For those who don’t always have the time to read a full-length blog post, or article, Instagram is a great place to find a wonderfully supportive infertility community. Offering snapshots into the lives of others on their unique journeys, these honest and open accounts are there to show the real picture of infertility, with the message that no one is ever alone.
Waiting for Baby bird
Waiting for Baby Bird is the heartfelt account of Elisha, as she continues her seven-year battle to conceive. Elisha is an infertility blogger and speaker, who lives each day with the pain of miscarriage and the loss of a dream. I found solidarity in Elisha’s honesty; a life of battling infertility is incredibly tough, there’s grief, there’s heartache and, at times, it really is okay to not be okay. Faith plays a hugely important role in Waiting for Baby Bird, and Elisha often posts positive scriptures, reminding herself, and her followers, to trust in God and in His larger story of their lives.
Elisha is incredibly open in her photos and accompanying words, sharing all aspects of her life, including her husband and adoptive daughter, to create a raw account of her reality. There are photos of negative pregnancy tests, poignant words to describe her feelings and a truly beautiful letter to the baby, she so sadly lost and still grieves for, describing how she will; “Often wonder what a day would be like in which my heart didn’t ache.”
Despite dealing with the anguish infertility and miscarriage can bring into our lives, this is an often uplifting and encouraging story. Elisha’s trust in life and her God shines through all she posts to support herself, and others, as they walk the path of infertility together.
Hope and Baby Dust
In her bio, Holly describes herself as an infertility warrior and miscarriage survivor who is; “taking life back”, creating positivity and encouragement right from the start of her story. Hope and Baby Dust, candidly, documents Holly’s infertility journey; her injections and egg retrieval, her two-week wait, the sad reality of a failed cycle, and how she is learning to live again after making the huge, and incredibly tough, decision to cease fertility treatments. Holly writes openly about her struggle to stop IVF and the peace she is now beginning to find in life again. In one particularly honest and heartfelt post, Holly writes a letter to all the mothers out there, powerfully describing how; “I think we are alike in so many ways, but the difference is at the end of the day you tuck your little one in and your heart is full, while I’m putting mine back together AGAIN”.
Holly’s account is also used to upload motivating and inspirational quotes, to which she always adds her own thoughts in the comments. She shares her daily life, as she moves on from the harsh schedules of IVF, allowing herself to be sad, but also allowing herself to find joy in the little things too. There was a time, on my own fertility journey, where after multiple failed cycles, we did have to discuss whether stopping treatment was the next step for us. I can only hope, that had we done so, I’d have found the peace, that Holly is coming to know, and been able to selflessly support others, in the way she does.
In this truly amazing feed, IVF_Explained details all things In Vitro Fertilisation. The account is run by an anonymous embryology lab director and fertility consultant, and the embryologist here is keen to clarify that medical advice is not being offered, but rather what’s being shared is “unbiased scientific explanations”.
I, personally, find IVF mind-blowing; the fact that my son was created in a laboratory, frozen, defrosted and then grew to become a baby, I could hold, is utterly awe inspiring, and the stunning, miraculous photographs, posted by IVF_Explained, absolutely shows how incredible the process is.
The photos are predominantly of embryos and range from amazing scenes of an egg undergoing fertilisation, just 16 hours after insemination, to a perfectly formed, top grade, six-day old hatching blastocyst. The reader is shown, from the lens of a microscope, what fragmentation looks like and what happens after thawing an embryo, all whilst being briefed, clearly, about each process. It’s breath-taking, informative and intriguing. Alongside the images, IVF_Explained discusses, impartially and in detail, many clinical issues, such as the frequent debates over three- or five-day cultivation, and whether a patient should have one or two embryos transferred. It’s a true insight into the knowledge and viewpoints of an unbiased Embryo Lab Director. I never got to see our embryos developing and, during my cycles of IVF, would have found this account highly useful and fascinating. Not only is it educational, it’s sensitive, and opens up a world of medical science, I never expected I’d have the privilege of both seeing and understanding.
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Smart Fertility Choices
Smart Fertility Choices is the Insta account of Kym Campbell, creator of the free 30-day PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) challenge. Kym is very much an advocate in raising awareness of this condition and works to help fellow sufferers use natural solutions over medication. She shares her story, advice, and helps readers understand how the use of natural remedies was able to cure her PCOS, allowing her to conceive naturally.
