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  • Writer's pictureKirsten McLennan

Here is an extract from Chapter 4 of my book, when I had a pregnancy of an unknown location. Here I talk about returning to work after having to end my pregnancy and I give an insight into how many people with infertility suffer in silence.

You can buy my book here.

"I stumbled back to work the following week, quiet and withdrawn. A couple of weeks before my methotrexate injection, a work colleague injured himself in a basketball game. He had torn his Achilles tendon. A painful injury. So, the team at work rallied behind him. They set up a private office for him, encouraged him to work from home and offered to get his lunch every day. It was the least they could do. He got a lot of support. As he should have. The injury had left him physically restricted and most likely feeling mentally low. But what about me? I was physically and mentally recovering from something difficult as well. The bandage across my abdomen from the laparoscopy procedure was still fresh, oozing with yellow liquid and mixed with blood. But more than that, I was mentally destroyed. I really needed a

support team.

But no one talks enough about infertility. And in the office that day, it was the first time I realised the profound silence of infertility. Not enough people talk about it and what they are going through. I was one of them. I couldn’t figure out why exactly that was. Was it shame, fear of pity, embarrassment, judgement or guilt?

After a few hours of trying to silence the noise in my head, I quietly pulled aside one of my work friends and I told her. Telling someone, even if it was just one person, felt like I could breathe again. She was horrified. I saw the tears in her eyes and heard the sadness and panic in her voice. But I also pleaded with her to not tell anyone. To keep it secret. Yes, secret. Every time I would look up from my computer though, I would catch her watching me. Her face riddled with sympathy and panic. She spent the entire day watching me.

While I struggled at work that week and felt invisible, I was almost resentful of all the attention my work colleague was getting with his injury. I wonder what that feels like, I thought to myself. Instead, I suffered in silence, like so many before me and so many will after me.

  • Writer's pictureKirsten McLennan

Christmas. It’s one of the hardest times of the year with infertility.

I found everything felt magnified at Christmas. The end of yet another year without a baby. It was tough.

I also found it often painful being surrounded by family and friends, everyone with kids. And I would often get bombarded with awkward and insensitive questions or advice.

If you’re struggling this Christmas, please know your feelings are valid and you’re not alone. Lean on the #ttccommunity to get through it and be kind to yourself.

It's also OK to skip a Christmas party. If you're attending a Christmas party, here’s some tips you may find useful:

✨Set boundaries to suit you

✨If you don’t feel like attending an event, don’t attend. Don’t put pressure on yourself.

✨Set time limits for how long you attend an event

✨Have a solid excuse and end time

✨It’s ok to set boundaries and say no to things

✨If you don’t feel comfortable going, don’t go

✨If you get there and don’t feel comfortable, leave

✨Always put your feelings first and be honest with your partner

  • Writer's pictureKirsten McLennan

I loved speaking to Naomi @embracefertility for her latest podcast episode.

You can listen to the episode here or visit my Instagram bio @straight.up.infertility

In the episode, I talk openly about my IVF and gestational surrogacy journey and I share the good, the bad and the ugly and everything I learned along the way. It was also great to speak about my new book 'This is Infertility'.

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