Infertility and IVF – The Quiet House

On Tuesday night I was really privileged to see The Quiet House at Park Theatre, a play exploring a couple’s experiences of infertility and IVF.  It was incredibly powerful, with fantastic performances from the two leads and made me so aware of how invasive and difficult the journey can be.  Dylan, the husband, talked of how he felt impotent – his role being limited to “wanking” in to a cup, and how painful it was for him to watch his wife having to do daily injections, deal with the surging hormones, and feel the physical pain, whilst all he could do was watch.  We could see her visceral suffering – her all-consuming desire to have a baby – the feeling that what the couple had between them, despite such love, was not enough.  We saw how it affected their daily lives and how isolated and alone they were in their journey.  It made me so aware of the lack of emotional support for couples facing infertility.  As doulas we often work with couples who have been through fertility treatment – apparently one in six couples needs support getting pregnant – and it is clear how medicalised and interventionalist the route has been compared to those couples who have enjoyed love-making as their route to pregnancy.  Couples have often lost faith in their bodies and their ability to birth.  There is often such fear of risk, knowing how difficult it was to get the baby there in the first place.  It makes me sad that there isn’t more awareness of the role of the doula around fertility – surely emotional, practical and informational support is essential at that time?  Despite being an emotional watch I would urge anyone who can get to Finsbury Park  to see the production before it finishes on 9th July.  It’s eye-opening and powerful.