Strength and determination really come through Kym’s uploads, featuring recipes, positive mantras and, naturally, infertility black humour, which won’t fail to raise a wry smile. Through her photos and thoughtfully written words, Kym is trying to create a supportive community of others living with infertility, in particular PCOS, working to bring people together and emphasising that no one is alone.
Alongside other forums, created by Kym, is the Wednesday Catch up, where readers are invited to share their stories with fellow infertility warriors, in order to find encouragement, kindness and a friendly safe space. Kym also uses her account to pose questions, asking her followers their personal thoughts on topics such as dealing with the many stresses involved, in infertility. To ensure she’s fully supporting her readers, Kym regularly asks what they want her to write about, whilst sharing coping strategies, top tips and dietary advice.
Whilst Smart Fertility Choices is natural remedy focussed, Kym does also discuss fertility plans, IVF and a whole range of other treatment and medication options, for varying conditions. What comes through, on Kym’s feed, is the positivity of her story, combined with the compassion and understanding of someone who has been there and knows that every infertility journey is unique.
Journey to Three IVF
Journey To Three_IVF follows the heart-breaking, yet happing ending, story of Erin and Matt over their four-year battle to conceive. This wonderfully strong couple underwent nine transfers, with fifteen embryos, experiencing the sheer joy of six pregnancies, which then, sadly, led to the devastation and grief of suffering six miscarriages. In 2017, they decided to use a gestational carrier and finally their miracle daughter, Scottie, was born in September 2018.
Journey To Three_IVF is baby photo heavy, which some viewers could, understandably, find difficult, however, what does come through is Erin’s determination, empathy and positivity, for others too: “I’m proof miracles do happen”.
Journey To Three_IVF is very much a candid insight into the world of surrogacy, it’s clear Erin and Matt had an incredibly positive experience, with both their clinic and carrier, who is, lovingly, featured in their photographs. The account also highlights the cost implications involved in fertility treatments, with and without using a gestational carrier, and earlier posts chart their previous IVF cycles. Erin hosts, what she calls “Chat Loops”, a nurturing environment in which her followers can discuss all things infertility and, which she describes as; “kinda like a progressive dinner party, but with conversation instead of food”. The all-inclusive chats link up those TTC (Trying To Conceive) from around the globe, and are there to enable anyone, from any fertility background, to be part of a supportive community; to ask questions, give advice and feel encouraged, knowing that their voice matters.
Erin and Matt have experienced such sadness and also true joy, the honesty shown through the documenting of their journey, to baby Scottie, is heart-warming and positive and, whilst charting the stark reality of infertility, it also shows that miracles can, and do, happen.
The Preggers Kitchen
The Preggers Kitchen is a lovely and, often, light-hearted account to follow. Set up, by Amber, a PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) sufferer who has just had her first IVF baby, she discusses, and documents; infertility, IVF, PCOS, food, yoga, positivity, and aims to make you smile. Which she definitely achieves! Amber is incredibly relatable and likeable, she’s funny and honest and open, sharing all aspects of her life from her struggle to conceive to recipes, which she’ll admit haven’t always gone well, truly creating a cosy, no judgement platform. The Preggers Kitchen is full of encouragement, healthy food and mindfulness quotes, centred around helping her viewers to take care of their whole selves; mind, body and spirit.
Amber also uses Instagram for book reviews, mainly infertility and food related, and has featured on The Fertility Podcast, talking about her best recommendations for fertility reads. She regularly shares her love of reading with book giveaways too.
The Preggers Kitchen charts Amber’s battle with infertility and she is exceptionally candid in her descriptions of; embryologist calls, progesterone pessaries and the two-week wait. After having her child, she has thoughtfully set up an alternative account to document her life, as a new mum, ensuring The Preggers Kitchen remains an infertility safe place. It’s her hope that she can continue offering advice and encouragement, and also eventually chart her next IVF cycle, where she will be using frozen embryos.
Emma Cannon’s name is synonymous with fertility, and here she offers her well-respected experience, wisdom and advice to all who follow her. It’s important, to Emma, that women understand their bodies, especially when TTC (Trying To Conceive) and through Instagram, she educates on many issues, including diet and alternative therapies. IVF can be brutal, and, during my own infertility struggle, I found great solace in the use of acupuncture; it helped me to help create a positive balance, for my whole wellbeing, working alongside the harsh hormones I was pumping into my body, cycle after cycle. Emma herself is a master acupuncturist, as well as an author and speaker, and is a truly great advocate for self-care and nurture, especially during infertility and fertility treatments.
