Sep 2, 2019
Meet Jessica Hepburn, who has been a previous podcast guest and always a pleasure to speak to. After a jampacked few months, Jessica's currently has her hit play Avalanche staring the amazing Maxine Peak, showing in Sydney
Do have a listen to previous chats I've had with Jessica on this podcast - starting here
It was great having Kate speaking with me to Jessica, as Kate is a fellow mountaineer and had all sorts of different questions to ask.
So Jessica Hepburn has a background in the arts and as a result of publishing her first book the Pursuit of Motherhood book, found she was being contacted by artists who were telling her they had similar experiences or how much her book had helped them, which is how Fert Fest came to be. It is the first arts festival bringing together dedicated to fertility, infertility, the science of making babies and modern families and has really picked up it's momentum, being part of The Fertility Show as Eshre.
What is amazing about the festival is how it has created the first platform for patients, the public and the profession - a level playing field to discuss what it feels like to go through treatment
There are people going through treatment who have infertility issues and people who have got no fertility problems.
There are many similarities - isolation, not knowing how your story will end, feeling envy amongst peers, feeling you aren’t a natural / normal man or woman - Jessica talked about how these are all common symptoms when fertility treatment doesn’t work first time and common feelings that everyone shares
She described how she is part of a collective of patient advocates, working together to try and make the industry better, which I love and feel chuffed to also be a part of.
So in her crazy busy schedule, Jessica has very recently climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia nd then flew back and swam across Lake Windermere as you do!
Jessica talked about how in the challenges she has taken on she wants to inspire other people to do is live big and bravely whatever their fertility story is and to know there are many ways of living life
She spoke about how it was her childhood dream of swimming the channel and the parallels she draws to her IVF experiences - doing these challenges such as how the result is out of your control - the sea decides if she’ll let you cross her and the mountain decides if she’ll let you climb her and your body decides if it will let you conceive and carry a baby
She described her experience of swimming the channel as transformational.
I think if you've heard me speak to Jessica before you'll agrees she sounds more determined than you’ve ever heard her
She spoke about how she is really conscious that we’re only here for a really short amount of time and how "if you can’t always have the family or the life you dreamed of, there are other routes to happiness and these challenges have been one for me as have the writing and as have the fertility fest family"
Jessica also discussed with us her concerns about the misconception of IVF being viewed as one treatment thing and people often wrongly think it’s going to work the first time, but for a lot of people it doesn’t work the first time but the cumulative success rates over 3 or more treatments are better and how she wants people to think this is a 3 treatment cycle - which is what the NICE guidelines suggest.