I’m not sure how much sleep Jessica Hepburn is getting (or how much she actually needs) however ahead of tomorrow Fertility Fest, I thought I’d add to her work load and asked if she’d mind writing a guest blog about how she was feeling. Luckily she obliged. I saw Jessica on Wednesday evening at the Park Theatre,  which is the venue for tomorrow’s event and she was definitely flying high..

Jessica’s Blog: A Fertility Fest in a Quiet House

Jessica Hepburn

It’s one days to Fertility Fest London. Just like IVF, it’s been a roller coaster ride. But this Saturday 11th June over 30 artists, 20 of the country’s foremost fertility experts and 150 people will come together for the first time to talk about making babies in the modern world. Topics under the artistic microscope will include the IVF experience, how it feels when assisted reproduction doesn’t work, egg and sperm donation, surrogacy, adoption, parenthood after fertility treatment, involuntary childlessness and the future of fertility. Blimey, that’s a lot to get through but we’re going to try!

 The Festival has been a labour of love for me and it accompanies a beautiful new play called The Quiet House by award-winning writer Gareth Farr which opened at the Park Theatre on Wednesday night. We describe the play as a love story about life –  Jess and Dylan want a baby, that’s all they’ve ever wanted but like one in six couples in the UK achieving it is far from easy. The love, the pain, the anger, the hope are raw and real and anyone who has struggled to conceive will feel the story deeply. The play is running until 9th July so if you miss Fertility Fest there’s still time to catch it.

But if you come on Saturday as well as watching the show, you will get a chance to see and discuss the work of some of the UK’s leading writers, composers, visual artists, theatre-makers and film-directors who are coming together for a unique event of shared experience about the science of making (and sometimes not making) babies. For the full programme see here

I couldn’t pick out my highlights, I want to see them all. But what I do know is that each event will be inspirational and for some people it will be life-changing because an event like this has never happened before.

 I feel passionately about promoting understanding of what it means to go through fertility treatment and showing the world this is not a niche issue but something that affects us all. I also want to highlight the need for better emotional care for fertility patients whatever their outcome in the end. I know no one better to articulate the lived experience than artists and the fact that some of the fertility industry’s biggest names will be joining us makes me hopeful this event can herald change.

 I’m delighted that Natalie, Founder of the Fertility Podcast, is going to be one of our Festival Chairs. She’ll also be conducting ‘vox pops’ with reaction on the day.

So watch this space for news from London where on Saturday there’s going to be a Fertility Fest in a Quiet House. 

Thanks Jessica and I am going to be releasing a highlights episode about the festival on Sunday. Don’t miss it, sign up to my feed in iTunes today