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Assisted reproduction: the pain of the diagnosis


The days after the diagnosis, I cried. Everything hurt. I was aware that something was coming over me that was going to change the course of my life

When I first heard about test-tube babies, I was 18 and read an article about Amandine, the first test-tube baby born in France in 1982, “that baby from somewhere else.” The reactions that this “quick fix” (as it was called at that time) aroused were numerous. Some years later, when I was thinking about becoming a mum and they told me about in vitro fertilisation, I felt something that still hurts today.

After our wedding, conceiving a baby seemed simple and obvious. However, the months passed and I quickly realized that something wasn’t right. I felt it. The months without pregnancy turned into years of disappointment, rage and anger. Years in which every period was synonymous with tears. Years in which congratulating each of my friends on her pregnancy made me feel incapable, abnormal, sterile, and sometimes even inhuman. We went to see the doctor. The news was hard and difficult to accept.

I was so convinced that we would never be part of the statistics of infertile couples … At that time, I felt incapable of coming to terms with artificial insemination and in vitro fertilisation, of accepting that medicine was going to interfere with our relationship and privacy in order to conceive. I wanted a night of love, to plant the seed, and nine months later, to reap the fruits of my labour and patience.

A load of questions seemed to appear incoherently in my head: would I be a normal woman if I didn’t carry a baby in my womb? Would I experience my femininity in a normal way? And above all: would I fit into society if I didn’t manage to procreate? And what about my partner? Would he be willing to continue with me if we couldn’t have children? And if I had married someone else, would we have the same problems?

The days after the diagnosis, I cried. Everything hurt. I was aware that something was coming over me that was going to change the course of my life. I was afraid and had doubts about everything, especially myself. But since I couldn’t imagine my life without children, I gradually went through the grieving stage of the “baby without a night of love”, and I accepted that if we wanted a child, it would be conceived artificially. The important thing wouldn’t be the way he or she would be conceived. Finally, the only thing that counted was the extraordinary love that we were going to offer.

Frédérique Vincent
After finishing her studies, Frédérique Vincent packs her bags and goes to England. While there, she meets her future husband. They marry in 2008. The months and years go by very quickly without any sign of pregnancy. At first, it doesn’t matter: they are very busy with their leisure time, sports, travel. Then the desire to have a child becomes an obsession. When fertility treatment begins, she decides to start writing her diary of an infertile woman. Very quickly, her circle encourages her to continue giving her testimony … She is currently a mother of three and author of La Promesse du mois, a book which serves as a testimony to infertility.

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