I am delighted to let you know about Fertility Fest 2018 – the world’s first arts festival dedicated to fertility, infertility, modern families and the science of making babies. This year’s festival will feature 150 artists and fertility experts in a week long programme of discussion and debate, support and solidarity at the Bush Theatre, London (8th – 13th May) http://www.fertilityfest.com
The festival is led by experienced arts producers and former IVF patients Gabby Vautier and myself. Gabby is the mother of three-year-old twin girls after going through four rounds of IVF and I went through eleven rounds of unsuccessful treatment which I wrote about in my book The Pursuit of Motherhood. Now my new book 21 Miles: Swimming in search of the meaning of motherhood will be launched at the festival in May.
‘Through the power of the arts we want to improve the understanding of the emotional journey of people who struggle to conceive so that those going through it feel less alone but also to ensure that the fertility industry is delivering better patient care for everyone whatever their fertility story, however, it ends.’
This year’s festival will include sessions on how it feels to conceive with a doctor in your bedroom featuring Izzy Judd, wife of McFly’s Harry Judd and author of the bestselling memoir Dare to Dream; sessions on the male experience of infertility featuring artists including Foz Foster whose work Labour of Love, celebrates the lives of his three children lost through miscarriage.; how to cope when assisted reproduction doesn’t work where Julia Copus will be performing Ghost Lines her poetry cycle which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award; and parenthood after IVF including what is believed to be the first ever parent and IVF babies session featuring Saskia Boujo founder of the merchandise brand ‘IVF and Proud’.