In tonight’s WOW! Chris Dunne chats to Helen Brown of the National Support
Infertility Group (NSIG) and a Cork couple blessed with a child following IVF
WHEN Helen Browne, pictured, underwent a second unsuccessful treatment of IVF in 1996 to fulfil her dream of having a child, her hopes were dashed.
“I felt that my self-worth diminished and I had nowhere to turn,” she says.
She took matters into her own hands and sought out other women who had gone through the same trauma and the was born.
“I had spent 12 or 13 years focusing totally on having a baby,” says Helen, who is a nurse.
“My husband supported me fully, even though the stress was immense. Having a baby became a goal in my life and I was overwhelmed with grief when I knew I was never going to hold my own child,” says Helen.
“Nobody realises how isolating and excluding it can be when you long for a child and you know it can never be,” says Helen.
“I know women who can’t bear to visit a relative in hospital after giving birth. Sometimes the social exclusion can hurt. People tell me they don’t get asked to communions or christenings. Even if they don’t want to go, they’d still like the choice.”
Word of mouth played a big part in setting up the support group for women having difficulty conceiving, for women who had gone through IVF treatment and for women who would never carry a child.
“Even though you can talk to your partner and loved ones, nobody really understands unless they are in the same situation,” says Helen.
“The IVF treatment brings its own challenges. You have to be prepared for disappointment. The emotional rollercoaster and the financial strain is tremendous on couples.
Helen herself is reconciled to the fact that she will never be a mother. And her mission is to help others who are desperately trying to have a family of their own and supporting those that will never become a parent.
Read the full interview and article in tonight’s WOW! Free with the Evening Echo