A mum’s story — warts and all

Jodie Nicholson

Chase reporter MICHAEL UPTON meets mum Jodie Nicholson who has put her IVF experiences into print in a bid to help others

A MUM who has written a “warts and all” book about her experience of undergoing IVF hopes it will become a guide for other would-be parents.

Jodie Nicholson, of Aston in Rotherham, told of her struggle to become a mum through a diary charting the early days of tests and injections through to the challenges and joys of pregnancy and the ordeal of giving birth in the midst of a pandemic.

And she said she was touched by the positive feedback she had received since IVF Only was published.

“The whole point of writing the book was I wanted it to be warts and all and what IVF was really like for me and to tell my story honestly,” said 30-year-old Jodie, now the proud mum to eight-month-old Nell.

“I have had mums thanking me for speaking up and saying: ‘Everything you are going through and feeling is normal.’

“Often you feel you are alone. I’ve had a lot of people who’ve been through IVF saying they cannot believe how relatable it is.

“I also had some quite interesting feedback from people who’ve not gone through IVF, too – they have said it’s inspiring and eye-opening of what it takes for some people to start a family and have a child.”

At times, Jodie’s emotions were raw, and Jodie’s anger and bitterness is graphically conveyed in the book, but there are also laugh-out-loud moments and moving touches, especially when she acknowledges the calmness and kindness of husband Steve.
IVF Only is highly technical at times, such as when detailing the process of regular pre-implantation injections, but also packs plenty of punch — and Jodie’s account of the pain she endured during childbirth may well resonate with many mums.

Jodie openly admitted she had considered throwing in the towel with her diary but had been determined to press on.

“I think the benefit for me was people do expect you to just get on with things but they don’t realise that at this time this was my whole life and between work and relationships I did struggle with it,” she said.

“At the time, nothing else really mattered.

“I did battle with whether I should continue with it.

“In the beginning, it was such a relief for me and there were times where I just couldn’t be bothered.

“But I felt I had to stick it out and carry on and I’m so proud of the final result.”

Jodie said she was looking forward to the day her baby daughter Nell would be able to read about how she was created.

“It is really important for me and Steve that she does know she was made – she was made of love of course but without science she would not be here,” said Jodie.

Jodie said she hoped IVF Only could be a help to all readers, adding: “I wanted it to be a manual for anyone going through IVF and they can use it how they like.

“I put in a trigger warning saying there would be references to childbirth and labour but I hope people will be able to read the book at least up to that point and that even read in parts the book would be useful to people.

“Four or five years ago, I could never have dreamed I would be a mum so I would like to think whatever you are in your journey my book can provide some sort of help.

“There is always hope, whether it be through adoption or surrogacy, there is always something else to try.”

Jodie said she was delighted with how the book had been received, adding: “We are doing really well and I’ve sold copies in Spain, Germany, Canada, Australia and USA, which is unbelievable, so I can say I’m international. I’m really proud of that.”

IVF Only may be out but the Nicholsons’ story may yet have another chapter, as Jodie and Steve are considering having more IVF to make a little brother or sister for Nell.

“We still have embryos left, so we don’t want them going to waste,” said Jodie. “I’ve done it once so I can do it again.”

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