Emma’s account centres around meditation, the traditional medicines she practices and wholesome, nutritious recipes with dietary advice. Her uploads aren’t solely fertility related, but all her words are encouraging, caring and calming too and, as one of the UK’s top fertility experts, any fertility postings come with a wealth of trusted know how. Emma uses examples of real-life patients and suggests proactive ways her readers can address both their physical and emotional needs at once. She is very much in favour of patient voices being heard, understanding that, especially when it comes to infertility, there are many emotions bubbling away, which it is important, for our mental health, to release: “YOU ARE ENOUGH. Do your best, none of us are perfect, fertility can be a rocky road but if you approach it with enthusiasm, heart, flexibility and try to be healthy in body and mind. Then you are winning at life”.
As someone at the forefront of raising fertility awareness, Emma is empowering and motivating, and shows a great deal of compassion and understanding through her images and words.
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IVF Babble is the Instagram account of the online fertility magazine of the same name. It is run by Sara and Tracey, who both underwent various medical procedures, in order to conceive. They are now both mothers to twins, speaking out about their experiences and raising awareness of infertility. They regularly hold Q&A sessions with experts and other specialists in the fertility field, inviting their followers to participate in asking questions and create active discussions. Sara and Tracey are very keen to let those in the TTC (Trying to conceive) community know that they are not alone, and to offer their support to the “wonderful people” struggling to have a family.
As founders of World Fertility Day (November 2) IVF Babble is absolutely at the cutting-edge of what’s happening in the world of fertility. Their photos show meetings with MPs, to discuss IVF funding, promotion of fertility events and all things pineapple related, proudly displaying their #breakthesilence pins. For those who have never heard of the pineapple, in relation to fertility, it’s a symbol of togetherness, unity and awareness; I regularly wear mine with pride.
IVF Babble is a great place to visit to truly keep abreast of the latest information, and events, in the world of infertility, whilst also finding a supportive community in which to discuss all fertility related topics. Sara and Tracey offer such loving and genuine care, to their followers, as well as being true fertility champions.
The Todd Tribes 2
The Todd Tribes 2 follows the life of Amber Spears, her husband, and her twins, who were conceived via IVF, with eggs donated from her sister. As the account is used as an open snapshot of Amber’s life, her children, Annalise and Archie, feature heavily, as does her pregnancy. However, earlier uploads do centre around Amber’s own infertility journey, and painful battle to conceive. In a truly magical post, Amber reveals her pregnancy test result, post IVF with her sister’s eggs, and in the accompanying story, describes the joyous moment she realised that she was actually going to be a mother – ten pregnancy tests later, stating that; “They couldn’t all be wrong!”.
Amber has appeared on news shows and presented a podcast, for Australian Birth stories, and regularly speaks out about her use of donor eggs to conceive. She was also featured in Kidspot, sharing a heart-breaking and beautiful letter she wrote, to the children she never thought she’d get to meet, describing; “Three years of pain, operations, interventions, hope and loss – but it was worth it to feel your little feet kicking in my tummy.”
Amber’s account is filled with happiness, hope and positivity. It serves as an encouraging reminder, to all of us living, day in day out, with the battle which is infertility, that families are created in many unique and wonderful ways.
Mother Project Official
The Mother Project Official is the Instagram account of the Times weekend columnist, Sophie Beresiner. It follows her current journey of trying to conceive, with the help of a gestational carrier. Sophie is incredibly open about the whole process, featuring updates on every aspect involved, from choosing a surrogate, to signing contracts and, just recently, whether or not they should have one or two embryos transferred. Keen to discuss infertility and surrogacy from all angles, Sophie includes a wonderful post written by her partner, creating an opportunity for him to share his story too as; “the voice of the other side.” She speaks to others, who are also creating their miracle families, using a gestational carrier, acknowledging the wonder that truly is medical science and the fact that “This is just what we can do these days”.
Sophie is honest and amusing in sharing her life, emotions and ongoing journey with the world; her upbeat and positive attitude is completely contagious. Alongside her personal photos, she also uploads inspirational quotes, which centre around infertility, my most favourite being; “LOVE makes a family” which it most certainly does, in whatever form any little miracle being gets here. As Sophie beautifully puts it; “It doesn’t matter where the child comes from as long as the love is there”. As Sophie is writing whilst currently going through this cycle, with her surrogate, it’s unknown what the outcome will be, however, it’s a journey she’s inviting all to share in, whilst raising awareness and helping to educate on the differing ways families come to be.