Fertility

Just over a week ago, I stumbled across a piece on childfree women in The Guardian, after a couple of women I follow on Twitter were sharing it, outraged by its contents. The piece, part of a 'Childfree' series, was essentially a conversation between Guardian editors Summer Sewell and Jessica Reed, who, having read Sheila Heti's Motherhood, discussed their own personal reasons for not having children over drinks.

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Talking to Ana Maria Escobar has a similar effect to drinking a coffee and getting a workout in before breakfast. Her energy is dynamic and infectious, and somehow makes you feel you're ready to accomplish anything. Which is hardly surprising, when you glance at her CV.

The former GM and Creative Director of accessories powerhouse Oroton, Ana knows her way around a boardroom as well as she does a moodboard. In 2018 she founded LMND, a women's label that boasts what Popsugar calls "the best white shirt you've ever worn". And as if a Bondi Beach shopfront and a thriving online presence wasn't enough to manage, Ana also designs capsule collections for brands like Tigerlily, and consults for brands like Ksubi.

There was only one job description that didn't come easily to Ana: motherhood. Now mother to seven year old Emilio, Ana and her husband endured years of IVF before her doctor gave her the strangest announcement of her life: "I'm so excited, you have a tumour in your head!" While the diagnosis was confronting, it explained why her fertility journey had been so challenging, and meant she was able to finally fall pregnant once the tumour has been treated.

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Ask any woman who has been through fertility treatments, and they will likely tell you that the hardest part is the waiting and the unknown...

Which is why any technology that can lessen that emotional load is welcomed with a huge sigh of relief. Case in point? Genea's world-leading IVF technology, which not only includes an embryo incubator (which has been proven to increase the number of high grade embryos created each cycle), but also contains time-lapse cameras, so Genea can capture photos and videos of each embryo as it develops. Sent directly to patients through the Grow by Genea app, it's a welcomed addition to many couples' fertility journey.

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"I think the hardest part is actually making the initial appointment to see a Fertility Specialist. The whole fertility/IVF pathway can seem quite daunting until you actually realise that we will support you the whole way through the journey." If there were any words to hear before embarking on IVF, these are it...

Comfort and reassurance from Fertility Specialist Dr Rachael Rodgers from Genea, who has simplified and explained in detail how the entire IVF process works and what you can expect when you make your first appointment with a fertility doctor.

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Marnie Goss had only been with her partner for six months when she felt the need to have 'the talk'. Her biological clock was ticking, and she knew that her time to fulfil her dream of becoming a mother was limited. She had no idea that that conversation was about to take her on a journey that would last years…

With a PCOS diagnosis complicating things, Marnie was advised to start IVF. "I remember the first night that I took the medication", she recalls. "I sat on the bathroom floor for what felt like hours, trying to pluck up the courage to put those needles into my stomach. While Scott sat out in the loungeroom watching the news, unaware of what I was going through, I finally found my courage and put the needles in while the tears rolled down my cheeks. I am not sure why I cried that night but it was the first of many tears I shed on our journey."

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The Grace Tales is a global lifestyle platform for mothers searching for style, substance, and solidarity. Driven by creating content, community and connection, we celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, the joy and the relentlessness.

Alexandra Kimball is changing the conversation surrounding infertility with her new book, The Seed: Infertility is a Feminist Issue...

As a pro-choice feminist who has endured a history of miscarriages and infertility, Kimball discovered that femininity had a long way to go in accepting and supporting the notion of work that goes into conceiving, gestating and birthing babies not the in the "natural" form.

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Despite the occasional insensitive "he just looked at me and I fell pregnant" comment and also what you might see on various Instagram feeds, fertility is rarely a straight-forward journey for many women...

And it has been anything but straightforward for nutrition and wellness advisor and founder of Krumbled Foods Keira Rumble, who has inspired women all over the world with her honesty and openness. Over the past five years, she has experienced four pregnancy losses.

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