Hi I would like to share with you the introduction from my latest book, Achieving Parenthood, The Struggles are Real, the Hope is Eternal.
This is a collaboration book with 13 stories which will comfort and inspire you, whether you are only starting to navigate your way through fertility treatments and options, or whether you would like to offer support to a loved one going through struggles, or whether you just like a good book with inspiring stories.
My name is Kellie Harriden, and I want to share with you my 'why'. Why have I put this book together? Why do I continue to support the TTC (trying to conceive) community when I have crossed through to the 'other side' myself?
Because, following on from my first book, Long-Awaited Child, I knew I had to do more to help others in this community. I understand their pain, their anguish, their fears, and the torment they go through on a daily basis, as they do all they can to fulfil their dream of being a parent and hearing the sweet sound of a little human one day calling them 'Mummy' or 'Daddy'. I have lived it. For eight long years, my partner, Ian, and I endured many IVF cycles, many negative pregnancy tests, applying for adoption, and going to foster care seminars before travelling overseas to have our family using a donor egg and surrogate, which (sadly) was a lot easier, I believe, than going through surrogacy in our country, Australia. Then, unbelievably, after everything we had been through, my body decided to fall pregnant—just the once— but sadly, I miscarried. I now struggle with the guilt of why I was finally blessed with my very sweet twins when so many others are still taking the costly and emotional steps with no guarantee of their dream outcome (which I know is unfair to myself ).
They say everyone has a story, and in the world of infertility, this could not be more true. So many suffer, often in silence. It can be the loneliest journey one may ever travel. By compiling these stories, I hope you find inspiration when you may be feeling like throwing in the towel (but don't really want to), plus comfort and support to those of you who may have been dealt some real heartache during their journey. Trust me when I say, 'You are not alone.' We are here to support you.
Even after everything I have been through, I have learnt so much by reading these stories. I am still hurting from my own experiences, which was obvious by how emotional I became reading these heartfelt stories. My journey now makes up a part of who I am, and even though I now believe I can take on any situation thrown my way, I am still healing and probably always will be. Infertility and loss change you forever!
Dealing with infertility takes a lot of hope and bucketloads of resilience. Resilience is getting up after you have been knocked down over and over again, not letting it reduce you. In other words, you continue to begin again, just like these words sung by Barry Manilow:
And you begin again. And sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. But you begin again. Even though your heart is breaking, in time the sun will shine and you will begin again.
One particular chapter in this book is written by Dr Gavin Sacks, clinical director at IVF Australia. He shares his knowledge and research behind natural killer cells, a topic I have a lot of interest in from my own infertility journey. In my journey, I was offered to be part of the clinical trial for natural killer cells. Back then, research was all so new, and even though I turned down this offer due to my body and mostly my mind being done with IVF, I have followed this research closely, and it is now something I truly believe anyone who is having recurring miscarriages or constant negative IVF results should look into being tested for.
I would like to share some words from Dr Sack's chapter about hope: 'Hope is actually about the uncertainty of life. Hope only exists when there is uncertainty.' On reading this, his words instantly resonated with me. For those trying to have a baby, everything is uncertain, but if you have hope, then you have not lost the battle.
So, my reason for putting this book together: hope. It is and always has been about hope!
You can purchase a copy of Achieving Parenthood along with my first book, Achieving Parenthood by going to our SHOP tab, and check out the special offer when you purchase both books!