there. I had some really good conversations with those on stands, and there are some goodies to pick up and lots to take away to read again later.
I also did some people watching, what tactics did others have? Some split up and met again, some stayed together, no way is the right way. I would recommend not getting stressed though.
There were a couple of people there with babies, often supporting friends, and whilst I appreciate there is secondary infertility, my personal belief is that this wasn't the forum to bring babies to, so please persuade someone to get a baby-sitter if that applies to you, as my opinion is that it felt that you weren't being sensitive to those of us who were struggling to be around children and at such a show we really didn't need a live reminder of what we are missing.
But that was a minor thing, overall, I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is wanting a baby, or having fertility issues, you will definitely get something out of it, and don't forget to say hi to those on the INUK stand!