New Donegal group raising awareness about the importance of providing local support for people facing fertility challenges.
This month a new Facebook group was created entitled “Roses and Rainbows” it started with a post about one Donegal couples experience of going through IVF and their recent loss through miscarriage. As part of this month’s Women’s Lives, Women’s Voices, the founder of the group shares her voice and lived experience around the issue of fertility.
Myself and my partner have been trying to conceive for the past three and a half years, we went through a number of tests which resulted in us being referred for In vitro fertilisation (IVF) in the form of ICSI, which we have been doing for the past few years.
This month on the 6th August 2019, after our second frozen embryo transfer, we suffered a miscarriage. Our heartbreak and loss moved us to tell our story and set up the group “Rose’s and Rainbows” both as a way of helping us heal and deal with what we have been through but to also help others who may be going through similar fertility challenges and experiences.
The issue of infertility is still a very sensitive subject and I believe we are very under educated as a society about how to deal with fertility issues and miscarriage, it is still very much the elephant in the room. We need to change this.
The Rose’s and Rainbows name came about as we both have a love of Rose’s and I guess we are looking for the rainbow in our storm, as are many. The page itself is a personal blog of what we have been through so far and continue to deal with, this includes our highs and lows, the financial cost of IVF, the emotional side of infertility and the heart break of a miscarriage.
Followers are free to message in privately with their stories if they feel they would like to share them with us, and if they would like we can publish them in the hope of helping others. (this of course would be done privately with no names attached to the stories).
Since setting up we have received offers by some amazing professions who will be writing blogs on fitness and health tailored towards fertility and during and after IVF and miscarriage.
Our experience over these past few years has highlighted that there is a lack of a local support network here in Letterkenny and Donegal on infertility, IVF journeys and miscarriage.
As Roses and Rainbows we are delighted to say we have now set up a monthly met-up, the first one on Sunday 25th August with a meditation session also taking place on Monday 7th October, 7-8.30pm. We believe in respecting the privacy of individuals who are going through this sensitive matter and recognise that some people would like to keep their private life’s private, as such all locations for these meetings will be given by private message)
Our motto is “you are not alone even if you decide to go through any of these journeys without telling your family or friends, because there is a local network of support in place to listen and help”.
Supports Going Forward
We would love to see annual information events held here in the North West from the likes of the miscarriage association of Ireland etc. While it would also be amazing if a fertility clinic and counselling service that were linked were based here in the North West.
It is hugely important that the promised funding from government is soon put into places, because at the moment all couples receive is tax back. The financial struggles going through treatment is very stressful added on top of everything else.
A Human Rights Issue
The right to a family life is a Human Right, yet in Ireland the right to this basic human right comes at a high price if you are a person experiencing fertility issues.
The cost of fertility treatment is high, IVF treats cost from around €4,600 upwards and this does not include other related treatments and medical supports involved in the process. People do not receive funding supports, their only opinions is to claim tax back. Which is the last thing the State should except a person/s going through this experience in the hope of building their family to have to do. In 2018 the government announced that €1m would go to IVF treatment for couples unable to conceive, yet a year on this funding has not been released.
National Support Advise
For more information on IVF Treatments and the process please visit here. National support advise services can also be found with the following organisations
We thank the founder of the Roses and Rainbow group for sharing with us her story and ongoing journey. You can find and LIKE the group on Facebook here.
 Reported in the Irish Examiner, https://amp.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/concern-as-ivf-funding-still-not-in-place-922418.html